Category Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Montauk, ed.)

In a mad rush on the “Day Off” – always filled with multiple sacraments – I was able to stop at the house of a most wonderful lady-friend (that doesn’t sound right for a priest to say, does it? But I have many lady-friends all over the world), and take some pictures, as usual, for another Lady, the Immaculate Conception.

“Montauk Daisies are what’s growin’ now!” she exclaimed, the old Nipponanthemum nipponicum. “Of course they are,” I said, happy that for once there was that which reminded me of a childhood barn cat we had in Minnesota, gray and white stripes, called Nippagon, and sometimes Nippagonque. Such a nippy cat was surely developed by the Native American Algonquian tribes, for whom the daisies are named.

Having stopped in a couple of days later at Lowe’s, I asked a lady in the gardening department what grew in Autumn and Winter. “Montauk Daisies are what’s growin’ now!” she exclaimed, the old Nipponanthenum nipponicum.” So, with that insistence, two heaps of such nippy flowers were purchased to go out front, hard to see just now in front of the statues. The Lowe’s lady said not to worry: they will spread out fast and grow nice and tall all on their own. Great!

But it’s not any nippy cat which is spying on this bucolic scene, but rather Laudie-dog from just behind the screen door. The question is, does Mary appreciate such store bought-ness? But they were planted now, just there, becoming indigenous to this area as well…

Meanwhile, some other flowers for the Immaculate Conception that the flower lady was pointing out to me, knowing that I would put them up in a post honoring the Immaculate Conception:

  • “But Father George! Father George! You don’t understand! We don’t have time to give flowers to any Immaculate Conception! We have stuff to do, like… like… you know…. stuff!”

I know, I know. But I think, even bombs and bullets and being busy applying tourniquets and such, if I were to happenstance spot a flower, any flower, I would spiritually offer that to the Immaculate Conception. We are walking with Jesus and Mary through this life, are we not? They have time for us, busy as they are, right? Giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception keeps things in perspective which only comes about through prayer, by far the most pragmatic thing we can do ever.

Regarding that last picture in the slideshow above, the marigolds: they are said to keep varmints away, like mice and racoons and possums and turtles and such. “Just make a hedge of them around everything you plant,” they say. But I ask: “what about the insect varmints, and the mildew horror, and the worms and the caterpillars and such like? Should I give up on organic gardening and go all chemical? What would Mary say?

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Father Altman smashed down by alleged suggestion of homosexualist James Martin

Father Altman has been speaking with parrhesia, that is, with a boldness empowered by God who is Truth, who is Love, with a boldness that couldn’t care less about consequences in this world, including marginalization, including death. As the Master, so the disciple. Father Altman has been speaking the truth of Jesus, and has allegedly been betrayed to mob violence by another priest.

Father Altman has now been forbidden to live-stream Holy Mass. This statement in the video above is after Holy Mass. It’s the end of that too. I hate that for him and his flock and the Church.

Apparently, James Martin, the homosexualist, allegedly suggested that he be smashed him down. And that alleged suggestion was followed. I wonder if James Martin will suggest that his church be burned down, and worse.

  • Recall the violence of Sodom and Gomorrah. The males from the eldest to the very youngest, to a person, gathered to rape to death Lot’s visitors.
  • Recall the extreme violence recounted by Saint Paul in the last half of chapter 1 of his inspired letter to the Romans.

Look, I don’t at all and not in the least do I condemn anyone whomsoever who has some same sex attraction. No. Many of those carrying such a cross are great saints totally on their way to heaven, living chaste lives in praise of Almighty God. It’s those who militarize same sex attraction as a call to arms, even with death threats, to whom I offer a reprimand in hopes that they also have one more opportunity to convert to the Lord and be on their way to heaven.

If Father Altman is martyred, glory be to God for that graced witness of this good priest.

But the blame for the murder which I pray will not happen I will put squarely on the shoulders of anyone who has actually suggested that Father Altman be smashed down. But that will have to be demonstrated in court. That might be really easy.

As a precedent, remember Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, the Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994, fomenting the genocide against the Tutsi. Members were convicted of crimes against humanity. What say you, James Martin? What say you, church leaders who kowtow to James Martin, giving him power by attacking Father Altman? Oh, I forgot, kowtowing is a Chinese custom, you know, from China, which is directing a lot of the violence in these United States today. I get it.

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Nicholas Sandmann’s great RNC speech, but the bishops…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already signed on fellow Kentuckian Nicholas Sandmann as a grassroots director for McConnell’s reelection bid. Great!

But there’s a down-side: Nicholoas has received death threats and says: “My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.”

