Tag Archives: Flores

Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows edition)


Today’s 8 December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and… and… it’s set to snow today, perhaps a lot. A good re-post.

Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes, France, I took this picture with my el-cheapo digital camera. It was February, the first day following weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the grotto. Here’s a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold for weeks:


Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had something to do with water and temperature.

Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!

Monstra te esse matrem!



Perhaps this theme of co-redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow, enough, methinks, to finally start writing. [I know, I know, I just have to do it. Time goes on. Life is short. Yikes!]


Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception, Mary

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Update on rosaries edition)


These guys are withstanding the freezing Winter temps outside, surely for the upcoming feast of the Immaculate Conception this Saturday, December 8. I went to Confession, a kind of General Confession, with a really good priest. What a joy. Purity of heart and agility of soul in God’s good grace, in friendship with the Son of the Living God, is happiness; looking forward to heaven with the hope that is granted to us, is the way to go. So, a flower for the Immaculate Conception, who holds us in regard, that is, regarding us, beckoning us, to be disciples of her Son. After all, He forgave us really a lot…


Right after that, it was off to Charlotte to see the Bishop and the other priests of the diocese. The bishop offers his priests an Advent meal of fraternity each year out of his own pocket. Very pleasant. I gave out the handmade Rosaries for priests, and the Bishop took one with much appreciation, asking about those who made them. I said that I had a few left and that if he knew of any priests who might appreciate them he could have those too. He said he did, and it seems we had just the exact number needed for this region of the world. So, I was quite happy with that. Thanks to the makers of the unbreakable rosaries!

Leave a comment

Filed under Confession, Flores, Rosary

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Is this a Catholic home? edition)


Actually, that’s a pretty good picture for just candlelight late in the evening on Thanksgiving. The neighbor to the hermitage, knowing I put up flowers for the Immaculate Conception went on the hunt for some flowers and returned with the variety. A couple of “lion’s tooth” and some other tiny ones whose names I’ve forgotten already. There’s always a candle lit on the sideboard shrine. The statue of Saint Joseph with the child Jesus comes from Father Lutz at the Jubilee Museum in Columbus, Ohio. The darkest of times are lit up in certain simply familiar ways. Don’t give up. There is much joy and peace in the faith even if there are bad actors round about.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (North American College Rome edition)

flowers for mary NAC2

From a priest who’s on the roof of the North American College in Rome as I write this:

Dear Father,

When I saw these flowers, still flourishing despite the cold and the wind here in Rome (life in spite of death sounds pretty Gospel to me!), I couldn’t help but think of Mary and you! From one donkey priest to another.

– Pax

My guardian angel is cringing from my being remembered with Mary, well, except for the fact that I’m said to be a donkey and donkeys are always with the Holy Family. So, I’m good with that, especially because of the way he described himself.

I might note here the mention of cold and wind in Rome. I have to wonder if that is a reference to windswept or any such thing. I’m sure it’s not easy. We pray to support each other. Hail Mary…

I’m sure our Lady must hear such prayers from donkey priests who give flowers to her.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (hunting for the right mix edition)


When there’s not too many flowers round about that doesn’t mean one can’t give flowers to the Immaculate Conception. You just have to be more imaginative. There’s these berry things I got on the day off the other day. But when I was a kid in Minnesota, there was always:

  • Cattails
  • Pussywillows
  • Milk weed pods
  • Twigs with acorns
  • Twigs with helicopters

Did I go hunting for such things with the pet dog and also with a .22 long rifle and shoot at such things as listed above as well. Well yes, but that’s besides the point. I’m sure  no one minded just the right mix of activities. All in good sport. ;-)

Of course, the “roses” of Hail Marys of rosaries are the best flowers for the Immaculate Conception. I did get in hand made rosaries for priests. I’ll have to see about putting up a post about rosaries!

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (when all is darkness edition)

One might think it takes the bravest of souls to give a flower to the Immaculate Conception in the darkest of times or perhaps the most naive. I think it just takes Jesus’ good mom being appreciative especially in the darkest of times.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Pope = Immaculate Conception? ed.)


Imagine the best possible in a Pope, perhaps the martyrdom of Saint Peter.

Imagine the worst in a Pope, perhaps the denial of Peter not yet Saint Peter.

Either way, the Pope is the Pope, the Successor of Peter. So, we pray for him, stand by him, are in solidarity with him.

Does that mean that we, say, deny that Peter denied our Lord, or that we have to say that all Popes throughout their lives, throughout their pontificates are always and in every way saints? No, it doesn’t mean that. It means that we are obliged to pray for the father of the family of faith here upon this earth, you know, father, papa, Pope.

