Tag Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (TLM in this parish? Weeping, because they are no more, edition)

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered in accordance with the 1962 Missale Romanum has not been available for some time in my parish. And, to my knowledge, references to any TLM in this parish have been removed from any internet sites providing logistics regarding the same. I deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause to any of Christ’s faithful. Nos cum prole pia, benedicat Virgo Maria.

Although I am nothing and nobody, a simple parish priest in an extremely remote parish which is most probably the smallest parish in North America if not the world, and this in a Church of – what? – 1.3 billion souls, there seems to be a rather anomalous and most intense and particular interest coming from the Cardinal Archbishop Prefect of the Dicastery of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Roman Curia, not to mention also coming from the Archbishop who is Apostolic Nuncio to these United States of America in Washington, D.C. Whatever. See the paragraph above.

And, yes, those are flowers for Mary Immaculate that you’ll see in the extreme lower-left of the picture up top. For you, Mary. That picture, from another life, long ago – which very-longtime readers will recognize – is not also a prophesy, at least that’s not what’s intended! I love my parish. I love being a priest.

Comments will be held in moderation.

© 2023 Fr George David Byers


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Years of Masses as Italians say, edition)

In other words, Jesus suffered terribly for this wretched sinner to keep me as His priest. If any way I’ve ever gotten myself out of the way to clear a way for His Priesthood, that’s all His grace. Non sum dignus. This has all taken really of lot of intervention with Jesus by Mary Immaculate. Flowers for you, Mary. Non sum dignus.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (seasons, edition)

Before the artic blast that going on this week, mid-October, the tomatoes got harvested, green or not. They can ripen inside just fine. If left on the vine during repeated hard freezes they would just get destroyed on the vine, right? Lots of tomatoes go to my favorite hospice patient at home. Everyone there loves tomatoes.

Meanwhile, changing seasons in the weather, in just getting older, with my guardian angel trying to bring me to the next step in the spiritual life…

Meanwhile, some currents running deep have been otherwise going on within me, and, as you may have noticed, a step away from the blog to get a breather has been accomplished, doing me lots of good.

There’s been plenty of bonfires in the backyard, mountains of things thrown out, the floor throughout the rectory found and swept and mopped[!].

The upshot of all this is that I’m getting slowly psyched up to the popular version the thesis. I know this has been years, and it’ll still take quite a bit of time just to get arranged, but all this is necessary.

Meanwhile, racing about for things like Communion Calls and Last Rites. Yesterday, three of the latter on the epic “Day Off,” with some hundreds of miles. I love being a priest.


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Repent you Hunters of The Snark. Jesus is the Snark. So is Mary Immaculate. So snarky.

  • τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν – He who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In Saint Paul’s shorthand speech, Jesus became sin for us. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil! But Jesus stood in our place, Innocent for the guilty, so that He could have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. And Mary Immaculate stood in perfect solidarity with Jesus. Mary became sin for us with Jesus. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil. But I say that this is Mary Immaculate’s glory. To those who cannot bear such reality, I say, grow up and see the suffering, witness Mary’s maternal intercession, the sword of sorrow piercing her soul that our thoughts may be laid bare. Grow up and lay aside all cowardice. Rejoice that we have such a good Mother, such a Holy Redeemer in her Son.

Rumors fly as they do, even across oceans do they fly. It seems that I have been denounced to the highest of ecclesiastical tribunals in an attempt to destroy my priesthood. It seems that I am a blasphemer when it comes to praising the perfect condescension of Jesus and His dearest Mother, that κατάβασις (katabasis = going down) of mercy founded on justice. It seems that I have been labeled as a blasphemer. Will I be put under some kind of interdict, suspended in some way, perhaps dismissed from the clerical state, or – hey! – even excommunicated?

Long time readers may remember when a top canonist of the Roman Rota, a friend, wrote up an interdict against me on behalf of co-conspirators at the Pontifical Seminary at which I was teaching and at which I was very active on the formation team for both philosophers and theologians. But that was humor.


My crime then was to be chaplain for the philosophers and not the theologians in the 2010 Mud Bowl extravaganza.

But the present denunciation against me is deadly serious, enough to rip me out of the priesthood.

What’s the kerfuffle about, really? Surely it’s about my praise of Jesus and Mary. But I am also a thorn in the side of some members of the Church for a number of reasons. Any and all of these, take your pick:

  • I think the Traditional Latin Mass is a valid and licit expression of the Roman Rite
  • I think the Hegelian-Rahnerian methodology of the Synod on Synodality is itself heretical
  • I think the encouragement of same-sex unchastity and any unchastity leads souls to hell
  • I think that the idol worship of demon idols such as Pachamama (Francis) or Nian (Cupich) or Ganesh (spreading in India with impunity) et alii is a direct violation of the first Commandment
  • I think Sacred Tradition is univocal and provided supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to each sanctified soul and is not passed on by hand, but only quasi per manus, almost as if by hand (Trent). Sacred Tradition is not a tree or the roots of a tree, dynamic, growing. No. Tradition is absolute. Truth is absolute. God is Truth. God is absolute. Sacred Tradition is not something dictated by freakoids in the Roman Curia, not even by the Pope, not even in ex-Cathedra pronouncements. No. Sacred Tradition (traditiones) is the living faith provided in sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. Idiot human beings don’t do that. Infallibility is not equal to Sacred Tradition.
  • I think contraception, abortifacients, procured abortion, infanticide, euthanasia are all intrinsically dishonest, and, as with Ad tuendam fidem, with Ratzinger and JPII, I hold these to be definitive, infallible teachings of the ordinary magisterium of the Church.
  • I think murdering babies in the womb for research, development, testing of “vaccines” is the utilitarian murder of the least of the brethren, of Jesus.
  • I think that the money laundering and, therefore, the consequent financing of international terrorism is directly opposed to the mission of the Church. I agree with Jesus: you cannot serve God and mammon. I am working to bring the criminals down, hard.
  • I am Catholic and love being a priest of Jesus Christ and a son of Mary, Mother of priests. I know she suffered a hell of a lot for me, and I thank her for that and I praise her for that. That’s the problem.

My being denounced came about just days before my surgery, and, now starting my recovery, this is my new distraction. It’s about the wonderful statue of Mary with infant Jesus that is making its way to all of the parishes of the diocese.

I mean, that face of Mary. She sees the problems at hand. Finally, someone does. Great! And Jesus entirely exudes confidence that whatever it is she wants in her maternal solicitude for us, she’s going to get it.

