Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Flos Carmeli / Lourdes / CCW edition)

I made this set of videos (about 20 minutes all told) during my time living just over the cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel, Israel. The O.C.D.s had invited me to stay there for an entire month during the years that I was a chaplain at Lourdes. I must say that these videos are very emotional for me to watch to this day. What a fright! But… Jesus, Mary’s Son, is just that good and kind! Even though in watching these you don’t move from station to station yourself, I’m sure your heart will be transported to be right next to Jesus, to be with Him in solidarity, and to be right next to His dear Immaculate Mother as she accompanies our Lord, again in all solidarity.

If you’re wondering, what you saw is the work of acid attacks.

Then, of course, we have the great Flos Carmeli. We would sing this from Elijah’s cave after offering the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

Flos Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
Mater mitis

sed viri nescia
esto propitia
Stella Maris.

Radix Jesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum

Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium

fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium

Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium

Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.

clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
Amen. (Alleluia.)

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendour of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,

Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favours bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armour,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.
Amen. (Alleluia.)

A picture of the wadi of Mount Carmel from the ruins of the Monastery of the Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Today’s monastery is above Elijah’s Cave, just a bit further to the North:

flores - mount carmel wadi

Note today’s mosque up on the hill to the right. Sigh. That’s the Mediterranean Sea in the distance. It is from this vantage point that the Islamicist guy living in the monastery saw the ship coming from Rome carrying the priests and brothers of the Discalced Carmelite Order which was returning for the umpteenth time to reclaim from the Islamicist slaughterers this part of the Holy Land, reestablishing some modicum of peace. The Islamicists slaughtering everyone was the reason for the provision of self-defense for the local population wrought by the Crusaders, some of whom, to the point, became the first Carmelites, fighting spiritually for the Immaculate Conception, that Flos Carmel without equal. They would be hermits (more or less) for six months, and then descend upon the land and preach ferociously, as only crusaders can, for another six months, then return.

My heart speeds up with memories! Also of Lourdes, where the Immaculate Conception appeared to Saint Bernadette also as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is the Carmelite Monastery on the far side of the river from the grotto in Lourdes as seen from my room in the Chaplains House in Lourdes (above the grotto). Look to the right of the donkey’s ears:

lourdes donkey carmelite monastery

  • Pray the Rosary!
  • Wear the Brown Scapular!

Maybe my interest in CCWs comes from my rather extensive Carmelite experiences, with the Carmelites having been ferocious soldiers, with Elijah, hailed as the founding father of the Carmelites, having been the greatest prophet and – most precisely – a warrior prophet. But, I’m still thinking about all that. Meanwhile, my neighbor, with his ineffable military background, is taking me to one of the the very many shooting ranges in the area to give me some pointers about how to hold a pistol so as to be able to repeatedly shoot in quick succession without aiming, and yet back up bullets in the same hole in the target. I don’t think I’ll get the hang of it that easily. (I ain’t that good, or bad, depending…)

I would like to ask readers a favor on this day: please say a Hail Mary for Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D., who has offered up her prayers and sacrifices for yours truly for life. I am totally unworthy of this. Utterly. She is my great hero. Hail Mary…


Filed under Flores

3 responses to “Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Flos Carmeli / Lourdes / CCW edition)

  1. James Anderson

    I have added sister to my daily prayer list right next to your name.

  2. This is an amazing and sad video. Sad because of the violenece done to this beautiful shrine and amazing because Jesus’ love is so evident here despite the attempts to hide and deny it. I will be back to make the stations.

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