Posts Tagged ‘The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA

26
Feb
20

2.26.20 … “Everything has a crack in it. That’s how the light gets in.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (1/40), Ash Wednesday, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, Driving Mama Lindsey:

I’ve mentioned this before: Presbyterians were slow to adopt the liturgical calendar and until the late 1980s there was no mention of Advent or Lent in my southern Presbyterian churches. But now they are. (See below for a 2005 article). And generally we are encouraged to take up spiritual practices. I have 3: Daily Lenten Devotional ReadingsLenten Labyrinth Walks, Lenten List making.

Before heading out today, I made my first Lenten List.- Ordinary Blessings. Last night I found this in America Magazine:

Source: Before Lent, count your ordinary blessings | America Magazine

This is the last week in Ordinary Time for a while. Next week, believe it or not, Lent begins. But let’s not leave the graces of Ordinary Time too quickly. As many liturgical scholars will point out, the term “Ordinary” comes not from the idea that the days are uneventful or boring, but that the weeks are “ordinal,” that is, counted, from the first week of Ordinary Time to the 34th week. Still, it’s not hard to connect ordinary time with the days outside the great feast days of Easter and Christmas, as well as the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent. And ordinary times are indeed more “ordinary” than those days and seasons.

This week might be a good week, then, to think about the ordinary blessings in your life. Maybe that could be a focus of your Daily Examen this week.

Source: Before Lent, count your ordinary blessings | America Magazine, https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/02/24/lent-count-your-ordinary-blessings

… so in preparation of Lent here is my first list.

Ordinary Blessings

1. Health

2. Family

3. Dogs

4. Friends

5. Education

6. Safe travels

Around noon, my sister and I ventured out. My sister and I took my mother to the dentist for the umpteenth time, and today she received her new and improved upper dentures. And they look glorious and seem to fit very well. It is nice to see her smile.

After the dentist appointment, we drove to the Cathedral of Saint Philip where my favorite church labyrinth is located in Atlanta.

I have walked labyrinths 40x during each of the last 8 Lents. And today I began again. So after taking my mom to the dentist with my sister to get her new dentures, we headed to the Cathedral. I promised my mom I would bring her for a wheelchair walk. So she and my sister waited in the car while I walked.

What had started out as a beautiful day had turned blustery. And as I walked, a very slight drizzle began. For some reason that seems appropriate for Ash Wednesday.

It’s always noisy here, it appeared i was directly below a flight pattern and several small noisy planes flew overhead. The Cathedral is also located right on Peachtree Road which as always was busy with traffic at the time of my walk.

As I walked, I considered the blessings which I had cataloged earlier in connection with an article I had read in America magazine. I thought about each one as I walked and stood within each of the petals of the center. I had inadvertently listed 6 items. I think when I make my lists this year I will always make six so that that will be a good number to consider when I walk Chartres style labyrinths.

I also pondered several readings from early this morning …

From James Howell:

Today is Ash Wednesday. Perhaps you know dreams turned to ashes. In Church we are reminded that “you are dust, and to dust you will return.” The big dreamer part of you is housed in a body that is slowly breaking down, returning to the mere stuff that it is. For a season of 6 weeks, as if God knew we couldn’t bear it for much longer, we fix our attention on the ashes, our morality, our finitude, our disappointments, our guilt and brokenness. It’s not a negative season. It’s just the truth about us – and once we embrace that brokenness, the way the world and people disappoint, ourselves include, then we begin to move toward healing, and a deep, abiding sense of God’s mercy, goodness, presence – and hope.

Bly’s title is from an old fairy tale the Grimm Brothers passed along to us. Hunters keep disappearing in the forest near the king’s castle. People stop venturing in. But one day an unknown hunter shows up and asks “Anything dangerous to do around here?” The King tells him about the forest. He replies “That’s the sort of thing I like.” So he plunges in, alone, taking only his dog. They finally come to a pond. A hand reaches up from under the water, grabs the dog, and pulls it under. “This must be the place.” He returns to the castle, gets a bucket, and starts bucketing out the water from the pond. Long, slow work. Finally there’s a big guy with reddish hair, wild, untamed: “Iron John.”