But here’s what I said in the original post which I took down so that I would have to time to put up this response before being smacked down hard, it being that I was busy getting cut wide open and am now recovering. This is what was so very offensive:

  • “This is the Pilgrim Virgin Mary of Charlotte Diocese making her way throughout the parishes during the 50th anniversary of this relatively young diocese. She’s now at Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC. Another priest gave her the title: “Our Lady Most Patient with Father Byers.” Hmmm. I think I like “Our Lady Most Snarky” better. Whatever it is that she’s plotting, it’s Jesus who will make it happen. Totally.”

Our Lady is most patient with yours truly, but her patience extends to many more souls than just myself. This is why I mentioned the snarkiness of her expression, you know, like she’s plotting something, of course for our good, and Jesus will make it happen.

I’m guessing the problem people had, why they think I’m a blasphemer, is my usage of the word snarky.

Sigh… You try to speak in the now enculturated language of fairy tales, on the level of little children, and this is what you get. Gunned down. So, fine. Some explanations are in order.

It all starts with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) penned in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Lewis was a devout lifelong stratospherically high-church Anglican, a believer. His protagonist, Alice, is the original one to “go down the rabbit hole”. She meets up with all sorts of allegorical, anthropomorphic creatures, human adults if truth be known, who express their opinions (also by way of the manner in which they live) about the philosophies and political idiocies of the day. Alice struggles to stay herself even as she meets up with adults who have become all too self-absorbed in the myriad ways fallen human nature goes about this in unrepeatable circumstances.

Then, eleven years later, in 1876, Carroll writes The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits. This is about a bunch of seasoned guys from all types of professions who get together to traverse the waves to an island where their hunting of the Snark might well be successful. The chapters of poetic verse are called fits appropriately enough. The Snark isn’t much described other than that it is seems to be a dark figure, mysterious in a most sinister sort of way.

While they hunt, it seems that a Snark is spotted, and one of the crew dies in his attempt to get close. He had seen the Snark falling from the heights. The crew member dies a most calm and peaceful death. He simply disappears. All gone. The end.

People asked Carroll who or what the Snark is, and he would never let on. Well, to me, sorry, but this is obvious, and if you have to be told you won’t understand it anyway, but I will tell you, since it is too painful for this mystery to go on. Fallen society has made it quite impossible to crack the mystery today.

The Snark, par excellence, is Jesus Christ, and, of course, His blessed Mother with Him. Yes, the monstrous Snark, so evil in every way, in fact, a projection, in our perception, of the evil within ourselves, which we try to kill, pretending to be our own saviors. We spend our lives doing this, going inside ourselves, travelling the world, hunting, hunting, hunting the dreadful Snark, Jesus Christ, who takes upon Himself all the punishment of our sin – He was made sin for us – and we mock Him as the criminal, the One who enslaved all in sin from Adam until the last man is conceived. And when we finally meet up with Him, like that crew member who dies, He falls from the heights to the depths, and it is there, far below the Cross, that we behold His Mother looking upon us, and we understand: He is God and she is His Mother. Both bloodied, both looking like criminals, monstrous. But then we understand a smidgeon of such love.

We die to ourselves and we ourselves gently just disappear as Snark hunters. We take our place with Mary and John and are now also in solidarity with Jesus. In our own way, we become just a little bit of The Snark. But Jesus and Mary are the epitome of being the Snark. Only they can bear the weight of all our darkness, all our sin which we project unto them. They are so good to us, so kind.

As a clincher, I should mention that the epic poem, The Hunting of the Snark, was published far and wide with multiple printings, all by itself. But that was not at all the case when this poem on The Snark was to be given to children, specifically “to those who love Alice” (of Alice in Wonderland fame). When The Hunting of the Snark was given “to those who love Alice” those children were also given a lengthy Easter Greeting also penned by Lewis Carroll. It was all about the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who triumphed over sin and evil, He having forgiven us our sin wrought in all our idiocy.

People dismiss Carroll’s writings as mere fantastical nonsense literature. That is because they don’t see the irony, the humor which Chesterton would later say is so necessary for Christianity itself. Irony is not nonsense. It is essential to life and breath. Irony is our hope. It is justice and mercy meeting upon the Cross. It is Christ being made to be sin. And Mary with Him. It slams us to our knees.

I believe that Lewis Carroll opened the floodgates of this kind of literature for those to come, say, C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, or J.R.R. Tolkien and his works on Hobbits and Rings and Middle Earth. I say the same for the more outlandishly wonderful works of G.K. Chesterton such as The Ball and the Cross. But most of all, most of all, it is the summary of irony by Hilaire Belloc which most rings absolutely true with The Hunting of the Snark. You are reading about Jesus Christ on the Cross:

“To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.” [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

/// That last bit about no man possessing irony and using it ever living happily? Yep. But mere happiness is one thing. Joy is another, in the Holy Spirit. It would be a great privilege to be penalized even by Holy Mother Church because of thanking Jesus and Mary for their sufferings for us. But my priesthood? That can never be taken away. It is a sacrament lasting forever. I have no fear. The Great Snark, and the Mother of snarky priests watch over me, having me die to my wretched self, but living for them.

The denouncement of blasphemy against me is so dark that I have to do this:

And if I’ve been beating down the wolves in this post, it is only so that they will turn into the sheep of the Lord’s Little Flock. It would be a joy to go to heaven together. Amen.


Filed under Flores, Irony, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (grace unto glory, edition)

The picture above is out front of the rectory. That’s Jasmine, which most often has five petals, or even six. Almost exclusively the Jasmine out front next to our Lady has four petals, little white crosses. Mary stood next to the Cross in solidarity with Jesus. Mary is the Immaculate Conception.

Meanwhile, underneath those particular Jasmine, is Brakeman, which a master welder friend made and later gave to me. Here’s a previous picture:

As you can see, he’s made out of parts of brakes. His nickname is Adam, who put on the brakes for mankind with his original sin, darkening himself, attempting to hide from God. And if you think he looks quite monstrous, well, we have no idea how awful sin is, how much it destroys us.

Corrupt Catholic priest Father Martin Luther, of Reformation Rebellion fame infamy, held that Redemption wrought by Christ Jesus does not redeem us, but merely covers over our corruption in sin like a blanket of snow over a heap of manure, for eternity, so that, he says, God the Father is pleased to see us because God the Father is tricked into thinking that the glistening snow He sees, Christ’s grace, is really how we are, though we are not. We are manure and we remain manure in heretic Martin Luther’s view.