During the January 18 March for Life when this happened at the Lincoln Memorial it is reported that Nicholas was under 18 years of age.

That a number of bishops very strongly and publicly rebuked Nicholas, thus inciting the death threats against a purported minor and his family is egregious. Any backtracking doesn’t count in the bishops own policies about child-protection. If Nicholas was under 18 at the time of their unjustly smashing him down publicly, endangering him and his family, it seems to me that such bishops need to resign.

Hey! Just my personal opinion. But if he or his family is injured or worse, I’m also thinking that those bishops need to be put in prison.

It’s also my personal opinion that these truly violent attacks may be wrought by one or the other bishop because Nicholas Sandmann is pro-life, actually went to the March for Life, and wanted to promote for reelection the most Catholic POTUS these USA has ever seen, as is the right of a Catholic layman to do.

The anti-life, anti-catholic bishops are getting increasingly frustrated as their “power” is slipping away with the likes of a young man of integrity and honesty.

Go get ’em, Nicholas! Know this, that there are Catholics aplenty who totally support you.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (situational awareness, ed.)

Now that’s a situational awareness beast! He’s saying: “Hey! There are some flowers for the Immaculate Conception! Let me rush to see them closer up!”

But then there’s another kind of situational awareness, spiritual, about the Corpus Christi Mysticum, as Pius XII called it, the Mystical Body of Christ, what Saint Paul simply calls the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head of the Body and we the members of the body.

If we go about all self-entitled with… self-entitlement… entirely unaware of the Body of Christ, whether Jesus or we the members of the Body, we’re not spiritually situationally aware. If we love Jesus, then we keep the commandments, learning necessarily to depend not on a strength we don’t ourselves have, but on Jesus’ strength which He will draw us into, His love, His truth.

We will walk in sanctifying grace, humbly thankful to Him who saves us from being the minions of self-entitled Satan. Being in His life, His grace, we see more clearly, in contrast, just how far Jesus had to reach to get us in this sorry world, just how far we were from God, how wrapped up we were with ourselves, entitled, we thought, to do so. But we stay with Jesus, looking to Him, praising Him.

We learn how to carry our own cross of weakness better in looking to Jesus, following Him. Seeing the darkness more acutely in the light of Christ, our very lives become an act of intercession for the the other members of the Body of Christ. We begin to recognize that love of God is an act which in itself is also love of neighbor. We do not decapitate Jesus, saying we love Him while we discard the rest of the Body of Christ. It’s one act of love, for Head and members, the one Body of Christ. Only He is divine. Only He is God. But we are drawn up to be one with God. In that we desire that all get to know the Head of the Body as they are called to do. One act of love.

It is in this way that we are spiritually situationally aware. Our lives become – to repeat this – acts of intercession for the whole Church.

This is NOT about weird extra-sensory perception. This is about having a vision of reality as it is, that is, a vision from the Cross, one with Jesus as He lifted up on the Cross, then, as He said, drawing all to Himself right across Calvary, right across all of hell broken out. This is not frightening for the one who is drawn into this love thanks alone to Christ Jesus. We witness His glory. We witness His love and truth.

And in this spiritual situational awareness one is brought up into the joy of the Holy Spirit, if but our very lives become a sacrifice, a life of friendship with God in a world that is aggressively set against God, a life of friendship with God while we are still subject to weakness, darkness, seeming distance from God. But as we stay with the Head of the Body by His strength, by His love, by His truth, this reaches out to others to bring them closer to Jesus than they are, whether very close or, for now, very far away.

And that’s all very much much a flower for the Immaculate Conception. There was no one more spiritually situationally aware than she was and is for all of us.

So, in my own lowly beastly way, as in the picture above, I exclaim: “Hey! Look! There’s a flower for the Immaculate Conception, another soul that must be on its way to heaven!”

Flowers… so… if you didn’t know… we’re always talking about the Rosary, with each Hail Mary being a flower for the good mom of Jesus.

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Update: Epic Day Off

Shamelessly prayers are requested.

Update: As long time readers know, taking a “Day Off” might well be considered essential to priestly ministry. Priest stuff is likely to happen. A quiet day – ultra super quiet – is what was envisioned for the first time in a long, long time. It’s when we make plans that God laughs and prepares something else for us.

Somewhere between 500-600 miles clocked on Sassy the Subaru. Some hours of priest-stuff were accomplished in word and deed at the destination designated for me. Sassy pulled into the carport at the rectory after mid-night, safe and sound, the dogs happy, nothing burned or looted. Thanks for the prayers which were evident throughout the day.