It’s a parable about the way we avoid the hard work of going deep into ourselves and thus deep with God. We are fearful of what we might find, so we avoid, stay busy, stick to our diversions. But Lent is the time to do some bucketing, to see what’s really under there. It’s a little scary, but only when we befriend the hidden self, the wild untamed one within, can we discover who we really are in and with God.

Join me in some hard work this Lent. Poke around in the brokenness. See how God is there. As Leonard Cohen sang, “Everything has a crack in it. That’s how the light gets in.”

Source: The Beauty of Brokenness: Ash Wednesday, https://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Beauty-of-Brokenness–Ash-Wednesday.html?soid=1104220709083&aid=9kgMoWzcRAc

And from Pope Francis:

Not only are Christians called to generously share the richness of the Gospel and gifts from God, “today, too, there is a need to appeal to men and women of good will to share, by almsgiving, their goods with those most in need, as a means of personally participating in the building of a better world,” he said.

“Charitable giving makes us more human, whereas hoarding risks making us less human, imprisoned by our own selfishness,” he said.

“We can and must go even further, and consider the structural aspects of our economic life,” he said.

That is why, the pope said, he called for a meeting during Lent with “young economists, entrepreneurs and change-makers with the aim of shaping a more just and inclusive economy.” The meeting was set to take place in Assisi March 26-28.

The theme of the pope’s message, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God,” was taken from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (5:20), which reflects the invitation to return to God through constant conversion and reconciliation, and experience new life in Christ.

“Life is born of the love of God our father, from his desire to grant us life in abundance,” Pope Francis wrote

Source: Pope Francis stresses reconciliation in Lenten message | America Magazine, https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/02/24/pope-francis-stresses-reconciliation-lenten-message

And I liked this one from Meister Eckhart, too.

We then returned to Lenbrook. Doesn’t mom look great!

And I missed the Imposition of Ashes at nearby churches …

Regardless, I had a lovely Ash Wednesday … dust to dust …

It was a nice way to begin the season.

2.26.20

And I stumbled on this again …

I walked down Grace Street in Richmond twenty years ago, and about two blocks away from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church I began to see people with dirty foreheads: all sorts of people, some smartly dressed for work on their lunch hour, some rather shopworn and tired. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized that the source of the “dirt” was Ash Wednesday worship, so distant was this day in the liturgical calendar from my Presbyterian experience. Now Presbyterian churches galore, including our own, have Ash Wednesday worship. We ministers smudge the foreheads of worshipers and say: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Remember that you are dust – The Presbyterian Outlook,
https://pres-outlook.org/2005/02/remember-that-you-are-dust/
23
Nov
19

11.23.19 … “Light exists as well as shadow. Creation has not only a positive but also a negative side. It belongs to the essence of creaturely nature, and is indeed a mark of its perfection, that it has in fact this negative side. In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA:

I had a day of errand running in Atlanta today. I headed out from Marietta about noon. First, I got my nails done. While I was in the nail salon, it poured. I’m pretty in pink …

Second, I visited the local Dollar Tree. There I purchased some glass vases and small pebbles for my Christmas paperwhite narcissus flowers which are my first Christmas decoration, my Christmas Eve table decoration and my favorite gift.

Third, I delivered a package to a friend to her mother-in-law‘s house. To get to her house I had to cross the River at Lovett and then back in the neighborhood to the left. This is an area of Atlanta that I have rarely ventured and so I was interested again at the topography, which I love, and, since the brig late afternoon sun was peaking out from the clouds, the drive was magical enhanced with the beautiful very end of fall color, deep reds and bright yellows.

Next, I headed for a labyrinth. The labyrinth at St. Philip’s is my most frequented labyrinth when I’m in Atlanta. And getting to it takes me through one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the US in my opinion. So I always get the pleasure of driving past old haunts and homes of old friends and family. As I drove to the Cathedral, it became overcast again, but luckily was not raining.

When I got to the labyrinth, since I had Albert, I pulled out my cast-iron iron which I have re-purposed as a dog anchor. It comes in very handy when I am walking labyrinths. Ive tried walking “with” Albert, but that is a major fail. As I walked, Albert looked at me quizzically and tried to drag the anchor around a bit. But then he just patiently watched.