Meanwhile, the truth of our Redemption in Christ Jesus is that we are made to be members of the Body of Christ, and Christ Jesus is not a heap of manure. Jesus provides that we are drawn to Him in sanctifying grace, and we are, indeed, sanctified, becoming tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. In this world, we still bear the weaknesses consequent to original sin, weakness of mind and will, emotions all over the place, sickness and death, suffering the violence of others. But all those things will fall away upon our entrance, please God, into heaven. We must have hope! Martin Luther purposed his hopelessness to insult our Redemption in Jesus and to mock God the Father.

What’s the real analogy of that picture of Jasmine up top? It’s that although we, the sons and daughters of Adam, are so weak, we nevertheless have hope, for Christ’s grace does sanctify us, and we can, in humble thanksgiving, make brave and, say, as the littlest of children, give flowers to Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Rejoicing to honor Jesus’ mom, ed.)

Sprucing up the shrine in honor of our Lady of Guadalupe continues.

Meanwhile, back at the driveway garden…

There are boulders heading up the driveway garden which need to be cemented together for safety’s sake, and to provide a proper platform. I’d like to move the statue of the Immaculate Conception from the front steps to there, providing greater visibility.

I wonder if there are year-round flowering bushes (not too large, say, a few feet tall) which could be planted as a backdrop. Any ideas?

It just strikes me that if there is such enthusiasm in this dark world to honor Jesus’ good mom, what will it be like in heaven to, say, plot with Jesus an occasion to honor His good mom.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou, edition)

This is a re-posting of what I had written in seems in another life very many years ago while in Lourdes, France, as a “permanent chaplain” of the Sanctuaries for a couple of years. I must admit to being rather distracted, time and again, by the exclamatory words of the Immaculate Conception — now highlighted in raised gold lettering under the statue of the grotto —  which are usually translated as “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Going down from the Chaplain’s house on the “zig-zag path” to the grotto to offer Holy Mass followed by adoration (from 11:00 PM until midnight, my favorite time in Lourdes), or passing by the grotto on my way to the Rosary or Eucharistic Processions, or to hear Confessions in the morning and afternoon, I would stare hard at these words. I knew I just had to hunt down some of the rapidly diminishing in number local Bigourdan speakers. You probably can’t tell it from my blog posts, but I’m a bit of a grammar, syntax and literary analyst academic freakoid, and these words just bothered me to no end. Sorry. I think I was born this way. Be forewarned, we’re heading into extreme analytics here…

I went Bigourdan-speaker hunting and spoke with an elderly, retired gentleman who, though not knowing anything about grammar or spelling, was quite certain of the following, for he has lived the language. If I remember rightly, he was the legendary head sacristan who retired just days after my speaking with him.

The “què” [yes, with the grave accent, impossible in French], he said, has nothing to do with the French subjunctive. It means “je” in French (or “I” in English). I’m sure he’s correct, though I bet this derived from the subjunctive as a cultural oddity, which speaks to the humility of the locals, not wanting to put themselves forcefully forward, but always using the subjunctive for themselves.

Anyway, the “soy” is “suis” in French (or “am” in English).

“Immaculada Councepciou” is clearly “Immaculée Conception” in French (or “Immaculate Conception” in English).

The “éra” [yes, with the accute accent], he continued, is not part of a compound verb (perhaps giving us something like a presently continuing situation of a past event [and wouldn’t that be interesting?]) but is rather what he called a definite article, as in “la” = ” l’ ” in French (or “the” in English). But then he backtracked and said that, in reality, “era” is the Bigourdan way of saying “elle” in French (or “she” in English), giving us something exclamatory like: “I am she: Immaculate Conception!” Wow… I can’t imagine that being said except with much joy. No wonder Bernadette ran, ran, ran to the parish priest, repeating what our Lady had said the entire way.

But then this elderly gentleman got complicated on me, saying that, in his opinion, it is not written the right way, that “Què soy éra Immaculada councepciou” is unacceptably too proper. The “éra”, he says, would be contracted into “Immaculada”, giving us this: “Què soy érimaculada councepciou”. So, not an exclamation. The pronoun was simply used over time as a definite article: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

But then, why was the phrase written the way it was written, especially if this is so unacceptable? Did the parish priest try to clean up the language a little bit, falling into a linguistic error himself? No. I doubt that. I mean, when the words ‘Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou’ were put up, wouldn’t all the locals who knew how to read know exactly what the words meant? And wouldn’t they have realized that there was a mistake if there indeed was one?

So, back to the exclamation: “I am she: Immaculate Conception!”

I should be satisfied with that, I suppose. But the accent in “éra” bothers me. The opening deadened “e” in the French “elle” would hardly develop into “é”, even if the double “ll” easily turned into an “r”. A self-proclaimed expert said that this could be a past tense verb of some kind, but that surely it was just a definite article. Given the difficulties with the “unacceptable” nature of the “éra” standing on its own, I’m guessing that it is some kind of past tense verb, giving us presently continuing action begun in the past. This would be the perfect rendition of the Greek perfect in Luke’s Gospel, where the angel says, “Rejoice, O you who stand transformed in grace” (in context, from the first moment of her vocation to be the Mother of God, from the first moment of her conception). Now, wouldn’t that be wonderful? This would be a gentle push for the Church at that time (1858) to look more closely at the Gospel, and this just a short time after the very correct definition that Mary was immaculately conceived (1854). The doctrine of Sacred Tradition is not only reflected in the Sacred Scriptures, but it is in the Sacred Scriptures themselves (not only in Luke 1,28, but also in Genesis 2,4–3,24). Mary was not only immaculately conceived, but she is still perfectly what she was when she was just conceived, to wit, the Immaculate Conception. Wonderful.

While in Lourdes, I kept asking Bigourdan speakers about the “éra”. While they admit that Bigourdan is way closer to Italian than it is to Spanish, and while they admit that however much French there is in this dialect, there really is quite a bit of Italian influence, some are adament that this is a definite article, or, at least, something along the lines of “She is”, giving us “I am she is… Immaculate Conception.” More smoothly: “I am she: Immaculate Conception.” So, does that solve the mystery? Perhaps the “definite article” did not have to be in a contracted form at that time. Moreover, the continuing action begun in the past is perfectly rendered here: “I am” is present tense, while “Immaculate Conception” hails to the time of her conception. Again, that perfectly reflects what’s happening in Luke 1,28, where we read of Mary perfectly continuing to be perfectly transformed in grace from the first instant she could begin to live her vocation to be the Mother of God, that is, at her conception, her Immaculate Conception!

