Every once in a while as a kid I would see a Farmers Almanac which predicted weather patterns and the best planting and harvesting times for any given year. It seems much easier to me to take a look at the dogwoods wherever you happen to be. Just an hour’s drive to the South they are long gone, here in WNC they are in full bloom. Back at the hermitage they are just peaking out. Climate regions are sharply defined by mountains and elevation and weather patters. Just a few miles to the South all the weather comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Just a few miles to the North it all comes from the Pacific Northwest. Here in far Western North Carolina we are often in the eye of major storm systems, catching it from the South and the North and, when there is a big enough hurricane in the Atlantic, just a bit of fringe rain from that effort. It just depends on where you’ve been planted, as it were.
Just like the dogwoods, our Lord in His exacting providence (and permissive will) has us grow and bloom in different times in different places with all things working together for the glory of God.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.”
We are called to be faithful in whatever circumstances we have at whatever time in whatever place, and in purity of heart and agility of soul our lives will in themselves be acts of intercession for the whole Church. We have different times and places and circumstances so that we can work together for the good of all the members of the entire Body of Christ. Our Lord is dogged about the timing of what happens in our lives.
And why is this a flower for the Immaculate Conception? Because she, of all women the most blessed, was also the most attuned to the providential and permissive will of God.
The dogwood flower bears the marks of the Passion of Christ, which He still bears on His risen body, enough for Thomas to put his finger into the nail wounds and his hand into His side, touching that Most Sacred Heart still pierced open still beating for us. Mary also says with her Immaculate Heart pierced with sorrow during that Good Friday: My Lord and my God. The dogged timing for her had it that her intercession for us would call upon the entirety of the graces of our redemption and salvation, of justification and glorification.