Next up was checking the ginkgo trees at E Rivers Elementary School. I definitely missed it this year. However, the light was coming in and out of the clouds and for a brief moment it highlighted the bed of yellow leaves at their bases.

After leaving there, I headed toward my mom’s. I took the back way (Habersham, Old Ivy, Wieuca to Peachtree), and it was now a perfect late fall afternoon. The leaves played with the afternoon sunlight. And as I rounded a corner and saw the beautiful yellows and reds, I smiled, and as soon as I smiled, the sun went back behind the clouds. Some days are like that.

At Lenbrook, I went up the freight elevator with Albert. He doesn’t like steps, and he really doesn’t like elevators. I had to drag him on elevator. But the visit with my mom and Albert was the highlight of my day … really. .She said, “We got lucky when we got Albert!” WE … I chuckled. Albert is the only dog in my extended family currently. My mom truly views him as her dog, too.

So all in all a great day …

And now a quote … “Light exists as well as shadow. Creation has not only a positive but also a negative side. It belongs to the essence of creaturely nature, and is indeed a mark of its perfection, that it has in fact this negative side. In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side. For all we can tell, may not His creatures praise Him more mightily in humility than in exaltation, in need than in plenty, in fear than in joy? May not we ourselves praise Him more purely on bad days than on good, more surely in sorrow than in rejoicing, more truly in adversity than in progress? If there may be praise of God from the abyss, night and misfortune… how surprised we shall be, and how ashamed of so much unnecessary disquiet and discontent, once we are brought to realize that all creation both as light and shadow, including our own share in it, was laid on Jesus Christ, and that even though we did not see it, while we were shaking our heads that things were not very different, it sang the praise of God just as it was, and was therefore right and perfect.” – Karl Barth

And here’s round one of my paperwhite plantings …

Blessings, Safe Travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

11.23.19

03
Nov
19

11.3.19 … “In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side.” – Karl Barth

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin, Elizabeth Musser, When I Close My Eyes:

I just returned from 48 hours with some special friends from college. I have been immersed in love and friendship for 48 hours. So today, I chose a quick walk before going with my sister to a book signing for Elizabeth Musser’s new book…

Today is the first day of daylight savings time and I actually slept late feeling completely refreshed and woke up to full daylight. But now at 4:30 as the sun was getting low in the sky, it was time to walk. The light was perfect, and it was a beautiful crisp fall day. As I mentioned, I had just spent a delightful 48 hours with my Davidson College friends at the home of one friend who lives in Gainesville Georgia. As has become a routine, we talked, shared, hugged, encouraged and then went all our separate ways from one end of this country to the other. Every time I spend a weekend with them, my soul is restored.

As for my walk … Birds chirping… I loved the sun playing with the buildings, dancing in the trees … And I saw a sliver of the moon. What is the moon phase today? And then I saw a bed of blooming knock out rises. Do knock out roses forever bloom in the south?

And as for Elizabeth’s talk at the Atlanta History Center, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve read her new book, “When I Close My Eyes“ (https://www.amazon.com/When-Close-My-Eyes-Novel/dp/0764234447) and recommend it. I was talking with someone and they said that they didn’t read Christian literature. Prior to reading Elizabeth’s books, I had not read much if it weren’t veiled in fantasy (think, CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Tolkien, Dante). But what is wrong with being challenged by Christian truths? Because of Elizabeth I have been introduced to another Christian fiction author, Sharon Garlough Brown. In addition, and I assume because I listed Elizabeth’s works as some of my favorites, I now get recommendations for other Christian writers. A funny one was a Christian writer of spy thrillers. When one was free, I actually read it and enjoyed it. Luanda Ehrlich’s Titus Ray Thrillers. I read Book I, “One Night in Tehran.”

