Category Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Super Flower Blood Moon NASA donkey edition)

That short animated video from NASA demonstrates what’s happening tonight up in North America, Eastern Standard Time.

  • Super = closer than farther, making the moon appear to be quite a bit larger to us here on earth.
  • Flower = when, in the Northern Hemisphere, flowers are in bloom (a bit hemispherist!).
  • Blood = the color thereof, because we’re so dramatic when it comes to astronomy. It’s just atmospherics, I know, but it’s still rather dramatic that the shadow this earth casts is blood red.

This isn’t the solar eclipse – sun to moon to earth – that took place on Calvary as our Lord died on the Cross. This is a lunar eclipse – sun to earth to moon. A dear reader asked me for an analogy using this event. Let’s see, our Lady, clothed with the sun, stands on the crescent moon…

Can we stand with our Lady in the light of the Son?

In thinking about this I do have a story about how I was compared to a jackass by a certain rather influential priest while in Italy. He was standing in the shade of a carport whilst I was standing in the sun.

  • O, Giorgio, che fa un asino nel sole? (Oh, George, what does a donkey to in the sun?)
  • Padre, un asino fa un po di ombra nel sole. (Father, a donkey makes a little bit of shade in the sun.)
  • Hai raggione, Giorgio, asino che sei. (You are correct, George, donkey that you are.)

This made for a round of laughter amongst other ecclesiastics, who were happy both to witness my progress in Italian after having just recently arrived, and to see my willingness to have myself condemned as a being a mere donkey.

It was not yet known that I love donkey history, such as donkeys always being in the midst of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt and back, and then with Jesus going into Jerusalem to be crucified, every donkey also having his hour.

When we choose to be donkeys, standing in the Light of the Son, we clearly see the blood shadow we have cast upon the universe, not suppressing the truth of who we are before God. It is then that we are brought into the midst of the Holy Family. We have all of us crucified, shed the blood of the Son of the Living God with original sin, our own sin. His dear Mother stands next to Him, she being clothed in the grace of God, “the rays of the sun”, of the Son. We can choose to remain in the shadows (look at how shadowy is that moon under her feet), or we can, by grace, come into the light, becoming the children of God, donkeys that we are.

Methinks it’s good to be a donkey in the sun, in the Son.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mary’s Family, edition)

All of these flowers for the Immaculate Conception are at the house of some friends. They love our Blessed Mother. I’m sometimes able to visit them on the always epic “Day Off”, which was dedicated this time to watching the woodworking skills of Joseph, who whipped up a large cross that will go high atop the cupola of Prince of Peace mission church across the mountain in Graham County.

The cross will receive coatings protecting it from the weather before it’s exalted on high.

After taking pictures of flowers for the Immaculate Conception (that being the first priority), they generously provided me with an exaggerated-bacon breakfast.

That provided energy to spend the day solving all the problems of the church and the world.

The irony of that is appreciated, it being that I’m a troublemaker amongst the problems of the church and the world.

On the way back home, I did something I haven’t done in a very long time, taking the old, non-truck route 64:

And then at the very last second I turned off on Wayah Road. It all made me realize once again that I have the most beautiful parish in the world, the Lord’s Little Flock and also the paradise that WNC is.

  • “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mothers Day, edition)

Mary said Yes to being Jesus’ good mom. Having been conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, for nine months Jesus was inside His Immaculate Mother’s Virginal womb. She said Yes to being the mother not only of the Head of the Body of Christ, but to being the Mother of all the members of the Body of Christ. Jesus’ birth was miraculous, our birth to being God’s children also a work of grace. Jesus redeemed us, Mary interceded for us in solidarity with her Son.

Too sad that the pro-abort monsters are making mothers miserable on Mothers Day, crashing into churches to proclaim that murdering children is their “sacrament” that “saves lives.” Mothers who have never had an abortion are horrified and hug their children hard, protecting them from the likely demon possessed. Mothers who have repented from having had an abortion are traumatized by these idiots, and want that the idiots come to know forgiveness just as they have.

