Tag Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Papist edition, again, edition)


Sunshine yellow, one of the colors of the Holy See, of the Supreme Pontiff, you know, flag-waving and all that:

I received this in an email:

Dear Fr George, I have today received an email from […] (which I subscribe to) which states that Pope Francis is on a mission to radically change the Church. Please tell me this is not true.  I don’t think I could face any more drastic changes. There is so much pessimism on the Catholic blogs I follow but you have always been a positive voice for Pope Francis and after your recent meeting you must know him well.

Here’s the deal: I don’t care if anyone, including the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter (on and on) is on whatever kind of mission to change the Church radically (watch that Queen’s English splitting of infinitives!). No one can radically, that is, from the root and foundation, change the least iota about the Church, not about infallibility, not about the sacraments, not about anything that belongs to the root and foundation of the Church. That would be like saying we can change God or some stupid thing like that. We can’t. To frighten people by saying that someone, anyone, say, like the Pope, can change radically the Church is a disservice to people. Christ Jesus is not amused. We might want to take notice that what we do or don’t do for others we do or don’t do for Christ Jesus Himself. Anyone trying to get internet popularity by way of scaremongering, destroying people’s faith, reducing the faith to the whims of whomsoever, is truly bad and evil. Jesus is not amused.

Rest assured, dearest reader, that whatever the Holy Father may or may not want to do, the Church will go on to the end of the world, and Jesus will be with us, as He Himself promised. And Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, is NOT a liar. Anyone who makes Jesus out to a liar and calls Him such is to deny Him. He who denies Jesus will be denied by Him. Such tradition-al-ism-ists, who have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit of God who brings the faith to us in a univocal manner (see Cardinal Siri), thus bringing us Sacred Tradition such as it is.

Just as Jesus is ferociously indignant upon undue attacks on His own, so is Jesus’ good mom. After all, she intercedes for us. She doesn’t look benignly upon those who waste their time destroying the faith when they could, instead, build it up. Thus, some papist flowers for the Immaculate Conception.

Having said all that, one doesn’t have to agree with that which is NOT of the universal Magisterium of the Church. And if it’s NOT of the universal Magisterium of the Church, really, such pundits need to get a life. And go to Confession. Use the Keys!


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Dogs and Poetry edition)


The Dogwoods are finally in full blossom. So, time for poetry:

In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven.
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“day off” in this priest’s life edition: from Father Gordon to a cemetery)


Getting up at 12:00 AM for the day, the needful was done, the editing and preparing of the devastatingly staggering article of a guest writer (Ryan MacDonald) on the betrayal of Father Gordon (About), getting this ready for publishing over on These Stone Walls, and now published on TSW as:

#MeToo & #HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae

I’m sure that story brings back plenty of traumatic stress to Father Gordon because of the enormity of the betrayal and who it involves from the beginning, right through the decades, to this very day, on a personal level, and in both Church and State. That post really needs to be shared far and wide as this could be what will change some attitudes against priests who are merely accused (that DOES NOT mean guilty) and have their throats slit, cast out of society and the priesthood and, for many, the church, and for some, life.

After that, starting about 4:30 AM, feverish preparations had to be made for a funeral Mass in a trailer home up in the backsides of the back mountains (this with a standing permission of the Bishop for that particular residence), with a burial in a private family cemetery (someone else’s) which was even more remote. Not even a minute to spare.

But first, at 6:00 AM, it was off to Asheville’s Subaru, a two hour trip, to get a major overhaul on Sassy the Subaru Forester (the 60,000 mile mark, and now 2 years old), costing me, because of additional stuff to all that (including a change-out of dangerously un-treaded tires[!] (the third change-out with, of course, 85,000 mile guarantees[!]) and a lack of headlights[!]), close to $1,700. Since that would take the whole day, they gave me a loaner car for the day. Being in the lounge for about one minute while the paper work was prepared, some treats needed to absconded with for later consumption.

