Tag Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Fathers Day, edition)

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.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Jesus, The Artist, for His mom, edition)

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This was seen on the “Day Off”, as was this:

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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?! :-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mary Mother of the Church, edition)

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Earlier this week we celebrated Mary, Mother of the Church. Lots of flowers for Mary are blooming round about the Guadalupe Shrine at the parish.

In Genesis 3:16 the fallen wife of Adam receives her pedagogical punishment which is rendered also unto all women after her. She is told that her agony in bearing children will be increased greatly.

Just because Mary is free from original sin does not mean that she is free from this punishment. Just because the birth of Jesus was miraculous does not mean that she is from from this punishment.

Remember that Mary became our Mother under the cross where the labor pains for us were exceedingly great. She gave birth to Jesus, the Head of the Body of Christ, but she still had to give birth to us, the members of the Body of Christ. The first was joyful, the second was entirely devastating.

Because of her Immaculate Conception she was perfectly able to see our need because of our sin, and she was therefore able to intercede for us perfectly in her solidarity with her Divine Son.

Jesus stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us. Mary, Jesus’ good mom, was able to do the same. A flower for you, Mary.

pieta

 

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Lots of potential, edition)

This is… what?… I don’t know. The parishioner who planted it the back yard of the rectory said it was a… and then the sentence stopped. Anyone? It’s said it does have a flower of some kind, really tall. I don’t know. It’s been months…

People have often said to me: “Oh! You have so much potential! More than anyone I know!” What that means, of course, is that I haven’t diminished any of that potential by fulfilling the potential. In heaven we’ll have no potential because we will have fulfilled all our potential as it were, so to speak, right?

Our Lady was great at spotting people with really a super lot of potential, meaning, seeing those who really needed redemption and salvation and lots of guidance and correction. So, from me, with so very much potential, a potential flower for you, Mary!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Fiery Holy Spirit, edition)

The ardent, fiery love of the Holy Spirit is:

  • hellfire for those in hell, because they don’t want it…
  • purging for those in purgatory, because they are on their way…
  • the glory of God as witnessed by those in heaven, because God is love.

In Luke 1:28 we read – in Greek – that Mary was perfectly transformed and perfectly always remained in this love (κεχαριτωμένη), in this grace, in this ardent fiery love of the Holy Spirit from the first moment, in context, of when she was able to receive the vocation to which she was called from all eternity, that is, to be the immaculate, virgin, Mother of God. It means that she had no weaknesses consequent to original sin. It means that she had such purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of (spiritual) vision that she was actually able to be in solidarity with her Son as He laid down His life for us, interceding for us with Him with all motherly solicitude. The lack of all that which has do with sin ironically enabled Mary to see sin in all of its horror.

In Ephesians 1:6 Saint Paul uses the same verb, but in aorist, to describe how the rest of us, after we contracted all that which is consequent to original sin, with all the weaknesses, were transformed in the fiery love of the Holy Spirit, this grace as well (ἐχαρίτωσεν). We tend to blind ourselves to the horror of sin, struggling because of our weakness, struggling to cooperate with this grace, with this fiery love of the Holy Spirit. But it is the very weakness that we do notice which enables us to thank Jesus for having come into this world which we destroyed with sin so that He might stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

If we, in all of our ignorance, come to the point – by the fiery love of the Holy Spirit – come to the point of even momentarily noticing with humble thanksgiving even just a bit of the awesome and majestic glory of Jesus laying down His life for us, then… goodness gracious…  how much more was Immaculate Mary struck by that same fiery love as manifested by the Heart of Jesus:

On Pentecost the Holy Spirit introduces us to this fiery love of the Holy Spirit, fiercely:

So, a flower for you Mary. Oh, and a blast from the past or two. This one from Holy Souls Hermitage:

And this one from a priest in India:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (If you’re not quite getting it, edition)

