Category Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (PSO Medal of Valor, edition)

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Among those receiving the Medal of Valor two were already no longer living in this world. It’s about doing what you should do. You do it, and it’s almost never recognized. No thanks. In fact, just the opposite. Many condemn you to hell for laying your life on the line… for them. Guaranteed: the contentedness in the face of the young man above isn’t about himself. Instead, this is about seeing things the way they should be, whereby the whole country is recognizing what is right, what is of all honesty and integrity. And that’s good. That’s very good.

I recall some priests from Columbia speaking of all the normal pastoral things that any priest gets into for the sake of his flock, and I stupidly said that they were doing so much. The immediate response of one just ordained priest was one of anger: “No! We’ve done NOTHING! None of us has been killed like so many of our priest-friends in Columbia. We’ve done NOTHING!

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Another guarantee: those who have been killed in the line of duty and are standing before the Lord to be judged on what they did in laying down their lives as the greatest act of love will instead stand aside and point to Jesus’ wounds, and then to Jesus’ good mom.

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It’s when we realize that even those of us who have laid down their lives as the greatest act of love have done NOTHING. The love, the generosity, the honesty and integrity and humility by which that is done is not our ours, but rather our Lord’s that we’re drawn into. Mary was always in solidarity with Him as He laid down His life for everyone, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus, in doing this, laid down the life of His mother for us as well. He died, and you gotta know, she was totally crushed for us. A flower for you, created by your Son, dearest mother Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mesmerizingly not twilight zone, ed.)

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People misunderstand why I like giving flowers to Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception. This particular flower can act as a kind of entrance way into the reality of it by way of the seemingly surreal, a kind of narnianesque or twilight-zone portal, but not into unreality, but to the fullness of life.

Take a look at the very center and keep staring at it. Notice the optical illusion trick that our Lord plays with geometry for you? God is ultimate mathematician. Better done than our meager efforts at optical illusions. It also has to do with six-sided shapes, making the bees feel right at home.

The gargantuan, monstrous backdrop of flowers for the Immaculate Conception is the dark chaos that we’ve made of this world with all the stomping on others, all the arrogant sin, having it over on someone else, in a word, great suffering all around. But whatever level of agonizing to which we’ve arrived – if we have allowed ourselves to notice any suffering amidst our escapism – it is Mary precisely because she is the Immaculate Conception, who has seen it all, taken in all in, who has made the entirety of the suffering of the world her own. When one sees, say, a flower, created by her dear Son, one rushes to give it to her. The two worlds – (1) hell on earth, (2) dearest mother Mary – go together because of her maternal love to be in solidarity with her Son.

After attending Handel’s Messiah done in its entirety with Saint Pope John Paul II in attendance, I mentioned to the Cardinal who invited me way back in the day that throughout the concert in the Paul VI Audience Hall I was thinking of Cité Soleil in Haiti, of the bishops and priests faithful to Rome being tortured in Chinese labor, reeducation and prison camps, of wars and refugees and the Holocaust, of forced prostitution and human trafficking, of… And he interrupted me saying that I should not, must not think of such things, but rather of the beauty of the music. But the entire production was precisely about such things and the glory of God walking with us through the hell so as to bring us to heaven. He was, of course, silenced. The glory of God is seen when Jesus breaths His last on the Cross, making the wounds still present at the Resurrection majestic.

I give flowers to Mary Immaculate because I have my face in all the hell, as much as I can take. And she’s seen it all. I run away. I wish I wasn’t so lacking in generosity. I wish I would stop trusting in myself. I wish I would stop wishing, thrust that trusting in myself aside, and fully trust in Jesus, Mary’s good Son. So, a flower for you, Mary. You saw all the hell in me, and you didn’t run away. You beheld my evil cast upon your Son on the Cross, and you interceded for me. A flower for you, Mary. Thank you.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Square root is the cure, edition)

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Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederaceae) has a visibly and – to the touch – a markedly SQUARE stem. This ivy is extremely common, found in North America and Europe and right through Southwest Asia, that is, including Israel.