How very humble of Mary. Instead of pointing to her being the Mother of God, she instead emphasizes the glory of being the Mother of God, which is doing the will of God, which she did perfectly, by the way, at the time of her being immaculately conceived. She was always, from the first instant, utterly transformed in grace, just as she is today as Queen of heaven and earth, angels and men, the Virgin Mother of God assumed soul and body into heaven. It is God’s life within us that counts the most, doing God’s will.

A great young priest, now dying (prayers for him please!!!) had written to tell me that he was offering the Emergency Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception for me, but with some changes. He said that before and after this chaplet, on the three beads one finds by themselves at the beginning of any rosary, he added the words three times each: “Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou!” He called these statements “prayers”… This young priest is very close to Saint Bernadette. I got to thinking about that repetition of those words, and Bernadette’s breathless run came to mind, from the grotto to her parish priest up the steep hill, way up in town, incessantly repeating these words, “Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou!” Imagine what the parish priest would have thought with such a child, totally out of breath, utterly uneducated, stammering on his doorstep: “I am she: Immaculate Conception! I am she! Immaculate Conception! I am she! Immaculate Conception!” …. and only after barely catching her breath explaining that this was the name of the lady she had seen in the grotto. To repeat those words with the innocence of a little child, with such enthusiasm, yes, this also is a prayer, not as if in the first person singular, but as in being in awe before the great mystery of the Lord’s goodness and kindness and truth.

Oh, and about that flower for the Immaculate Conception. It’s the “Morris Rose” today.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Gematria? Numerology? edition)

This just sprouted in the Holy Family Garden just outside Holy Redeemer parish church.

So, let’s see:

  • The six petals of the lily refer to the imperfection, the one-less-than-perfection, the time of expectation of the advent of the Messiah.
  • The seventh fulfillment of the six, the perfection, the exploding bit in the middle, that would be the Suffering Servant written of by Isaiah but prophesied back in Genesis 3:15. He is Himself perfection Incarnate, the personal arrival of the fulfillment, the “seven,” if you will.
  • But with this lily we also see a symbol for the Most Holy Trinity, that triangle in blood, as it were.

I know nothing of gematria, nothing of numerology. But there are things which jump out in the Scriptures, with three, with six and seven, with forty…

When I was analyzing Genesis 2:4a–3:24, I noticed that the whole thing was like an extremely tightly scripted equation which, if anyone took it seriously, would bring about the correct interpretation of the passage, forcing, if you will, the correct interpretation of the passage.

But, that’s the zinger, taking the inspired words of the word of God, all about the eternal Word of God, now Incarnate, seriously. Jesus takes us deadly seriously. He want’s that we take Him deadly seriously.

Immaculate Mary always took her Son deadly seriously. Can we accompany her accompanying Jesus under the Cross. A flower for you, Mary. Can you help us with that, Jesus?

We might not have the brain band-width for gematria or numerology – I don’t anyway – but what we can all do is, say, give a flower to the immaculate conception. That’s not difficult to figure out. She’s Jesus’ good mom, and she, to repeat, took us deadly seriously. The least we can do is give her a flower.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Cure-all plantago lanceolata, ed.)

This is a wasteland plant, I guess, but a cure-all. The seed-boxes out on the front steps won’t grow anything. People have donated flowers. I’ve planted I think five different things. Pretty much all dead or severely ailing. Meanwhile, this lonely plantago lanceolata volunteered, showing everyone how it’s done. When you need a flower for the Immaculate Conception, this will do the job. “Lanceolata” refers to a spear. Mary knows all about that, standing next to Jesus on the Cross when He was pierced through by soldiers spear on Calvary. A lanceolata for you, Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (purpled majesty, edition)

Today’s another First Saturday. We have on-going First Saturdays up in the parish church. Mass at 9:00 AM, which has an opportunity for going to Holy Communion, of course. There’s preaching for a good 15 minutes by which to accompany Mary, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. Today will be all about the Visitation, which is the liturgical feast day in the TLM calendar. We also have a recitation of the Rosary and Confessions.

The flowers in this post were picked the other week at the friend’s house, you know, the one of altar rail and church sign, and bacon fame. I put up these all-purple flowers for Mary because of the royal significance. Purple dye back in the day was so very rare and so very expensive that it was reserved for kings. But Mary carried the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace in her womb, just a few cells in size, as she visited her cousin Elizabeth, both she and John in her womb being sanctified by the Holy Spirit upon Mary’s greeting, Jesus with her.

Pius XII in his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi exclaimed with great enthusiasm:

  • “Now the only-begotten Son of God embraced us in His infinite knowledge and undying love even before the world began. And that He might give a visible and exceedingly beautiful expression to this love, He assumed our nature in hypostatic union: hence – as Maximus of Turin with a certain unaffected simplicity remarks – “in Christ our own flesh loves us.” But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condescension of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity! In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself.

That’s true majesty. It’s good for us to take that in as we continue to celebrate the reversal of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court. After all, Jesus said, what you’ve done to the least of these you’ve done to me.

You knew the whole drama of this visitation of God-with-us to get us out of this hell and off to heaven, Mary. Majestic flowers for you.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Blood spattered, Yikes! edition)

I’ll give all the credit for that flower for the Immaculate Conception to a good friend. That flower witnessed the event some feet away from his workshop and was likely spattered with blood as he sped by, racing back to his house, blood spurting from his hand.

He had been doing up some super-tricky table saw work for a new system for hanging up the church signs up at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Robbinsville. Yikes!

He had also been sprucing up those signs with some new paint, metallic gold for the cross, chrome paint for “Prince of Peace”, bright white for “Catholic Church,” a brighter Mary-blue for the main field, with the addition of some unexpected drops of red here and there.

He said to wait until Friday, yesterday, to pick them up. That’s not my usual epic Day Off to accomplish such trips, as there is Noon Mass, with yesterday also being the 1st Class Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, which is extra appropriate in this case, and then 7:00 PM Adoration.

The hundreds of miles round trip began at 6:00 AM, with a successful return just 15 minutes before Holy Mass began. Thanks, guardian angels.

July 4th weekend traffic was crazy fast!!!!!!!!!! even early morning Friday on the Smoky Mountain Expressway, like I’ve never seen before, and then on 26 south of Asheville, and then 280 below that continuation of the New Madrid fault mountain chain. There were plenty of police pulling people over, blue lights everywhere. No one cared. Be careful out there this weekend.