The usual “Day Off” goes from midnight to midnight on Tuesdays. This week, on Monday night, “texting” went on, then phone calls, then some praying, then off to the gas station to fill up Sassy with a full tank. Then various ecclesiastics were contacted. Pretty late. But a response was to be had long before sunrise. Mass was said for the intention and it was time to start out. The purpose of the day – in my point of view – was a successful for what was able to be done at the time. Great! Thank you for your prayers.

Another benefit was to be had, entirely unexpected. The consequences of that other benefit are only about to begin. This will be somewhat of a drama for really very many, though not for me. That drama needs a Hail Mary so that it might all be an occasion for many souls to be closer to Jesus. Thank you for your prayers.

The drive back home saw a detour and more priest stuff. It worked out because, of course, your prayers. Thank you.

During the drive back home I felt perhaps somewhat like snarky Saint John must have felt like next to Jesus’ good mom at this time:

And for that, thank you for your prayers. It’s amazing how Jesus uses donkey priests such as yours truly. Someone called me a schmuck the other day. That’s annoying however true, but not because it’s true, but for the reason that it’s not a fulsome enough description. I crucified the Son of the Living God. My idiocy made Mary look that way. But inasmuch as I was able on the “Day Off” to witness to what happened on Calvary, remaining with Mary, that’s because of your prayers, and I thank you for that.

But now it’s time to do something about the unexpected bit. Thanks for your prayers. Sometimes a “Day Off” takes up more days…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Defense of the innocent, edition)

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Some years ago marauders were trespassing on Holy Souls Mountain of Holy Souls Hermitage fame and went out of their way to destroy a small field of these magnificent flowers for the Immaculate Conception. There were no blooms at all for some five years. The sturdy very sinewy woody stems where shredded. They died forthwith. They would always bloom just in time for August 15, Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body, into heaven. This year, one small blossom, pictured above, appeared from the edge of that destroyed little field. It must have been just a small shoot at the time, and it’s taken all these years to be strong enough to put out a blossom. A shoot of Jesse as the good Book has it. It’s like Jesus’ gift to me so that I might have the joy of giving it to the Immaculate Conception, His good mom, once again. Since Jesus is the Lion of Tribe of Judah, Mary is the Lioness of the Tribe of Judah.

synagogue of capernaum star of david

Six petals… I always recall the six pointed Star of David, referring to the Son of David. Capernaum’s synagogue where Jesus preached had the Star of David carved into the stone from which the synagogue was constructed. Note the interweaving bands. I took a picture of one of those intricate stone carvings of that synagogue, while living in Israel during my biblical studies, from 1990 well into 1991, in the midst of the Gulf War, with scud missiles falling round about. The center bit of the Star refers to the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The whole world was in expectation.

These days, the Star of David, especially when depicted with yellow color, brings us deeply into the violence of this past century:

jewish yellow star jude

Sometimes people ask why I mention such things from a bygone century. There are a number of reasons:

  • I just heard the Nazis praised once again a few days ago by a supposed pillar of the community. He said that they were a good example in doing all things in an orderly manner. It turns my stomach.
  • Not all the criminals are deceased. There are some who are still living the high life, high above the mountains of corpses of all those they assisted to murder. They must be brought to justice.
  • Not all the survivors are deceased. There are some who are still living in the depths of the hellish violence, all of it playing over and again throughout each day and throughout each night. No Post Traumatic Stress for them. They are in present day distress every day.
  • All the worst evil of history is bound to repeat itself unless we keep history before our eyes. We are living in one of darkest of dark ages of ignorant self-absorbed narcissistic entitled truly evil human beings. We must carry the past with us, seeing the breadth and depth and height also of the evil in order to be assisted in our being schooled by the goodness and kindness and truth of the Lord.
  • If we don’t let the screams of the past be heard loud and clear in our own day, we will be the very ones screaming as meat hooks are rammed into our stomachs and we are dragged alive into the ovens. Yes. It happens right around the world. Where have you been?

Back to the defense of the innocent. This is a God-given unalienable right that carries a duty. Having asked the advice of really smart leaders in the parish, these stickers have appeared in discreet but visible places on or near entrances up on the church campus:

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I asked them what they thought it meant, and they all said on their own on different occasions that it meant that mass shooter terrorists are much more likely NOT to come to our church. I feel sorry for those churches where they will instead go. I wish everyone would put up such notices.

Of course, that slideshow of the stickers above is bait, just a humorous jab – but serious enough in its instruction – at my charlatan troll (or is it Charlottan?), who wants people to be mowed down by mass shooters in churches because defending the innocent is scary bad, because tools fit for the job as described by the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution may need to be employed, and in his opinion, that altruistic defense of the innocent is bad and evil.

On that note, within steps of the flower at the top of this post, I tried to do up some double taps, not so many, as ammo is scarce or non-existent.

