Category Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Roasting on an open fire edition)


These were seen near the hermitage this past Tuesday. It’s late September. The chestnuts are maturing. Christmas is coming soon. Christmas is all about Mary’s Divine Son. Surely a branch with some chestnuts in a bouquet for the Immaculate Conception is most appropriate.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (That depends edition)


As a seminarian I used to keep a half dozen hives of bees, supplying big jars of honey for the refectory. Mmm mmm good!

shepherd boyOur good Lord didn’t just create flowers for the Immaculate Conception, His good mom, but rather integrated them entirely into the vast and unimaginably complex ecosystem. We need merely to call to mind the most obvious fact that most need honey-bees to be pollinated for the next season’s explosion of life. The flowers and dependent creatures. When we give flowers to the Immaculate Conception we give her the entire universe of her Divine Son. In doing so, surely we feel extra super tiny before such great mysteries of creation and love. It is then a special joy before all of God’s majesty to give a flower to His good mom.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (If these were chickens edition)


These were seen near the hermitage on the last kind-of-day-off. (I haven’t been able to target practice for the last number of weeks, so any day-off isn’t really a day-off.)

If this is a dead red oak tree (hard to tell because the mushrooms are so thick) there’s a good chance that these are little baby Laetiporus sulphureus, otherwise known as Chicken of the Woods shelf mushrooms. “Chicken” because, just like rattle snakes, they taste like chicken. They can get big (from Wikipedia:).

chicken of the woods

Each shelf is like a chicken breast, prepared just the same way. Delicious. I used to fry these up on the wood stove in the hermitage.

O.K. These are not quite “flowers” if you have to be technical about it. But, if these were Chicken of the Woods and I was a kid with a chainsaw, I would cut the tree so that it wouldn’t quite fall all the way down. I’d get the bed of the truck near to one end and tie up the log with a chain to the back of the truck so that when the rest of it fell it wouldn’t hit the ground except for just the far end. Then I would drag it back to the house and prop it up on one end with some other logs, and then watch the proliferation of chickens, as bright as any flowers could ever be.

Then, when the chickens are all eaten up, the log is still great for firewood if you chop it up right away. Otherwise the roots of the mushrooms will rot the wood fast.

I don’t think Jesus’ good mom would object to such a monstrosity in her garden. It might even put a bit of a smile on her face. Sometimes a little imagination, a little thinking outside the box goes a long way.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (For those in the storms edition… Florence and Francis)


All is calm in Andrews, NC. The above was seen on the day off. All calm. Away from the storm (although the storm of “normal” life goes on, of course). It’s not a bad thing in the world of solidarity to have thoughts and prayers for those more directly in the midst of the storms besides the “normal” storm of life. We have two major storms.

  • Pope Francis and his advisers and appointees. If the idea is that the bishops involved on the dark side are faultless and have done all things well because they were chosen by the Lord, I don’t buy it. I say “if” because Pope Francis wildly goes from saying that those who don’t report abuse are “caca” [shit: his language] to saying that those who criticize bishops are going against the Lord. What is it? Just to say, the Lord also chose Judas. Judas is in hell through his own fault. The Lord respects our free will and we can choose the wrong thing. Our Lord does not approve the wrong thing. Any bishops on the dark side because they’ve done abuse themselves, or covered up abuse, or called themselves heroes for being tough on abuse because of denying due process to priests, thus encouraging false reporting and more self-hero worship, well, they remain on the dark side regardless of whether or not they are held to be living saints no matter what they do. I am in solidarity with actual victims. This is a storm. It’s very good to be in the midst of the Holy Family, say, giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception, in the midst of such a storm. I believe that all the “brothers and sisters of Jesus” who were not provably His cousins were street kids, orphans, throw-aways, surely some of whom who had been abused. Mary knows the score on all this. She pays close attention. Hail Mary…
  • Hurricane Florence. The rain will be starting soon in Western North Carolina. It’s a sunny day today. But hundreds of people are being caught out in chest high flooding and are being rescued, we hope, as I write this. I don’t judge those who stayed when told to evacuate. Some people simply are so poor or in such bad health that they cannot travel. Period. Thoughts and prayers for them and those who care for them and for those who rescue them. Perhaps there should be a registry for those who are too poor or too sick to travel in an emergency so that they can be transported to safety before conditions are dire. Hail Mary…



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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Leaving stormy Rome edition)

Those are for the Immaculate Conception. This is at the gate of the Monastery. But then it was time to run for the bus.

It’s a dark and stormy trip to the airport. Rain. Lightning. Thunder. You know the drill.

It may be stormy on the outside.

But I’m happy to be a priest.

All for you, Mary.

////// I hope none of us forget that Jesus rose from the dead when things are dark and stormy.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Throttling Satan edition)

Across the tracks from the Anzio Train Station there’s this mosaic of Mary who is holding the infant Jesus who is throttling Satan. And yes, there are flowers in the mix.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Wiping the Stomping edition)

This is at the Tyburns, just outside the adoration chapel. Just below are the flowers.

