The perfect ocassion to give a rose, especially a True Old Fashioned Rose to our Lady. Her Divine Son, methinks, agrees.
The perfect ocassion to give a rose, especially a True Old Fashioned Rose to our Lady. Her Divine Son, methinks, agrees.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
These Fiery Holy Spirit Pentecost flowers specifically sent in to honor the Immaculate Conception were “picked” by a “junior” priest in the desert South West of these USA. He and his fellow diocesan priests are presently on retreat always with the intention of ever becoming more apt instruments of the One High Priest, Christ our God, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. For these priests just right now on retreat, a prayer please. I know: Hail Mary...
Not sure what this is in the back yard of the rectory. The plant is like seven to eight feet tall with many woody branches. The “buds” are microscopic flowers that are packed tightly together in their multiple dozens to make their team effort visible as seemingly one flower “bud” so as make themselves available to helpful insects. That bud, however, is still really tiny. But then the parawings burst open and take flight, able to travel very far and very wide, that one team effort (with very many “buds” on each of the branches of the tall plant), being enough to multiply themselves in a hyperbolic manner across an entire region.
Mary’s Son spoke of a little flock and He also commissioned His apostles to preach unto the ends of the earth. His parables frequently included small seeds or ingredients having ginormous effects.
Are we not aided for a mission we know not what or where by our fellow believers, a team effort, but then, in all of our unrepeatable circumstances, perhaps sometimes seemingly quite alone, are we not brought by the Holy Spirit to that which – He knows in His Providence for us – will bring about many souls won for the Kingdom of Heaven? Yes.
I’m not sure if our attempts at parawings are any improvement on our Lord’s invention of the flowers He’s made also for His good mom. What’s for sure is that we can never improve on the navigational intentions, if you will, of where the Holy Spirit would like to bring us in the evangelization of the Word of God. We might think we’re more clever, perhaps thinking that conforming God’s ways to our fallen ways is “mature” and “up to date.” We might think that going along with the Holy Spirit, whithersoever He wishes to go without consulting us (and that’s what aggravates us) is somehow insultingly “blind faith” and entirely unreasonable. Instead, being available to be faithful in every circumstance, with no compromise, ever, is always the way to be evangelizing the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.
To keep to the analogy, what if this tall plant were to decide to put out pumpkin or watermelon seeds, which would grow on the top branches and then sunder the plant so that the entirety of it dies within one generation? That’s something we would do. Doesn’t work. So: No compromise! No shortcuts. No conforming God’s love and truth to our fallen ways and calling it all good. We’ll just end up dead. Following our Lord’s ways, saying yes to the Holy Spirit, good things happen. Mary once said “Yes! Let it done to me according to thy word.” Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Let’s make a real life application in the life of the Church today. Saint Francis was no Shaman, no gnostic freakoid using nature as his power trip to commandeering some kind of control over the nature-gods. Saint Francis liked nature so much, instead, because it, a creature, just does what God, the Creator, commands it to do. We, in our fallen human nature, in front of such obedience, should be brought to know our disobedience, so that we might repent, which is glorious, and for which we are to praise God in humble thanksgiving. That’s true in the back yard of my little rectory, or in the Amazon, or in synod halls over in Rome. ;-)
The flower is outside of Valley View Nursing Home here in Andrews. The Star of David with the Cross is one solid piece of Mohogany that a wonderful family in the parish gave me this late last night at their house while we were plotting out some aspects of the Confirmation Mass with the Bishop coming up soon. It was made in Indonesia, though I have to wonder if those in Indonesia have been following my blog, it being as I sometimes put up a picture of Sassy the Subaru:
My heart and soul fly to the top of Mount Carmel, to the Stations of the Cross right next to our Holy Father Elijah’s cave. There are many flowers for the Immaculate Conception along the route of those Stations of the Cross:
Dear Father, Wish you a Happy Feast of the Nativity [of Mary Immaculate, September 8]. Here (coastal Karnataka) a novena is conducted at all parishes in preparation for the feast. And after the Novena all gather around the statue of Infant Mary and shower flowers on the statue while singing a particular hymn. On this occasion all the family members gather and have a festive lunch together only Vegetarian on banana leaves. Attached are some photos and a video. With prayers, Father D
Thank you, Father D. I was unable to put up a flower for Mary for her birthday yesterday. Thanks for allowing me to rejoice with you.
