Category Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (what will be a flower is already a flower edition)


You have heard that it was said, “It’s not human until it’s born, or, you know, a few years later.” But, as Saint Thomas Aquinas says and as all scientific studies proclaim (we are soooo enlightened these days!) what will be a human is already a human, you know, what the death mongers call a “product of conception” or “a tumor” or “a frog” or, you  know, a “platypus.” No. What will be a human is already a human: Don’t murder the innocent.

When Jesus was just a cell in the womb of Mary after the Annunciation to her by the Archangel Gabriel that she would be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, this was not just a cell, but was already Jesus, the Divine Son of God, with a full human nature and a full divine nature together in the hypostatic union.

Women say that if they’ve suffered a miscarriage (always terribly devastating) or have procured an abortion (always terribly devastating), whenever they see another child who would be the same age as their own child, this is what they think of: if only… Please God, they will turn to our dear Lord for forgiveness which is there for them.

It also works the other way. I bet when Mary saw a bud of a flower when she was “with child” she thought of little Jesus within her womb. She is the Ark of the Covenant with the Covenant involving Jesus Himself. Saint Paul says that we are to be tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, whereby grace here on earth, a bud so to speak, will turn into glory in heaven. Please God, we make it to heaven. Please God. Please God.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Peachy irony edition)


These peach blossoms are near the hermitage.

Amidst the chaos and darkness and idiocy of this fallen world there is, at the same time, all that which is just peachy, but to see that which is peachy we have to have that which is given to us from the Most High, His sanctifying grace, bringing, of course, His love and truth and goodness. Ironically, the most purity of heart and agility of soul one enjoys in walking with the heavenly court while upon this earth, the more one sees, in contrast, all that chaos and darkness and idiocy. It is only a bond of charity that keeps us from running to the darkness so as to be blinded to it (not seeing the forest for the trees in front of you kind of thing). That bond of charity exemplified preeminently by the Immaculate Conception is better than the ignorance is bliss deception, much better.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Nostalgia or not nostalgia edition)


These Red Bud buds are at a Communion Call house. I am reminded of the massive Red Bud tree that someone cut down at the back of the rectory property when I wasn’t there, perhaps to redirect the stream, but I don’t know. It’s not infrequent that Jesus’ good mom is reminded of the wounds borne by Jesus when he was cut down down and taken away from her. Indeed, He still bears those wounds also on His risen body. The wounds speak of the majesty of the mercy founded on justice, of the mercy which He provides to us and for which Mary, on our behalf, interceded.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Challenge to my “Shadow” edition)


Get a framed picture – and put it up – of Our Lady of Guadalupe – or a little statue, and make a shrine for it – and then get a flower, any flower, even like a gone-to-seed dandelion, and put that in front of that image. And then say a Hail Mary. This changes everything, as it gives you hope. I want you to know that you have hope. Anyone can do this. Kinda like that one painting:

shepherd boy

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Where are the bees? edition)


Somehow, even in a shadow below the hermitage ridge, the fruit trees have been in full bloom, hoping against hope that bees will be help them out. But I’ve not seen one bee round about anywhere at all. Somehow we’ve been dodging the colder weather, dodging the snow and ice. The bees seem to have a better calendar than the weather cycle and are staying put in their hives. What’s a fruit tree to do? Even self pollinating trees need bees. But maybe one or two have ventured out. We will see.

Anyway, this tree has been successful in it’s flowers for the Immaculate Conception, even if the project of the flowers are not successful. The weather does what it does and the flowers do what they do. All have been faithful. God doesn’t necessarily want us to be successful. He does want us to be faithful. Faithfulness is always a flower for the Immaculate Conception.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (wisely holding back for a while ed.)


No explosions of growth from the Guadalupe Rose. I’m happy with that since I’m still guessing that there’s going to be quite a freeze and snow storm before Winter breaks definitively. The bush is still recovering from its being transplanted away from “Shadow”-dog. But I don’t see a flowerless rose bush. I do see potential. But I also see something good in and of itself, regardless of flowers, seeing that it’s trying.