If you pick a heap of it and stuff it tightly into a quart jar so that there’s pretty much zero air, and then fill up the jar with what vodka[!] you can pour into it right up to the brim, screwing on the cap tightly, and then turn it upside down and downside up day by day for at least six weeks, you’ll then have a very effective home cure for plenty of types of annoying and long term, even years-long coughs. And it’s surprisingly and happily effective beginning from the very first sip. This is the experience of many. It is NOT for women of child-bearing age as it is also an abortifacient. See the “Safety” section for the article on this plant in Wikipedia HERE.

The brothers and sisters of Jesus – using evidence from the Gospels – are absolutely not the blood children of Jesus’ virgin mother. Everything points to them being “throw-away” kids, “street” kids, homeless orphans whom the Holy Family took in upon return from their exile in Egypt after Jesus’ miraculous birth in Bethlehem. Surely they would come to the security and care of the Holy Family sick and miserable. Surely Mary would be able to provide them with home-remedies. Surely something to do with this herb was part of that home remedy in some way for those youngsters.

So, a flower for you, Mary. And we’re happy to be adopted also into the Holy Family.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (If I were Pope, edition)

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A comment came in on Sunday morning having it that I can go ahead and pray for Satanic anti-Pope Francis all I want, but that won’t make him into some kind of Pope since, it was said, he’s not Pope, and why don’t I go ahead and pray for the real Pope, Pope Benedict? I guess this guy doesn’t know my connection with the great Ratz.

The same guy in the same comment continued with a diatribe listing his complaints about Pope Francis. It was very clever, even humorous, citing “amoralis laetitia”, and it was ever so literary, using phrases like “…anyone passing familiar with…”

This is a young guy, and attorney. My dad was an attorney, one of the best, you know, Georgetown Law School, the whole bit. So, I’m thinking I should pity this guy, but then, minutes after that long rant, another comment, a taunting, baiting comment came in from him revealing the real motive for sede-vacantism. He said:

“Don’t wish to engage the issue, aye Padre?”

This is a smart guy. He knows priests are just a little bit busy on Sundays, especially one in a parish with only one priest. He knows I have zero time to “engage” with him on Sunday morning, and that’s the point, right? winning by attrition, killing the one you consider to be your opponent and declaring yourself victor? Is that “winning”? We should remember that Jesus was victor by being tortured to death by those who were convinced they were right while making sure there was no possibility of rebuttal. Or so they thought. Jesus rose from the dead. And Peter repented.

This priest was up before 3:00 AM, leaving for church soon after 5:30 AM for our Sunday morning Holy Hour of Adoration and Confessions at 6:00 AM. I then raced up across the mountain to another county in the parish for more Adoration and Confessions and then Mass (a 40 mile round trip) and then a “social”, and then racing back for more Confessions and another Mass and then, this past Sunday, a special Knights of Columbus Mothers Day “social” (at which a security team, by the way, was put together for the church from Catholics and those becoming Catholic!) and then, what? Oh yes! Then off to the Nursing Home/Rehab to bring Holy Communion, another 30 mile round trip. Then, having raced back in the evening to the rectory, time to feed Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog. Then, more dead than alive, crashing to sleep, worried that I haven’t yet engaged our sede-vacantist friend…

swiss guard fatimaAfter all this, I saw a YouTube on what the ideal Pope would be like. It was all about favorite niceness. It immediately struck me as being ever so insufficient and missing the point altogether.

It comes to mind, then, what I would do if I were Pope. I think I would go to Confession. Yes. That’s what I would do. For all the world to see (though not hear, out of respect for the Confessor to keep the Seal of Confession), you know, right out on the Loggia.

And then I would mention some of my lack to the world and say that the only thing I myself could bring to being Bishop of Rome, the only thing I have of myself, is sin, is a denial of Jesus, which, however, I would protest, as did Peter, that I don’t want to do that. I would ask for prayers. And then I would speak of being thankful to Jesus’ good mom for interceding for me – not for becoming Pope! – but rather that I might receive the mercy and forgiveness of her Divine Son, as did Peter after his denial of Jesus. That’s what’s important.