July 4th weekend traffic was crazy sloooooooooooow going through the Nantahala gorge, as the kayakers were out in force, as expected. That’s the occasional price to pay for one’s parish including some of the most beautiful and most visited National Park in the country (at least checking stats many years ago). They all have a mantra: “Let’s travel waaaaaaaaaaaaaay under the speed limit to take in the beauty!” I get that. It’s all good. But the locals ride the bumpers of the gawkers. Be careful out there this weekend.

After Holy Mass in Andrews, I ran the (church) signs up across the mountain to Robbinsville. I was just able to get them out of Tessie the Toyota and under the overhang before thunderous downpours. There they sit, waiting to be put up, which is a little bit tricky, due to the new attachment system that our newly bandaged friend worked on.

It was the side of one finger. He’s not complaining. He’s pretty tough. Meanwhile, much of our conversation is about SCOTUS decisions, the reversal of Roe v Wade, the EPA decision, the 2nd Amendment decisions, both the one about the constitutional right to carry and the one kicking the ATF in the face about their chevron idiocy. Meanwhile, the flower for the Immaculate Conception is holding up. It’s a new twist on the saying of the Fathers of the Church waaaay back in the day, that the blood of martyrs waters the garden of faith, or words to that effect. :-)

By the way, this is the same friend who planned out, created (lathing and everything) and installed our beautiful altar rails the other year. How about a Hail Mary for his efforts? Hail Mary…


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Veggies, bees and beasts, edition)

This is the very first bumble honey bee I’ve seen this entire year. And it’s weighed down with pollen, finally taking care of the tomato flowers. There’s been a zillion flowers, but with no bees, there are very few tomatoes that develop, mostly because of the work of one or two of what I call tomato wasps. Here’s the result of their work, the third harvested so far this year:

I couldn’t get a picture of a bee actively busy with the October Bean flowers below. With these, the bees and hummingbirds can entrench in mortal combat. Quite the entertainment.

Right now, the October Beans have run out of fence, itself starting about 1 or 2 feet off the ground, and are reaching high up into the sky, a good six feet higher than the string beans, which themselves are a bushy two feet high.

I’m thinking that that’s no bumble bee, but rather an Italian version of the honey bee. They must have heard my complaint about there being no bees around, as they were here in great numbers this morning all over the string beans and squarrrsh:

Meanwhile: sqarrrsh:

Here’s one with a bee:

So far, here’s one of many of the results so far:

Another bee:

Oops! That’s a cicada. I was wondering what that hole in the ground, very deep, was all about.

Anyone else with a prepper garden? Or just a garden?

Either way, it’s good for the soul, and delicious.

And it’s a chance to say Hail Marys for the souls in purgatory.

A flower for you, Mary: Hail Mary…


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (second breakfast before Mordor, ed.)

So, there I was, watering the fiery day lilies, flowers for the Immaculate Conception. All was well. Three Hail Marys for the souls in purgatory…

Boom! A rabbit sprang out of the foliage and chased about in circles, then sprinted to the back of the house. Surely it’s a minion from Mordor, eating flowers for the Immaculate Conception with impunity. Surely, thought I, that rabbit would make for a good second breakfast before Mordor happens upon us.

And surely our Lady had her head on a swivel, looking for any second breakfast for Joseph and little Jesus while down in Egypt, living in exile in the midst of enemy Mordor back in the day. You never know where your next meal is coming from. Don’t ignore the second breakfast that comes your way, like I just did.

But, silly me. I ignored this chance at a second breakfast and continued my Hail Marys for the souls in purgatory, now getting to the far side of the house, watering the tomatoes.

Finally, at the back of the house, next to the asparagus patch, I saw it, Shadow-dog showing me how to do up a second breakfast without hesitation.

Um… Are they really looking at each other there? … … … Just one crunch and a gulp. Good daaawg!!! Shadow-dog is a bastion of defense over against any minions of Mordor eating flowers for the Immaculate Conception. The way I look at it, one for him, one for me. I can fire up the rocket stove easy. As for Shadow-dog’s own reaction to this easy second breakfast he had to get himself, reprimanding me:

  • “I didn’t share any of this with you, Father George. After all, you forgot my second breakfast this morning, didn’t you? I mean, you do know about second breakfasts, don’t you? You’ll regret not having a second breakfast when Mordor arrives in full force. There’s no time to wait.”

A Hail Mary for the conversion of the other minions of Mordor still in this world who are now on the attack against those who cherish life from natural conception to natural death. Hail Mary… And another Hail Mary for the protection of good souls in this world. And another Hail Mary for the souls in purgatory, who will especially pray for those who pray for them!


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (random thoughts on Mary’s Assumption, ed.)

Those are Mountain Laurel above, which I picked, so to speak, for Mary Immaculate on the way home from the Day Off yesterday. Hours later I got a text asking about the Assumption of Mary. As I just did for the virginity of Mary – Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (random notes on virginity, edition) – here are some random thoughts as fast as I can type.

  • The phrase The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Soul and Body into Heaven does not appear in the Sacred Scriptures just like that. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. Thus, the phrase The Most Holy Trinity doesn’t appear in the Sacred Scriptures just like that. But we do read about the Creator, about YHWH Elohim and about the Holy Spirit throughout the Old Testament, and then, very specifically, in the New Testament, the Jews are not at all scandalized at Philip speaking in this manner, but are upset that he said that they were also guilty of the blood of Jesus. Also, there’s the great commission to preach to all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Can anyone deny the Most Holy Trinity, Three Persons, One God, because the word “Trinity” or Tri-Unity doesn’t appear. So, let’s dismiss that gotcha rubbish. God made us smarter than doing up gotcha rubbish.
  • Would it be appropriate for Mary to go to heaven, seeing that she was so much in solidarity with her Son, risking getting stoned to death if Joseph would have turned her in, risking giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem where in fact Herod killed all the male children two years old and under trying to kill Jesus, having to go into exile in an arch-enemy country (pure hell for years), witnessing the inept and brutally idiot apostles for years, standing alone under the cross until John came back, witnessing her Son ripped to shreds in front of her? Yes. But that appropriateness would not be a proof.
  • Would it be appropriate for Mary to go to heaven, soul and body, because, you know, her Son Jesus went to heaven, soul and body, and she, like, you know, was mother of that biological part of the human nature of the divine Person of Jesus, who was entirely God and man in one divine Person? Yes. But that appropriateness would not be a proof.
  • There seems to be a rock-solid tradition that Mary was assumed soul and body into heaven that goes waaaaaaaaay back to the beginning, very soon had references in the liturgy, and was uninterruptedly part and parcel of the belief of the Christian people everywhere: Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est – What everywhere, always and by everyone is believed. But that’s not gonna convince anyone. They’ll just say that that’s stubborn entrenchment. And that’s because the certainty of this faith is more obviously true than that you see your hand in front of your face rests on something else, and that something else is feared.
  • It is Mary’s Immaculate Conception which is proof of the Assumption of Mary, soul and body, into heaven. So, let’s take a look at Mary’s having been immaculate conceived in the Sacred Scriptures, Old and New, and see if the consequences such an event inescapably bring us to admission, ever so joyfully, mind you, of the assumption of Mary soul and body into heaven…