While on the way there I did something that, in a negative subjunctive but not an absolute prohibition, in the words of the great Cardinal Sarah, “should not be done.” So, this is a confession. The breviary for the day was put up on the speakers of the ailing Subaru Forester because I knew that I simply would not have the time that whole day to get to it otherwise. Maybe that speaks to my faithlessness and total lack of priorities, but I’m weak and useless. That takes usually less than an hour and a half in that phone app // blue tooth method. I went from the first hour to the last non-stop. This is NOT the way it should be done. But I knew my day-off would not afford me even one free minute.

Meanwhile, the next stop after Subaru with a loaner car for the day was Brevard Hospital to get a yearly blood draw for levels of all sorts of things, so fasting since the previous evening was necessary. Having done that, those treats from Subaru were scarfed down. Then it was off to the UPS Store for everything that piled up since being in Rome.

Then it was right off to the mountains for the funeral and burial and reception. That was very touching altogether. Lots of friends. Lots of memories. Tears and laughter. All good. This trailer-house funeral Mass (where I had offered Mass many times previously) was, well, I must say, it was like Jesus was right there. He was, of course, in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It was Holy Mass, after all. But, well, you know what I mean. This was a real consolation that our Lord will afford to us once in a while if it is good for our souls. This was good for my soul, and I think all there would heartily agree with that for themselves as well.

Then, startled at the racing clock, it now being 2:30 PM, racing down the one-lane, no-fault gravel mountain road with its washouts and downed trees and drive-through creeks, was a necessity so as not be late for a doctor’s appointment down the mountain and in Brevard, a 3:00 PM appointment. I made it, to the second. All well. The two orchids in this post are from the doctor’s office.

Subaru called for further permissions for stuff they found, and it was back off to Subaru to drop off the loaner and get Sassy back. Then the trip back home to meet up with a hungry Shadow-dog and a hungry Laudie-dog. I’m guessing Shadow is now well over 100 pounds, more than three times the size of Laudie.


They are now quite the item. When it’s cold they sleep together in the same dog house.

It “shouldn’t be done”, but I’m very happy to have gotten my entire breviary in for the day, since, as soon as I sat down in my chair in the rectory at 9:00 PM, I was out like a light, like someone hit me on the head and knocked me out, until 6:00 AM the next day, today, when Father Gordon called as per usual.

I’m happy to be back on American time with this nine-hour sleep after a 21 hour day-off. The doctor was a little bit worried. The blood pressure was great, 117 over 77. But the pulse was over 100 when it’s usually at 60. I told him of my post-Rome overtiredness and what the day was like so far, so that calmed him down. He says that being way overtired can bring the pulse right up.

Anyway, and just to say, there is, nevertheless, always time for another flower for the Immaculate Conception. I mean, her dear Son really does have quite the imagination.


Please read and share:

#MeToo & #HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Since I’ve been gone edition)


Since I’ve been gone these past weeks, these guys, whatever they are, are bursting into all their glory for the Immaculate Conception in front of the rectory. I like that. I like that a lot.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Saturday edition)

I remember learning as a teenage seminarian that Saturdays were – as everyone knew but me – dedicated to our Lady. I would look forward to Saturdays for this reason. With enthusiasm. Saturdays were totally sacred, belonging to our Lady as they do. So why these Flowers for the Immaculate Conception? Because it’s Saturday. :-)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (sharpening one’s vision edition)

I mean, you do see them immediately, don’t you?


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Maternal severity edition)

Today’s the great Solemnity of the Annunciation and verily of the Incarnation of our Lord. But it’s always the time to put up Flowers for the Immaculate Conception. The above is at Saint Mary (Major Basilica). Let’s take a closer look:

Nope. Not good enough. Let’s make our way past the machine guns and airport-like security and go inside:

Hail, Queen of Peace. She’s looking very severe. Rightly so. She is NOT happy with the war. Neither is Benedict XV.

