As I’ve always told those discerning a vocation, those who are on their way in the seminary, and those who have already been ordained, just be faithful in every circumstance, no compromise, ever, not with the liturgy of the Church, not with the unity of the Church, not with the doctrine or morality of the Church, not with the spiritual life, not with standing in solidarity with those who suffer marginalization and the darkest of existential peripheries: Faithful in every circumstance, no matter what, no matter the cost.
This is not idiot rigidity (which is mere ideology and catatonic fear), but is rather filled with the strength and joy of the Holy Spirit, bringing enthusiasm in the bond of love of God to be able to suffer all things, that is, to speak in terms of love, to stand by Jesus in all HIS trials. Yes, that’s right. All of our trials in suffering because of our faithfulness to Jesus and to His Church are the trials of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. It is He who makes us faithful to stand in solidarity with Him in His solidarity with us. This is uprightness, integrity, honesty. It is knowing who we are in God, our identity, that is, those whom our Heavenly Father has loved so much as to send His only begotten Son to lay down His life for us even as we – all of us – tortured Him to death. We are those whom He has brought to life. What kind of prayer and perspective are we to have?
“Fear not, Daniel,” [Gabriel the Archangel] continued, “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes [the Archangel], came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand…” (Daniel 10:12-14).
- Humility, humility, humility.
- Fidelity, fidelity, fidelity.
Precisely, that means: “NO COMPROMISE!” It’s most appreciated by Mary’s Son Jesus, who, because He would not compromise, was tortured to death on the Cross. And then He also says elsewhere: “It is you who have stood by me in my trials” (Luke 22:28).
By the way, yes, let us, in the traditional praxis of the Church, call upon Saint Michael. But let us also understand that he seems to be one to be put in charge of various battles by Saint Gabriel, who seems to be at the top of the hierarchy regarding the war first portrayed in Genesis 3:15. It seems to me that this is why he, Gabriel (the mighty war hero of God by name) is called upon to announce to Mary that she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. She is singled out as the great war hero in Genesis 3:15, utterly singled out, along with her Seed, she being the Mother of the Son, who is the Redeemer, our great war hero who lays down His life for us.
Oh, and also why is this a flower for the Immaculate Conception?
“While He was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’ He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:27-28).
And, of course, that would be our Lady. This is the real cause of Mary’s great joy, that she would have no part with any compromise. And then there’s this:
“For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
Mary knows what it means to make no compromise. She steadfastly stood under the Cross of our Lord, regardless of her own heart being pierced through with sorrow, and that even in the face of the thoughts of many hearts of compromise being laid bare. Yikes!
Giving a no-compromise-flower to the Immaculate Conception is really cool.