Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Uh oh edition)

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My DOT – EMT neighbor doesn’t say that he’s never seen anything like it, but does say that the last time he say something like this was like 25 years ago. We’re gets temps of 60s and 70s. All the flowers are coming out, including flowering trees. What this means is lots of dead flowers and even dead trees when, as Winter marches on, we get a massive ice and snow blizzard with cold that stays for weeks. You gotta know it’s coming. Enjoy it while ye may. We can appreciate the evergreen (the one above at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville) even while other explosions of color distract us. The evergreen doesn’t care at all about any ice and snow blizzard.

In our souls, we carry hope with us, and that hope can stay consistent and stable throughout bad times and good. Isn’t it interesting how Saint Paul puts it? He doesn’t say he’s learned how to put up with good times and even, wow, bad times. He says that he knows how to deal with bad times and even, wow, good times. Because, for us, when do we cool off as with an ice and snow blizzard in our souls? When times are especially good, right?

I remember the Blizzard of all Blizzards – mostly ice – back in the 1990s. I was in western Kentucky and my parents, down in Myrtle Beach, weren’t doing well health wise. Just as the ice started in Kentucky I just in a car to go see them. I was in the ditch with that car with tires with no tread within minutes. I was pulled out only to get stuck on the 4 lane highway with all the ice but no snow accumulation yet just minutes later. I couldn’t make it up the gentle hill. I was given a different vehicle and off I went Eastward right where the ice was coming down for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles. All the way. The ditches of the highways on both sides were like parking lots two cars deep door to door all the way.

The ice was sometimes 4 and 5 and 6 inches deep on the highway, slick, clear ice. Trucks at a dead stop on the highway would suddenly break ‘traction’ and start moving sideways into the ditch. Trucks with sets of wheels entirely broken off their axles were to be seen. Meanwhile, I was harassing my guardian angel continuously. He kept me safe.

That he kept me safe, and moving, was a lesson for me. We are more able to assent to the hope that is given to us when we see presently something of the care of our dear Lord for us in whatever way, also, of course, through our guardian angels. This hope and this assent can become stable, steadfast, continuous, consistent, in bad times and good.

Mary knew all that much more than we will ever know. Good times and bad. Bad times and good.

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