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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mockery of purple turns glorious, ed.)


The royal purple used to mock Jesus along with the crown of thorns smashed upon His head will be turned inside out to the praise of the glory of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace as he rises from the dead, as Mary Immaculate’s Divine Son rises from the dead.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Nauseous, edition)


Jesus’ good mom had stalwartly stood under the Cross while the Judas hanged himself, while the other eleven Apostles ran away. John came back. I wonder how he fared. I wonder how those on Calvary fared. I bet they got nauseous. Mary stood in the midst of it all, and didn’t even notice it. How to thank her for her unrelenting maternal solidarity with her Son? Even this… whatever it is… a kind of “vomit mushroom” whose outer edges will break down and pour out, vomit out… horror… even this is a good for a ground-cover in a pot of real flowers that would be a gentle reminder of that hour of darkness on Calvary when all of hell broke out, but when the glory of God’s love was shining most brightly. But these do need some real flowers to offset them. So, off to search…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Corpse Flowers, edition)


Jesus’ good mom is quite inconsolable on Holy Saturday. A flower for her? What could that possibly do? The above is not a “corpse flower”, but those below are “corpse flowers.” They need no sunshine in order to thrive. They do best in the dark days.

corpse flowers 1

Similarly, from the past, at Holy Souls Hermitage…

corpse flowers 2

Anyway, timidly approaching a mourning mother of the Son she just saw tortured to death in the most vicious way devised by fallen humanity of the time… for you, mother Mary… Hail Mary…

Is not one’s heart as if ripped out of one’s chest when in solidarity with her who is the Mother of the Redeemer?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (This parish’s Holy Sepulcher, edition)


Because, when Jesus’ good mom sat next to Jesus’ sepulcher, accompanied by Mary of Magdala, neither of them would have had the wherewithal to put a flower next to the great stone rolled in front of the entrance. So, we’ll do that for them. Of course, they won’t notice us doing that, blinded by their tears. That’s alright.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The Protective Veil of Mary, edition)


This is the news Marian grotto at the Cathedral in Charlotte. The purple veil is there as an extension of what’s happening in the Cathedral during Lent – this being Holy Week – what with all the statues and crosses and such covered in distress. Behind the grotto there are a zillion of these:


Speaking of the Veil of Mary, I was happy to hear that one of our Eastern Rite brethren in the priesthood was ordained (on his calendar) on the Feast of the Protective Veil of the Mother of God. I love that.

He mentioned that during their ordination rite the bishop places a particle of the just consecrated Host in the hands of the newly ordained saying: “Receive the Portion of the Church on which you will be judged.”

Dread awe ensues, of course. “My Lord and my God…”

Avoiding judgment, the newly ordained flies to the protective veil of Jesus’ good mom. Mind you, the protection is from Satan’s wiles. Mary is to found on Calvary. Mary leads any priest sons there to be with her Son. As the Master, so the disciple.


A flower for you, Mary. For priests: Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Beasts of Lent, that would be us, ed.)


Beasts everywhere. Jesus creates these flowers for His good mom even during Lent, and what happens? They get filled beasts. The Creator of these Lenty-Lent flowers for the Immaculate Conception proclaim “Behold, I make all things new.” But the beasts with the analogy being ourselves? I guess they proclaim the reason why Jesus has had to make all things new. The beasts give us the full picture. Mary saw it all on Calvary. So, for you Mary, us beasts and all. Thank you for your perfect intercession for us under the Cross.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Day Off: Seamless Garment edition)


Driving into the yard of the neighbors to the hermitage was easy on such a dark and cloudy, dangerously stormy day, illuminated as all things were by the pear tree blossoms. An Immaculate Conception statue looks upon the scene from next to a nearby rosebush. Lightning also brought some light, accompanied with great audio: thunder! This (at the time) real-time video was provided by the neighbor as to what was happening just down the mountain:

Hail! Some were to be seen walking about confused, snow-shovels in hand. Floods were all around, with water just about up to the floorboards of Sassy the Subaru Forester. Cars were in the ditch, emergency vehicles (fire engines, law enforcement, ambulances, tow-trucks) everywhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, continuing up the ridge, prayers were said for the Bishop and priests of the diocese. And behold, one other lone flower for the Immaculate Conception was to be seen. I say it’s for her because it’s precisely here where it is somehow necessary to pray the Angelus and other Marian prayers. This necessity has been going on for seven years.