The wounds can’t be wiped off, of course.

Some might object that this is the infant Jesus. I answer that the Word of God had the intention to lay down His life for us, the Innocent for the guilty, before He was born.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (A “prime” example of reason edition)


Nerds will appreciate this bit about prime numbers, in this case, 5.

There are laws in the universe, in physics, in maths. Prime numbers are really cool. Creation is all about reason, about math, about beauty, about goodness, about pointing to the one God and Lord of all. Hey! I know! How about a flower for the Immaculate Conception, this time with five petals? After all, it’s prime.

Moreover, her dear Son had five wounds. Those wounds forever take the place of the ransom for a boy which was to be paid when he was a month old, it being fixed at five silver shekels according to the sanctuary standard (see Numbers 18:16). After all, by His wounds we are healed. His five wounds are primary.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (3 + 3 + 3 angel choirs rejoicing edition)


As you can see, we have three sets of three here. Nine. I immediately think of nine choirs of angels, ordered into three sets of three, as pointed out by the Angelic Doctor, the Common Doctor, the great Saint Thomas Aquinas. See Question 108. The angelic degrees of hierarchies and orders. A good read, even for this most un-well-read priest.

There is no greater rejoicing of the angels in heaven than over one sinner who converts. It strikes me that they express this joy by, for instance, giving flowers of sinners like yours truly to the Immaculate Conception, Queen of Angels.

We can rejoice in their rejoicing. It’s important to rejoice. Even and especially in stormy times. Always. If we can have, by grace, some bit of purity of heart and agility of soul, then we are immediately brought to this rejoicing, for we see just how far the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception had to reach into this world to get us, which is cause for rejoicing. He had to stretch His arms in both directions on the cross, under which stood His dearest mother and ours. The angels are agape. And then they rejoice.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Stars by the name David edition)


Seen on the “day off” at a friend’s house. Sorry, but I insist. It is good to always and everywhere remember that we are actively part of the Holy Family while we walk with the Lord through this world according to His providence until He sees fit to call us out of this world, to call us home, to call us by name. My mom wanted to call me David (Beloved), but that became my middle name. My dad won out with George (Tiller of the ground), a name used for God the Father by Jesus: my Father is the “tiller of the ground” (the vinedresser), Georgios. At any rate, Jesus has a name for each of us that only He and each of us individually will know. I hope to hear it when my time comes. I hope to hear that name. I long to hear that name. And should each of long to hear the name that He has for each of us. But for now, there are Stars of David everywhere to give to our Lady.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (This is how it works edition)


These are unfurling right next to the statue of Mary out on the front steps of the rectory. My neighbor donated these as he was stepping up his landscaping game. A parishioner transplanted them for me (midsummer too) and they just kept blooming, happy with their new home. It’s so easy for me to put up flowers for the Immaculate Conception. But, just to say, this is always the case. If, with the grace of Jesus, we set our minds and hearts on showing Jesus that we love Him by keeping the commandments (all like flowers for the Immaculate Conception in love of God and love of neighbor), it is then that He makes it all possible with a flood of His grace. We merely have to be, in His grace, in humble thanksgiving mode, thanking Him for the grace, His presence, His love, His truth, His goodness and kindness, because we can’t do it, ever, but He can. He makes it easy, His burden being easy, light, because He is friendly and humble of heart. Do we say that we want, in His grace, to give flowers to His dear mom and ours? Jesus makes this possible. He creates them and puts them where we can find them, even bringing them to us – we being too dull to do anything ourselves – so that we can give them to His mom. So, I know I’ve put this picture up before, but what I’d like for you to do is to understand what is really happening here. Jesus has just now given flowers to the shepherd boy with the instructions that the shepherd boy can then give those flowers to His good mom.

shepherd boy

By the way, I note that these are yellow, and that they have six petals, like the Star of David. I’m thinking about that a lot these last few days. More on that later.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (spied by a donkey in Lourdes edition)


A postcard from a pilgrim friend in Lourdes. Did you know there was a donkey sanctuary near Lourdes, just a bit higher up in the mountains? When she saw this donkey she thought of me. Umm…. O.K. :-) What’s going on here is that she’s saying that I’m that donkey who, in turn, is spying out a super tiny flower for the Immaculate Conception. See it, right there, in the grass? … Look… closely… in the grass…


Made you look. :-) Spying out flowers for the Immaculate Conception is a good skill to have.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (That means that in heaven… edition)


These were seen near the hermitage on the day off. Jesus did this to give to His good mom. To me, that is the most obvious truth in the universe. Isn’t it for you too?