Is that timed target practice keeping me sharp in certain lawful and laudable skill sets inconsistent with everything else in this post? Not in the least. Defending the innocent belongs also and very much to the maternal instinct and grace of the Immaculate Mother of God. The father protects, yes, but when women have to step up… Oh my! So, a flower for you Mary, even in a blog post promoting 2a.

Here’s a sunshine shot a little while later:

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Thank you Jesus, for bringing this flower back to life after being murdered some five years ago, also so that I might have the joy of giving it to your Immaculate Mother. Let’s see… where’s that picture? … … … Ah, yes!

shepherd boy

That little shepherd boy is all of us, right?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Assumption, edition)

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A priest-friend of some three decades (I’m now getting to be a senior priest) in the land of Saint Thomas the Apostle, which everyone Catholic in the world knows is the Asian Sub-Continent of the Great India, has sent in some flowers for the Immaculate Conception on the glorious feast of her Assumption into heaven, soul and body, a family feast, as it were, Jesus, her Divine Son, wanting that His own dear mother be with Him straightaway in heaven. When we wish each other God-speed, we are wishing them a quick trip to heaven – in God’s time – without any detours in purgatory. I like how my friend starts at a distance and, as if hunting, gets closer to his prey. All for the Immaculate Conception now assumed into heaven!

And then, a parishioner, totally on the other side of the world, sent in this flower for the Immaculate Conception on her feast day:

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How about we get some souls in purgatory into heaven who are awaiting a Hail Mary from us for them? Hail Mary…

 

 

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Bait so as to receive: how very Kryptos. Plot twist. Jesus reveals our identity.

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The picture above, taken at a parishioner’s house, is of Alex Trebek decades ago. Yes, there are re-runs of game shows from a lifetime ago. I just thought this particular scene was humorous and so took a picture of it. Sorry for using poor “Shadow” the other day as bait so as to watch the the knuckleheads show themselves. And they did. It is to laugh, out loud too.

Sorry if this is all a bit Kryptic. Some are bewildered at such Kryptesque posts that mention my “Shadow,” the guy who has been “established with secured identity” by those in DS-Rosslyn, with my own identity. The analogy for the continuing bewilderment that comes to mind is the befuddlement over seemingly entirely outrageous statements of POTUS Trump that he makes correctly but without revealing important circumstances. Like clockwork, over the space of a week or two, this exercise in baiting has the knuckleheads go full apoplectic and show themselves for who they are, and then after they make fools of themselves, good old Trump reveals the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. Checkmate. They know they’ve been had. In my own little world the rest of the story may or may not be revealed in this lifetime. I’m working on it, and I’m having fun while doing it, laughing all the way, even if the subject matter involves otherwise stunningly illegal arms transfers and rather shadowy characters and endless violence and loss of life. My “Shadow” might well be revealed even while exaggeratedly attempting to remain hidden, an unexpected plot twist. I digress.

This kind of entertainment – and it is just that, for me, entertainment – takes up about 0.00001% of my free time. I write about it because it’s all so stupid. It just is what it is. And I cannot, cannot, cannot write about what happens the other 99.99999% of my free time, not to mention what happens in my full-on priestly activities in confession, in spiritual direction, all that for which I actually live. Don’t get the wrong idea.

You have to know, I absolutely love being a priest, all of the priestly everything about visiting the sick, providing Last Rites, doing up funerals, and preaching!

Oh my! I love preaching. I learn about the Sacred Scriptures pretty much only while I’m preaching, that is, not so much any preparation, if any, but in the actual preaching. I’ve often spoken of this with my confessor. He has the same experience in being brought into a crushing-uplifting reverence before the Living Truth of Jesus by the Holy Spirit while preaching. I guess that’s how the Lord tells us that we’ve said enough and need to move things along, because… after that… we can get choked up, and simply not be able to say anything more. Preaching from the heart? This is more like putting one’s useless heart aside, because, look… look at that Sacred Heart of Jesus… In trying to reveal what is otherwise hidden in the Mystery of God’s love for us – plot twist – our own inadequacy otherwise hidden also to ourselves is – plot twist – revealed before the Light that comes into such darkness. Such Light! I love it, but…

This kind of thing is almost annoying. Take for instance the Consecrations at Holy Mass. I can usually get through the first, but by the second I have to battle with all my might from getting choked up in the presence of the Most Sacred Mysteries – the ultimate Kryptos – of our Lord’s ever so hidden love for us. I am a weak and useless and simple man. So, there we have it, a plot twist. Who we are, our identity, is revealed not when we claim an identity, but when we stand ever so simply before our Creator. We are revealed for who we are. Jesus strips us of our fear in which we stupidly try to hide ourselves. Fear is not an identity. Being forgiven reveals who we are before our Redeemer because He forgives by pouring into us the created presence of the Most Holy Trinity otherwise called sanctifying grace. How to say it?

