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? ____________
When I would collect a wild-flower bouquet for my mom, I wouldn’t just get a couple of flowers, just by themselves. It just didn’t seem right. Indeed, what florist does that? Not even one. There’s always a backdrop, a setting, providing a structure, a method, a way to appreciate what’s going on.
Above is just merely a mere seed group of some grass. But this is just the kind of thing that goes with the flowers. The flowers would fall over, perhaps right out of their vases if it wasn’t for some of this kind of mere background stuff.
You can guess the analogy already. It’s not just the spectacular stuff that Jesus might permit us in His providence to accomplish here or there in His grace, but it’s always about faithfulness in all things, the background of the “flowers.” Then the backdrop is as much the flowers as the flowers.
No, this is not a purple lettuce tree. Kind of nice though. It’s at one of the thousand specialized medical clinics that handle all the things for which pretty much all the regional hospitals have no certification. Hundreds of miles yesterday on the day-on on behalf of parishioners. Everywhere I look I see flowers for the Immaculate Conception. But, I mean, everyone does, right? Once you see one flower in this way, all flowers are seen in this way. It’s the positive side of “you can’t unsee it.” ;-)
At one family’s house on the day-off the other week I was shown this multi-flower by the gardener who, knowing that I often put up “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception”, insisted that this conglomerate was called “Queen’s Lace” hinting strongly that I have to put these huge but tiny ones up for Jesus’ good mom. Of course, she needn’t have insisted. I’m most happy to oblige. Always and everywhere flowers for the Immaculate Conception.
Did you ever notice how amidst all our little dramas (and they are ALL little dramas) that life goes on, death goes on, but life goes on, the wonderful “life is changed not ended” thing? I like that. I love that. Life in our Lord is a love stronger than death, that gives flowers to the Immaculate Conception in this life, whatever this life has before us, and then in the life to come, as we hope, hopefully without presumption, in heaven, because the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception is just that good, just that kind. He makes that possible, because, you know, of course, He loves His good mom. So, meanwhile, while everything goes on, in the midst of all that, still, always, flowers for the Immaculate Conception.
What do you see when you see the dirt on these flowers (it being that there is construction nearby, no fault of the flowers)? Do you pass these flowers by? Surely there are other flowers that aren’t so besmirched. Or do you continue to see the goodness of the flowers in and of themselves, still brilliantly being flowers no matter what this world has to attempt to take them down with? Probably degrees of both at the same time. We need to learn so much. Of course, you know what the analogies to our own interactions with others are…
Meanwhile, Our Lady sees exactly how we’ve actually been besmirched from the inside out by original sin and whatever other rubbish, but she also sees how much her dear Son loves us and gave Himself for us, standing in the place of our besmirchment so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. She intercedes for us as only a good mom can do. Thank you Mary.
These chaotic guys are to be found about ninety feet up a cliff over a waterfall not far from the hermitage. There is absolutely predictable order to such things if only we study it enough. Theories, at a loss of how to control the chaos, head not into further science, but into a philosophy cut off from logic. Some call it all hopelessly chaotic. Some say that it is all entirely deterministic, so that, for instance, entirely different worlds will come about whether or not, say, a spider taps one foot just once instead of twice, irredeemably so.
And there we have it: no possibility of redemption. After original sin it’s all a loss. Chaos wins. All irredeemable, we say. But who are we to say that? After further abandoning premises and proper reasoning, the very existence of God is doubted or denied, but really as a kind of challenge, but with the assertion that’s it’s all too much even for God, should He exist, to redeem. It’s all irredeemable.
But after the chaos has done it’s ever so lockstep predictable work, God’s love, even through one of us – the Immaculate Conception – stares us in the eyes, beckoning us to this love that conquers death, conquers chaos, leading us to life eternal:
While leaving one of our parishioner’s houses, I was just getting in Sassy the Subaru when I noticed stuff on the branches of their “bean tree.” “Ah!” said I to myself, “flowers for the Immaculate Conception.”
So, if you look at the bottom, there are three bits of whatever sticking down, the central one being deep, deep red, almost wet looking. Look closer. All around the perimeter you’ll see little ultra super tiny flowers.
I like having situational awareness for flowers for the Immaculate Conception.
You can ask your guardian angel to help you with this kind of situational awareness.
The transplanted superabundant Guadalupe rose is doing well out front of the rectory in honor of Jesus’ good mom.
How many flags do you see in the picture above? And, besides all those, there are two more directly across the street.
Mind you, it wouldn’t matter which legitimate flags would happen to be put up anywhere around the world. I remember all the flags from everywhere in the world that would appear with militaries from everywhere in the world during the Military Pilgrimage every year in Lourdes, France, including flags of the Holy See, these USA, and all around.
Our home is in heaven and we are in exile here every bit as much as when the Holy Family was put into exile down in enemy rival Egypt. And yet, while we are here on this earth we can help our national families, as it were. :-)
These scene is just outside our Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews, NC. Usually, stand alone statutes of Jesus’ good mom are standing, looking straight forward. But here we see her kneeling and looking down to her side as if she were – of course – looking at Baby Jesus in the crib. But no Jesus! That’s no fair!
Ah, but wait just one second. There He is. Just down the steep hill where she is looking. He’s now grown up, and gone through His Passion and Death and Resurrection. I love this. It points to the fact which all mothers know so very well: once a mother, always a mother. Here, she’s behind her Son, pushing Him to the fore. That would be right. :-)
If one is nice, then a gazillion are nice. We have a gazillion of the these outside the church. I recall the fury of someone who was so very upset with me, and mocking, incredulous, that I would put up flowers for the Immaculate Conception. But, I suppose that’s precisely why I do this: I am the most unlikely person in the world ever to give flowers to the Immaculate Conception, and perhaps that’s the person most appropriate to give flowers to Jesus’ good mom. That’s what makes it right.