Seeing the pro-abort antics with their “die-ins”, hearing their shrieking with megaphones, it’s, well, hateful. God hates the sin and the sinner in such manner as to get the sinner out of the sin and into God’s grace thus making the sinner into being no longer a sinner but a child of God, and therefore entirely lovable. God loved us while were yet sinners to get us out of the sin.

What Christians want, what Catholics want, is that all those lost in sin and darkness and frustration and hopelessness will come to know Jesus, the Author of Life, He who forgives those who are repentant in His grace, He who gives hope.

But it is not a condescending love that we have, but rather a respect for what Jesus has done for all of us. We have all of us crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and our own rubbish sin. No one is better than any one else if without the grace of God. We will all together look upon Him whom we have pierced through. We would love the pro-aborts to hear the Word of God, to see Christ’s love within us. We would love them to convert, be baptized, go to Confession, and come to receive Jesus in the Eucharist with respect, reverence, devotion, thankfulness, love, joy.

That would make any mother’s heart rejoice. That would be a beautiful flower for the Immaculate Conception. Would that there would be many such flowers for the Immaculate Conception today, Mothers Day.

Oh… and those flowers for the Immaculate Conception promised in this post. Here they are, a picture from yesterday out front of the rectory, next to the Immaculate Conception statue on the front steps:

The moms at the Vigil Mass last night all got roses afterward. There were also blessings of married couples after Mass, one on their 25th anniversary and another on their 30th anniversary. There was also a Baptism-Confirmation-First Holy Communion for one young man, and a number of other First Holy Communions. The Church was jammed.

There wasn’t a peep about the pro-aborts. There didn’t need to be. Had they come I think they would have been shock-and-awed at the love and goodness and kindness in church last night.

Happy Mothers Day, dear Mother Mary! :-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (good for the fire, edition)

Hardly the size of the width of a blade of grass. Amazing artistry of Jesus for His Immaculate Mother. All flowers are from Jesus for His Mother. How could they not be? Right next to those are these:

The variety, the detail, the balance, the outrageous colors, for Jesus’ good mom. Of course.

Just a few weeds? Just good enough for the fire?

I mean, they will soon be ripped up, maybe this very day, as they are in the garden which needs to have some veggies planted. But it’s all part of it. Here today, gone tomorrow:

  • “Matthew 6 And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

The clothing of the soul refers to the robe of light Adam had before the fall, before original sin.

Oh. And the analogy continues. Fire. We are also here today, gone tomorrow. And all of us faces the fire:

  • “1 Peter 1 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Let’s get purgatory over with right here on earth, and the best way to do that is to pray for the Holy Souls in purgatory. Thrice Hail Mary

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Chrism Mass, edition)

The Chrism Mass is always a joy for this priest.

There’s the renewal of priestly promises:

The Omnipotent Judge, Christ Jesus, will examine His priests immediately after the death of each one about the declaration of resolution “I am” to each of the questions of the Bishop above. The only reason for renewal and for being resolved, repeatedly, year after year, is because we priests are just like everyone else: weak and in need of prayer. We might not want to face these questions, this interrogation, so it’s helpful, necessary to have this assistance with such an examination of conscience. Priests are attacked by Satan’s minions more intensely because they are responsible in a most extraordinary way in assisting the bishop with the cura animarum, the care of souls, that is, in assisting the bishop in getting souls to Christ Jesus and to heaven.

And that brings us to the laity:

The vast majority of priests attended, perhaps more than any other year to date. Outside of the Mass, it’s an opportunity for the priests to catch up with friends they might not have seen since the Chrism Mass the previous year and, in this case, years because of the Covid plandemic. We have so many exceptionally great priests in this diocese, so this is a real consolation. I took the opportunity to go to Confession, and I heard the Confessions of many others. Jesus is good.

There’s also a great meal that’s put on for the priests in the upper room, if you will, at the family life center of the Cathedral parish. The conversation was the best with priests and seminarians about the Rosary and miracles of grace and seeing Christ Jesus work through the priests when the priests let Jesus be manifested through themselves. I look forward to this year by year.