But then it was time for other day off activities. Up went a target at seven yards away including the “A” body-box (8″ tall by 6″ wide) and a head-box (2″ tall by 4″ wide). This was for the supposed stage 4 of a surely outdated SEALs tactical pistol course, namely:

  • Two to the “body”, one to the “head” equal to or less than two seconds from a holster. My holster is “locked”, so that slows me down. Best was slow: 2.19 secs. My best ever was, I think, down in the 1.70s and 1.60s range.

It’s a perishable skill. Practice is needed. The extremely restrictive European Union rules limit ammo to 1000 rounds a year per person. Maybe I need more than that because I’m such a terribly bad shot. But more realistically, making sure that people don’t practice much makes people within the legal parameters dangerous.

After that drill, the pre-2001 Fed. Air Marshal course went up. 100% accurate and under-time for five stages, but DQ for being slightly but predictably overtime on a couple of other stages. Accuracy trumps quick every time however. It’s fun to shave off hundredths of seconds. But those other two stages need separate work.

After that, it was time to empty out a partially emptied mag at the series of swinging plastic coffee buckets. Starting to get used to wildly moving small targets.


Then it was dinner time at the neighbors with spiritual discussions lasting hours. Always so enjoyable. This time, the major topic was the cloak of our Lord for which the soldiers cast lots, being that it was of super-high-quality, being woven from top to bottom throughout. This was the garment that Jesus’ good mom would have made for Him, not the resplendent, gorgeous apparel that Herod had mockingly put on Him to send Him back to Pilate.

Two Notes on the Seamless Garment: 

  • There is a position in heretical moral theology blasphemously called the Seamless Garment, which has it stopping the threat of a murderous unjust aggressor in the defense of the innocent (which is actually a contribution to the virtue of justice) is equivalent to murdering the innocent (which is always an evil and admits of no excuse): a so-called “seamless garment.” No. They are not the same.
  • Mary, the true Woman of Genesis 3:15, is the “Mother of All the Living,” the title (in bad translation) that Adam tried to give his wife. Fail. Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer is, in good translation, the “Mother of the Entire Living-One,” what Saint Paul calls the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head of that Body and we as the members of that Body. How appropriate that the garment for this one Body of Christ be woven as a seamless garment. Good call, Mary. You are Jesus’ good mom, and ours.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Asparagus & Bacon recipe, edition)


Returning to the rectory for just a second between hospitals and home visits the other day, I spied on what I guess is a welcome newcomer to the gang of Flowers for the Immaculate Conception providers out at the back creek bank. We shall see what appears as it springs up this Spring. :-)

There’s that. Meanwhile, there’s also this at the very beginning of April:


And, another was to be spied spying through winterized concealment as the day warm up. And then more. We’ve seen other “asparagus” family relatives in the bluebells. But these aparagi(pl?) won’t count toward Flowers for the Immaculate Conception until the zillion red berries come out after the plants have been allowed to grow to full forest height (almost 9 feet this past autumn, if stretched out on the ground). But the next three months it looks like this asparagus bed will have to be harvested even daily.


What if I took the thick asparagus spears and wrapped them in bacon and put them on tin foil on a cookie pan and then placed them in the oven.


How long should they be in the oven and at what temperature?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Lenten purple, edition)


When her Son Jesus was clothed in perversely violent King Herod’s royal purple garment so as to mock her Son, her thoughts surely including noting the irony of the royalty of fallen humanity thinking to have something over the divine King of kings, Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who with such regal bearing took on the worst we have to give out so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

Purple was a royal color back in the day because the purple dye was so extremely hard to come by, and therefore so expensive that, quite literally, only royalty could afford it.

Purple is a penitential color because of how it was used over against true Royalty, that of God, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Purple reminds us of our great sin, our arrogance, our ridiculous pride.

No one saw this more sharply, more comprehensively, that did the Immaculate Conception, with her purity of heart and agility of soul and clear vision. We have no idea. So, at least a flower for you, dear good mom of Jesus and us.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (April Fools Day, edition)


Redbuds are still Redbuds even when in full blossom. You wouldn’t say: “Those are nice red buds,” if what you have are blossoms, right? You would say, “Those are nice Redbuds,” as in: “Those are nice red blossoms on those Redbuds.”

Fine. Not funny. That was my poor attempt on this April Fools Day.

Jesus’ good mom knows all about playing the fool. She was never politically correct and was certainly treated like a fool for it. Being a fool for Christ’s sake, as Saint Paul has it, is certainly the way to go, and not just on April Fools Day, but always.

