Nerds will appreciate this bit about prime numbers, in this case, 5.
There are laws in the universe, in physics, in maths. Prime numbers are really cool. Creation is all about reason, about math, about beauty, about goodness, about pointing to the one God and Lord of all. Hey! I know! How about a flower for the Immaculate Conception, this time with five petals? After all, it’s prime.
Moreover, her dear Son had five wounds. Those wounds forever take the place of the ransom for a boy which was to be paid when he was a month old, it being fixed at five silver shekels according to the sanctuary standard (see Numbers 18:16). After all, by His wounds we are healed. His five wounds are primary.
As you can see, we have three sets of three here. Nine. I immediately think of nine choirs of angels, ordered into three sets of three, as pointed out by the Angelic Doctor, the Common Doctor, the great Saint Thomas Aquinas. See Question 108. The angelic degrees of hierarchies and orders. A good read, even for this most un-well-read priest.
There is no greater rejoicing of the angels in heaven than over one sinner who converts. It strikes me that they express this joy by, for instance, giving flowers of sinners like yours truly to the Immaculate Conception, Queen of Angels.
We can rejoice in their rejoicing. It’s important to rejoice. Even and especially in stormy times. Always. If we can have, by grace, some bit of purity of heart and agility of soul, then we are immediately brought to this rejoicing, for we see just how far the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception had to reach into this world to get us, which is cause for rejoicing. He had to stretch His arms in both directions on the cross, under which stood His dearest mother and ours. The angels are agape. And then they rejoice.
Seen on the “day off” at a friend’s house. Sorry, but I insist. It is good to always and everywhere remember that we are actively part of the Holy Family while we walk with the Lord through this world according to His providence until He sees fit to call us out of this world, to call us home, to call us by name. My mom wanted to call me David (Beloved), but that became my middle name. My dad won out with George (Tiller of the ground), a name used for God the Father by Jesus: my Father is the “tiller of the ground” (the vinedresser), Georgios. At any rate, Jesus has a name for each of us that only He and each of us individually will know. I hope to hear it when my time comes. I hope to hear that name. I long to hear that name. And should each of long to hear the name that He has for each of us. But for now, there are Stars of David everywhere to give to our Lady.
These are unfurling right next to the statue of Mary out on the front steps of the rectory. My neighbor donated these as he was stepping up his landscaping game. A parishioner transplanted them for me (midsummer too) and they just kept blooming, happy with their new home. It’s so easy for me to put up flowers for the Immaculate Conception. But, just to say, this is always the case. If, with the grace of Jesus, we set our minds and hearts on showing Jesus that we love Him by keeping the commandments (all like flowers for the Immaculate Conception in love of God and love of neighbor), it is then that He makes it all possible with a flood of His grace. We merely have to be, in His grace, in humble thanksgiving mode, thanking Him for the grace, His presence, His love, His truth, His goodness and kindness, because we can’t do it, ever, but He can. He makes it easy, His burden being easy, light, because He is friendly and humble of heart. Do we say that we want, in His grace, to give flowers to His dear mom and ours? Jesus makes this possible. He creates them and puts them where we can find them, even bringing them to us – we being too dull to do anything ourselves – so that we can give them to His mom. So, I know I’ve put this picture up before, but what I’d like for you to do is to understand what is really happening here. Jesus has just now given flowers to the shepherd boy with the instructions that the shepherd boy can then give those flowers to His good mom.
By the way, I note that these are yellow, and that they have six petals, like the Star of David. I’m thinking about that a lot these last few days. More on that later.
A postcard from a pilgrim friend in Lourdes. Did you know there was a donkey sanctuary near Lourdes, just a bit higher up in the mountains? When she saw this donkey she thought of me. Umm…. O.K. :-) What’s going on here is that she’s saying that I’m that donkey who, in turn, is spying out a super tiny flower for the Immaculate Conception. See it, right there, in the grass? … Look… closely… in the grass…
Made you look. :-) Spying out flowers for the Immaculate Conception is a good skill to have.