There are fruitless fig trees that Jesus cursed as an analogy to a soul which should be bearing fruit but does not and should therefore be uprooted. But there are also those times when difficult obstacles come to the fore for whatever soul and it seems like there is not much fruit being borne, and yet Jesus can call that carrying the cross, knowing more than we that we are then bringing forth very much for the entirety of the Mystical Body of Christ.

And that is a flower for the Immaculate Conception, good mom of her Divine Son.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Guessing these are flowers edition)


And if I’m wrong about these being flowers, methinks that Jesus’ good mom will just smile all the same. Heaven, for which we hope in the present, is a long time to be able to learn about such things, and laugh about it should we be wrong in all of our ignorance here upon this earth. There is a certain freedom in being a little child. Guessing what’s a flower for Jesus’ good mom is good “enough” because good is simply always good:

shepherd boy

When I put up such posts as this I often think of someone who complained to me on a number of occasions about “flowers” for, like, Mary. “What’s the damn point?” But it wasn’t a question; it was more like a rant. The more I tried to use the occasion to teach, the more condescending this person because, giving me a lecture about wasting people’s time. “Did you ever read any of these posts?” I asked. “No. Why bother?” was the response.

I guess it’s the kind of thing you don’t understand until you grab a flower and put it in a vase and bring it to church and put it in front of Mary and light a candle and say a prayer for the living and the dead. In leaving, you’ll notice something is different in your life.

The most practical thing in the world is to give a flower to the Immaculate Conception, and yes, it bears saying more than once. It’s worth doing more than once.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (because it’s Friday in Lent edition)


Is that the kind of fasting I want?

“Render true judgment, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts.

“But they refused to listen; they stubbornly turned their backs and stopped their ears so as not to hear” (Zechariah 7:9-11 nab).

Just some Lenten flowers to give to our Lady as she accompanies us in the kind of fasting that her dear Son wants.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Light and “Shadow” ed. for the record)


On my day-off, as I was taking this picture of flowers of bursting light for the Immaculate Conception, an email came in on my phone from my “Shadow.” It’s all of a sudden gotten much more serious. Nevertheless, although distracted by my “Shadow,” there is nothing more practical for how to go about things than to give such a flower to the Immaculate Conception. We have to keep things in perspective, right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (taken off guard edition)


In a previous rather raucous edition of Flowers for the Immaculate Conception also featuring Forsythias, from this very Forsythia actually, it was mentioned that these Sooth Sayers, these truth tellers, are the first to hail the coming Spring, the very first mind you. However, they have been caught out this year. Their mid-February appearance is a bit later than last year (that post was 22 January), but last year it was warm in January and absolutely freezing this year. Then, very suddenly it turned hot, edging on 80 degrees (I got 78 one day). The tulips and tulip trees, all manner of other daffodils and field flowers and other flowering trees all made it in long before the Forsythia. Methinks this is like an omen or something (not that I believe in omens). If it were an omen, I wonder if it would point to a catastrophic freeze coming up just when everything is vulnerable. Anyway, you might want to take a look at the normal state of affairs for Forsythia along with a word about the Immaculate Conception in the link above. Yikes! More truth telling on behalf of our Lady.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores, Missionaries of Mercy

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Surely Jesus exaggerates edition)


This is the tulip tree right next to the rectory. Just a detail. It’s a massive tree.

As you can see, there’s hardly room for the flowers. The branches can hardly support the weight. The neighbor is worried the tree might fall on his house.

Surely, then, we can say that Jesus exaggerates in bringing about such flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Surely one is enough, and then forget about it. And what are you doing, Father George, putting up all these flowers for Mary. You’ve lost your mind. You must be worshiping Mary or some dumb thing like that.

But if Jesus respects His own good mom so very much, and we cannot outdo Jesus in this regard, then we are free to honor His dear mama as much as we want and not worry about it. Giving her a flower as a little kid might do is not worshiping her. At least that’s what the saints say about Jesus honoring his own good mom. Sounds right to me. I don’t think Jesus minds.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Heavenly Valleytown challenged ed.)