That would give Jesus’ good mom a ferocious sense of humor. Surely she would smile at antics like this:

april fools lars anderson

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Are those teeth? edition)


These are merely pansies outside Holy Redeemer church here in Andrews. They are at the end of their season. They are the ones who tough it out all Winter long. You’d think they would need a substantial protein based diet. Well…

Technology with cameras has developed. I never noticed that pansies have what look to be teeth in the style of Venus Fly Traps. I’m sure you know what they can do:

Attack flowers for Jesus’ good mom! She can set them round about so as to keep all things in good order. Flies are good, just not in the kitchen. Frogs are good, just not in the kitchen. Well, unless you make frog-legs like French Fries. Mmm mmm!

I did have a Venus Fly Trap as a little kid. I did try to feed it little green “peeper” tree frogs that would cover the windows of our Minnesota home in the Spring at night. My eager wide-eyed wonder at the wonders of nature… I’m sure we all share that… and that’s how we should be all the time, in the best as in the worst conditions. The capacity for wonder at God’s good creation, which He created with such love (and that’s the point of everything)… and the desire to share that wonder for God’s love also in His creation… all that is just a glimmer of what Jesus’ good mom would have with her purity of heart and agility of soul… and enthusiastic wonder… A flower for you, Mary. Hail Mary…


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (What will be already is, edition)


Having absolutely no idea what this is – maybe some kind of succulent, kind of? – it is still appropriate to give to the Immaculate Conception. Surely, it’ll be something awesome in its own right, right? After all, God doesn’t make rubbish. And that makes it awesome right now, and anticipation is all part of it, because you know everything is already there just ready to blossom out. What will be a man is already a man, says Saint Thomas Aquinas. Today is March 29. If you count the first day, Jesus is already in the womb of Mary five days from the Annunciation that she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God.

When you’re going to pray, do you say that maybe, you know, you’re not good enough at prayer. Being in the state of grace is already totally awesome, and we thank Jesus for that, for the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity.

Remember what the Queen Mother of Heaven and Earth, Angels and Men, the Mother of God called herself at that grotto along the river in Lourdes, France? She referred to herself in her most humble state of all, when she had just been conceived. So tiny! Transformed in grace since the first moment of her conception, she was already perfectly doing the will of the Most High.

So, a “not-yet”-flower for Immaculate Mary? Sure. I think she might smile at that.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Bluebells or Mary’s Tears edition)


These seem to be mis-categorized. They are not Muscari. They are not Hyacinth. Often called Bluebells or Bluebonnets, they are instead related to, of all things, asparagus.

Since there’s so much confusion about them, I’ll just call them as I see them: Our Lady’s Tears. Remember Our Lady of Sorrows? These are most appropriate for the Immaculate Conception.

Immaculate = purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision. She saw our need on Calvary, completely, clearly. That’s means perfect solidarity with Jesus. Perfectly sorrowful. Perfectly interceding with her Son for us. Mediatrix of all graces. Co-Redemptrix.

But the name Bluebells is just fine. Ringing out Mary’s maternal love for us all.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Already seen that one? edition)

Another one like this was already given to the Immaculate Conception, but the two are some 100 miles apart. They’re two different individuals. Just like us. We pray for each other to be given to Jesus to give to our Heavenly Father. But Mary, in solidarity with Jesus, interceding for us, helps make that happen, kind of like this:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Dent-de-Lion edition)


Quite the mane on that flower. Of course, any flower that would remind Jesus’ good mom of her good Son would be appreciated by her. We gotta keep in mind that she’s always been with Him in His fights, not telling Him to stop, like some over-protective mom, but instead cheering Him on. He came out with a few scars, but, that’s just fine and dandy. He’s the Last One Standing. After all, He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah:

lion of the tribe of judah

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (buds to blossoms edition)

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This is the same plant two weeks apart: buds to blossoms.

My own mom would often pick of stalk of buds of whatever and put it on the window sill above the kitchen sick where the sun would hit it for a time each day. When I first saw this as a little little kid, I didn’t understand, but as the days and even weeks wore on I saw the wisdom in this. Well, only a little bit.

How can we even begin to understand the joy that our Lord has in creating such things and Himself giving them to His good mom, the Immaculate Conception? As has been said by Saint Louis Grignon de Montfort: Don’t worry about honoring Mary too much, for you cannot at all honor her more than does her good Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Oh, I should mention that both Jesus and Mary know just how it is that grace will turn to glory in heaven, as Saint Paul says, kind of like buds to blossoms. :-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Red-buds: Judas vs Jesus edition)


Some say that some say – and you know what “they” say about hearsay – that Judas hung himself after his betrayal of Jesus on a redbud tree which, in fact, is abundant in Israel.