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If you’re not quite getting why to give this flower to the Immaculate Conception, cover up all the orange, and just take note of the yellow in the middle. If you still don’t get it, there’s not much I can do for you, except to point this out:

jewish yellow star jude

It happened. How can people deny that? When pressed, it’s said that bad stuff happens all the time, so who cares, or it’s said that Stalin killed more than Hitler, so who cares, or it’s said that ___(_fill_in_the_blank_)___. Why not say the Holocaust was bad as were all other genocides? They’re all bad. And then go from there working so that genocides are stopped before they begin. That demands solidarity with the victims. Mary stood in solidarity with Jesus. They were both Jews. A flower for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (deadly naïveté, edition)

“Oh! That looks nice!” we say with deadly naïveté. This flower is deadly in its every part in every way.

Naïveté refuses to see reality. Naïveté is escapism. Naïveté is all about entitlement. Naïveté can be deadly.

There is no situational awareness with naïveté. There is no possibility of helping others with naïveté.

It is not the sinless who are subject to naïveté. Mary, immaculately conceived, was able to continue to avoid sin because she could see sin for what it is, because, in turn, she was well aware of The Standard of comparison, God, who is the living truth.

Because the Immaculate Conception, standing under the cross, was able to see all of our sin, all of our lack, all of our need, from Adam until the last man is conceived, she was also and therefore able, in her solidarity with Jesus, to intercede for us.

Sinless, immersed in the deadly hell of Calvary, Mary beheld the glory of God, of Jesus, laying down his life that we might live. Those subject to naïveté just say that Jesus looks like a sinner condemned to death on the Cross, and therefore, with the accusation being proof of guilt[!], He is therefore guilty. And those with naïveté go their merry way with murderous hearts, with self-centered souls.

The other one who is not subject to naïveté is Satan. He’s fully aware of what he does in his hatred of God, in his hatred of us because of God’s love for us.

Meanwhile, we struggle with naïveté, trying so desperately to hang on to it, as if naïveté provided us security. But with naïveté the darkness closes in, alone-ness locks one down, escape no longer seems possible. Much better to be lifted out of this quagmire by those much more adept at dealing with evil because of their sinlessness, Jesus and His good mom.

A certain neighbor to the hermitage, introducing a prayer for the volunteers at the soup kitchen, said that none of us has anything that we can truly call our own, not even our own bodies, which we will have to give back to God, telling Him what we did, perhaps trying to claim naïveté, which will instead be our condemnation. He added that even our sin, which is the only thing we have come up with, is claimed by Jesus on the Cross, He taking away our sin by forgiving us, having the right to do so by having stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, the One who is wise for those who subjected themselves to naïveté, ever so deadly naïveté, the naïveté that tortured Jesus, Mary’s Son, to death.

So, a flower for you Mary, a deadly flower, with no worries that it will hurt you, as you are not subject to naïveté. And because of that, you can, with continued innocence, behold all the beauty, taking it only for its proper use, not using it for which it’s not intended. Thanks for creating this flower too, Jesus. It helps us to open our eyes, to see what’s going on, not to afraid, but so that we might look to you.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Angels and pinheads, edition)

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Trifolium repens… Let’s see… translation… translation… Tripartite Attack!

So, just a stem, and then a gazillion little stems with flowers… The immediate question is: How many flowers can fit on the end of a stem? It’s like: How many angels can you place on a pinhead? There’s always room for one more. Since Mary is Queen of the Angels, the challenge is taken up: the result is the Tripartite Attack. But don’t be thrown off by the name, whatever angels do looks like an attack. All for you, Mary, they say.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (PSO Medal of Valor, edition)

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Among those receiving the Medal of Valor two were already no longer living in this world. It’s about doing what you should do. You do it, and it’s almost never recognized. No thanks. In fact, just the opposite. Many condemn you to hell for laying your life on the line… for them. Guaranteed: the contentedness in the face of the young man above isn’t about himself. Instead, this is about seeing things the way they should be, whereby the whole country is recognizing what is right, what is of all honesty and integrity. And that’s good. That’s very good.