For you, Mary, from your priest sons.
Sometimes, when there’s much on one’s plate, one can only fill a vase with flowers to give to Jesus’ good mom, and then, since it’s been a while, beg her indulgence, and then race off once again for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, without lots of commentary… as I am want to do…
Sometimes we go through the dreaded “Just… Wow…” moments. Those can be times of enthralling awesomeness, or of utter devastation, or entirely draining while in solidarity with those who suffer, with those who die. Jesus’ good mom had plenty of “Just… Wow…” moments in her life, so, a bunch of flowers for her.
Plenty of all of those “Just… Wow…” moments have made their way to me in the last number of weeks, setting me on my heels. So, I’ve been pretty quiet.
One of those things I’d like to write about is the death (in his sleep) of a very close and honorable friend, on August 15 – Feast of the Assumption of Mary, souls and body, into heaven. That close friend was one of Europe’s best attorneys, and of the worlds best academics, continuing to help – in his retirement – doctoral students all over the world. He also had a lifetime of “Just… Wow…” moments. He was devoted to Jesus’ good mom, and helped me with this as well. This caught the notice of Benedict XVI, for whom this fellow had great respect. More on him, later.
But for right now, yes, some flowers for you, Mary. You stood fast with Jesus.
Proportional to our shock at shootings in El Paso and Dayton and… (List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019) – and remember that defensive shooters saved untold numbers of lives, some stats putting this into seven figures – anyway, proportional to our shock at the violence, not counting wars, violence in families, etc, proportional to that shock is just how much we have not had our eyes open to the violence Jesus’ good mom saw under the cross when her Divine Son was burdened with violence and sin of all of fallen humanity. There she stands, streaked with blood… praying for us. A flower for you, Mary.
I had planned to write a big post on Saint Mary Majors and Our Lady of the Snows, but this was the best I could muster in these last few days.
And so it begins. The Jasmine are coming out. Above is the first of zillions to come.
Speaking of “first”….
In the Greek of the Sacred Scriptures, the word for “first” first of all always means “first”, that is, numerically the beginning of a series or the prime actor in a hierarchy. It never simply means “best” unless that meaning is derivative of the first meaning of being first of all first.
The First Born from the Dead refers on so many levels to Christ Jesus, keeping the meaning also of being first of all first.
When “first” is mistranslated as merely “best” with no connection to first of all being first, the meaning is entirely mistaken.
Thus, the prodigal son is given not merely the “best” robe upon his return, upon his being found by the father; he is given the very first robe (which is why it is best). This refers not to the first robe you find, the first one atop the heap of laundry. No. That would be stupid. “The First Robe” was a set phrase for hundreds of years before Christ Jesus voiced this parable. It referred to the first robe Adam wore before original sin, a robe of light, a robe of innocence. Give that to him.
Now that I’m ranting on translations, how about another from that parable. Translations speak of the father being moved to pity or some such thing upon his seeing his son trudging back. No. What it says in the inspired Greek is that the father’s heart was sacrificed upon seeing his son, obviously sacrificed in favor of his son. That sacrifice of his heart was a reference to the provision of redemption, of salvation in the sacrifice of the Heart of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. A flower for you, Mary.
“Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made” (Romans 1:20).
And that’s true even for our fallen human nature. For the Immaculate Conception, with her purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision for the perception of the invisible proclaimed by the visible, well… we fallen creatures can hardly even imagine the love by which Jesus’ good mom would praise God for such a display of power and divinity, knowing well that that power and divinity carries the Love who God is.
But we fallen creatures can know that there is something extra special between Jesus and His good mom even with such things as a flower. So, a flower given by Jesus to us, back to Jesus, then to His good mom:
Meanwhile, we know that it will take Jesus standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, to get us there. In the header picture of this blog, one sees what happened to Jesus so as to accomplish this. One also sees a boy about the same age as this fellow in the painting:
Having a moment to appreciate the Love of God – God is Love – is not incongruous with living in this world where there is so much hate. It’s not escapism. It’s not, as Marx said, a religious opiate of society. No. A moment to appreciate the Love of God provides the answer to such hatred.