“Hidden.” That’s “Kryptic.” Watch what happens the other way. The dear Lord, by way of His goodness and kindness and the Living Truth that He is, lays open our souls before His majesty. We know who we are when like the Apostle Thomas , we place our finger into the marks of the nails, and our hand into the gaping wound in His side that was made on Calvary by the sword of the Roman soldier.

Plot twist? Oh yes. And the games human beings play in this world which congratulates itself on being clever and shadowy? It is to laugh, but also to cry, for there is altogether too much game playing and violence and not enough of being drawn into the Living Sacred Mysteries of God’s Love and Truth, of Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

And if you feel lost in all this seeming convolutedness, like it’s all still too Kryptic, let some piercing eyes cut right into your very soul revealing how you stand before God, for her soul was pierced through that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed (see Luke 2:35).

pieta

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

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Jasmine is just now coming into bloom on the patio fence. The cruciform snow will soon be drifted up in great snowbanks, with so many thousands of white crosses.

Jasmine is of the olive family. That was a surprise to me. Wikipedia also presents the etymology as “derived from the Persian Yasameen (“gift from God”) through Arabic and Latin.” In Hebrew that would be Nathaniel. In Latin: Deodatus. The Italians will often shorten that to just Donato.

I can’t think of a better flower to give to Jesus’ good mom on the anniversary of the dedication of the major basilica named after her over in Rome: Saint Mary of the Snows.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has it that in the middle of the 4th century, “during the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honor. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary that they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honor of Mary on the very spot that was covered with snow.”

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (On the road, edition)

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The above was taken quite a while back about 100 miles from the parish, and I’m only getting to it now. I like the flora and fauna in the same picture, but any flowers picked wouldn’t include any beasts of nature, unless they were secret passengers, like ants and snails and aphids and such.

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This picture was taken just the other day. I have no idea what these are, or what stage of growth. I should, as these are to be seen right next to the hermitage.

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Back home again, the cucumbers continue their progress to the top of the fence, giving me a couple of offerings daily.

The “on the road” bit in the title refers to making these bits of nature, wherever one might happen to be at any given moment, aspects of one’s spiritual situational awareness, whereby one is to pray always. Reminders of that are occasioned by the goodness of our Lord in nature, and I cannot but think that Mary’s Son Jesus created flowers especially for His good mom, the Immaculate Conception. So, for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Freedom’s Mother Libertatis Mater ed.)

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I heard a priest a while back attack the phrase “Mater Ecclesiae” which refers to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God as the Mother of the Church. He went on the attack because this title of Jesus’ good Mom was used by Saint Paul VI during an Ecumenical Council about which he allows himself to be thrown into a maelstrom of continuous tantrums. The Church is the Body of Christ, Christ the Head and we the members. Mary is indeed Mater Dei, the Mother of God, of Jesus, God-Man, who, again, is the Head of the Body while we are members.

What if — oooh! scandal of all scandals ever to scandalize! — what if we were to come up with a title such as Mother of Freedom and what if we had the nerve to put that title into Latin? Here we go: Mater Libertatis.

  • “Splutter, splutter! Spit, spit! Father George, you don’t understand! Freedom is a word used by those who say that any and all religions are just the same as each other, who say that all truth is relative, who say that we are to be free of the oppressive truth and oppressive goodness and oppressive kindness of Mary’s Son, Jesus Christ our God. Stop using the word Freedom!

But instead, if I choose in my freedom by the grace of God to enjoy the freedom of the children of God, that is good, and gives glory to God:

  • “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:14-21)

Note how Saint Paul would have us the children of God, and therefore with Mary also as our mother inasmuch as she is also the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, the Mother of our very Freedom, the Mother of Freedom. Here’s a picture of that Mother of Freedom, not for tender snowflakes entitled to freedom being narcissism; ours is a freedom to lay down our lives for others:

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So, heaps and heaps and heaps of flowers for you, Mary Immaculate!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (So… collections…, edition)

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Mom’s favorite statue of Mary, because she’s so pure and simple and graceful and reflective of God, she explained to me many times. Many times, repeatedly, trying to get me to think creatively about how to express the spiritual life with the materials of this world, insisting on making the sacred mysteries somehow accessable but even all the more sacred as mystery.