I recall some priests from Columbia speaking of all the normal pastoral things that any priest gets into for the sake of his flock, and I stupidly said that they were doing so much. The immediate response of one just ordained priest was one of anger: “No! We’ve done NOTHING! None of us has been killed like so many of our priest-friends in Columbia. We’ve done NOTHING!

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Another guarantee: those who have been killed in the line of duty and are standing before the Lord to be judged on what they did in laying down their lives as the greatest act of love will instead stand aside and point to Jesus’ wounds, and then to Jesus’ good mom.

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It’s when we realize that even those of us who have laid down their lives as the greatest act of love have done NOTHING. The love, the generosity, the honesty and integrity and humility by which that is done is not our ours, but rather our Lord’s that we’re drawn into. Mary was always in solidarity with Him as He laid down His life for everyone, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus, in doing this, laid down the life of His mother for us as well. He died, and you gotta know, she was totally crushed for us. A flower for you, created by your Son, dearest mother Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mesmerizingly not twilight zone, ed.)

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People misunderstand why I like giving flowers to Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception. This particular flower can act as a kind of entrance way into the reality of it by way of the seemingly surreal, a kind of narnianesque or twilight-zone portal, but not into unreality, but to the fullness of life.

Take a look at the very center and keep staring at it. Notice the optical illusion trick that our Lord plays with geometry for you? God is ultimate mathematician. Better done than our meager efforts at optical illusions. It also has to do with six-sided shapes, making the bees feel right at home.

The gargantuan, monstrous backdrop of flowers for the Immaculate Conception is the dark chaos that we’ve made of this world with all the stomping on others, all the arrogant sin, having it over on someone else, in a word, great suffering all around. But whatever level of agonizing to which we’ve arrived – if we have allowed ourselves to notice any suffering amidst our escapism – it is Mary precisely because she is the Immaculate Conception, who has seen it all, taken in all in, who has made the entirety of the suffering of the world her own. When one sees, say, a flower, created by her dear Son, one rushes to give it to her. The two worlds – (1) hell on earth, (2) dearest mother Mary – go together because of her maternal love to be in solidarity with her Son.

After attending Handel’s Messiah done in its entirety with Saint Pope John Paul II in attendance, I mentioned to the Cardinal who invited me way back in the day that throughout the concert in the Paul VI Audience Hall I was thinking of Cité Soleil in Haiti, of the bishops and priests faithful to Rome being tortured in Chinese labor, reeducation and prison camps, of wars and refugees and the Holocaust, of forced prostitution and human trafficking, of… And he interrupted me saying that I should not, must not think of such things, but rather of the beauty of the music. But the entire production was precisely about such things and the glory of God walking with us through the hell so as to bring us to heaven. He was, of course, silenced. The glory of God is seen when Jesus breaths His last on the Cross, making the wounds still present at the Resurrection majestic.

I give flowers to Mary Immaculate because I have my face in all the hell, as much as I can take. And she’s seen it all. I run away. I wish I wasn’t so lacking in generosity. I wish I would stop trusting in myself. I wish I would stop wishing, thrust that trusting in myself aside, and fully trust in Jesus, Mary’s good Son. So, a flower for you, Mary. You saw all the hell in me, and you didn’t run away. You beheld my evil cast upon your Son on the Cross, and you interceded for me. A flower for you, Mary. Thank you.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Square root is the cure, edition)

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Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederaceae) has a visibly and – to the touch – a markedly SQUARE stem. This ivy is extremely common, found in North America and Europe and right through Southwest Asia, that is, including Israel.

If you pick a heap of it and stuff it tightly into a quart jar so that there’s pretty much zero air, and then fill up the jar with what vodka[!] you can pour into it right up to the brim, screwing on the cap tightly, and then turn it upside down and downside up day by day for at least six weeks, you’ll then have a very effective home cure for plenty of types of annoying and long term, even years-long coughs. And it’s surprisingly and happily effective beginning from the very first sip. This is the experience of many. It is NOT for women of child-bearing age as it is also an abortifacient. See the “Safety” section for the article on this plant in Wikipedia HERE.