The parish, centered in low-lying Andrews, NC, nicknamed Valleytown as the mountains go straight up many thousands of feet right above the town, is in the heavens even if so low-lying in elevation. This is not a Spring photo, but taken just yesterday in mid-February. I worry about those trees. Nevertheless, for me, for the moment, they are flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Why so? Am I just making that up?

In the background is IOI (Industrial Opportunities Inc), which employs challenged people. It was built for one challenged guy in particular, you know, so that he could work at stuff. But this is best in a group setting right? So, why not build something for a group activity. Behold. A massive factory all for challenged people. Here’s the angelic baby photo of that guy:


He died this past year down in the nursing home near the parish at about 110 million years old. He was an ultra super faithful watcher of EWTN, the Holy Mass and everything else. Super devout. So very happy to receive Mary’s Son in Holy Communion, so happy to try to say the Hail Mary with me. Yes, flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

Are you able to create something like this for the least brothers among us? Don’t forget, the tables will be turned in the next life. Or we could rejoice together as brothers in heaven. What you have done to the least of these you have done to Immaculate Mary’s children. Yep.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Star of David special addition edition)


A zillion of these Stars of David are in full bloom outside Holy Redeemer church here in Andrews, NC. The special addition, the central flower, is reminiscent of this star of David in early first century Galilee, at Peter’s hometown synagogue where Jesus preached:

synagogue of capernaum star of david

I like to think of that special addition as referring to the promised Messiah, now the Word Incarnate, who ties together the heavens and the earth in His own Person. Of course, I also remember how that special addition, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, became, for some, the proclamation of a capital crime committed, for being a Jew, from the tribe of Judah, became a crime which would bring one to death.

jewish yellow star jude

Meanwhile, Immaculate Mary is happy to be the Jewish mama of her dear Jewish Boy Jesus. Happy to the Jewish mama.

As a Catholic priest, I was amazed to read the comment a while back that it was absolutely impossible for me to be Jewish and a Catholic Priest at the same time. Jesus was both at the same time. Right? That reader came around when I explained what it means to be Jewish, you know, also like all the Apostles including Saint Paul.

The problem is that there is explosive, bitter, even violent prejudice and hatred for all Jews, all of them, mind you, among many on the ultra-traditional-ism-ist side of things, also and especially among priests, one of whom over decades has tried to convince me of how evil and conniving the Jews are, you know, with conspiracy world government stuff, blah blah blah. He wanted me to have the same opinion, even knowing I am Jewish. It’s not all priests. My Shadow and now, I find out, his breeder-girlfriend, have the same attitude (though I think that’s all a show). The attacks against Jewish Jesus and His Jewish Immaculate Mother fall on me. It’s like acid right in the face that eats down into the bone. I’m sure longtime readers remember this most emotional Way of the Cross, the Via Crucis, alongside Mount Carmel at Stella Maris Discalced Carmelite Monastery up above Haifa, Israel. If you’ve never seen this, now’s the time. 20 minutes total, 10 each half. This is an acid attack… heart breaking… It transports one back a couple thousand years…


Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“You duped me O Lord” edition)


This large, expansive tree is just down the street from the rectory. Full bloom. In mid-February. Not good. And here’s another, right next to the rectory. Full bloom. In mid-February. Not good. They will all freeze to death. And they were only doing what they had to do.


Tulip trees and red bud trees are in hot pursuit, almost in full bloom. In mid-February. Not good. Not good at all. They will all freeze to death. And they were only doing what they had to do. Winter will return.

“You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me.” (Jeremiah 20:7)

We say:

“But Lord, I followed you. I tried my best. And THIS is what you throw at me? My finances are a wreck. I lost my job. My spouse ran off. I get my food from a dumpster. And all because I was faithful to you, dear Lord. I didn’t have to be faithful to you. But I was faithful. And THIS is what you throw at me? You tricked me, duped me, and I let myself be duped. You are stronger than me. You win. But look around. Everyone laughs at me, making stuff up, or just because I’m down and truly totally out. Everyone mocks me. My friends dismissively turn their backs on me. Dear Lord. Dear Lord.”