As the days go by, the wild flowers are repeating themselves as well in that they are also available to us so that we might enter into the sacred mysteries of Jesus having such a good mom for us, you know, by giving her some flowers. For you Mary. Amen.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Thugs and buffoons, me, you, edition)

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These banana lilies, if that’s what they are called, are to be seen at my bank’s night deposit-box. As I say, what I think whenever I see a flower, is that Jesus, through whom all things were made and there is nothing that he didn’t make, created such a flower to give to His good mom, the Immaculate Conception. Of course He did.

How dumb is it for a buffoon to hide behind such lilies so as to commit a crime at the bank’s night deposit box? Is it pretended that God who sees all things does not see a buffoon trying to hide behind flowers He Himself made for own dearest good mom? That hiding, only going up as far as waist-high at most, is less that 21 feet away from the box.

After I mentioned this posturing at the night deposit-box a number of times to the powers that be this kind of hiding has calmed down a bit. :-)

But then there are the thugs who like to hide amidst the flowers on the other side of the night deposit box, which is situated only three feet from the corner of the bank building. These idiots only have to reach a gun around the corner of the building, already literally right at the side view mirror of the vehicle, and then threaten you or just shoot you before you can deposit, say, the church collection for the Saturday Vigil Mass (when it’s dark out). Basically, there is no security lighting. The thugs number even three strong each time. Why? One at the driver side, one instantly on the hood, one on the passenger side. Hmm. I don’t like it.

  • There are many who use the night drop-box, some of whom I’m sure are not quite as situationally aware as yours truly.
  • There are many who are not willing or not able to use tools of self-defense against unjust aggression that is deadly, imminent, even actively being delivered.

What to do?

Not stopping at the night drop-box, I pulled ahead three more feet with the window down, you know, the surprise by which one can get the upper hand. All I had to do was to stare down the thugs just a couple of feet away and it only took seconds. No words exchanged, no actions made. Nothing. Just staring down. They turned tail and left. Soooo typical. Bullies are always cowards. Hiding behind flowers for the Immaculate Conception? I don’t respect that at all. I dare say, neither does Jesus.

Having said all that, I’m happy to run to Jesus’ good mom, the refuge of sinners, refugium peccatorum., you know, under her maternal mantle. Yes. And I’m sure, certain, 100%, that all of those taking refuge there, including the Redemptorist priests and nuns pictured, including me, including you, are all thugs and buffoons, totally.

mary mother mantel protection refugium peccatorum

So, flowers for the Immaculate Conception, even yellow Banana Lilies. From this donkey-priest, who is ever the thug and buffoon. Amen.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (NOT meant to be picked, edition)

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The above can be seen at the moment from the lower parking lot of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church here in Andrews, NC. It’s so delicate, so beautiful, perfect to give to the Immaculate Conception, right? Wrong. I think Jesus’ good mom, like any good mom in the world ever, would instantly reprimand and tell me to get that thing out of the house: OUT! However nice it is, it is sticky, really sticky, dripping glue all over everything, attracting dirt and bugs now dead because of being caught in its nightmare of fake niceness.

But that’s exactly why I would like to at least give a picture of this flower to the Immaculate Conception. All she met with her whole life on this earth (in solidarity with Christ Jesus, her Divine Son) was fake niceness. She deserves the beauty, but not the nastiness, not in the house. So, just this internet page. Electronic. For you, Mary. :-)

shepherd boy

We can all be that little boy, right? Be that little boy this very day. Too much violence in the world right now? Too much fakeness in the world right now? That’s the point: this is the time to give flowers to Jesus’ good mom. Let’s see an example of that:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Bachelor Buttons, edition)

These were planted some months ago in front of the statue of Mary Immaculate on the front steps of the rectory here in Andrews, NC. Just to say, this priest, although not a husband and father in a biological nuclear family, is nevertheless NOT a bachelor, for all Catholic priests are married to the Church by way of the wedding vows of The Priest, Christ Jesus, with His bride, the Church, vows which priests recite in the first person singular – by way of their being ordered/ordained to the priesthood of Christ Jesus – this is my body, given for you, in sacrifice and this is the chalice of my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. That’s why a priest is called “Father” (as we read in Saint Paul). This is why a local church is called a parish (a family home) and why a regional church is called a diocese (a grouping of those parishes) under an “over-see-er” (a bishop).

However, because people think that priests are unmarried, I’m just as happy to give Bachelor Buttons to Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception. Call me a “squire”, or a warrior in the making, or a worker of the fields.

Regarding that last bucolic/bachelor possible etymological reference, I am reminded of Adam, whose name is the verbal form of the soil, thus, a tiller of the ground, a worker of the fields in that ever so bucolic setting, so very often for “bachelors”, young men who can do up extensive work indeed.