The Holy Spirit, pointing out Jesus and His dear mother to us (that is just so awesome) indicates the point of the severity of the Immaculate Conception. We are to give the hell recreate a break and take notice of and live out the peace Jesus brings to us, deadly serious.

Because they love us and want us in heaven. It’s good to be reprimanded by a good mother.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Happy to be with mama edition)

And she’s happy to be with her priest sons.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Salve Mater Misericordiae edition)

I think this was the very first Marian hymn in Latin I learned now 40 years ago. 40 years later, I find it here on the hidden streets of Rome.

These shrines are to be found everywhere in Rome. I don’t think a coffee table book has ever been made of them. Wanna publish something for our Lady? Here it is.

These aren’t simple affairs. In this case it involved digging into the building, commissioning and installing a copper umbrella, commissioning and installing the ceramics, making sure to get the Latin correct, installing electricity and appropriate lighting and maintaining the bulbs, and… and… singing by heart the Carmelites’ Salve Mater Misericordiae throughout the day.

Because of her Immaculate Conception she had clarity of vision and, in seeing her Son tortured to death in front of her knew exactly what we needed and prayed that we receive this mercy founded on justice of her Son standing in our stead to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, the Innocent for the guilty.

She became our mother by taking our misery into her own heart.

  • miseria = misery
  • cordia/cor = heart
  • misericordia = misery of heart

Next time you think that the Immaculate Conception is too special for you to have devotion to, cast that joyfully aside by knowing she has carried your entire misery in her heart. She loves you tenderly. She’s your Mother.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (you can take the boy out of the mountains edition)

… But you can’t take the mountains out of the boy.

shepherd boy

Surely Jesus gives flowers given to Him to His good mom.

That tabernacle is as big as my parish church.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Daring you to smile edition)

This is just outside the Tyburn Nuns’ chapel. First, notice that Mary is tickling Jesus’ foot:

Then notice that He’s really quite solemn, blessing the whole world holding His Christological Gold Finch, which refers to His Passion and Death.

He’s almost smiling, but not quite. He’s trying to hold the pose. She has such a smirk, daring Him to smile while she continues to tickle His foot. You can almost hear her softly, melodiously say, “Smiiile!”

This is such a fantastic family moment that I think many can relate to. The artist is also making a critique of sometimes too serious sacred art. Since I was a little kid I was always fascinated by and had a devotion to the Infant of Prague. I must say, however, that this scene here brings that full circle and carries it to another level.

There are always flowers for the Immaculate Conception here. Amen.


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Where your heart is…

Still waiting to board the flight and my heart flies back to the parish and parishioners. Those are the two bags with me. I wonder how Laudie-dog is, how Shadow-dog is…


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (the last hours of Lent edition)


Last bit of purple. Just because I’m sure Mary wouldn’t mind receiving these even while she holds those famous “corpse flowers” waiting for Jesus to return from hell. See:

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Corpse flowers from hell edition)


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Brake-Man anticipation edition)


The old Adam in this Holy Week is getting ready to flourish with flowers for the Immaculate Conception. You do remember the old Adam, don’t you? You merely have to look in yourself, but here’s a representation from last year:


Meanwhile, between Brake-Man (here made out of brakes, an appropriate nickname for the old Adam, no?) and the statue of our Blessed Mother is this maple, itself getting ready to put out new brilliant foliage.