And then I would encourage others to go to Confession. And then I would place a flower at the feet of Jesus’ good mom. She would be up on the Loggia too. And then I would do the Urbi et Orbi and then I would ask everyone again to pray for me that I may not run away from the wolves, that I may not fall asleep in Gethsemane.

But I don’t think I would beg forgiveness for doing what I should do with Adoration and Confessions and Mass and taking care of the sick and dying and encouraging those who are in the process of converting.

Oh, I forgot. I’m probably not considered a real priest anyway. How could I be if I ask for prayers for any and every Pope regardless of whether they need prayers or not? If I asked for prayers for all Popes, surely I’m a Judas hypocrite.

The truth is that all popes need our prayers. We all need the prayers of each other. Is it such crime to pray for Pope Francis?

For the sede-vacantist guy, and for me, and for all of us, and for Pope Francis:

Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mothers Day Super-Abundant, ed.)

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Right on schedule for Mothers Day, the Guadalupe Super-Abundant rose bush is in blossom at the rectory. Lots of roses for Mary. So many buds. Ten here on just one little part of the bush, with one bursting open…

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Guadalupe involved flowers for Mary. Guadalupe was all about life. It’s Mothers Day.

Today the Knights of Columbus are putting on a magnificent brunch after the 11:00 AM Mass, handing out carnations to the ladies.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (that’s where she’s standing, edition)

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2019-05-09 · 11:08 am

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (On the tip of my tongue… edition)

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Jesus has created so very many flowers for the Immaculate Conception that it would about take an eternity to get to know them all, when, by that time, there would be rafts more to get to know, with a veritable infinite variety to give to Mary. As it should be. The name of this one is… um… um… it’s right on the tip of my tongue… there are so many… um… /// For you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (cultural dancing in pantaloons, ed.)

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These are the Showy Lady Slippers – by the hundreds – that come out during the month of Our Lady, Jesus’ good mom, up at the hermitage. These flowers appear to me to be “Old World” dancing figures in fancy cultural pantaloons.

I am also reminded that it has been said that the depiction of Mary on the Tilma of Juan Diego – Our Lady of Guadalupe – is that she is calmly, gently, participating in a dance of joy. You’ll see that her left knee is held out quite a bit. And she does have much joy, as she knows that the dreadful slaughter of untold numbers of people, especially children, as sacrifice to the gods of the day is about to come abruptly to an end.

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And then I recall – should I make brave enough to even mention this – my own Missionary of Mercy “dance” in the Paul VI Audience Hall over in Vatican City State:

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There is much in which to rejoice in mercy based on justice and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth. Yes. Yet, there have been Catholic pundits who have publicly condemned me for this celebration of Jesus. They may just want to remember that it is Jesus who brought us mercy based on justice and truth, and that that is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Perhaps one recalls in regard to these pundits the Saul’s daughter Michal and how she despised David’s dancing…

“David, girt with a linen apron [signifying his priesthood in the line of Melchizedek], came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David [priest in the line of Melchizedek that he was] offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings, he [as priest in the line of Melchizedek] blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. He then distributed among all the people, to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel, a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes. When David returned to bless his own family, Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!” But David replied to Michal: “I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD’S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD, but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteem, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored.” And so Saul’s daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:14-23)

That passage is about the Lord and His covenant. It is about the Ark, a symbol of the very mother of God, of course. David’s dancing is a foreshadowing of the Woman clothed with the Sun, who hold’s within her womb the promised Messiah, the King of kings and Prince of the Most Profound Peace.

So, yes. A flower for the Immaculate Conception.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (So, if Jesus continues…, edition)

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These “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception” put up on this blog are a recognition that the Word of the Father, now Incarnate, Jesus – through whom everything was created – continues to create flowers that they might be given, as it were, by the likes of any of us, to His good mom.

Now, if Jesus, who walked this earth with His good mom, is still creating such creatures to this end, then it is incumbent upon us to follow up in what way we can.