When I was growing up I knew people who had patches, even farms of marijuana, who bragged of their exploits in Central and South America, coming back with all sorts of names for different types of their “weed” or “pot” which they called, for instance, “gold.” I remember getting tours of what they were growing. I recall the seven-fold partitioned long fingered leaves just like those above. But I don’t remember ever seeing such flowers as pictured here on this seven foot tall plant. So, I have no idea what this is, what I saw at a friend’s house on the day off. That friend is a fantastic gardener and very much likes to contribute flowers for the Immaculate Conception.
I would have been putting up some pictures of some lilies which come out at this time of year at the hermitage, but I see that someone stole the flowers. I think I know who that is, I think perhaps the same person who’s been shooting at me over the last few years on the day off. I’ve never been hit. But I’m sorry to see that the plants themselves were stolen, and damaged. Here’s a photo of a bloom from those plants. I hope our Lady doesn’t mind being given a memory!
I’m convinced that Jesus, Son of the Immaculate Conception, creates such an infinite variety of flowers for His good mom. I’ve never seen these before. A bush about eight feet high, maybe ten feet in diameter. One might argue that God has no emotions, but Jesus also has a human nature. I gotta think he enjoys creating such things for her.
When the Our Lady of Guadalupe Superabundant rosebush decides to explode there is no stopping it. Just from this perspective there are three buds, three half-opened and three opened flowers. The bush itself has a zillion blooms. And this is after rough transplanting, after literally being eaten down by Shadow-dog.
As has been pointed out, this is a time of war and confusion and violence. O.K. We might want to recall the horrible times when some flowers bloomed through the ice and snow in Lourdes as a way to shake up the clergy and hierarchy to render due honor where due honor is due.
And we might want to recall the winter roses gathered by St Juan Diego in what were some of the most horrifically violent and murderous times in the history of the world, roses for our Lady, you know, as a way to shake up the clergy and hierarchy to render due honor where due honor is due.
I spotted after it was said that there are no flowers to be seen this time of year at least relatively speaking. I could see nothing but flowers after that comment.
There’s lots of bad news, fake news, isn’t there? Lots of darkness. Dreary. Sigh. Everyone is in the ultimate struggle in the final battle. Yep. O.K. That may be. You want to know how to get through that? The way to do battle with the powers of darkness is NOT to stoop to the level of enemy, which is all emotion and despair and frustration and mind games at which the devil is much better than we could ever dream of being. The way to do battle with the powers of darkness is walk in God’s presence and be the good children of Mary Immaculate, perhaps giving her a flower if you can. That changes everything, as does keeping up with the sacraments, which are all about her Divine Son, Jesus. I think He especially likes to see outrageous things like flowers being given to His good mom, especially when times are tough. Right? It changes everything.
You may have heard that it was said: “There are no flowers this time of year, you know, compared to the springtime.” But you just have to know how to look. I was speaking about situational awareness and the ooda loop the other day with some Forestry crowd, and they were enthralled to know that I sharpened my situational awareness by noticing the out of the way flowers of the wilderness, saying this is a matter of love, of rejoicing in God’s creation out of love, a creature for his Creator.
The flowers above were found not far from the hermitage. Sure, there are no flowers in the usual places. A desert. But then you have to look in unusual places, and then of a sudden… they’re everywhere. But this is a matter of love. Let it be a matter of love. Let creation resound it’s speech of the Creator in your ears, in your heart, then, finally in your eyes. And then give what you find to the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom.
Just to say, if situational awareness is just a tactical pain in the butt to accomplish at every moment everywhere for the sake of self and the safety of others as a way to defuse situations, it just won’t happen. But if it’s accomplished out of love for the same reasons, hey!, this becomes a way of life. Then your eyes and ears and heart are opened to rejoice, to bring others to the Creator of us all.
