Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Retreat in San Francisco

The skies were gray above, the asphalt and sidewalks dark and wet below, but colors jumped out at me as we were leaving Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco this afternoon.

 Two of us had traveled to attend lectures by Father Alexander Golitzin on "The Advent of the Christ." Father Alexander is Professor of Patristics at Marquette University, and the lectures were rich with references to ancient Judaic texts, little-known Persian Christians in the 4th Century, the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament scriptures and the beloved liturgical hymns that tie our salvation history together into a whole.





My heart and mind didn't want Fr. Alexander to stop, even though I had the feeling as of a voice saying, "Whoa -- that is a bit much to feed me all at once." I left the cathedral worn out and happy, holding my notebook full of scrawls that I hope to meditate on further.

The flowers, though....they must be part of the large family of metaphors that tell about God taking on human flesh, entering our world as an infant at a particular point in history. Something about beauty and color and brightness breaking into the winter.

10 comments:

Frangipan said...

San Francisco looks gorgeous. I can't believe you get flowers like that in winter! You should come take a look at my blog; www.wandering-the-dream-space.blogspot.com

margaret said...

Sounds like something I would have liked to have gone to. I hope you manage a few blog posts from your scrawls at some time.

Jeannette said...

The colors of advent straight from the song of earth...may the potency of the retreat continue with you and sustain your vision for a holy season of expectancy.

elizabeth said...

what a beautiful opportunity! so glad you had this blessing!

Marfa said...

Lovely flowers...and church. I was in San Francisco for the glorification of Vladika John...gosh 15 or so years ago! It was amazing. I was there again about 10 years ago and got to spend a lot of time at Golden Gate park, in Chinatown, at Holy Virgin Cathedral (I worked at the school there for 3 months).

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Your pictures are beautiful--the colors pop off the screen! It sounds like a wonderful day, though I'm sure, like you, I would have left quite worn out ...

xofrances

Pom Pom said...

Gorgeous! Oh, do share your scratchings!

Gumbo Lily said...

My goodness! What joyful flower pictures burst forth from your page! The lectures sound very intriguing and interesting.

Jody

Firefly said...

Oh Joanna, this sounds fascinating! I'd love to go to something like this.
And San Francisco, always beautiful, isn't it? Not to mention, some of the best restaurants in the world!
Blessings,
G

H West said...

Thanks for those pics. I really needed to see that pic of the amazing flowers.