GENESIS 3:15 — I wrote a thesis on this. I wish people would read it. But anyway, in short, the Redeemer, YHWH Elohim incarnate, is to be born of The Woman sometime future to the writer of Genesis 3:15. He will be her seed. That’s biologically weird, right? Women don’t have a seed. Men do. But the Son will be her seed. What this refers to in context is that she is not part of Adam’s seed, Adam’s progeny of original sin. She is apart from the sin of Adam. Her progeny is, absolutely, hers. If she is not destroyed by original sin, if she is would stain of that sin, without that macula, she is immaculate in her conception. She’s the Immaculate Conception. But what does that have to do with the Assumption? Hold on. Let’s see Luke.

LUKE 1:28 — Here the angel’s salutation is written down by Luke as inspired by the Holy Spirit. That greeting, Κεχαριτωμένη, is a perfect participle. Sorry to be pedantic here, but it’s important. In biblical Greek, the perfection of the perfect “tense” is actually perfect. The angel literally said: Rejoice you who perfectly continue to stand perfectly transformed in grace from the time when [fill in the blank from context] until now. Text without context is pretext. The context is that the time whence Mary was perfectly transformed in grace and perfectly continued in that perfection until now is when she first received her vocation to be the virgin Mother of God, that is, from eternity, but practically received when she was conceived by Joachim and Ann by an intervention of the Holy Spirit.

So, great! Mary was immaculate conceived. What does that have to do with the Assumption, even as a proof of the Assumption of Mary soul and body into heaven? Glad you asked. Buckle up!

Original sin dumbs us down with weakness of mind, weakness of will, emotions now chaotic because no longer following but always attempting to lead reason, suffering distraction, suffering the violence of others, and there’s sickness and death. Mary was free from all that, right? Yes and no. Personally, yes, but because her immaculateness provided purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision, profundity of understanding, and, in so lightly yet so intensely and so lovingly following the will of God, walking with God’s Truth, a Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of the Son, the Daughter of the Father… because of all that she also saw, in contrast, ever so clearly, all the sin of all mankind in all of its horror vomited upon her Son as He was shred to death, tortured to death in front of her. Whereas even a smidgeon of understanding of what even what one of our slightest sins actually was before the holiness of God would crush us to death because of the weight of the glory of God’s justice overwhelming us, so weak are we after original sin, Mary was able to stand in solidarity with her Son in His trials. She suffered more than all put together. Look you who pass by the way and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow!

Well, there is a sorrow like her sorrow, that of Jesus in the agony of the garden, where the will of His human nature was in dichotomy from the will of His Father, not because He was a wimp and didn’t want to suffer the death we deserve for original sin and our own rubbish sin and so, standing in our place, Innocent for the guilty, would have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us… He was constrained until He could enthusiastically suffer the baptism for which He came, in His own blood. And there He was, sweating a baptism of His own blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t want to His Immaculate Mother suffered the greatest suffering of seeing Him tortured to death in front of her, thus seeing clearly all the sins of all mankind from Adam until the last man is conceived, even seeing that such a redemption wrought by her Son also brought that immaculate conception to her. She was redeemed but not saved. Get that? Now then…

Sin brought death into the world. Jesus died, totally innocent. Just because she died doesn’t mean she was a sinner and died because of that. Why did Jesus die? From the crucifixion? Sure, I guess. Kind of. Not really. He would have, if you left Him there long enough, He insisting to stay on the Cross for us. But it was a surprise that He only lasted three hours. He died because of the massive heart attack which would have accompanied the sweating of blood, the stress of His love for His mother, not wanting her to witness His suffering. That heart attack, it is said, literally breaks the pericardium, the outer part of the heart, which would have filled with blood, that blood then separating into blood and “water” overnight, quite un-survivable, and He would have died more of that than the scourging and crucifixion so quickly as he did.

Meanwhile, back to Mary. I contend it is because of her Immaculate Conception and the subsequent suffering under the Cross which that brought to her (see argumentation above) that she also suffered the same kind of massive heart attack, her pericardium breaking, but she appropriately surviving until at least Pentecost. That she would die even though not part of any consequence of original sin is most appropriate in her solidarity with her dear, dear Son. But then it would be time for her to go be on her way to heaven, in all justice. And God is just.

That she would have to be assumed into heaven regardless of any death (recall the “being changed in the twinkling of an eye mentioned by Saint Paul for souls at the end of time) is obviated simply by the fact of her immaculate conception: It’s God’s justice. Can she who is the Ark of the Covenant Incarnate not join her Son in Heaven? Impossible. Can she rot in the tomb, she who is the mother of the Author of Life, while He goes to Heaven leaving her behind? That’s impossibly unjust. But God is just. If Jesus, who is without sin, cannot rot in the tomb, neither can she, who is without sin, rot in the tomb. It’s not right. It’s impossible in justice to leave her dead, she who is the mother of the Author of Life. But God is just.

So, there it is. I’m typing too fast. I fear carpal tunnel syndrome. I’m sure I missed plenty. And I feel badly about that. I’m inept. Did I miss anything? I guess it comes down to Jesus’ love for His mother. I mean, for myself, if I were Jesus[!], and I ascended into heaven soul and body, and there was Mary, her own body rotting in the grave but me all good to go, I would feel really awkward. And I know that ♬ feelings ♬ are no way to do theology or biblical studies, but the logic of God’s justice is absolutely inescapable. Don’t underestimate Jesus’ love for His mother. Jesus loves His immaculate mother.

It’s because she is immaculate and cannot be put down by sin that she must live even if she dies momentarily as did Jesus. She must bodily rise immediately as did Jesus. Satan did not win over her or over Him. And she had to go to heaven body and soul as He ascended body and soul because that’s the fulfillment of the redemption though not salvation she received. The logic is absolute. To put it more strongly: to deny her entrance to heaven would be a sin on Jesus’ part. That ain’t gonna happen.

