Flores for the Immaculate Conception (retreat edition)

flores-retreat

A Renaissance style statue of the Madonna and Baby Jesus to be seen at the Church of Saint Margaret of Scotland next to the retreat center.

As mentioned in Retreat: Getting permission from Mary to carry the very dead body of Jesus, the retreat went very well. But as I find out, not everyone reading that post thought the same way, as if the great advice I received was instead despicable! No!

You’ll remember the story I’ve recounted a 1000 times when my guardian angel smacked me down for wanting to have the same kind of reverence he has before God, for, after all, didn’t Jesus say that they see the face of God right now? Yes. But the reprimand was justified, as the kind of reverence any of us mere mortals are to have is not that of angel, but we are instead to go to the Father through with and in Jesus, something an angel simply cannot do. It’s good to get smacked down by one’s guardian angel. It’s their job. When it happens, say “Thank you” to them.

When I was smacked down on the retreat by a good and holy fellow priest who told me of my hubris (in the face of my weakness) that I must take back all the vows and offerings I’ve given to Jesus over the years, also for priests and bishops, I have only thanksgiving for what had me do. This is, after all, a family affair, and I should not bypass our Blessed Mother when making such offerings to Jesus. No one should. She can present them to Jesus, and that’s only right, since she also requested that we receive whatever grace we receive through Jesus. As I say, I did make the Monfort consecration uncountable times, but making particular offerings in this way is also to be done. Of course. Happy to do it this way with the good mother of Jesus and ours. Brilliant. Happy to get smacked down only to be lifted up by this good priest friend.

But then this “things are clicking into place” phase I’m going through brings home that love of God and love of neighbor are the same act of love just as the Head of the Body of Christ should not be decapitated from the members of the Body of Christ. And thus, my being indignant at the way priests can be treated, HERE and HERE and HERE. I am a bit more aware that the least I care about my fellow priests (and others) is the most I care about Jesus. Yikes!

In all this, how can one not give a flower to the Immaculate Conception? She’s the one who leads us to Jesus, to the entire Mystical Body of Christ. She teaches us how to love with purity of heart and agility of soul. She teaches us how to be good children of God.

3 Comments

Filed under Flores, Spiritual life

3 responses to “Flores for the Immaculate Conception (retreat edition)

  1. Aren’t you gad Mary said yes? We all owe Mother Mary a tremendous debt of gratitude.

    Fr. George, the mental picture you gave us about asking Mary’s permission to carry the dead body of Jesus to the tomb gave me a whole new perspective on the seven sorrows. Wow.

  2. I think my comment above might be confusing – I mean Mary’s saying yes to being the mother of God.

    And… the meditation on asking Mary’s permission to carry Jesus to His burial was a different and separate thought.

  3. Monica Harris

    Fr Byers, this is the most difficult thing for me—“the least I care for my fellow—fill in the blank—is the most I care about Jesus”.
    Yikes, indeed.

    What I was told by a wise older priest, when I asked “how am I to will to love and/or forgive certain very despicable persons” : “ Well, think about it this way, even if said ‘despicable person’ is the only human being alive on the planet, Jesus would still become incarnate, and suffer and die on the cross for him. Remember that God created all of us, each one of us is loved infinitely by Him.”
    So that is how I kind of think about the Body of Christ. They are “potentials” to me in a way, if not in actual fact. Blessed Virgin Mary can probably help with that vision, I will start asking her a little more often, so thank you.

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