The brothers and sisters of Jesus – using evidence from the Gospels – are absolutely not the blood children of Jesus’ virgin mother. Everything points to them being “throw-away” kids, “street” kids, homeless orphans whom the Holy Family took in upon return from their exile in Egypt after Jesus’ miraculous birth in Bethlehem. Surely they would come to the security and care of the Holy Family sick and miserable. Surely Mary would be able to provide them with home-remedies. Surely something to do with this herb was part of that home remedy in some way for those youngsters.

So, a flower for you, Mary. And we’re happy to be adopted also into the Holy Family.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (If I were Pope, edition)

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A comment came in on Sunday morning having it that I can go ahead and pray for Satanic anti-Pope Francis all I want, but that won’t make him into some kind of Pope since, it was said, he’s not Pope, and why don’t I go ahead and pray for the real Pope, Pope Benedict? I guess this guy doesn’t know my connection with the great Ratz.

The same guy in the same comment continued with a diatribe listing his complaints about Pope Francis. It was very clever, even humorous, citing “amoralis laetitia”, and it was ever so literary, using phrases like “…anyone passing familiar with…”

This is a young guy, and attorney. My dad was an attorney, one of the best, you know, Georgetown Law School, the whole bit. So, I’m thinking I should pity this guy, but then, minutes after that long rant, another comment, a taunting, baiting comment came in from him revealing the real motive for sede-vacantism. He said:

“Don’t wish to engage the issue, aye Padre?”

This is a smart guy. He knows priests are just a little bit busy on Sundays, especially one in a parish with only one priest. He knows I have zero time to “engage” with him on Sunday morning, and that’s the point, right? winning by attrition, killing the one you consider to be your opponent and declaring yourself victor? Is that “winning”? We should remember that Jesus was victor by being tortured to death by those who were convinced they were right while making sure there was no possibility of rebuttal. Or so they thought. Jesus rose from the dead. And Peter repented.

This priest was up before 3:00 AM, leaving for church soon after 5:30 AM for our Sunday morning Holy Hour of Adoration and Confessions at 6:00 AM. I then raced up across the mountain to another county in the parish for more Adoration and Confessions and then Mass (a 40 mile round trip) and then a “social”, and then racing back for more Confessions and another Mass and then, this past Sunday, a special Knights of Columbus Mothers Day “social” (at which a security team, by the way, was put together for the church from Catholics and those becoming Catholic!) and then, what? Oh yes! Then off to the Nursing Home/Rehab to bring Holy Communion, another 30 mile round trip. Then, having raced back in the evening to the rectory, time to feed Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog. Then, more dead than alive, crashing to sleep, worried that I haven’t yet engaged our sede-vacantist friend…

swiss guard fatimaAfter all this, I saw a YouTube on what the ideal Pope would be like. It was all about favorite niceness. It immediately struck me as being ever so insufficient and missing the point altogether.

It comes to mind, then, what I would do if I were Pope. I think I would go to Confession. Yes. That’s what I would do. For all the world to see (though not hear, out of respect for the Confessor to keep the Seal of Confession), you know, right out on the Loggia.

And then I would mention some of my lack to the world and say that the only thing I myself could bring to being Bishop of Rome, the only thing I have of myself, is sin, is a denial of Jesus, which, however, I would protest, as did Peter, that I don’t want to do that. I would ask for prayers. And then I would speak of being thankful to Jesus’ good mom for interceding for me – not for becoming Pope! – but rather that I might receive the mercy and forgiveness of her Divine Son, as did Peter after his denial of Jesus. That’s what’s important.

And then I would encourage others to go to Confession. And then I would place a flower at the feet of Jesus’ good mom. She would be up on the Loggia too. And then I would do the Urbi et Orbi and then I would ask everyone again to pray for me that I may not run away from the wolves, that I may not fall asleep in Gethsemane.