The garden out front of the church has grown up in wild serenity, hiding Mary who is already hidden with Christ in God, for all to see, but hidden nonetheless, as much as supernatural is unknown to the mere natural, even if all of creation proclaims with insistence and eloquence the Creator of all (see Romans 1).
All of this is hidden from the one who suppresses recognition of the Creator proclaimed by creation. The suppressors know nothing of being hidden with Christ in God. The suppressors turn into violent beasts (see Romans 1 at the end). But they also are redeemed even if not presently saved. We don’t know who will be saved. It is incumbent upon us to bring people to the wounds of Jesus.
“The wounds of Jesus.” Yes. Don’t ask a fallen away to just come to church. Ask them to come with you a bit early, because you want to go to Confession. They’ll see how happy you are in having gone. They’ll want to do the same. It might take many invites over the months. But it may well be that they’ll go to Confession and know that happiness too. And maybe even the first time. Don’t be afraid of being hidden with Christ in God. Just the same, others would love to lose that fear as well.
It snowed in mid-July in central Minnesota when I was a kid. Just a freak incident. It’s mid-July in Western North Carolina right now, and it “snows” every year at this time here. There are trees – I don’t know what they are called – which shed trillions of tiny cup shaped white flowers, perhaps just an 1/8 of an inch wide. They pile up. In the picture up top you see one of the trees next to the neighbors to the hermitage. These aren’t flowers you can pick. When they really start dropping, perhaps a small garden shovel would be more appropriate. It’s one of those things which just make you think of the goodness of God. All for you, Mary.
When living at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel, after offering Holy Mass directly above the cave of Elijah, I would make brave to intone the Flos Carmeli, with all then joining in for a number of verses.
With all of those Flowers for the Immaculate Conception, I am reminded of the Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross, on Mount Carmel:
We might recall that The Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were fierce crusaders. After helping to retake the Holy Land from the genocidal empire building Islamicists of the time – akin to today’s ISIS, as always – they wanted to continue fighting in this Church Militant by way of prayer and penance and sacrifice and spiritual exercises for six months and then evangelizing with ferocious Elijah-like preaching for six months, year in, year out. I’ve been in all those caves and their now destroyed central monastery grounds in the wadi on Mount Carmel. Some like to speak of simple folk who wanted to say a prayer or two together for a few years before returning to Europe after a nice pilgrimage and then visits from the Saracens.
But, as it is, there were more Islamicist incursions, as always with that political “religion”. The early Carmelites were ousted, then came back, were ousted again, and on it went. Finally, their monastery was blown up fairly recently (1800s if I remember correctly), giving them the opportunity, upon return, to build, fortuitously, not in the wadi, but above the cave of Elijah.
I was invested in the Brown Scapular by way of receiving the entire habit in an extended ceremony presided by one of the Definitor Generals of the Discaled Carmelites. That Summer, so many decades ago, was an opportunity to memorize – in Latin – the entire rule of the first Carmelites provided by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and ratified by the Bishop of Rome.
Were you invested in the Brown Scapular? I received one on the way out the door of the church after my first Holy Communion. I wasn’t actually invested. That was 1968. The year of the catastrophic liberal cataclysm which did more to destroy the Church than any genocidal invading Saracens ever could. Wearing a Brown Scapular helps remind us of the Church Militant in which we live upon this earth. We are reminded to pray. Do you recall the promises that come with wearing the Brown Scapular, and the accompanying prayer?
These are about a 1/2 mile from the hermitage as the crow flies, or about 100 miles as the butterfly flies. These are Asclepias curassavica, a tropical milkweed loved by caterpillars that turn into, say, Monarch Butterflies.
If you think that Butterflies as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus is too sweet, too saccharine to ever be used, ever, think again. No, really… think…
Remember some Scripture verses that Jesus put in the first person singular just before He died tortured to death on the Cross for our sins. “I am a worm and no man.” The Monarch, the King, is indeed appropriate. Just ask our Lady if she noticed the difference before and after the Resurrection:
A group of Ink Cap saprotroph mushrooms in the backyard… thinner than paper…
They come up in hours at night, burn away in the sun hours later after dropping their spores. So, I thought that’s all I would see. Instead, the backyard has been taken over by these guys.