The red is for the blood when Judas burst asunder – reminding us of another character in the Old Testament – falling downward from the branches, the rope tightening, but continuing to fall downwards to hell. This was Judas’ mockery of Jesus.

As Jesus said, Judas, playing Jesus, raised his heel against Jesus, thus playing the son of the Mother of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15 and making Jesus into Satan: such mockery!

Jesus also died on a tree, a cross, soaked with Jesus’ blood, just a couple of thousand feet away. Jesus also precipitated down to hell as we say every Sunday in the Creed. What Jesus was doing there is to preach to the fallen spirits. See 1 Peter 3:19. These are the fallen angels, but also Judas would have freshly arrived. This preaching of Jesus was not to convert them,  or Judas, the “friend”, but rather to reprimand them, and Judas, with Jesus telling the truth of the way things are, to proclaim victory because He stayed on the cross until death, for us, out of love, the Innocent for the guilty, so that the guilty, seeing such great love, might convert and be brought to heaven. Judas was already dead, but Judas had been told a myriad times by Jesus Himself the truth of the matter. Also, all of the Hebrew Scriptures point to the Suffering Servant. Judas knew, and rejected this, siding with a merely political expediency. The truth of the great love of God – and the irony of the life-giving death of Jesus forever crushes the fallen spirits in hell.

The field which Judas bought with his newly acquired 30 pieces of silver, the money of the betrayal, the blood money, was what was then called, Akeldama, the Field of Blood. This is to be found in valley of hell on the south side of the wall of the old City of Jerusalem. Towards the bottom, below the “Dung Gate”, below the Temple Mount, was where the hellish hell of the hollow metal fire-filled idol of Marduch was to be found, where idol worshippers would sacrifice their children.


Meanwhile, Jesus wants to lead His little flock to heaven.

Oh yes… and Jesus’ good mom? A flower? Yes. She saw it all. She was in solidarity with Jesus, crushed herself with Jesus under the heel of Judas, but only for a time, those terrible three days of darkness, from the total eclipse of Good Friday, then Friday night, then Saturday night… then the resurrection Sunday, that first day of the week, the new sabbath, the seventh day which we can now enter. Mary saw it all. A flower for you, Mary. Yes, a redbud. You saw all the blood, Judas and Jesus. Thank you, Mary, for your solidarity with your Son, with us.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (peaches cherries pears oh my ed.)

Image result for wizard of oz monkeys gif

Even while “lions and tigers and bears… oh my!” are on the prowl, and even the demonic monsters above, there is always that which will be appropriate to give to the Immaculate Conception…

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I saw a comment the other day from a guy who said – and I’m paraphrasing here – that he avoided devotion to Jesus’ good mom because she’s too holy, too immaculate, too abstracted from our reality, and so he would settle for feeling religious because he likes Jesus, you know, as a devotional practice that’s a bit more virile.

Vomit here…

Jesus is God. Jesus is holy. So… What?… Do we ignore Him too because of that?

To such people I recommend telling Mary that she was soooo holy that surely she knew nothing about Satan prowling the world seeking the ruin of souls, surely she knew nothing about the down and dirty that we have to deal with…

No, really, look into her eyes and just tell her that…

Coward! Be in solidarity with her!

There’s no one who knows more about the horror of the lions and tigers and bears and demonic monsters than Jesus and His good mom. Give her a flower today. It’s one of the most practical things one can do in the midst of chaos.

And… and… just to say, it is a tenant of Islam that Allah is sooooooo holy that Allah couldn’t possibly love the world so much… you know… John 3:16…

Have we turned into Islamicists? No! Not that! So, then, give a flower to Mary Immaculate today. I can hardly think of anything more virile than that. Mary will have you lay down your life as her Son did. Oh… that‘s what you’re afraid of. Soooo un-virile.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“taking the leap” edition)


Outside the church in Andrews today there is a lone flower among the rocks that was not planted there by any human being. There are some of the same nearby, in planters, but, this is like jumping out of the boundaries, “taking the leap” as one existentialist guy said.

Saint Paul speaks much about freedom from the law, not to break the law, but being consistent with the intent and letter of the law not by constraint, but because of new-found integrity and honesty, the freedom of choosing – in grace – all that which is holy, respectful, good and kind, the freedom to shed political correctness, the freedom to do what one is called to do by God with purity of heart and agility of soul, the freedom to act with the fullness of a life into which we are drawn in Christ Jesus, by Christ Jesus.