And then, in a quiet moment, we say:

“Thanks for keeping me faithful to you, dear Lord. Thank you. I’m with you. You’re with me. Dear Lord, take me.”

And then our Lord says:

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. […] Come, share your master’s joy. […] Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:21.34).

And then we say:

“We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.” (Luke 17:10)

And then we are brought in, and we see God face to face, and we rejoice. We are at home. At home. At home. Why? Because…

Jesus is the One. He’s the only One. And it is HE who will come to judge living and dead and the world by fire. Amen. And Amen.

Oh! And the Immaculate Conception? She said “Yes!” She brought Jesus into this dark, cold world for us, doing only what she had to do: “I am the maidservant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” And then the dark, cold world returned. Winter returned. Jesus was in her arms below the Cross. “You duped me Lord, and I let myself be duped.”

Thank you, Mary, for letting yourself be duped with such love. Thank you. Teach me how to be duped. I am so proud, without humility. Thanks for being such a good teacher.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores, Nature, Spiritual life

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Sulfurous edition)


It’s really warm these days. Like in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit. Great weather to be out at the hermitage for the day off. In looking for flowers for the Immaculate Conception I saw more “sulfur cups” as one gracious reader called them. Imagine, giving anything sulfurous to our Lady! But, you know, they are like saying “Thank you for having smacked down the sulfurous Satan for us with you dear Son Jesus.”


I am always amazed. Wildly fantastical whimsical monster attack lichens (some rare) also make for great bouquets for the Immaculate Conception. I guess you have to be a little kid to understand why. And, dear reader, you are a little kid reading this, are you not? Yes, you are. And that’s very wonderful indeed. For our Lady. Hail Mary…

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Uh oh edition)


My DOT – EMT neighbor doesn’t say that he’s never seen anything like it, but does say that the last time he say something like this was like 25 years ago. We’re gets temps of 60s and 70s. All the flowers are coming out, including flowering trees. What this means is lots of dead flowers and even dead trees when, as Winter marches on, we get a massive ice and snow blizzard with cold that stays for weeks. You gotta know it’s coming. Enjoy it while ye may. We can appreciate the evergreen (the one above at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville) even while other explosions of color distract us. The evergreen doesn’t care at all about any ice and snow blizzard.

In our souls, we carry hope with us, and that hope can stay consistent and stable throughout bad times and good. Isn’t it interesting how Saint Paul puts it? He doesn’t say he’s learned how to put up with good times and even, wow, bad times. He says that he knows how to deal with bad times and even, wow, good times. Because, for us, when do we cool off as with an ice and snow blizzard in our souls? When times are especially good, right?

I remember the Blizzard of all Blizzards – mostly ice – back in the 1990s. I was in western Kentucky and my parents, down in Myrtle Beach, weren’t doing well health wise. Just as the ice started in Kentucky I just in a car to go see them. I was in the ditch with that car with tires with no tread within minutes. I was pulled out only to get stuck on the 4 lane highway with all the ice but no snow accumulation yet just minutes later. I couldn’t make it up the gentle hill. I was given a different vehicle and off I went Eastward right where the ice was coming down for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles. All the way. The ditches of the highways on both sides were like parking lots two cars deep door to door all the way.

The ice was sometimes 4 and 5 and 6 inches deep on the highway, slick, clear ice. Trucks at a dead stop on the highway would suddenly break ‘traction’ and start moving sideways into the ditch. Trucks with sets of wheels entirely broken off their axles were to be seen. Meanwhile, I was harassing my guardian angel continuously. He kept me safe.

That he kept me safe, and moving, was a lesson for me. We are more able to assent to the hope that is given to us when we see presently something of the care of our dear Lord for us in whatever way, also, of course, through our guardian angels. This hope and this assent can become stable, steadfast, continuous, consistent, in bad times and good.