But I don’t think I would beg forgiveness for doing what I should do with Adoration and Confessions and Mass and taking care of the sick and dying and encouraging those who are in the process of converting.

Oh, I forgot. I’m probably not considered a real priest anyway. How could I be if I ask for prayers for any and every Pope regardless of whether they need prayers or not? If I asked for prayers for all Popes, surely I’m a Judas hypocrite.

The truth is that all popes need our prayers. We all need the prayers of each other. Is it such crime to pray for Pope Francis?

For the sede-vacantist guy, and for me, and for all of us, and for Pope Francis:

Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mothers Day Super-Abundant, ed.)

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Right on schedule for Mothers Day, the Guadalupe Super-Abundant rose bush is in blossom at the rectory. Lots of roses for Mary. So many buds. Ten here on just one little part of the bush, with one bursting open…

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Guadalupe involved flowers for Mary. Guadalupe was all about life. It’s Mothers Day.

Today the Knights of Columbus are putting on a magnificent brunch after the 11:00 AM Mass, handing out carnations to the ladies.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (that’s where she’s standing, edition)

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2019-05-09 · 11:08 am

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (On the tip of my tongue… edition)

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Jesus has created so very many flowers for the Immaculate Conception that it would about take an eternity to get to know them all, when, by that time, there would be rafts more to get to know, with a veritable infinite variety to give to Mary. As it should be. The name of this one is… um… um… it’s right on the tip of my tongue… there are so many… um… /// For you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (cultural dancing in pantaloons, ed.)

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These are the Showy Lady Slippers – by the hundreds – that come out during the month of Our Lady, Jesus’ good mom, up at the hermitage. These flowers appear to me to be “Old World” dancing figures in fancy cultural pantaloons.

I am also reminded that it has been said that the depiction of Mary on the Tilma of Juan Diego – Our Lady of Guadalupe – is that she is calmly, gently, participating in a dance of joy. You’ll see that her left knee is held out quite a bit. And she does have much joy, as she knows that the dreadful slaughter of untold numbers of people, especially children, as sacrifice to the gods of the day is about to come abruptly to an end.

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And then I recall – should I make brave enough to even mention this – my own Missionary of Mercy “dance” in the Paul VI Audience Hall over in Vatican City State:

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There is much in which to rejoice in mercy based on justice and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth. Yes. Yet, there have been Catholic pundits who have publicly condemned me for this celebration of Jesus. They may just want to remember that it is Jesus who brought us mercy based on justice and truth, and that that is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Perhaps one recalls in regard to these pundits the Saul’s daughter Michal and how she despised David’s dancing…

“David, girt with a linen apron [signifying his priesthood in the line of Melchizedek], came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David [priest in the line of Melchizedek that he was] offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings, he [as priest in the line of Melchizedek] blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. He then distributed among all the people, to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel, a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes. When David returned to bless his own family, Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!” But David replied to Michal: “I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD’S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD, but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteem, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored.” And so Saul’s daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:14-23)

That passage is about the Lord and His covenant. It is about the Ark, a symbol of the very mother of God, of course. David’s dancing is a foreshadowing of the Woman clothed with the Sun, who hold’s within her womb the promised Messiah, the King of kings and Prince of the Most Profound Peace.

So, yes. A flower for the Immaculate Conception.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (So, if Jesus continues…, edition)

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These “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception” put up on this blog are a recognition that the Word of the Father, now Incarnate, Jesus – through whom everything was created – continues to create flowers that they might be given, as it were, by the likes of any of us, to His good mom.

Now, if Jesus, who walked this earth with His good mom, is still creating such creatures to this end, then it is incumbent upon us to follow up in what way we can.

But if such life, in this way or that, with the Holy Family continues while we are still upon this earth, despite all the darkness and error and sin, that means that we are not to lose hope. We might want to point out this or that horrific example of unfaithfulness and how much souls are being hurt right around the world. We might want to point out the great apostasy that is happening. Do take note of all that. And pray. Why?