But if such life, in this way or that, with the Holy Family continues while we are still upon this earth, despite all the darkness and error and sin, that means that we are not to lose hope. We might want to point out this or that horrific example of unfaithfulness and how much souls are being hurt right around the world. We might want to point out the great apostasy that is happening. Do take note of all that. And pray. Why?

You may want to remember a few things. When Jesus walked this earth He was nailed to the cross. Think about that for a moment. Stripped. Tortured. Crucified. Meanwhile He was betrayed by an Apostle. And then He was denied by the one to whom He gave the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Keys of Binding and Loosing. And all the others ran away. Do we try to top that: “But so and so did this! But so and so did that!” Really? Does that shake your faith?

Does it shake your faith in yourself to then hear from the very Son of the Living God, risen from the dead, bearing the wounds upon Himself: “Be not afraid!”

I should hope that that shakes faith in ourselves so that we can just believe in Jesus.

By the way, He creates flowers for us to give to His good mom. She saw it all. So, yes, I think Jesus has a good idea with the flowers thing. Very sweet. Necessary, I think.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Just when you least expect it, edition)

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Just when there is corruption and destruction all around, death… there is life. There might be some scars of ravenous wolves, of getting burned and betrayed (see picture above), but life goes on. And that life is of God. And that life is beautiful, in which we can, by the grace of God, rejoice.

Now, draw the analogy. Just when all say that all is lost in the Church, what with ravenous wolves, betrayal, the sacraments still go on. Jesus Himself is with us. The more darkness and violence, the more enthusiastic is the greeting of the Risen Son of the Living God (still bearing the wounds): “Be not afraid!”

That’s Mary’s Son. A flower for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The very flames of hell, edition)

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Rhododendron calendulaceum or Flaming Azalea is native to these mountains in WNC. This one is next to the Samuel the Angry Donkey pasture some miles down the mountain from the hermitage. A “snitty” florest on the internet calls it “Satan,” as if Satan has rights over anything to do with flames. No.

God is love, and God’s love which we witness with Jesus is ardent. We poetically speak of the ardent flames of love. The Scriptures speak of the flames issuing from the majestic throne of God. Those flames are symbolic of God’s love. God’s love does not itself change for the recipient. It is the receiver whose changing capacity to take in God’s love which put’s a limit or less so on God’s love.

  • In heaven all receive fully of God’s love and rejoice in those ardent flames of love.
  • In purgatory those very same flames of love, so to speak, instruct those preparing for heaven, purging them of their lack of thanksgiving, and in this they also rejoice as they know they are on their way and are progressively more capable of thanking the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. They are learning, but, mind you, they are also holy, as they are in the state, as we say, of sanctifying grace.
  • In hell all are also provided with the ardent love of God, but they, fallen angels and damned souls, have chosen to have no capacity to take in that ardent love. They perceive that love as punishing flames, writhing in spiritual and intellectual frustration even while choosing to be that way.

How to say it? God’s love is God’s love.

But what about Mary, the Immaculate Conception? She was free of any need for purging so she knows nothing of our weakness and anguish and struggles, right? So, she can’t actually be a good mother to us, right? Wrong.

It’s because of her purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of spiritual vision that she saw exactly our need in all it’s horror, much more than we could even begin to know, and at the same time she was in solidarity with her Divine Son in His mission to redeem us, and, if we so choose to cooperate with His grace, to save us. Mary knew all about the ardent flames of God’s love from the perspective of those on earth, those in purgatory, and, analogously, as one fully in grace that is to turn to glory, as Saint Paul says.

So, whatever it’s called, a fiery flower for you, Mary, Jesus’ good mom.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Don’t pick those yet! edition)

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If you look carefully, these “buds” are full of ants (even a ladybug). If you were to pick these at this point, shake the beasts off, and put them in water, they would never open up. No blossoms. The reason is that some cooperation is necessary from the beasts to munch on the outside.