Mind you, Adam’s vocation as a “tiller of the ground” inasmuch as he has free will and is in good friendship as a creature with his Creator, is a co-worker with God.

More than this, Adam is George in pretty much any other language, as in Γεώργιος or George or Jorge…. Moreover, Jesus called His Heavenly Father “George” or Γεώργιος (see John 15:1).

So, I think it’s appropriate for me, little George, to give Jesus’ good mom some Bachelor Buttons. :-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Blessing guns after Mass, edition)

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Metadata on that picture is Sun, Jun 14, 2020 – 12:42 PM. That’s after Sunday Mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic church here in Andrews, N.C. This is just outside, next to the Guadalupe Shine, just before the blessing of the guns. Lilies always remind me instantly of Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception, because they are a reflection of the Star of David. She’s Jewish, by the way. So is Jesus, who said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” :-)

In the announcements after Mass I told everyone that because of a request by a husband and wife (who both carry!), I would be blessing any stop-the-threat tools anyone happened to have with them. I said that the blessing to be used, quite ancient, would be in Latin. I instructed that it had surely been used throughout the centuries by an untold number of military and law enforcement chaplains right around the world.

This isn’t a divine mandate to commit wrongful actions. No.

  • On the one hand, this is about encouraging the rightful engagement of the right to defend the innocent with the least amount of force needed to remove the threat to life and limb that is coming anyone’s way.
  • On the other hand, this is also about asking the good Lord for his protection of the victims and defenders.

As a famous general said: men may shoot bullets, but the Lord decides where they hit.

I am reminded of Saint John Paul II’s insistence that Ali Agca’s bullet was guided by the hand of Jesus’ good mom, and under a specific title – Our Lady of Fatima – so that the bullet just missed arteries and vital organs in such manner that he could be stitched back together and then, eventually, have to health to go to the prison of Agca and offer him forgiveness.

  • On the one hand, I was heartily thanked by many parishioners who presented themselves for the blessing of the stop-the-threat tools.
  • On the other hand, I was severely reprimanded by an elderly lady (perhaps in her 90s), who said that what I was doing with proceeding with such a blessing just now was totally unfair. She said that she was so very disappointed that I didn’t warn them all first, say, last weekend, so that they could make sure to bring all their own guns to get them blessed! Ha ha ha! I love it. I told her that we would be having a much more organized event in the future.

I’m thinking we’ll have to have plenty of law enforcement protection for this, wherever we hold this event (perhaps in honor of Saint Gabriel Possenti, patron saint of gunslingers), which will have to be thought out well. No chambered guns, no magazines in the guns. It’s not the people presenting their weapons that are a threat. No, no. The threat would be from the thugs and buffoons who think that they could therefore just walk in – not to get their weapons blessed – but to steal all the weapons of everyone else like taking candy from a baby.

And I’m guessing law enforcement of all kinds would also like their weapons blessed as many of them were likely to have participated in such blessings already, say, in a previous life in the military, asking by way of that blessing that such armaments only be used with justice and mercy, and that they themselves also have the good protection of our Lord Jesus as they carry out their duties. But that might have to be done on another date, at another location, at an unadvertised time. It is what it is.

Back to Jesus’ good mom. Her “magnificat” recounted in the Gospel of Luke, 1, is gleaned from the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. Here’s a snippet from the latter (sound familiar?):

  • The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
  • The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil.
  • The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
  • The LORD puts to death and gives life
  • He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.
  • The LORD makes poor and makes rich
  • He humbles, He also exalts.

It was little baby-still-inside-the-womb, Saint John the Baptist, who leaped in the womb of Saint Elizabeth his mother upon Mary’s greeting and Magnificat. Saint John, the greatest prophet of all time, gave advice to the occupying soldiers of his time, not condemning them, but encouraging them as soldiers (see Luke 3:14).

So, a flower for you, Mary, Mother of Divine Jesus, and relative of Saint John the Baptist. In fact, here are more flowers which I’ve been gathering in Coronavirus times for the Immaculate Conception: 

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Coronavirus misinfo & the stones, ed.)

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Here are some of the “volunteers”, as one farmer-friend names such unexpected friends, coming up through the very stones next to the parish church during this weedy time that we live in. This blog has experienced some radio silence, not for some 2 1/2 weeks – lots of reasons for that – but I feel I must put up some flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Perhaps that will kick-start me into jotting down outlines of discernment on so very many aspects of these rocky Coronavirus times. There are dozens of drafts in the admin section of the blog, beginning of posts that were abandoned as contingencies of urgent pastoral care took priority.