Laudie-dog is scared of them, even though they seem to have contributed to her getting over her fear of heights:
Laudie-dog has not been shrooming, by the way, as these mushrooms are harmless if one doesn’t drink alcohol at the same time. These mushrooms are called Tippler’s Bane. Laudie isn’t a tippler.
Anyway, I know these aren’t exactly flowers, and I know they these are the ultimate “Natura morta” presentation to Our Lady, but – Hey! – this oldster is still fascinated by all that is nature as all that is nature shouts out the glory of God, with things being as they should be, each thing having its place, each cooperating with all other things to make it all work.
“Natura morta” or “Dead nature” is badly translated as “Still Life,” as in paintings that include fruit and flowers, things that are dead because they cut off from the supply of life from a plant or tree, and therefore are for the moment especially to be valued because of their passing beauty, the reference to “the flowers of the field” made by our Lord Jesus, the Divine Son of Mary.
I myself have often been the subject of analogies to mushrooms of all kinds, you know, someone who is kept in the dark and fed, well, you know…
Why give such a saprotroph to Our Lady? Isn’t that an insult? Not at all.
On the one hand, saprotrophs, in and of themselves, have a beauty all their own.
We, on the other hand, have only our sin to claim as our own, and that sin makes us less than the animals, less than anything, including saprotrophs, which instead feed on us and turn us to dust when the time comes, and it will come, much much sooner than later.
Good thing that Jesus even takes away our sin, so that we have nothing, as the neighbor to the hermitage told me recently.
And that last point, then, is what giving saprotrophs to Mary is all about, namely, it is about the wounds of Jesus witnessed by Mary, we casting our sin unto Jesus and, revealing the glory of the love of the only Begotten of the Father, we see His mercy upon us, having us die with Him, but this time on the Cross… under which Mary stood.
All that comes to mind with a saprotroph. :-)
Of course, we don’t need to overthink it when giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. We can just do it.
These guys have just jumped out of their little purple martin bird house a few feet away for the first time, learning how to fly, with purple martin mama anxiously protecting them from the neighborhood around the rectory which gathered to see the sight. I mean, these don’t look like purple martin kids, do they? I mean, the beak is hooked… Is that right? And the “babies” are already twice as big as the mama before they even know how to fly. What’s going on here?
Anyway, my first thought was “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception,” which I always have on the front burner. I’m thinking that that’s not a bad thing. Oh, and here’s another, who keeps looking at how far down the ground is…
Last night after the Vigil Mass the Latinos had a Fathers Day party, complete with singing and cake:
On Mothers Day the Latinos give all the ladies roses after Mass in the social hall with another party, of course. I said last night that the Fathers should get something as well. Many suggestions were made but all immediately dismissed as it was said that it just doesn’t work that way. But to my my way of thinking, it’s a gift to any Father to be able to give a gift on Fathers Day. So, a whole heap of flowers for you, Mary. I suppose the birds will fly away, having learned how to fly. But that’s as it should be.
This was seen on the “Day Off”, as was this:
There are those who complain that we Catholics honor Jesus’ good mom way too much, even to the point of condemning her, and calling honor of her demonic. Why? Just to differentiate themselves from Catholics? Really? I think Jesus will ask them about this at the judgment. But they will point to Catholics who think themselves above such honor of a good mom, who think that dishonoring Jesus’ mom, and, really, therefore, all moms, is a good thing. Dishonor of motherhood is not good.
I even heard one bishop some decades ago – who went out of his way to be my enemy (that’s on him from his point of view) – say that any devotion to Mary is a “fetish.” Yep. Don’t be scandalized by that. Instead, let’s open our eyes to see what is going on. Are we ourselves apologetic about honoring Mary, Jesus’ good mom?
Saint Luis de Montfort proclaims the principle well: we cannot outdo Jesus in honoring His good mom. Jesus can only delight in our honoring His good mom. Amidst all the hell and darkness and chaos in the world, how could it not be a delight for Mary’s Divine Son to see that amidst all that hell and darkness and chaos there is some honor for His good mom, that is, in our weak attempts to follow His good example, His love for His mom.
/// rant over.
Now then, scroll back up and look at the work of Jesus, who is The Artist for His good mom. How can she not delight in that?! :-)