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Memories edition)


When I was growing up I knew people who had patches, even farms of marijuana, who bragged of their exploits in Central and South America, coming back with all sorts of names for different types of their “weed” or “pot” which they called, for instance, “gold.” I remember getting tours of what they were growing. I recall the seven-fold partitioned long fingered leaves just like those above. But I don’t remember ever seeing such flowers as pictured here on this seven foot tall plant. So, I have no idea what this is, what I saw at a friend’s house on the day off. That friend is a fantastic gardener and very much likes to contribute flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

I would have been putting up some pictures of some lilies which come out at this time of year at the hermitage, but I see that someone stole the flowers. I think I know who that is, I think perhaps the same person who’s been shooting at me over the last few years on the day off. I’ve never been hit. But I’m sorry to see that the plants themselves were stolen, and damaged. Here’s a photo of a bloom from those plants. I hope our Lady doesn’t mind being given a memory!

flores wow

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Jesus has lots of fun edition)


I’m convinced that Jesus, Son of the Immaculate Conception, creates such an infinite variety of flowers for His good mom. I’ve never seen these before. A bush about eight feet high, maybe ten feet in diameter. One might argue that God has no emotions, but Jesus also has a human nature. I gotta think he enjoys creating such things for her.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Yes, even at “those” times edition)


When the Our Lady of Guadalupe Superabundant rosebush decides to explode there is no stopping it. Just from this perspective there are three buds, three half-opened and three opened flowers. The bush itself has a zillion blooms. And this is after rough transplanting, after literally being eaten down by Shadow-dog.

As has been pointed out, this is a time of war and confusion and violence. O.K. We might want to recall the horrible times when some flowers bloomed through the ice and snow in Lourdes as a way to shake up the clergy and hierarchy to render due honor where due honor is due.


And we might want to recall the winter roses gathered by St Juan Diego in what were some of the most horrifically violent and murderous times in the history of the world, roses for our Lady, you know, as a way to shake up the clergy and hierarchy to render due honor where due honor is due.

juan diego



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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Can we see them? edition)


I spotted after it was said that there are no flowers to be seen this time of year at least relatively speaking. I could see nothing but flowers after that comment.

There’s lots of bad news, fake news, isn’t there? Lots of darkness. Dreary. Sigh. Everyone is in the ultimate struggle in the final battle. Yep. O.K. That may be. You want to know how to get through that? The way to do battle with the powers of darkness is NOT to stoop to the level of enemy, which is all emotion and despair and frustration and mind games at which the devil is much better than we could ever dream of being. The way to do battle with the powers of darkness is walk in God’s presence and be the good children of Mary Immaculate, perhaps giving her a flower if you can. That changes everything, as does keeping up with the sacraments, which are all about her Divine Son, Jesus. I think He especially likes to see outrageous things like flowers being given to His good mom, especially when times are tough. Right? It changes everything.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (No flowers this time of year edition)


You may have heard that it was said: “There are no flowers this time of year, you know, compared to the springtime.” But you just have to know how to look. I was speaking about situational awareness and the ooda loop the other day with some Forestry crowd, and they were enthralled to know that I sharpened my situational awareness by noticing the out of the way flowers of the wilderness, saying this is a matter of love, of rejoicing in God’s creation out of love, a creature for his Creator.

The flowers above were found not far from the hermitage. Sure, there are no flowers in the usual places. A desert. But then you have to look in unusual places, and then of a sudden… they’re everywhere. But this is a matter of love. Let it be a matter of love. Let creation resound it’s speech of the Creator in your ears, in your heart, then, finally in your eyes. And then give what you find to the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom.

Just to say, if situational awareness is just a tactical pain in the butt to accomplish at every moment everywhere for the sake of self and the safety of others as a way to defuse situations, it just won’t happen. But if it’s accomplished out of love for the same reasons, hey!, this becomes a way of life. Then your eyes and ears and heart are opened to rejoice, to bring others to the Creator of us all.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Touch me not! or I’ll explode! edition)


Before rushing off for a full day of Masses on this Holy Day of Obligation, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Glorious ever Virgin Immaculate Mary Mother of God into heaven, soul and body, I thought I might put up these pics of the “Touch Me Not!” for her. It’s a flower which is now out in the zazillillions in Western North Carolina.


These pics were taken yesterday, on the Vigil, out near the hermitage. They are called “Touch Me Not!” because if you do touch them, their seeds pods totally explode, scattering the seeds for the next year’s explosion of color.


These are appropriate for this feast since there is surely to be a nuclear explosion if anyone should in any way seriously approach the texts in Scripture which involve the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can already hear remonstrations as I type this: “What texts are you talking about! There are NONE!”

Hmm. Interesting. “None.” Really? I wonder why Pius IX was so interested in Genesis 3:15 before pronouncing on the Immaculate Conception. I wonder why Pius XII was so interested in Genesis 3:15 before pronouncing on the Assumption. Hmm. Interesting.

Let me look that up… … …

nuclear explosion

More on this later…


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Is that a mistake? edition)


Do you notice anything special here? Mary’s Divine Son doesn’t make mistakes when making flowers for His good mom. I don’t know about you, but I see things like…

  • a celebration of the love which stayed on the cross for us
  • a celebration of the love which willingly suffered five wounds for us

Mary saw it all… Some flowers for you, dearest mother…

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