So, of course, Jesus, without whom nothing was created, nothing exists, did create the universe in view of His Immaculate Mother. It just cannot be that the ecosystem we have was not wrought in view of her. How could it be that we who notice such beauty in nature do not immediate offer all of this to Jesus’ good mom, so that Jesus provides us the opportunity to give something to His mother? The flowers above were seen the other day on Communion calls in axle-breaking gullies in between ridges. I love it.
But there are more flowers for the Immaculate Conception than mere flowers. There are flowers of suffering while remaining in trust of Jesus’ mercy based on justice.
- Mankind experiences wretched suffering and death because of Adam’s bad usage of free will. God didn’t “create” suffering and death. It is justice that such wretched consequences of original sin be experienced as these effects of sin are freely chosen with the sin.
- To bring us back around to be the good children of God and be on our way to heaven, to elicit our assent to goodness and kindness of God, our assent to receiving mercy instead of remaining cynical, God Himself has to satisfy His own justice, coming into this world to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on the death we deserve, the worst we can give out.
- Reception of that mercy, of that forgiveness, which Jesus offers us so very credibly from the cross, with this mercy founded on justice, He bearing the wounds of hate we inflict on each other, doesn’t mean that while we are in this world the effects of sin chosen with the sin will be removed from us, you know, before we get to heaven and all these wretched effects of sin will be removed from us, providing us with the fulness of the freedom of the children of God, bearing without any burden the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, we being then the tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. But while we are here in this world, although we are forgiven having been out-of-friendship with God because of original sin, and because whatever of our own sin, we still suffer through weakness of mind, weakness of will, feelings and emotions in chaos, sickness and death.
- Whatever of all that weakness and sickness and death, we can choose to the right thing with our free will, keeping the commandments, loving God and neighbor, even if tempted in such darkness. This speaks to us of the greatness of the love of God within us, stronger than temptation, stronger than our weakness, stronger than sickness and death, strong enough to bring us to heaven out of this hell of chaos.
- And bearing the life of God within us in this fallen world, His light shining out from our otherwise-would-have-been-darkness, everything in fallen human nature militating against us, but bearing this life of God amidst it all, already having a foretaste of heaven in this steadfastness, we can also experience an enthusiasm which we are bidden to have in the last exhortation in the Apocalypse: Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! Let’s get this done!
Get what done, you ask? Here’s the deal: we are so very blind to how far our Lord had to reach to get us, and this blindness is His mercy, for if we were to see what His wounds mean all at once we would be crushed by the wretchedness of our fallen human condition and crushed by the weight of the glory of God’s love for us. Jesus only very patiently introduces us to the truth of it all. The task of the spiritual life is to see in all humility just how far Jesus had to reach to get us, all the way into the hell into which we were running as fast as we could go. This is training for heaven, training us up to give the biggest thanksgiving to Jesus in heaven, for that will be our joy, to thank Him. But we can only thank Him if we know what He has done for us, how far He had to reach to get us. If we are humble in His grace, we receive clues, exactly what He calls the cross He commands us to carry, all those effects of original sin chosen with the sin, all the effects of our own sin chosen with the sin, all the weakness of mind, weakness of will, all peripheral chaos of feelings and emotions, all the sickness and death. Great! Let’s do it! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
But there is more, so much more. In the Apocalypse, those words crying out to Jesus to get through all the apocalyptic battle of hell over against heaven so that we are on our way to heaven is set in the aggression of those who entrench in the cowardly “power” they think to have with Satan. We also suffer the aggression of others, horrific aggression. But even in that aggression we can rejoice in the security of that love of God which cannot be ripped from us even in the worst of circumstances, that love of God being strong enough to get us through all suffering and death right unto heaven.
But, to get right to that which will have us truly crucified to ourselves to live for God alone, the need that such others have of God is brought to our souls. It’s not that the despair of others, the darkness of others, the cross that others still must carry becomes our own. NO! NEVER! That would be unjust altogether. Instead, the need of others is brought to us by having us, ourselves, carry our own crosses all the better. What that means is that our eyes will be all the more opened as to how far Jesus had to reach to get us. We can always go deeper into this mystery, more deeply into noticing the depths of hell that is to be for all of us except that Jesus is reaching into that hell so as to bring us to heaven. When someone, in the Lord’s good grace, is this humble, this trusting in God, utterly dead to trusting in ourselves so uselessly, this is when such a soul is so growing in saintliness, in the very life and friendship of God, that the very fact that they are in this world and still nevertheless with God itself becomes an act of intercession for the whole world, even for those who are otherwise lost to hell. They also can be snatched from hell to become the good children of Mary, with Jesus, and with Him be given as a gift to our heavenly Father.
We ourselves become flowers for the Immaculate Conception in this way. The trick to see these flowers even in the worst of sinners is to never write anyone off, saying that Jesus’ hard won grace of redemption is impossible for them to receive. That would be to insult Jesus, Mary’s good Son. Interceding for all those whom God wants us to intercede for – and what do we know? – we leave that up to God – is to give flowers to the Immaculate Conception. We have zero idea, methinks, about the multitudes who will make it to heaven because of our meagre intercession for them. We might never see it in this life, with them perhaps turning to Jesus, sincerely, at the hour of death, but we will see it in the next life. So many flowers. So, flowers for you, dearest Mary.
Would you like to see such human flowers for the Immaculate Conception, always and every time? You think this is beyond you? Don’t think that way. That would also be an insult against Jesus’ patience and grace.
Start small. Ask your guardian angel that when you see any flower, anywhere, anytime upon this earth, that you will recognize this as your opportunity from Jesus to “give” that flower to His good mom, the Immaculate Conception. When you got that as part of your God-given spiritual life – this being a grace – go ahead and ask your guardian angel to smack you down such that you see fallen human beings as at least potential flowers for the Immaculate Conception and treat them with the knowledge that Jesus also won for them the grace of redemption (even if we do not know if anyone will also assent to receive the grace of salvation). Regardless of that, our meagre intercession but in Jesus’ grace will be magnificent flowers for the Immaculate Conception. So, again, flowers for you, dearest Mary.
5 responses to “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (always and every time, edition)”
Father, this has me to the floor in tears. Thank you. I struggle with pride, thinking I am so much better than everyone and judge judge judge, even at Mass (such a pharisee) and I have recently asked my Guardian Angel to help me love them. NOW I have something to “do” in offering their flowering souls. Thank you!
Of course, writing this doesn’t mean I am great at any of this. None of us are without Jesus. And I can and do fall, stupidly letting my guard down, depending on myself. But Jesus is very patient.
“all the way into the hell into which we were running as fast as we could go.”
I saw an example of this in Walmart yesterday. A young boy (4 or 5) was running full speed (I was amazed how fast he could run.) down the aisle, thru the gates, and out into the parking lot. People were hollering, employees were chasing him, and his dad was running full speed. A few minutes later his dad, smiling ear to ear, walked back into the store carrying his son who had been rescued from the parking lot (hell).
And Our Lady has asked for these flowers (souls saved from hell).
Our Lady to the Three Children of Fatima:
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?”
“I promise salvation to whoever embraces it (devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary); these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne.”
“To save them (sinners, including us), God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”