Also – and this is wonderful year by year – the parochial school students make placemats for the priests. Each different, each from the imagination of the children. Here’s the one at my place:

  • Across the top: Sacred Heart, Tabernacle, Easter eggs[!], Calvary, the Good Shepherd, Noah’s ark, Rosary.
  • To left and right: A cross to carry and the burning bush of the Great “I Am”.
  • At the bottom: The symbol of the covenant with Noah, Holy Mass, Calvary crosses.
  • Center: A note about the 50th anniversary of Charlotte Diocese.
  • Around the Center: The green… what do you see? Two doors… That’s a proper Confessional. This is the most profound movement of soul that I’ve seen to date depicted in art by a young child. The currents are running deep in this soul. Wow. I love this. This is why priests are priests, called by Jesus, to feed and take care of Jesus’ Little Flock. Go to Confession!

Jesus’ dearest Immaculate Mother intercedes for all this to happen every Holy Week. But flowers for her? Where are they? Glad you asked. Situated immediately behind the Lenten clad grotto of our Lady pictured above, there are heaps of these flowers for our Lady:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of Sorrows, edition)

So, do you see what I’ve done here, what’s going on in heart and soul when it is our Immaculate Mother who is offended?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Dogwood, edition)

The immaculate white cross-shaped petals with evergreen hope bearing the marks of the passion and death of our Lord, as it were, couldn’t be more appropriate during this Passiontide of the Suffering Servant, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

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Rocket stove in minutes: no welding no cement. Newbie prepper, Father George

This took literally just minutes to throw together with no welding, no cement, all from materials that I had lying around from back in hermitage days, including the ash shovel and poker. So, zero cost.

View from the back with the stove pipe being inserted:

You can see that there are 8 firebricks either side and another 4 in the back with the “tunnel” being less wide than the length of a firebrick so that the fire is well contained at the back. The brown paving brick to either side slightly cantilevers the upper blocks toward the stove pipe. That merely 1 foot section of stove pipe sits on top of the firebricks at the back, having enough room for the circumference to sit back from the corners of the tops of the firebrick, thus completely enclosing the fire and making from great “draw” aerodynamics, rocketing the flames upward. Here’s an optical illusion (because of reflections) view from the top. You get the idea:

For the front edge of the circumference, I slid a piece of tin, completely covering the open spaces to left and right with plenty out front.

That piece of tin out front was covered by another firebrick acting as bridge in front of the pipe. That was in turn covered by a brown paving brick. In front of that, completing the bridge, was another solid cement block. Then another cement block was added, ever so slightly cantilevered toward the stove pipe for stability. So, again:

Here’s the one foot long 8″ diameter stove pipe I used:

You’ll see the the curved wire up top is interlaced very solidly on the top edge. This is your stove top, keeping your skillet or pot above the edge, thus allowing the flames to come up the chimney.

That’s a small skillet. A larger one will sit up top of the wires. Any method of pieces of metal or long spike-nails laid across the top (with small indents in the top of the pipe) will also work great. So:

  • 14 solid cement blocks (which are fire-resistant, by the way):
    • 6 blocks as a base, plus 1 out front for oversized branches and easier clean out, plus 4 more as stabilizers in the back, plus 1 on top out back as a stabilizer and countertop, plus 1 as a bridge out front and 1 on top out of that out front for a stabilizer and a countertop on which to put a hot skillet or pot to cool down.
  • 1 floor tile to keep any popping coals from exiting the stove and, importantly, to act as a damper. The lean-to effect will allow any amount of air you want. You’ll need one extra brick at the bottom front to keep it from tipping over if you want to shut the fire down to a small flame to have your skillet heated to stable simmer temps.
  • 21 firebricks: 20 at the bottom, 1 as a bridge closest to the stove pipe
  • 3 paving bricks for cantilevering stability
  • 4 squared-width bricks to the sides up top next to the stove pipe are for stability and to keep inquisitive dog noses from hot stove pipes
  • 1 foot length of stainless steel 8″ diameter stove pipe
  • 1 curved-wire stove pipe stabilizer (or other makeshift solution)

Time required: minutes. No welding. No cement. Gravity and cantilevering are your friends.