It still needs to be pointed out how much people jump into cynicism and condemn just for the sake of being fake news. For instance, recall how many throughout the Catholic world condemned Pope Francis to hell for “downplaying the importance of the papacy”, they said, by insisting as he did on being the Bishop of Rome. Damn him for insisting on being the Bishop of Rome, they said, when he should be saying that he’s the most illustrious, magnificent effervescent utterly grand Fill-in-the-Title, they said.

The fake news crowd were stunningly ignorant of all things Catholic, for it is because the Holy Father is first of all Bishop of Rome that he is the Successor of Peter, not the other way around. Get that?

How ironic that these same people, now so jaded, won’t these days use any titles for Pope Francis at all, and instead talk about how useless the papacy is, anyway, verging on condemning our Lord for founding the Church on the likes of Peter and, mind you, Peter’s successors, that is, on the person of the one Bishop of Rome.

Are you ready for irony? This proves that these same people, in proportion to how much they refuse to speak of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, or even of the Pope, but merely of Francis, or Jorge, or Bergoglio… this shows proportionally just how ultramontanistic they are. It speaks to how much they have never understood our Lord founding the Church on the weak person of Peter, of the weak persons of the Successors of Peter. It speaks to how much they have no strength of faith, no security in the faith, wanting the Bishop of Rome to be their savior, but not Jesus. They know any Bishop of Rome is just another sinner like all the rest of us, and insisting that he himself be the Immaculate Conception know that they are setting up their rejection of him, that is, of the Church, that is, all the truth and morality that our Lord insists upon for us. That’s the point. That’s why people run to the fake news crowd. The fake news crowd become the Saviors. Fake news is all about power, dark power.

But the Pope is not the Immaculate Conception. I dare say he knows that. We pray for him as we pray for each other. Mary Undoer of Knots prays for him as she does for us.

Breathlessly, people throw all this to the side and say that I’m saying that everything that the Pope says and does is what any canonized saint would do. No. That’s malicious.

Some might say it’s just jaded cynicism, but, it seems to me that to get to the point of jaded cynicism one first of all and repeatedly must let oneself fall into malice, purposed hatred. Ah, but Mary prayers also those in such a sorry state. She wants us in heaven. All of us. Hopefully, we are among “the many.”


Filed under Flores, Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“We were sinners” edition)


“Frost and chill, bless the Lord!”

Aussie Mum made a good catch about another “Flower for the Immaculate Conception.” (HERE). She said:

“I can imagine Our Lady reciting or singing parts of Azariah’s prayer – the praises for example that he and his companions prayed (Daniel 3:51-56 and 58-90) – but parts of the prayer that he prayed alone, such as “ Sinners we were, that had wronged and forsaken thee, all was amiss with us …” (verses 29-30) seem most unsuitable to be voiced by the Immaculate Conception since she was totally sinless. Maybe I have the wrong prayer or have not properly understood. The praises are certainly beautiful and verse 70 does indeed go well with the photo above [“Snow and ice, bless the Lord!”]. Thank you Father. Your posts get me thinking on things that are good to be thinking about.”

Good catch, Aussie Mum.

It is true, of course, that Mary was never touched by original sin, that she is, therefore, the Immaculate Conception. It is true, of course, that Mary never personally sinned.

But there is something else to consider here so as to give credit to our Lady where credit is due. She also had to be redeemed, which is the way she was able to be saved from original sin at the first instant of her conception so that it never touched her. In other words – time not being a difficulty with God – what her Son did on the Cross was also done for her.

Take note, then, that this provided her with such purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of vision that the fact of the Redemption to come also being needed for her was obvious, providing her with opportunity to be thankful, and not only for herself, but for all for whom her Divine Son would lay down His life, and for whom she would become a mother with such a spirit of solidarity:

“ Sinners we were, that had wronged and forsaken thee, all was amiss with us …”

She interceded for us in utter solidarity with what her Son on the Cross was doing for us all, but not forgetting for an instant that she had to be thankful as well. She had never been a sinner – true! – but she was aware of that sin more than all of us put together. The “we” and “us” are, for her, truths of solidarity, not of personal fact.

I hope the one-day-to-be-canonized Archbishop Fulton J Sheen once said that only the sinless know sin. Sinners are so immersed in darkness that they cannot see the Standard of Goodness, Jesus, but only their darkness. They cannot see the contrast. They cannot see why sin is called sin and bad and evil. Only the sinless, who have purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of vision can see Jesus for who He is, also on the Cross, though tortured to death like the worst of criminals. And in seeing that sin, seeing what we need perfectly, she can then, with such a maternal heart, intercede for us perfectly, uniting herself to us, standing in our place with all the “we” and “us”, innocent as she is, you know, just like her Son, who stands in our place, the innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

You know the old saying:

Like Son, like mother.


Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception, Mary

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Frozen edition)


Today outside the rectory: “Snow and ice, bless the Lord.”

The Immaculate Conception surely recited (or sang!) the “Prayer of Azariah.”

Never thought of that, did you?


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Focusing on what’s important edition)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saint John of the Cross was one asked as to whether our brains ever calm down a bit in this world, at least while we are praying. There are many who attempt to be free of distraction, you know, by staring at their belly buttons and breathing a certain way and shrieking whatever mantras (sorry, I know I’m mocking here…), as if they could possibly be successful, as if that would be a good thing, or by claiming that they have astro-traveled into nirvana territory by cutting themselves off from God and man, from the heavens and the earth, from themselves, so that they are Styrofoam, as if they could possibly be successful, as if that would be a good thing, and so on. No.

Saint John instructs us by saying the obvious. After original sin part of the cross we carry is that our physical brains don’t follow necessarily where our spiritual life is at. In the highest contemplative prayer with the soul almost as it were in the very midst of the Most Holy Trinity, the physical brain is, of its own accord, going a gazillion miles an hour as usual.

This is important to understand: the saints were all trained into being saints in the midst of these same circumstances of distraction. The saints learned over time, as can we, to let the soul, by grace, give more importance to the Incarnate Word of God who presents us to the Father by the fiery love of the Holy Spirit than whatever other importance we might give to whatever distraction. The distractions continue but we can walk in the presence of the Living God, in His Love, in His Truth, in His Life. It’s all about Jesus, not us. Jesus is the One. The only One. After all, He’s the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

Oh, the flowers? You’ll see in the slideshow up top that they go from being in focus to out of focus, that our Lady goes from being in focus to out of focus. But, here’s the deal: love doesn’t care any longer about bodily senses being in focus or not, but only about love. God is love. Mary’s Son Jesus is more important that us, than our fallen human feelings, than our fallen sensory perception.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Fiery edition)


The cacti outside the church in Andrews are putting out their flowers just as winter threatens to descend with temperatures getting close to a hard freeze. These flowers seem to be trying to heat things up a bit with their fiery colors, looking ever so much like the fiery flames of Pentecost. Who wouldn’t think of the Immaculate Conception?

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Pope Francis on Mary’s virginity ed.)


You have heard recently that it was said that Jesus’ good mom, Mary, the immaculate ever virgin mother of God, had no intention whatsoever of remaining a virgin at all. This is to insult Mary as being stupid.

Consider that when the angel sent to her to announce that she was to be the Mother of the Divine Son of God, she asked how this could be since she knows not man. Mind you, she was betrothed to Joseph, to be married to him, but she is ruling out making babies with Joseph. She knows not man. She will not ever know man. She’s not ever going to give up on being a virgin. She knew absolutely that she was called by God to be virgin forever.

That doesn’t mean that she was ruling out following the command to be fruitful and multiply; that doesn’t mean she was ruling out being a mother.

When the angel explained that she would conceive inside her womb by the power of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so that the One who is to be born of her will truly be the Divine Son of God, and when the angel again explained to her that during the very birth that Divine Son of God would be called “Holy” – necessitating that there be no blood offending Jewish purity laws (which would be impossible unless it would be a miraculous birth) – only then did she consent: “Yes!”

So, to repeat, saying that Mary had no intention to remain forever a virgin is to insult her as stupid or as being a liar. We recall what Pope Francis said about insulting one’s mother:

Of course, I have no intention to punch Pope Francis for having insulted Jesus’ good mom. I’ll leave that to Jesus (but see below). I do recall, however, that in mid-January 2015 Pope Francis insulted my mom by telling women generally not to breed like rabbits: as it is, I’m the fourth child of my own mother. She wasn’t a rabbit.

Now, having said all that: I forgive Pope Francis. I assume that he’s had a typical Jesuit anti-Catholic training in the seminary, and that he was taught to be dismissive of the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church and the Councils of the Church. I assume that he thinks that he’s better than everyone before him because he lives today, you know, the old trick of being Promethean and all that, you know, because that’s the trick that everyone who taught him were playing when he was in the seminary. I assume that he’s no theologian, that he thinks it’s nice to speak of Mary as being “normal girl”, that he’s simply a political animal, you know, sincere in his vacuity, but sincere nonetheless. So, whatever. That’s on him. I forgive him.

That I forgive him – I’m his own Missionary of Mercy, right? – that forgiveness doesn’t mean I don’t hate it that people are scandalized, that people are not fed, that the brethren are not at all confirmed in the faith, that the Pope is not the sign of unity. I do hate all that. But I forgive him. And he does say the occasional good thing, you know, now and again. And he has, of course, never abused the gift of infallibility, nor could he.

