Flores for the Immaculate Conception (utterly inappropriate edition)


These are weeds, I guess. As a little kid, I could easily pick such nuisance plants, put them in a jug of water, and give them to my mom. I wouldn’t notice the lack of grass whose place the weeds usurped. I would instead imagine that I was looking at miniature Snap Dragons, tiny Jack-In-The-Pulpits. My mom would smile, of course, regardless. I guess Jesus’ mom is like that. These “flowers” are in the backyard of the new rectory.

I have the intention of putting up some autobiographical posts in the next few days, bits of what long time readers of my other blogs have read before but said they would like to see again, but now tweaked for length and clarity. These are weeds, if you will, utterly inappropriate, it would seem, for the end for which they are intended, that is, as a kind of thank you to the Immaculate Conception, but which may just contain some beauty, a flower to be given to her, who is the mother of the One who is coming to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

This is a kind of response to my being dumbfounded the other day when doing a bit of investigation of the double murder in the Vatican last month. Discussions lasted 5 1/2 hours firstly in a restaurant and then in the home of one who knows more than just a bit about such things. I got the idea during those discussions that there are some few who had allowed themselves to get into a position of string pulling, but actually have only been manipulated into lusting for power, fulfilling in themselves what is predictable at the end of Romans chapter 1:

“They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Rom 1:31-32).

I commented that…

“Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

How is it that such people have gone astray? How to call them back? Jesus called Judas “Friend” at the very moment of the kiss of betrayal and death, no? Since it is evident that the posts of this blog make their way also to these very people, let me invite them to see in the autobiographical articles to follow a pathway out of their own hell, even if they should think they are too far gone, that the way of Judas is the only way left for them now: It is not the only way remaining. I lay out part of my own life for you as a call to you to return to the Lord with repentance. It is not too late. Hell is forever. You don’t have to go there.

shepherd boyLet me tell about my vocation at 2 1/2 years old, about almost being raped and murdered at 7 years old, about being stalked at 8 years old, about starring as a 13-14 year old in perhaps the largest kiddie-porn operation in the history of such things right around the world to date, about the time I pointed a loaded rifle at another stalker when I was 15 years old. Let me tell you about how I forgive you on behalf of all who have suffered the kind of idiocy you vomit out on others, that is, if you want the forgiveness, because I think that that is what you think is impossible. Forgiveness is not impossible. It is yours for the taking. Do it. Jesus has the wounds to prove that He’s deadly serious about His love, yes, even for you. And in that case, of you accepting this offer of forgiveness, all thanks be to Jesus Christ, Son of the Immaculate Conception, who accepts such small and utterly inappropriate efforts such as these as flowers given to Him to give to His mother.

P.S. The last time I put this kind of thing up on a blog there were those who thought rather ill of me, calling me damaged goods. Instead, I suggest that one might find out how it is that the Lord was giving me from the very beginning some reference points by which I could understand the true state of affairs in the Church and the world today. That’s a strength. But truly the only far reaching strength comes with accepting a hand up from our Savior. Amen.

Update: A reader emailed this:


A weed is but an unloved flower!
    Go dig, and prune, and guide, and wait,
    Until it learns its high estate,
    And glorifies some bower.
A weed is but an unloved flower!

All sin is virtue unevolved,
    Release the angel from the clod—
    Go love thy brother up to God.
Behold each problem solved.
    All sin is virtue unevolved.

Poems of progress and new thought pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company [1909].

At first glance, your beautiful weed seems to be a wild bergamot: Monarda fistulosa. If you bruise a leaf, does it smell minty? [No.] The Monardas are my ‘Sweet Mary’ flowers. Butterflies and hummingbirds love to feed on the nectar (I imagine the butterflies and hummingbirds as visitations from the faithful departed).

Update: With more research: I took a closer look at your photo with my magnifier and checked in my Peterson wildflower field guide … is this what you have in the garden? [Yes!] If it is, make of this what you will –it’s ‘Purple Archangel’. Only called dead nettle because it won’t getcha like stinging  nettle.


Filed under Abuse, Father Byers Autobiography, Flores, Holy See

2 responses to “Flores for the Immaculate Conception (utterly inappropriate edition)

  1. Purple Archangel. I didn’t know that. More years ago than I will admit to, I spotted this little ‘unloved flower’ in our state park. I thought it was beautiful so I dug up a tiny little one to bring home for my rock garden. Having no gardening tools with me I used a plastic spoon as a trowel and a paper cup left over from lunch as a flower pot and sneaked my treasure home. I planted and watered it and it flourished. I was so proud of my little beauty. Then a neighbor came by and mentioned my rock garden was nice except for the ‘ground ivy taking over’. Yes, my treasured flower is called ‘ground ivy’ around here and most folks consider it a nuisance. I still have it in the garden and I still love it and yes it has taken over the lawn and flower beds too. Ha-ha and the neighbor’s property too.

  2. meshugunah

    I’m another wildflower (AKA “weed”) aficionado… Learned from Mrs Rogers, my friend Flo’s granny, that many of them are edible and/or medicinal. We spent 2 wonderful weeks with Mrs R , exploring the woods at Camp Iliff – one of my best memories!

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