Of course, gathering fuel is great exercise. A parishioner had some branches down, so he donated them for the rocket stove. Here’s the result later in the day:

This was great exercise that will really aid my health in my “old age.” I slept extra soundly. That’s all priceless, right? Next project: prepare a place to nicely pile the wood up, away from the house, having cut it all to size, having sharpened my hatchet, having split the larger pieces apart, and letting it all get seasoned a bit more.

Note to diocese: This stove can be taken down in seconds. This is just a practical run of a concept. But it’s also good for outdoor, healthy recreation, that is, re-creation. That’s important for priests as well, right?

If it all hits the fan with storms and we’re off the grid for a while, and we lose perishables and run out of gas and propane, what on earth would one use a rocket stove for? Let me count the ways:

  • Hot water for washing self and clothes
  • Hot water for simmering beans and rice
  • Hot water to cook pasta and heat cans of diced tomatoes
  • Hot water for coffee or tea or soups
  • Hot skillets for frying up… um… are you ready? Let’s see:
    • Those huge turtles in the creek next to the rectory
    • Possums, squirrels, snakes, rabbits, birds, all in abundance in WNC. I’ll have to learn about snares, but I’m pretty good with a Glock. Even at a distance I could surely hit turkey buzzards when the “kettles” settle into trees, and wild turkeys, when the “rafters” are out grazing.
    • Fish from Valley River? Probably not. There are really of lot of people out fishing.
    • Deer and bear and boars are beyond me. Harvesting them instead of injuring them would take something more than my Glock could deliver. And besides, for that, in the impossibly steep mountain ridges here, I’d have to have workable knees. And besides, snakes taste like chicken.

Having such a rocket stove would be an occasion to speak about the faith with the neighbors when they inevitably come by to use it. Praise the Lord.

But if priests come by for such a mountain parish experience, they’ll have to bring, say, a freshly acquired boar. They have the rifles and skills for that. I don’t. There are hunting grounds with no limit and no regulated season right close by. We’ll butcher it straight away and invite all the neighbors.

Bacon is so good.

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Spirituality of gardening at the rectory. Hint: It’s NOT New Age. It’s about Jesus, Mary, Joseph.

Yesterday the 4th to the last spaghetti squarrrsh from 2021 got cooked up. Lot’s of butter, onion chips, pepper. That’s it. Delicious, after more than six months after harvest.

Meanwhile, same day, these asparagi were harvested and cut up raw and put into a coleslaw salad:

Please don’t say asparagusses or asparagooses. Just don’t. There’s name is not Gus and they’re not geese. The plural for goose is not gooses. I think everyone should have a couple of years of Latin grammar school and a couple more in middle school and a couple more in high school.

For that matter, being that Holy Week is almost upon us, don’t say that Jesus was scorged at the pillar. It’s like being brave, as in courage, or like a nickname for a dog, that is, “cur” – cŭr. Thus, scourged is like scŭrged, with a “short” “u”. Sorry, my pet peeve.

I can’t help myself. It’ not that we’re against being “vaxxed” with abortion tainted fake “vaccines.” We’re against receiving such “vaccines.” Why’s that? Doing up a bit of historical philology, “x” is actually an abbreviation for “ks” in Greek. That old cow “vacca” (whence we get “vaccine”) has a “c” closing a syllable and another opening a syllable. “Vaxxed” would be “vaksksed” or “vacccced” in derivation. I think we should teach Greek to kids as well, and Hebrew. Sacred Scripture is most important, and we need honest to goodness Catholics learning these languages instead of just leaning on the heretics we have at present.

Meanwhile, the first tomato blossom:

No bragging going on here. Humiliation for planting way too early may soon follow. This weekend we’re supposed to have a few mornings well below freezing and tomatoes are super-susceptible to cold. I’ve had to put the five gallon buckets over them a few times already. They survived. Lot’s of water dripping off them in the morning when I took the buckets off, but that water didn’t freeze. I’m concerned, however, for what’s to come. We’ll see what happens.

I still have to plant string beans and October beans and corn. That patch, half of it yet, still has to be weeded and fertilized and have good soil put over the top before planting. A little bit every day. These few moments of exercise are doing wonders for me on all levels. God is good.