Mary knew all that much more than we will ever know. Good times and bad. Bad times and good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Papist edition, well, half-way anyway)


It’s only mid-February and these beauties are to be seen everywhere.

Papal Colors are white and yellow. Well, here’s yellow. I’m waiting for white. But, hey, I’m at least halfway there. I’m sure our Lady appreciates that.

We must always but always pray for the Holy Father. If you don’t like him, pray for him! Goodness. Remember that scene in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ when Cephas runs up and falls on his knees at the feet of our Lady, asking forgiveness, confessing to her that he had denied her dear Son three times? Remember that? Don’t you think she was praying for Peter?

People just don’t get this. I say that we should pray for Pope Francis, that I stand beside him in solidarity, that I will not abandon him, and people scream that I am a heretic just like him, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. No, on all counts.

When I get a hold of some white flowers I’ll offer those to the Immaculate Conception as well.

By the way – and this directly to my internet stalker and all those he has named in his missives – we’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God, and the Son of the Immaculate Conception with our sin. I say, and please say with me, for all of us, including Pope Francis, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Update: Well. There we are. After Mass this midday I noticed these white flowers outside the Church. Really tiny. So that completes in the same day this papist editions of Flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Yay!


1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (field of purple edition)


This is the second field of purple I’ve noticed in these first few days of Lent. One is near the rectory. One is near the church. This amazes me as a Minnesota boy. Pretty much every single year as a kid I remember there being two weeks in early-mid February when the temperatures would be 32 below zero at night and 17 below zero in the daytime, with another few days in the midst of those two weeks being 52 below zero at night and 32 below zero in the daytime. The numbers were really consistent. Everything was slate gray. But here in WNC, there are flowers, and their color follows the liturgical season, in mid-February. Amazing. Putting up these posts for Mary puts me on edge, always on the lookout for flowers for Jesus’ good mom. That’s not a bad thing, methinks. Do you have flowers for the Immaculate Conception where you are in the world? Are you on edge to be on the lookout for flowers for Jesus’ good mom? It’s a good thing, methinks.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Evergreen edition)


Such boughs as these – evergreen as they are – could easily be gathered into a bouquet in the midst of the most bitter Winter – in the dead of Winter – as a bouquet for the Immaculate Conception. A rather poetic phrase, that, “dead of Winter.”

I’m told that conjecture has it that the liturgical color of green, evergreen if you will, refers to life, therefore to hope, therefore to faith that continues in the midst of difficulty. We continue to need that as things are intensified in the midst of Lent with its own color of purple, the color of royalty, the color of the kingly robes of Herod which were placed on Christ in mockery. Being in solidarity with Christ as He is in solidarity with us means feeling the mockery which falls on Him as if it were falling on us. We need the green to bear with the purple. The Immaculate Conception, now in heaven, is both faithless and hopeless, but she knows we need both faith and hope and so intercedes for us.

P.S. Before anyone claims I am a heretic for calling Jesus’ good mom both faithless and hopeless, think about it. In heaven she has vision, and so no faith, and has attained that for which hope hopes. So she is faithless and hopeless. Dante portrayed a sign over the gates of hell which read “Abandon hope all ye who enter here!” But, of course, that sign could be put over the pearly gates of heaven as well. Right? ;-)



Filed under Flores, Humor

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flowers in February edition)


Yesterday, during Communion Calls after the last Sunday Mass, after the very first call nearby, these beauties were to be seen in their thousands. Perfect for the Immaculate Conception. They are in direct line of sight of the statue of Mary on the front steps of the rectory. Today was unseasonably warm after a couple of months of unseasonably cold temps. This is perfect for yesterday, as it was February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

You’ll remember that the parish priest, a bit skeptical of what little Bernadette was telling him, told her to bring some flowers from the grotto, in February, when no flowers bloom there. She came back with a heap of flowers. Hah.

I took this picture at that very grotto after weeks of below freezing temps in Lourdes, really cold, snow but mostly ice everywhere. These tender flowers decided to punch through the ice and snow in honor of Mary. :-)


Mary is the Immaculate Conception:



Leave a comment

Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception, Mary