Before rushing off for a full day of Masses on this Holy Day of Obligation, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Glorious ever Virgin Immaculate Mary Mother of God into heaven, soul and body, I thought I might put up these pics of the “Touch Me Not!” for her. It’s a flower which is now out in the zazillillions in Western North Carolina.
These pics were taken yesterday, on the Vigil, out near the hermitage. They are called “Touch Me Not!” because if you do touch them, their seeds pods totally explode, scattering the seeds for the next year’s explosion of color.
These are appropriate for this feast since there is surely to be a nuclear explosion if anyone should in any way seriously approach the texts in Scripture which involve the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can already hear remonstrations as I type this: “What texts are you talking about! There are NONE!”
Hmm. Interesting. “None.” Really? I wonder why Pius IX was so interested in Genesis 3:15 before pronouncing on the Immaculate Conception. I wonder why Pius XII was so interested in Genesis 3:15 before pronouncing on the Assumption. Hmm. Interesting.
Red just doesn’t show up well with a digital camera. This is the best I could do. I was trying to emphasize the spidery-ness. I’m thinking that this is a bit of humor on the part of Jesus, trying to provoke from His good mom the exclamation about His creativeness: “What were you thinking?!” with a smile of course. There’s a good section of a field of these across from the rectory growing wild.
If people think that they are entitled to take themselves seriously while the world goes to hell in hand basket, so that they complain how hard it is for them, they will only make things more difficult for themselves. Better to just lighten up a bit. Notice the good things our dearest dear dear dear Heavenly Father has made and the joy and peace and goodness and kindness to which He has called us through, with and in His Son. After all, it’s all about Jesus. And, when we notice that, and see the great love He has for His good mom, we might just give Him a flower of His own creation to pass on to her. And if this sounds all just too naive and childish while the whole world goes to hell, perhaps you might want to take note that it is this which is attractive to the world, in the end, and is what might save some for heaven, right out of hell. So, yeah…
It seems there is always an abundance of flowers to gather for the Immaculate Conception. Like clock work. Everywhere you look. These are on the fence now by the zillions in the back of the rectory. The triumph of the cross for the Immaculate Mother of Jesus. “Behold,” He says, “I make all things new.” His gift to His good mom.
Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes, France, I took this picture with my el-cheapo digital camera. It was February, the first day following weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the grotto. Here’s a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold for weeks:
Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had something to do with water and temperature.
Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!
Perhaps this theme of co-redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow, enough, methinks, to finally start writing.
These were donated from the neighbor across the street. Very healthy even after transplanting. Right next to the statue of Mary, Jesus’ good mom. I always but always notice the Star of David, the three petals overlapping the three petals. And then, with the yellow color and all, I recall what I always carry with me:
Don’t think this is morbid or only something dark and depressing. Instead, I also always carry this hope, as should we all:
These are the flowers of October beans. They stay around for quite a while, providing bees (who get annoyed with humming birds) and fighter-attack humming birds (who instantaneously go into all out war mode upon seeing bees) with that over which they enjoy a good battle.
The beans are enormous, their existence pretty much denied by everyone. I had pictures of them up on a previous blog published from the hermitage, and a reader denied the possibility asking that I send a few exemplars his way. I did. He wrote back a very apologetic letter saying he shouldn’t have doubted that the Lord could create such beauties. Just a handful will make a great soup for the day.
I imagine the Immaculate Conception would have made some really good soups of all kinds for Jesus and any and all orphan kids in the town. You can also extend soup for another mouth to feed. October beans, being so big, would be just the thing.
Of course, these beans wont be ready until – you guessed it – October. But they can be saved all year. Let me see, what’s that feast in October dedicated to something to do with our Lady? That feast day also has something to do with a certain kind of flowers and… and… with a famously epic battle that changed the entire course of history. Such violence! Our Lady knows all about it. October beans flowers are most appropriate for her. I’m sure you guessed what that feast day is by now and how that feast day came about… Time for fill-in-the-blank fun:
What was the most useful weapon of war in that battle called? ____________