I call to mind a group in our diocese in and around Charlotte who are doing up gardening as a kind of Catholic movement. I couldn’t agree more with them. It’s not just about prepping and good taste and exercise and the sociability that goes with it – and there is plenty of sociability as people share tips and… fertilizer… and such.

But there’s also a reclaiming of the theology of work, something Pius XII was all for when he instituted May 1 as the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. God created us to be coworkers with Him in creation for the sake of praising Him in His wondrous creation and for the sake of charity in every way. And that’s a spiritual “experience” if you will in every way.

But original sin dumbed all that down so that we end up growing thistles and spreading those to the neighbors’ gardens. Grrr… And now we have the ugly hated “labor” of the “proletariat” that is structured to be slavery for the state. Now we have the “kill ’em all” mentality of Russia murdering through the decades hundreds of millions (perhaps well over a billion world wide) from Stalin to Putin. No individual rights, just cogs in a wheel to be replaced at whim.

Gardening with a prayerful spirit, with Joseph and Jesus, doing the hard work of tilling and fertilizing and weeding and pruning and staking and varmint hunting, and with dearest Mary for harvesting for the meal five minutes later is most refreshing for the soul. And, you can bet a few Hail Marys are said… you know… for the souls in purgatory… Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Theotokos, Kazan edition)

Claire Dion has started writing, if we can say that in this instance, the Theotokos of Kazan and wanted to put it in the comments. I don’t know how to add pictures to comments, so it goes here. What about the flowers, you ask? Just starting up in front of a statue of Our Lady of Grace on the front steps of the rectory:

These will be red and yellow, with rather large blooms. We’ll make these on behalf of all those who would be giving our Lady flowers but cannot do so in war torn countries or while fleeing as refugees. Hail Mary

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Jesus told Lucia the Consecration would be done but it would be “too late”?

I’ve been seeing videos and stories going around that cite letters of Sister Lucia to Father Gonçalves to the effect that Jesus said that the Consecration would be done BUT IT WOULD BE TOO LATE. I’m calling B.S. I hunted it down:

In Portuguese:

Nas cartas para o Rev. P. José Bernardo Gonçalves, S. J. , afirmou ela, em 18-5-1936: “Mas, meu Deus, o Santo Padre não me há-de crer, se Vós mesmos o não moveis com uma inspiração especial” O Santo Padre: “Ora muito pelo Santo Padre. Ele há-de fazê-la, (a consagração da Rússia), mas será tarde.”

My English translation:

In letters to Rev. Fr. José Bernardo Gonçalves, S.J., she [Sister Lucia] said on 5/18/1936:

  • Sister Lucia: “But, my God, the Holy Father will not believe me if you yourself do not move him with a special inspiration.”
  • Jesus: “The Holy Father… Pray much for the Holy Father. He will do it (the consecration of Russia), but it will be late.”

The translators as traitors (probably using Google Translate) have “BUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE.”

No, no, no, no, no. This is ridiculous. Google Translate is ridiculous. “…mas será tarde” is not translated “but it will be too late,” but rather, simply, “but it will be late.” If you add the intensifier “too” (whose equivalent is not in the original), coming up with “too late”, and put that after the adversative “but”, this results in a manipulated result such that it has an invalidating sense to it: “but no matter what you do it will be too late, so just fughettabahtit!” Um… no. It just means that although the consecration will finally be done, it will be late.

Since our Lady speaks of a time of peace that will be granted to the world if the consecration is done, this means that if it had been done earlier, there wouldn’t have seen entire countries destroyed by communism such as Vietnam, (North) Korea, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, not to mention the ongoing devastation of Russia… That’s what “but it will be late” means.

At first, when I thought that people had done their homework and I trusted their translation of “too late,” I figured this meant that any conversion of Russia and any time of peace that would have followed that conversion were now both out of the question, and that we would continue with Russia spreading her errors throughout the whole world. But it’s not “too late.” Pfft. Translators! Traitors! Traduttori! Traditori!