The Way of the Truth and Life may look terribly lonely, terribly rocky, terribly difficult, but then, once having “taken the leap” in a way that no dark existentialisticness could ever comprehend, we flourish on that Way, laughing in the face of any “difficulty.”

Mary had no one in whom to learn from except her own Son. Those three days during which He was… was… gone… How very, very, very lonely. Devastating. When her Son jumped down from the Cross straight into hell in order to preach to the fallen spirits for their eternal frustration and anguish as just deserts for their sin, she, Mary, in solidarity, was with Him in spirit, but ever so alone. John? Good John, who came back and stood with her on Calvary… still… what could he possibly know. Really, he could know nothing of what she was going through, though she never looked at that, but rather was following her Son as best she could in spirit.

No one before or since, of course, then flourished as she did. She grew in that love which is stronger than death, as strong as eternal life.

“I am making all things new,” He said.

“Thank you, my dear Son,” she said.

So, a flower for you, Mary.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Sincerity ≠ Justification edition)


Last Summer, a dear reader who is way too good to me had me take a picture of one of her large flowering plants, saying that it would be good as one of the “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception” editions.

“But it’s a tall plant with seven-fold fingery green leaves that look like marijuana!” I objected.

“It’s not marijuana!” she said.

“But, but…” I objected.

“Grrrr…” she said.

So I put it up:


What do I know about marijuana? Nothing. Would my guardian angel smack me down for giving marijuana to Mary? I put it up. No one knew the name of this plant. Such a risk! But then, recently (though now well past my birthday) this wonderful reader gave me the card pictured above with this message inside:


Haha! A CLEOME! NOT marijuana. I’m happy to have given that flower to the Immaculate Conception. But what if it had been marijuana, would my sincere gift have been rejected by Mary. No. Not in this case. Because it’s neither here nor there as regards morality. It’s merely the intention that counts in this case.

But a question arises: Does sincerity equal justification in all cases?

This is a question which came up in class from a young seminarian classmate of young seminarian Joseph Ratzinger. His fellow student asked whether or not Hitler could go to heaven justified by his at least self-perceived sincerity to assist humanity in having a “final solution” for “purifying the race.” Young Joseph was appalled and sickened by the question, and says that that was when he instantly understood with the clarity of a lightning bolt that sincerity doesn’t justify, an erroneous conscience doesn’t justify, feelings and emotions do not justify. Only the sanctifying grace provided to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ justifies, coming to us, as it does, with supernaturally provided faith, hope and charity. We are not our own saviors by way of our own self-congratulation.

When I read: “It’s a CLEOME!” I laughed out loud for happiness that it wasn’t marijuana that I gave to Mary. The prayer of this reader is that of Mary herself for all of us:

“May Our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and keep you in His loving arms.”

Hitler will never come to know that his monstrousness was, after all, something good. No.

  • You can have a mistaken conscience and still go straight to hell. And, on this point, there is such a thing as purposed ignorance. The hell of that ignorance is not bliss.
  • You can have all the sincerity in your own eyes you want and still go straight to hell where all the wax filling in the holes of conscience will melt and reveal the ugliness that is there. [“Sincere” means “without wax”, that is, because something (say, restored furniture) doesn’t need to fake that it’s perfect because it already is perfect, without blemish, and therefore without wax: it’s “sincere.”].
  • You can have all the self-pleasing feelings and emotions you want and still go straight to hell. Did you know that feeling and emotions are fallen with the rest of our human nature? Ever once notice that? They don’t follow reason after original sin. It’s takes only the slightest bit of humility and reality to take note of that.

Speaking of humility, which is provided to us with God’s love, is that which will enable one to avoid that kind of self-congratulation which would have us claim that we’re justified by ignorance, by an erroneous conscience. Saint Paul says that we have God’s law written in our hearts, that which is called the Natural Law, that which is written into our nature by our Creator. Example: Thou shalt not murder the innocent. We can’t claim ignorance. We know that. It’s arrogance, a lust for power over God which would have one claim that murdering the innocent is just fine and dandy in all of one’s sincerity. It doesn’t work that way.

So, this flower is once again given to the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom. She saw, with horror, all of our own self-justification, our ignoring of her Son even while He redeemed us on the Cross, tortured to death, taking our place, the Innocent for the guilty. “It’s better that one man die than that a whole nation perish” shouted the High Priest Caiaphas. And so did we all. And Mary saw it all…. A flower for you, Mary. Thank you for being in solidarity with your Son right to the end. Thank you for being a mother to us in your solidarity with your Son’s purpose of justifiying us with His love, His forgiveness, His goodness and kindness, His Truth.


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