There has been much fake news both from the left and, alas, also from the right, with people not knowing where to land as the scientific indications are just as fake, or not. Who knows? or is it WHO knows? or not? But many feel they nonetheless they must choose “sides” with great emotion regardless of the politically correct spectrum being somewhat un-clarified. It’s almost as if horseshoe bats from China have been biting people, pretending they were each impersonating Count Dracula from some the other side of some forest in Transylvania.

horseshoe bats in china wsj

The truth of the matter is that we don’t know much about the truth of the matter. There simply is no taking things at face value. We just can’t land on any solid conclusions in a time also – mind you – of a U.S. presidential election. There is more and also much less sincere reporting going on in the news media. So, what to do?

It is always a good idea to remain steadfast in one’s relationship with Jesus, perhaps opening up one’s eyes a bit more to the times in which Jesus lived with all of its similar misinformation. Even when there seems to be a bright moment, with people crying out to greet our Lord riding into Jerusalem on a donkey on that first “Palm Sunday,” it will be the same ones who would soon be asking for His death.

Mary saw it all. She’s been there, done that, seen it all before. Have we lost a loved one because of Covid-19? She lost her dear Son due to misinformation in her time.

Jesus said that the very stones would cry out. The stones around our parish church are crying out. They are on the “Guadalupe” side of the church. The crying out might have been fickle in the time of our Lord, but it was still a crying out. Our own cries might be fickle, unbeknownst to us, but our Lord, with the maternal intercession of His good mom, can rectify our wavering prayer, and have cries issue from a steadfast friendship regardless of any rivers of misinformation. So, some flowers from the stones for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Thursday of Holy Week, edition)

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We’re in the final few hours of Lent, what with the Sacred Triduum beginning this Holy Thursday Evening with the Mass of the Last Supper of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Divine Son of His good mom, the ever Virgin, Immaculate Conception, now assumed souls and body into heaven. This picture above was taken outside the house of an “essential worker” in this time of Coronavirus. BTW, I have the right, and the forms, to be able legally to designate “essential workers” for the purpose of their traversing check points (of which we have many) in this time of Coronavirus.

Later today, we put aside the purple vestments of Lent. That’s the Royal Purple of monstrous King Herod’s robe which he had placed upon Jesus in all mockery. It is a reminder to us of how our own sin mocks Jesus. But now we put that purple aside.

Tonight, the vestments are white, in honor of the Institution of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Most Blessed Sacrament, Jesus, High Priest, present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Sacred Host, the Eucharist.

On Good Friday we have red vestments, with the fiery Holy Spirit ardently forming us to be one with Christ Jesus, that we might witness to Him in this world with all integrity and honesty, often to the point of shedding our red blood, that solidarity with the Son of the Living God being a privilege as He is in solidarity with us, providing us that opportunity of love, of truth.

Saturday, at the Easter Vigil, white vestments, in joy of the risen Jesus.

But for the moment: purple. Uggh.

How did our Lady bear with us? Some flowers for you, dearest Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Annunciation during Coronavirus, ed.)

 

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Don’t think that flowers for the Immaculate Conception wasn’t on this priest’s heart and mind and soul daily and for a long time before the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, and on that glorious feast day, and every day since then. Sometimes I can take pictures and many times I simply cannot. Things have been rather… busy… But here are some of the pictures I was able to get in the slideshow above.

This is the way I look at it: If I were to show up at the Annunciation itself to give Mary some flowers… Um… Well… I think I would be interrupting just a bit. I mean, I think Jesus’ good mom was rather busy:

annunciation-fra-angelico

And then, if I were to tag along with dearest Mary as she ran with great haste to help out her cousin Elizabeth in her old age, and then presented her what would now be grubby flowers… Um… Well… I think I would be interrupting just a bit. I mean, I think Jesus’ good mom was rather busy:

visitation from peregabrielcom

But now, fully ten days later, I’m guessing that if I dropped the flowers and ran to hide away from the power of God and the glory of God taking place in that little town nestled in the mountains just below Jerusalem… I’m guessing that if those flowers were noticed for a second or two, perhaps that would provide an occasion for a smile: “Oh look, that little donkey was here!” You know, something like that. ;-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Meanwhile, edition)

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We gotta get this straight: this isn’t a situation in which one says: The Coronavirus is getting out of hand… and… and… meanwhile, I think I’ll give a flower to the Immaculate Conception. No. It’s while we give flowers to the Immaculate Conception that we happen to have the Coronavirus going on. It makes a huge difference. It’s about the spiritual life. The Lord Jesus provides us with a love stronger than death.

  • Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.
  • The Cross reigns steadfast while the world spins away.

Let’s see… Mary standing under the Cross… So, a flower for you, Mary, always, and also in the time of Coronavirus.

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