Just as Jesus said that if we love Him we should be happy that He is going to the Father in speaking of His ascension, you know, because He successfully obeyed the Father, suffering so very much for us, just so if we love Him, who loves His mother, she who also did the will of the Father and who also suffered so much for us… we should be happy that Jesus’ mother is assumed soul and body into heaven. It’s a family thing. And we long to join the two of them.

I’ll just stop here and press publish. Again, sorry for spelling mistakes and run-on sentences. I’m typing waaaay too fast.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (random notes on virginity, edition)

Off the top of my head, instigated because of a text I received:

  • The etymology of “virgin” is referenced in a newly sprouted tender twig. The analogy in human beings is usually put on young women, with people being quite cynical concerning young men. But – Hey! – Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Saint Dominic Savio…
  • To be a virgin usually speaks to great strength of spirit, to purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision, profundity of understanding, with active humble reverence before God, who is Love and Truth.
  • There can be great hypocrisy as Jesus points out in the parable of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. Saint Paul reprimands anyone who might brag about their self-control.
  • Virginity is expected before marriage, that is between a man a woman looking forward to a family.
  • Virginity, all things being equal, is to be abandoned in favor of the command to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Jesus, by way of the Redemption and please God our acceptance of the Salvation He won for us, has become the Father of such souls. Please God, priests know something of this virginity and its fruitfulness in their priestly ministry, particularly in their offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the one Last Supper, united with Calvary, which is their participation in the marriage of God with His Bride the Church. That marriage of God and the Church is spoken of throughout the Old and New Testaments. We hear the Wedding vows of Jesus recited by the priest in the first person singular: This is my Body given for you in Sacrifice, my Blood poured out for you in Sacrifice. Priests are married by the Sacrifice they offer. Jesus takes on the punishment for sin we deserve in original sin and whatever of our own rubbish sin, death, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. How entirely inappropriate to have “women priests,” a symbol of lesbianism, of the murder of the image of God: male, female, marriage, family.
  • But how about Mary, the Virgin Mary? She was betrothed to Joseph. She knew the commandment to bear fruit and multiply. And she is not stupid. She knew how this could happen, biologically, with Saint Joseph, with whom she had the opportunity. But she asked the angel, how can this be, for I do not know man. In other words, it ain’t gonna happen with any man, including Saint Joseph. She knew she was supposed to be a virgin, but she was not against being fruitful: just tell me how this will take place. The angel says that she will conceive inside her womb by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so that her Son will be the Son of God. And when He is being born, in His being born, in which every other child is “unclean”, He will instead in that very moment be called holy, impossible unless the birth is itself miraculous. Then Mary says, “Let it done to me according thy word.” This is the only logic possible with the text.
  • That she remains a virgin points to the conception of Jesus inside her womb by the Holy Spirit with no outside human intervention.
  • That she remains a virgin points the fact that Mary is not mother of a monster, just the Head of the Body of Christ, but also of us, the members of the Body of Christ. I think Saint Bernard said that. And that fruitful motherhood continues throughout time by way of those birth pangs she endured under the cross, standing in solidarity with Jesus in His trials for our redemption and salvation, which made her suffering as a mother into an intercession for all of us, in union with His will.

I wrote this a million miles an hour. There’s probably spelling mistakes and run-on sentences. I didn’t look it over for completeness. As I say, just random thoughts.

Did I miss something? Some aspect, Scripture passage. There that one in Isaiah that the angel cites, about the Virgin conceiving in the womb as The Great Sign.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Joyful in times of apostacy, cowardice and violence, edition)

Our Lord said: Take up your cross and follow me!

Jesus did not say: take up your cross and be depressed about it. No.

What a great gift when the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception says: As the Master, so the disciple. We have the privilege of standing with our Lord in His trials. Yay! We give joyful witness to the Lord and we look forward to heaven. That’s not presumption. That’s called the supernaturally provided virtue of hope, sanctifying grace, coming from the fiery Holy Spirit.

Speaking of the fiery Holy Spirit and the flames of His ardent love. Some flowers for you Mary, you who stood next to Jesus in His trials.

Your Son, Jesus, is very patient with us and works with us, at your intercession, so that we might also stand next to Jesus in His trials, returning after having run away. (Luke 22:28-30):

  • “You are the ones who have stood by Me in My trials. And I bestow on you a kingdom, just as My Father has bestowed one on Me, so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Having returned… what a joy… even under great stress. The love of God is stronger than our depression, stronger than our fear, stronger that distraction and temptation and darkness and feeling distant, stronger than sickness and death and suffering the stupid violence of others, strong enough to get us to heaven. And that’s a great occasion for joy in the Holy Spirit, the fiery Holy Spirit.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Son-burst magnificat, edition)

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (SonSonfollower not-Trackinga-curtsey genuflection, editioned.)


Did you ever notice how sunflowers turn 180 degrees everyday, facing the sunrise in the East and following all day until sunset in the West? In the analogy…

  • It’s not Jesus who is the sunflower in that sunburst monstrance, that is, just any Sonfollower. He doesn’t spend His days following us who are mere jackasses or jennys, facing us.
  • It we who are jackasses and jennys, but who, as Sonfollowers, follow the Divine Son, bowing down to Him to receive His blessing. That makes us flourish in the rays of His sanctifying grace.

Some art appreciation: take a look at that donkey. It took real brilliance of the sculptor of that donkey above to depict the strain of the reverence. For the donkey to bring his forehead down to the ground he about has to pop his shoulder joint with the one leg and about break his other leg.

  • Consider the curtseys that have replaced genuflections…
  • Consider the bows that replaced those curtseys…
  • Consider how all of that has been replaced with… nothing.

Meanwhile, the heretics who should be taught a lesson by any jackass or jenny smart enough to bow down before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, those those heretics today do not follow the donkey to their knees before the Blessed Sacrament, but instead have the pretense to murder Jesus, the least of the brethren in the womb by way of abortion, by way of pharmaceutical experimentation, and then receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, even going out of their way to get it on camera. Grrr.

Just to say, Saint Anthony would not have given Holy Communion to such beasts.

In the midst of all this heresy and chaos, a flower for you, Immaculate Mary. Your soul magnified the Lord. You followed the Lord Jesus. You stood with Him in His trials.

P.S. Don’t be offended by Saint Francis calling himself “brother ass”. Don’t be offended that Saint Augustine says of us all: “You’re an ass!” He follows that with: “But you carry Christ.” “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.”


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Silence of the not-dead, Star of I Am David, edition)

Hey! On the Day Off, a Star of David. Stunningly elegant.

Hey! Another Star of David. Arrestingly beautiful.

Hey! Another Star of David. Boldness that jumps out at you.