And James Howell led me to this quote the other day …

“Light exists as well as shadow. Creation has not only a positive but also a negative side. It belongs to the essence of creaturely nature, and is indeed a mark of its perfection, that it has in fact this negative side. In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side. For all we can tell, may not His creatures praise Him more mightily in humility than in exaltation, in need than in plenty, in fear than in joy? May not we ourselves praise Him more purely on bad days than on good, more surely in sorrow than in rejoicing, more truly in adversity than in progress? If there may be praise of God from the abyss, night and misfortune… how surprised we shall be, and how ashamed of so much unnecessary disquiet and discontent, once we are brought to realize that all creation both as light and shadow, including our own share in it, was laid on Jesus Christ, and that even though we did not see it, while we were shaking our heads that things were not very different, it sang the praise of God just as it was, and was therefore right and perfect.” – Karl Barth

11.3.19

01
Oct
19

10.1.19 … “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ― Julian of Norwich

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin, Driving Mama Lindsey:

So this was a combo drive and walk. October 1 is my mother‘s 93rd birthday. Because of some serious dental issues, we are unable to celebrate in the usual Lindsey style. So my sister and brother and I tagteamed today. My sister met her for lunch and then I followed with a long car ride ending up at my brothers house for dinner. He then continued the evening with an episode of Father Brown… Hopefully, by Friday, the dental crises will be over and we can proceed with the usual Lindsey style celebration.

I began my time with my mother by telling her about my book study class at my church in Charlotte. I had attended by FaceTime today. She asked me what we discussed and I told her strangers in the Bible, redemptive strangers, strangers who bless then exit … no conversion, like the Magi. I read her this passage from Barbara Brown Taylor’s “Holy Envy”:

“This tradition of strangers bearing divine gifts begins early in the Bible with the story of Melchizedek, a Canaanite king and priest who comes out of nowhere bearing bread and wine for Abraham (then Abram) after a great battle. You can find it in Genesis 14 if you want, but since it is only four verses long you are also welcome to my summary. 

First Melchizedek blesses Abram in the name of the God Most High, whom he serves. At no point is there any discussion about whether Melchizedek’s God and Abram’s God are the same God. After blessing Abram, Melchizedek blesses God. In gratitude, Abram gives him a tenth of everything. Then Melchizedek exits the story as suddenly as he entered it, leaving Abram to become Abraham, the father of the Jews. The End. 

Though Jews and Christians have made much of this mysterious stranger, some going as far as offering up elaborate interpretations of Melchizedek’s identity in order to establish their own priority, the story needs no embellishment. As short as it is, the narrative already has a clear message in place: God works through religious strangers. For “reasons that will never be entirely clear, God sometimes sends people from outside a faith community to bless those inside of it. It does not seem to matter if the main characters understand God in the same way or call God by the same name. The divine blessing is effective, and the story goes on. 

Other examples of redemptive religious strangers in the first testament of the Bible include Bithiah, the Pharaoh’s daughter who plucked the baby Moses from his rush basket in the River Nile and raised him as her own; Jethro, the Midianite priest who was Moses’s father-in-law and teacher; Ruth, the Moabite who became the ancestor of King David; and Cyrus, the Persian king who ended the Babylonian exile and allowed the Jews to return home—the only non-Jew in the Bible who is ever identified as God’s anointed one.”

And then we headed off on our ride … Where to? Brookwood Hills. Because it was her birthday, I did not fuss when she wanted to drive straight down Peachtree Street…She really can’t see much but she still enjoys getting oriented as to space and talking about people and places.

And it was hot, hot, hot; so hot that you really still felt the heat inside the car with the air-conditioning turned on high. A Charlotte meteorologist refers to this as “Augtober!”

We enjoyed our usual spin through Brookwood Hills, noting that the house of our longtime neighbor, the last of those longtime neighbors, had sold between our last ride and now. Another end of an era.

And then heading back north, we circled through Peachtree Hills and Garden Hills, around the Duckpond, and back up to Peachtree. Looking up, I saw the Cathedral and asked my mom if she cared if I went for a Labyrinth Walk. I swear she responded, “Are you losing? “ Now granted I need to lose a little weight, but I thought my mom got the spiritual aspect, not the exercise aspect of my walks. She denied it later.

As I walked I noticed the irrigation sprinklers going. It almost made it feel cooler, but it really wasn’t any cooler. But there was a rainbow in the sprinkler mist, and that was uplifting.

Now back to our drive … Atlanta folks are just as silly as those in North Carolina. They have decorated for Halloween to the nines all over the city. One house on Habersham obviously had paid a landscaping/decorating company to put up their decorations. I wonder what that cost. I assume they do the same thing for Christmas

And then we just toured Buckhead. Most interesting to me was driving down Valley Road between Habersham and Northside. That’s another place I haven’t been in years and years. I think I was always enchanted by the creek that meandered along the street in front of the houses. I love the quaint driveway bridges that cross it.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

― Julian of Norwich

My mom still has an inquisitive mind and a joy of spending time with family and friends. I read her your notes on social media.