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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Charlotte Chrism Mass special edition)


To go to the Chrism Mass yesterday was an exercise in witnessing flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Here’s a close up of the new pilgrim virgin of Fatima statue at the Cathedral ready for the requests of the parishes in the diocese. Oh, and there’s a new crucifix for the meeting room where we gathered for the meal afterward:


We have lots and lots of young enthusiastic faithful good priests in the diocese. Charlotte is really unique. I love it. Anyway, more flowers for our Lady:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (prayers from the other side edition)


After the Chrism Mass yesterday in Charlotte (well over 400 miles round trip for me), I stopped by my neighbors to the hermitage. Long time readers will recognize these flowers at this spot. They come back every year and look like a falling star, bright white trails of brilliance in their glory. These have now died. As Jesus says about those of us who die, in dying, like a seed, we bear much fruit, dying to ourselves to live for Jesus, even in the midst of all of our weakness. Granny died and we spoke about the coming funeral, when I get back from Rome. The saints often say that they will be much better for us on the other side of the grave, as they will be lifted out of any weakness and distraction. Heaven will be heavenly. But here those things are not holding us back but rather pushing us toward our Savior.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (so as to bear fruit edition)

I mean, after all, her Son spoke of how seeds bear fruit all the time.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (x3 edition)


The Angelus. Do you know it with its x3 Hail Marys? You do know that it is said thrice daily, morning, noon and night? Surely, somewhere in the world, as still does happen, you’ve heard the Angelus bells, three sets of three rings followed by crazy wild ringing for the closing prayer.

  • It’s all about faith exemplified in Mary upon the greeting of the Angel: yes, just tell me how!
  • It’s all about the hope that all will in the end be O.K. despite impossible circumstances for her.
  • It’s all about the charity of Mary giving Jesus to the world regardless of the cost to herself.
  • It’s all about the entire economy of salvation summarized in the closing prayer.

The Angelus is said all year except Eastertide, when the Regina Coeli is recited. We’ll get to that. But for now, have you memorized the Angelus. If you say it thrice daily, memorizing is do-able for everyone.

The picture above is in the itsie bitsie apartment of one of my Communion Calls, 92 years old. My mom put up a large well framed copy of the painting of The Angelus. I wish I still had it, but, that’s life. The potato farmers are praying the Angelus in the early morning. In the larger painting you can see a church steeple which would, of course, be ringing out the Angelus prayer. Google EWTN Angelus. You’ll find it.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (More Lenten purple: Ninjas edition)


As tiny as our parish is, we have lots of really incredible people here. Very many are women. Some would call them “church ladies.” I don’t. I call them ninjas. The reason is that they can do just about anything, including making sure purple flowers like these blossom during Lent. These are along the ultra-steep driveway going up to the church from the street. O.K., I call them ninjas not just because they can do just about anything, it’s that many of them, even in their 80s, are accomplished martial artists, as they are rightly called. I think our Lady, while not being a ninja, is more able than they to do just about anything at all, and if she can’t, she knows those who can, the angels and her Divine Son. Better to give her some flowers!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Tender Snowflake Gollum Spider ed.)


Yesterday Andrews was the southernmost tip of presumably the last snowstorm of the season. Just a few tender snowflakes fell into town, immediately melting, being tender snowflakes, after all. Even tender snowflakes, despite being so tender and such snowflakes, can make up an occasion for an edition for Flowers for the Immaculate Conception. But first, one needs plenty of spider webs to entrap them, making them look like flowers.


These “flowers” lasted about ten minutes. Done. Then they convert to something else, in this case, water. But do the analogy. Tender snowflakes that are human beings should also convert from being so tender and such snowflakes, grow up, realize that an entitlement mentality (entitled to bully others with Marxist agendas) might look nice for a moment, but that it is not real. There is no identity behind an entitlement mentality, just a dark and vacuous black hole of the universe: “All for me! Precious! PRECIOUS!”


And this is what the Immaculate Conception wants for tender snowflakes like Gollum, namely, that they convert away from the violent egoism of their purposed lack of identity and be turned to their real identity in her Divine Son, Christ Jesus, the Savior of us all. Imagine. When we were all so hateful, there she stood under the cross interceding for us even while we tortured her dear Son to death.

Continuing with the analogy, the tender snowflakes melt and then water real flowers for the Immaculate Conception. That’s really cool, as it were, so to speak. These post-flower bits drinking in that same water were seen next to the hermitage the other day. I love that. I’m sure our Lady does as well.


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