Seen on the front steps of the rectory this cold and dark and post-storm early morning, the flowers popping out from underneath the snow (just above her right hand).
She very much likes to shower graces upon us as snow by way of her intercession for us, her perfect petition under the cross to be in solidarity with her divine Son, who himself gives us of those graces directly, of course, as that involves the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity.
For those more well-read than this most un-well-read priest in the world, the “dark and stormy night” thing might call to mind Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton. The problem I have is that that actually sounds like good writing to me, though others think it to be vomitingly melodramatic. For me, it congers up two other images. One is of Snoopy sitting atop his dog-house with a typewriter, forever and repeatedly beginning a new novel starting with the words “It was a dark and stormy night.” The other is most magnificent, that of Mount Sinai at the giving of the ten commandments:
“There were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the LORD came down upon it in fire. The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently” (Exodus 19:16-18).
The dark, the storm, the earthquake, all of it was repeated on Mount Calvary, where stood our Lady of the Snows. Nevertheless, I still carry this with me on this silly earth:
Perhaps, nevertheless, our Lady will have me, among so many others, burst forth as a flower in honor of her Immaculate Conception. That would be totally cool.