You may want to remember a few things. When Jesus walked this earth He was nailed to the cross. Think about that for a moment. Stripped. Tortured. Crucified. Meanwhile He was betrayed by an Apostle. And then He was denied by the one to whom He gave the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Keys of Binding and Loosing. And all the others ran away. Do we try to top that: “But so and so did this! But so and so did that!” Really? Does that shake your faith?

Does it shake your faith in yourself to then hear from the very Son of the Living God, risen from the dead, bearing the wounds upon Himself: “Be not afraid!”

I should hope that that shakes faith in ourselves so that we can just believe in Jesus.

By the way, He creates flowers for us to give to His good mom. She saw it all. So, yes, I think Jesus has a good idea with the flowers thing. Very sweet. Necessary, I think.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Just when you least expect it, edition)

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Just when there is corruption and destruction all around, death… there is life. There might be some scars of ravenous wolves, of getting burned and betrayed (see picture above), but life goes on. And that life is of God. And that life is beautiful, in which we can, by the grace of God, rejoice.

Now, draw the analogy. Just when all say that all is lost in the Church, what with ravenous wolves, betrayal, the sacraments still go on. Jesus Himself is with us. The more darkness and violence, the more enthusiastic is the greeting of the Risen Son of the Living God (still bearing the wounds): “Be not afraid!”

That’s Mary’s Son. A flower for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The very flames of hell, edition)

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Rhododendron calendulaceum or Flaming Azalea is native to these mountains in WNC. This one is next to the Samuel the Angry Donkey pasture some miles down the mountain from the hermitage. A “snitty” florest on the internet calls it “Satan,” as if Satan has rights over anything to do with flames. No.

God is love, and God’s love which we witness with Jesus is ardent. We poetically speak of the ardent flames of love. The Scriptures speak of the flames issuing from the majestic throne of God. Those flames are symbolic of God’s love. God’s love does not itself change for the recipient. It is the receiver whose changing capacity to take in God’s love which put’s a limit or less so on God’s love.

  • In heaven all receive fully of God’s love and rejoice in those ardent flames of love.
  • In purgatory those very same flames of love, so to speak, instruct those preparing for heaven, purging them of their lack of thanksgiving, and in this they also rejoice as they know they are on their way and are progressively more capable of thanking the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. They are learning, but, mind you, they are also holy, as they are in the state, as we say, of sanctifying grace.
  • In hell all are also provided with the ardent love of God, but they, fallen angels and damned souls, have chosen to have no capacity to take in that ardent love. They perceive that love as punishing flames, writhing in spiritual and intellectual frustration even while choosing to be that way.

How to say it? God’s love is God’s love.

But what about Mary, the Immaculate Conception? She was free of any need for purging so she knows nothing of our weakness and anguish and struggles, right? So, she can’t actually be a good mother to us, right? Wrong.

It’s because of her purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of spiritual vision that she saw exactly our need in all it’s horror, much more than we could even begin to know, and at the same time she was in solidarity with her Divine Son in His mission to redeem us, and, if we so choose to cooperate with His grace, to save us. Mary knew all about the ardent flames of God’s love from the perspective of those on earth, those in purgatory, and, analogously, as one fully in grace that is to turn to glory, as Saint Paul says.

So, whatever it’s called, a fiery flower for you, Mary, Jesus’ good mom.

shepherd boy

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Don’t pick those yet! edition)

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If you look carefully, these “buds” are full of ants (even a ladybug). If you were to pick these at this point, shake the beasts off, and put them in water, they would never open up. No blossoms. The reason is that some cooperation is necessary from the beasts to munch on the outside.

The analogy suggested, of course, regards priests being ants… When’s the last time you’ve been to Confession? Mary would just bring us to her Son, who, having dealt with us, would then give us back to His good mom. ;-)

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Filed under Confession, Flores