The Consecration is hours away. We have to get all of our parishes to follow this up with the Five First Saturdays…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Forays into gardening, edition)

Amidst all the chaos in the Church and in the world, some gardening is in order. It’s a food source in uncertain times. It’s a welcome bit of physical activity. But don’t think for a second that it is forgotten that wars are raging, refugees are suffering and dying, attacks on life and basic human dignity are ongoing, that there is ongoing confusion about doctrine and morality and liturgy and the spiritual life, that there are those here and there who are being denied the sacraments because of political CDC policies or, more likely, the policies of chancery rats and their overlords. The recitation of Hail Marys went up to heaven about all these things, with such melodies accompanying the gardening. And the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is just hours away!

Meanwhile, the wasp flew away as the dandelion was ripped out, the tomato patch soil prepared, the tomato cages put up, the asparagus patch cleaned up, the hoses laid out, green bean and sweet corn seed-packages and tomato seedlings bought. So much to do just in preparation. I love that. Although the dandelion took a hike, it gave place to very many flowers to come.

Meanwhile, today, just when I was going to send something off to the Holy See again about the Five First Saturdays of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my internet went down. I had to go to a Verizon store the next town over. This took quite a bit of the day. Always something. In the end, that something was sent off to the Eternal City.

Have you done the Five First Saturdays? Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Anne Frank, edition)

From one day to the next, full bloom, then destroyed.

Temperatures usually change here throughout the years from day to night by 30 some degrees. But the other day we had a change of more than sixty some degrees.

I recall times of distress for Jesus’ good mom, which it would be good for us to remember during this Lent.

  • You have heard that it was said: “The dead get more flowers than the living because regret is stronger than gratitude.” — Anne Frank (via her father?)
  • But I say to you: The purpose of that saying is that we are to make gratitude stronger than regret: give flowers today, because we’re here today, gone tomorrow. A flower? Yes: Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Hope as church & world fall apart, ed.)

Next door to the rectory, above. Up at Holy Redeemer church, below:

Over at Prince of Peace, we have this by the hundreds on a large bush:

But isn’t this a waste of time of God to create such flowers in such times as this when the world is in chaos and so many in the Church are being misled right to hell? Why does God waste His time like this?

God gives us flowers to give to Mary so that we have the joy of a family even in the midst of hell on our way to heaven. We need this so as not to lose hope. We must retain hope by living by the faith which will turn to glory in heaven. Hope starts now. Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Lenten Rosary, edition)

Shrove Tuesday evening, shooting the breeze with the neighbors, I noticed that one of my neighbor’s trees is just now exploding with Lenten color, just in time. I know that flowers are not very Lenten, you know, in Church. But these are outside editions because, how can you not give flowers to the Immaculate Conception.

On that note, a package arrived with hand-made Rosaries to bless and give out on my rounds.

I’m grateful. The Lord’s Little Flock thanks you.

And… and… today, Ash Wednesday, with Masses all over the back ridges of these Appalachian Blue and Smoky Mountains, there’s time for extra Rosaries. Hey! A Lenten resolution: extra Rosaries.

I mean, did you notice? The world and the church and all of us need prayer. And… Go to Confession!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Life goes on, edition)

Still sad over my Yad vaShem video being taken down by some nefarious anti-Semite hacking into my locked-down You-Tube page (removing just that video). The February flowers up top have a Star of David providing the background to the bursts of yellow. They remind me of, you know:

Next to these flowers we see this up at the church:

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Meanwhile, today was a more epic Saturday than normal. I wasn’t able to speak with Father Gordon. Instead, today we had a Marriage with Holy Mass, a Confirmation, a First Holy Communion. Confessions are scheduled, as is yet another Holy Mass. [[Update: Late in the evening Last Rites were also provided. Lot’s of Sacraments.]]

Run, run, run. But don’t think I’m complaining. Instead, I feel badly for those priests who have been forbidden to provide the Sacraments these past couple of years. Even Confession and the Last Rites were forbidden. Even marriages and funerals. When Maximilian Kolbe was in Auschwitz, he did what he could regardless of the powers that be. What was most important was not escaping the wrath of the malicious, but in letting God shine out in such darkness.

Many of those in that group – the powers that be – although tasked to instruct us about eternal life and lead us to eternal life, have instead given the distinct impression that life does not go on after death, and that death is to be avoided at all costs. Specifically, when it comes down to it, it is all about ensuring that the Lord’s Little Flock cannot meet up with the Lord. Everything has been done to keep people away from Jesus.