Then back to my brother’s house.

10.1.19

12
Jul
19

7.12.19 … “And this is precisely the secret held by all those who go by foot: life is prolonged when you walk. Walking expands time rather than collapses it.” -Erling Kagge

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA:

I have a lot going on right now. I have been in Atlanta helping my mom deal with some major dental issues. I never thought about it, but there is a useful life for teeth. And for my mom, 92 seems to be the number. It is not fun to deal with serious dental health issues at 92.

My sister had an appointment at Piedmont so I drove with her and decided I could use my time free time as quiet time … Iced coffee from Starbucks, labyrinth walk, and, if time permits, a visit to Richards Five and Dime.

I have secured my coffee, and a blueberry muffin, and I’m now sitting in the very hot sun, 89°, at The Cathedral. There is a magnolia tree in the distance that still has a few blooms on it, but most in this garden, are well past any blooms.

My thoughts wander to my three adult children and what they are doing. Jack is in Alaska and the temperature in Alaska has been breaking records. It was hotter in Anchorage AK last week than in Atlanta GA today. It hit the 90s for the first time in recorded history and in the lower 90s for three days in a row in McCarthy AK. And there are over 400 forest fires; so bad that Jack says the normally pristine air is hazy from the fires.

My son Edward is in Colorado and dealing with the ups and downs of relocation, finding a job, and how sometimes the world just doesn’t play into your hand. But, he is surrounded by good friends and has found a beautiful place to live, so I am hopeful that he will find a spot where he enjoys this period of his life.

And Molly, my daughter, is in Brooklyn. Last month she traveled to Ecuador and now she will work super hard and then have mini vacations to attend the weddings of two close friends in August and September. I think this wedding season will be different than when I was her age because each wedding, as a general rule, is unique. No longer does a bride go home to her childhood church and get married surrounded by her family and friends of childhood with a couple of additions from college, etc. instead, the couple often choose a venue that is special to them, a beach resort or a mountain venue or even a local park or venue near where the couple currently lives. It’s a different world.

Before I walk I took stock of my surroundings. As I mentioned, it was hot. And the birds were the most significant activity in the garden today. I enjoyed watching them fly from tree to tree and singing to each other.

I love this cartoon forwarded to me by a good Episcopalian friend. I wish I knew the cartoonist so I could give him/her credit.

I found this quote the other day…

“And this is precisely the secret held by all those who go by foot: life is prolonged when you walk. Walking expands time rather than collapses it.”

-Erling Kagge’s Walking: One Step at a Time (translated by Becky L. Crook, Pantheon)

I certainly believe that my walking expands time, rather than collapses it. I’m hoping my life is prolonged by my walks.

And I enjoyed Hamilton’s score today:

🎶Look around, look around at how lucky you are … to be alive right now … 🎶

And as for the goats … you’ll have to ask my brother.

7.12.19

and I found this …

23
May
19

5.23.19 … “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin:

After a meeting at Lenbrook, my sister and I headed out for a walk. We enjoyed our time in the sun, despite the heat. The birds seemed to enjoy our presence. Magnolia leaves were strewn across the labyrinth. I always enjoy the sound of rustling magnolia leaves when I walk over them.

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein

5.23.19

26
Apr
19

4.26.19 … Will I bother you?

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA:

Will I bother you? Rarely do I share a labyrinth. But as I walked up, there was a man dressed in camouflage pants and army boots sitting in the center. I was worried that I might distract him. So I held back for a few minutes.

And I was struck by the sound of wind in fully leafed out trees.

There was a woman with puppy circling around and a few other people passing through space, including one woman with bright orange hair.

I found myself going from cool and warm depending on the wind. The heat was strong when the gusts of cool wind died down.

And the birds were chattering.

I talked with the man walking. It was his first walk and it was clearly a moving experience. I shared my labyrinth story. We hugged.

On the way out I missed a turn …

4.26.19




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 618 other followers

May 2020
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31