The analogy suggested, of course, regards priests being ants… When’s the last time you’ve been to Confession? Mary would just bring us to her Son, who, having dealt with us, would then give us back to His good mom. ;-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Blue and White, edition)

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1948 israeli flag

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מרים הקדושה

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (North American College roof, edition)

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These came in for the Immaculate Conception on the Easter Octave from a great young priest at the North American College over in Rome. He will be heading back to his desert diocese in the next months as he finishes up his advanced studies. He writes:

“Dear Father, A most blessed Easter to you! I pray your celebrations have taken you deeper in to the Glorious and Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Right on cue, the flowers here simply sing of Easter octave joy! Some photos attached. I’ll have to be more diligent in looking for flowers soon as I return to the […] desert in June, but even there, in the dry dreariness, life abounds if one simply knows where and how to look.”

“Even there, in the dry dreariness, life abounds if one simply knows where and how to look.”

Make the analogy with us poor wretches that Jesus came to redeem and save: “dry dreariness.” Our Lady by her intercession makes our souls bloom, even though she found only dry dreariness. She pointed us out to her Son. He did the rest. Giving back to Jesus’ good mom.

I’m sure that when this young priest returns to the desert of souls in his desert diocese, there will be flowers for the Immaculate Conception to be found everywhere. In this we rejoice. Lets help that along: Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Holy is His Name, edition)

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The world and the devil are extremely aggressive. We couldn’t even begin to imagine how much our Lady was harassed by Satan, especially by Satan in others, 24/7/365. She saw it all. She remained with God, steadfast. But, here’s the trick to that:

She knew this was to be by God’s grace. She didn’t vaunt herself as somehow on her own being strong and balanced and all spiritual and nice. No. She looked to God.

“The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.”

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Because it’s Easter Tuesday, edition)

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Obama and Hillary in the last day or two have condemned Catholics as being worshippers of an ideological doctrine – not saying that we are Catholics celebrating the Resurrection from the dead of the Divine Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior, the very Author of Creation and life – but saying that we are Easter worshippers, kind of like those who worship the rising sun of the solar system, you know, idiot pagans, who just make up whatever they want and worship their idea. This was their comment about those who lost their lives in Sri Lanka Islamicist terrorism, which they also didn’t call Islamicist terrorism. It’s more like, you know, “someone did something.”

So, this flower is given to the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom, who was celebrating her Son being risen from the dead, triumphant. It’s personal, not ideological.

And when a wretch like me gives her a flower created by her own Son, if must give her some joy, because this is what her own Son brought about. For you, Mary… Hail Mary

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Happy Easter, edition)

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Mary.

Happy Easter to all.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mockery of purple turns glorious, ed.)

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The royal purple used to mock Jesus along with the crown of thorns smashed upon His head will be turned inside out to the praise of the glory of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace as he rises from the dead, as Mary Immaculate’s Divine Son rises from the dead.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Nauseous, edition)

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Jesus’ good mom had stalwartly stood under the Cross while the Judas hanged himself, while the other eleven Apostles ran away. John came back. I wonder how he fared. I wonder how those on Calvary fared. I bet they got nauseous. Mary stood in the midst of it all, and didn’t even notice it. How to thank her for her unrelenting maternal solidarity with her Son? Even this… whatever it is… a kind of “vomit mushroom” whose outer edges will break down and pour out, vomit out… horror… even this is a good for a ground-cover in a pot of real flowers that would be a gentle reminder of that hour of darkness on Calvary when all of hell broke out, but when the glory of God’s love was shining most brightly. But these do need some real flowers to offset them. So, off to search…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Corpse Flowers, edition)

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Jesus’ good mom is quite inconsolable on Holy Saturday. A flower for her? What could that possibly do? The above is not a “corpse flower”, but those below are “corpse flowers.” They need no sunshine in order to thrive. They do best in the dark days.

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Similarly, from the past, at Holy Souls Hermitage…

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Anyway, timidly approaching a mourning mother of the Son she just saw tortured to death in the most vicious way devised by fallen humanity of the time… for you, mother Mary… Hail Mary…

Is not one’s heart as if ripped out of one’s chest when in solidarity with her who is the Mother of the Redeemer?

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