But life does go on, regardless of the death-mongering and darkness of this world. Amidst the darkness, we are to help each other see the Lumen gentium, the Light of the Nations, even at the cost of dying to this world. The one goal we are to have is to be close to Christ Jesus.

So many priests cancelled, and still being cancelled.

But life goes on. Flowers for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (It’s the ones who are tiny, edition)

Large flowers can be beautiful. For instance, my favorite next to the one-time hermitage above. But unable to hide in the undergrowth, they are vulnerable to the weather. A moment of untoward temperature change and they’re so dead. And there’s a danger in being “the tall poppy” as they say. These large wild flowers were attacked by a nefarious neighbor just over the ridge who hunted them down, killed all the plants, shredding the woody stems. These large flowers, with all their security features of size and armor, had nothing more to brag about. It wouldn’t happen to tiny flowers:

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The tiny flowers, in their trillions, just keep doing what they’re supposed to do, with marauders accidentally stomping on them (they don’t care), with snow and sleet and frost and floods (they don’t care). In the worst of conditions, there they are. Their very humility is their defense.

Analogy: so many hidden saints among the laity and even some priests and a bishop or two, who despite adverse circumstances keep on believing as they should, not becoming cynical and bitter and fading away. They are just so tiny before the majesty of the Sacred Mysteries. Their very humility is their defense. Who can hurt them? They are with Jesus. He rose from the dead after the powerful showed their worst.

Meanwhile, this fact enrages malice, and it’s the humble, the believers who are hunted down. It’s the tiny ones, the vulnerable ones, who are sought after to destroy, the littlies in the wombs of their mothers, for instance. It’s the cowardly powerful who go after the weakest. And sometimes it’s even the large flowers who go after the small ones, taking away all the sunshine and water.

For the haughty and mighty in their own eyes, I think it’s a desire to show just how evil and mean they can be. That’s makes them look sophisticated, clever, able to rationalize being men of consensus. Untouchable, they think. But there is always someone more evil, more powerful. Taken Satan, for instance, whom they serve. Satan will turn on them before they know what’s going on.

And while Satan is busy making them twice the children of hell as before, the little one’s go on doing what they always do in doing God’s will.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Lent has been heralded, edition)

“Hello Father George! Frances said today is chicken soup Gospel day. Hope you are feeling better. First Lenten Rose.” That’s from elsewhere in NC from old friends.

And that flower will be joined soon by other like minded souls. The Sunday after next is Septuagesima Sunday. Explain that to me and get the blue star award if I knew how to make that appear in comments. I’m going back to bed. Still sick. A Lenten Rose for your, Mary.

Oh… Anyone know what chicken soup Gospel day is?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (dead of winter, edition)

Dear Father George:

My wife Tina has been growing this now almost fully bloomed clivia plant since about Christmas. It has been beautiful to watch in the dead of winter, as it blossoms.

The only place in our house to capture the colors with the low winter sun, was by this statue of Mother in our front window.

God bless you. Michael

//////// Thanks, Michael. Nice to have a guest post. I’ve been and still am so sick like in the dead of winter.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Eye of the Storm, edition)

Here in Andrews, NC, we got about ten minutes of snow. It was dead calm the whole time. The dead of winter. In those ten minutes I had an inspiration to run outside to try to find flowers for the Immaculate Conception. I found buds of yellow flowers, almost microscopic, but there they were. Then, turning the camera upwards, the flakes of snow became heavy.

And then I had a hunch that I better run up across the mountain to check on the social hall of the church campus up there. Good thing, someone left the water running… again… (the worries of a pastor), and had closed the doors of the cabinets under the sink ensuring the little space heater (also turned away) would not keep the pipes from freezing! It looked more tidy, but I changed it back to protect the building. It’s not tidy when the pipes explode because of freezing. Thanks Guardian Angel, for the inspiration to go up there while looking for flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

Meanwhile, on the way back… looking one way…

And, from the same spot, the other way…

I’ve been thanking the Lord that the grid just here wasn’t taken down by the storm. I know that that might not always be the case. A gazillion lost power in these days. For them, Hail Mary…

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