Hey! Another Star of David. Such purity of heart, agility of soul.

Hey! Another Star of David. Such simplicity of reality. It is what it is. No ambiguity here.

These are the Stars of David that were able to be collected on just one Day Off, just the other day, at the home of friends with whom I learn Yiddish exclamations, even more than those taught to me by my mom throughout my childhood.

This presses the nostalgia button in me. I don’t remember any book that my mom recommended I read, except one. She was a voracious reader, hundreds if not more than a thousand pages a day. I remember going to the library with her even weekly so as to help carry one if not two big brown paper shopping bags from Piggly Wiggly filled with books that were, together, heavier than I was in the mid-1960s. It took a long time to check out. She once shoved a small book in my direction to page through while waiting.

I would really struggle to carry those bags down the steps of the library, one bag at a time, two feet for each step. I was very enthusiastic. She was purposely creating good memories for me. She would open up the passenger side door of her white two-door 1961 Pontiac Tempest, putting the seat forward so that I could put the books in the back seat foot wells:

The book she had me read was when I was already a seminarian but which she surely read decades earlier, which she surely shoved at me at the checkout desk, which I surely helped carry home from the library as a tiny little kid was, I am David, a 1963 novel by Anne Holm, which, as W summarizes, “tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in an unnamed Eastern European country and journeys to Denmark. Along the way, he meets many people who teach him about life outside the concentration camp.”

That only my second name was David, not my first, was one of mom’s greatest disappointments. She wanted me called DAVID as a first name. As she later told me, there had been fights over this. Dad won. I’m George David, but still…

I have some “friends” who were never as clever as they think they’ve always been with me. They are acutely aware of my background. They’ve always made brutal comments against all Jews and very often as connected somehow to the Star of David. From the beginning, I’ve played this conversation, getting them to admit clearly, finally, what I suspected from the beginning, that they, besides being priests, are full-on neo-Nazis. I’ve had to hear really a lot of entirely prejudicial hatred cast upon all Jews as the years ticked by. Don’t bother trying to guess who they are. I’ve been in something like 26 countries and I have priest friends of very many years all over the world.

As they claimed that the Star of David was an invention of just a handful of centuries ago, I would counter with my archeological experiences at the then newly unearthed parts of the Capernaum synagogue built during Jesus’ teenage and twenty-something years, but previous to Jesus Himself preaching in it. The dominant design engraved into the stonework back in Jesus’ day is the Star of David.

The Star is six pointed. The number six refers to imperfection, as it is the number just previous to seven, which is the representation of perfection, of fulfillment. The six-pointed star looks forward in great hope to the arrival of perfection, of fulfillment with a seventh point, namely, the promised Son of David being born, the promised Messiah visiting His people, Immanuel, God-with-us. That seventh point is the center bit you see below, an actual Star of David Fulfillment, Perfection Incarnate, carved into the Capernaum synagogue:

You know:

The reality of this archeology was, of course, rejected out of hand by my priest friends, because… because… because… (no reason).

As time went on and the topic of the Star of David would again come up, and I would mention the horror of the Holocaust inflicted upon the Jews, and that a yellow star would be pasted on their prison uniforms, I was told that the Star of David itself was their crime.

Thinking I was going for the jugular, I said that even little kids who knew nothing about any Star were themselves thrown into ovens or shot or otherwise exterminated.

The response about those infants being exterminated from one of my neo-Nazi priest friends was, instantaneously: “Because of that Star, they deserve everything they got.” That’s in reference to the kids.

That was on a phone call. You might as well have stabbed me in my larynx. Silence was my response. After some seconds of deafening silence, I ever so quietly pressed the end-call-button. That was it, until today, with the years ticking by. It is the screaming silence of the-not-so-dead-as-you-think and, methinks, the silence of that walking dead Man, Jesus, as He stood before Pontius Pilate. How can you answer something like that? Am I wrong to maintain silence after so very long? Does my silence mean that I’m dead? I think silence speaks loudly. The Jews murdered in extermination camps are not dead eternally. Not at all. And they speak, fully alive, awaiting the judgment of those who murdered them, a judgment to be wrought by Him who will judge the living and dead and the world by fire.

But what to do? I know exactly what to do. I’m giving a Star of David, many Stars of David, elegant, beautiful, bold, pure, simple, lively Stars of David to Jesus’ good mom, the Jewish Immaculate Conception, who added the fulfillment of Perfection Incarnate, the promised Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. Thank you, Mary. Thank you so very much.

And thanks to my mom for wanting to call me David, that is, “The Beloved.”

We beg little Jesus, the Son of David, to forgive us for perhaps being waaaay too presumptuous in giving flowers to His good mom. But maybe He will pass on a Dent-de-Lion from any and all of us.

After all, He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Moreover, as Jewish Paul has it in his letter to the Romans 9:4-5…

  • “The people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen.”


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Initiative, edition)

  • “Hey, Father George. Can we, using our own money, have permission to put some flowers around the Immaculate Conception?”

I love my parish. They started the other day, and then made some progress:

I think Jesus in happy with that initiative. There’s another project pictured there, that steep embankment that stretches along the entire southern perimeter. Yet another volunteer hacked the tall growth down with an expertly wielded machete. In this parish, those are actually garden tools.

All this has been going on in Mary’s garden, which has gotten a radical sprucing up.

The name was changed as days went by to Garden of the Holy Family:

Then, many truckloads of trimmings were taken taken away from the front of the church. There’s another statue of Mary on the far side. More work to be done there. We’re thinking of replacing the Sacred Heart Statue. The flag is half-mast for obvious reasons these days in America.

The steep driveway has also gotten radical changes for the better, with all new plantings, except for the bush, which was just a twig growing out of a hacked stump. The previous bush was starting to block off both front and side steps and a view of the Garden of the Holy Family.

All for you, Mary. That’s what the whole parish says.


Filed under Flores, Gardening

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Medusa, edition)

This is a “volunteer” in the garden, next to the asparagus patch. In high school or in the early years of the seminary I wasn’t one to have much interest in Greek mythology, so, I have no analogies to make here except that it’s not Perseus who ends the threat of Medusa’s viper-hair:

Rather, it’s the Immaculate Conception who intercedes for the salvation of the soul of Adam’s wife.

Rather than be so grotesque, dearest Mary does a little dance:

This flower up top is wild garlic which is illegal to harvest on public property. But this is in my garden. In this case, I don’t want to harvest it as I’m hoping it will spread next year. Do I just let it alone, or do I pull it up, separate the cloves and plant those individually?


Filed under Flores, Gardening