Here’s the deal: I’ve done much worse. I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God, of the Immaculate ever Virgin Mary by way of my after-the-fact participation in original sin, by way of my own sin. We’re not made more righteous by throwing a tantrum and condemning others. We’re not made more righteous by being cynical and unforgiving.

Regardless of whatever Pope Francis says to insult Mary, I myself will continue to give flowers to the Immaculate Conception, asking that she ask her Divine Son Jesus to forgive Pope Francis for such insults and outrages.

You know what happens then? Then I am peaceful in heart and soul once again. Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Mary.


Filed under Flores, Mary, Pope Francis

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (retreat edition)

Being on retreat doesn’t mean not being fiery. And it certainly doesn’t mean not giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. Those pictured are just outside the door. Meanwhile, the remainder of hurricane Michael is passing over. For us here that means some gentle rain.

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Retreating: Duc in altum!)

Seen at the retreat.

All the priests of the diocese are here.

This is a great location in the church to make a thanksgiving

1 Comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flowers of violence edition)


Wild flowers near the hermitage. Beautiful, eh? Just behind them, between them and the trees you see in the background is a marsh that’s, say, four feet deep at the deepest and maybe ten feet deep when the drainage is in proper order.

It’s said that some old guy was murdered and thrown in there long, long ago. And then there’s the kid that was killed just there, held under water by his “friends”, but he escaped their grasp only to be held under a second time, and then a third time, and didn’t come up again, though it was, of course, as all such things, declared to be a suicide, you know, because we’re all nice people and those kinds of not-nice things don’t happen around here.

Meanwhile, flowers for the Immaculate Conception grow in abundance, not as if they ignoring such gratuitous violence and the denying of it, but so as to say that Jesus came into this world so as to make all things new, taking all that violence on Himself.


Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (nevertheless flowers were found ed.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Two of tiniest lilies I ever saw…

On the day off, when only mushrooms and lichen and moss could otherwise be found.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Just be an insect edition)


Situational awareness for flowers for the Immaculate Conception demands that one be like an insect. An insect like the one above is always aware of flowers for the Immaculate Conception. It’s just built into their nature. But we have free will. Situational awareness is a matter of choice. Walking (flying) with the Holy Family is also a matter of free will with the grace of God.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Like Mother like Son)


October and still blooming. All for Mary, that’s what I always say. All for Mary. But giving her flowers… is that too easy?

I recall another exclamation: “All for Jesus!” Behold, a conversation in which this comes into play, when the words have to be put into action. This is my absolute all time favorite video of Mother Teresa reprimanding a priest and bishop:

When it comes down to it, if we actually believe that it’s all for Jesus, all for Mary, it’s all just as giving a flower created by Jesus to Mary. Yep.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores, Saints

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (He’s risen! I must decrease! edition)


Morning glories are glorious, greeting the sun as they do, well, until it is the time that THE SON rises, and in humility, they decrease, bowing to Him, their Creator. And we look forward with great eagerness to the second coming of His will indeed come to judge the living and the dead and the world by way of the Fiery Truth of His Charity. Come Lord Jesus! Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores, Missionaries of Mercy

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (All ducks in a row edition)


Our Heavenly Father speaks the Word. The Father is not a liar. The Father speaks the Truth. The Truth is reasonable. Let’s say that the Logos (the Word) is logical. There are laws to that which is, the One who is Truth. One notices this logic, this reason in Creation. All ducks in a row, one might say, as above, as below…

ducks in a row

The Virgin Immaculate Mother of God is Mother of the Incarnate Logos, the Incarnate Word, the Incarnate Truth. With her purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of vision – given her Immaculate Conception – she is herself able to appreciate the Speech of the Father, the Logos, the Truth. She can see Him reflected in the creation of the Creator.

Because she sees the standard of Truth, of the logic of the Logos, if you will, she also sees all that which does not come up to that standard in this fallen world with all of us who are fallen. But she sees the logic in her Son being born into this world where He would be rejected and tortured to death for being too good, too kind, too truthful for us in our fallen human nature to tolerate. And so, in taking on the death we deserve for the chaos, for the unreasonableness, for the sin, standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty, He, her Son, has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. It makes the hell of the cross reasonable, as reasonable as God’s love in heaven. Indeed, it is from the Cross that we see the glory of God shining.

Meg told her father, Thomas More, that getting his head cut off for not betraying the truth was unreasonable. His answer was that, instead, love makes it reasonable. And heaven will be unto the eternal glory of God. Love makes it reasonable. All ducks in row. And all is right once again, reason in the midst of chaos, light in the midst of darkness, life being brought from death, the kiss, on the cross, of mercy and justice being one in Jesus, Mary’s dear Son, of course.


Filed under Flores