Tag Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mental block about cooking edition)

flores pizza

I’m not sure if this is the “pizza spice” plant the Italians like so much (and me too), but I’ve never seen it with a flower in full bloom. I’m sure Jesus’ good mom was a great cook. I’m not. I have a severe mental block about cooking. Severe. However, I’ve been working on that recently with someone who, on Tuesdays, has been teaching me how to make stuff. I haven’t yet made pizza. But, so far, I did make some Potato Soup, Beef Stroganoff and beef and chicken stir fry. I can also make toast and cold cereal and a hamburger. I’m told that I do everything wrong in making the hamburger…

 

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (It just ain’t righted, Father! edition)

flores wow

Flying high in the air above all else is this unexpected alien at the hermitage (which hermitage of yore you can see high up in the background if you have good eyes). Everyone I’ve shown this picture says “That’s really nice, but it just ain’t righted, Father! The picture is upside down.” No no. It’s all right side up, so to speak.

But our Lady doesn’t mind getting flowers that are upside down, inside out, back to front, topsy turvey, or, for that matter, just the way they should be. She knows how to deal with stuff, even us. She’s good that way. She’s the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom. He was certainly a sign of contradiction, nothing and no one anyone expected even with so many prophesies that He exactly fulfilled.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (What difference does it make? edition)

flores butterfly blue

These flowers for the Immaculate Conception were duly noted on my day-off the other day. This was a part of the day when I wasn’t anywhere near the hermitage. I’m prejudiced of course, but I reckon that dedicating these to the Jesus’ good mom is a pious thing to do, and that that’s a good thing. Someone else in my travels had a different opinion, making mocking comments about giving flowers to the one who stood under the cross when the Apostles ran away. Indeed, giving more than one flower and with the posts having subtitles was thought to be absurd altogether.

  • Have you read any of the posts?
  • No, never, what difference does it make? Who cares? What’s with the stupid sub-titles? What-eh-vur…..

Apparently that person follows the Twitter feed but has maybe only read one post ever. Ah well. No matter. The flowers are for Mary, not for those who mock. But really, it’s all for them as well: hopefully it will wear them down, so that they’ll give a flower to her as well, and then rejoice that others do the same. Worms become butterflies.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (in the middle of nowhere edition)

flores spikes

A day at the hermitage today. The hermitage is in the middle of nowhere.

If I flee to the ends of the earth… You are there…

visitation from peregabrielcom

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (due dew edition)

flores dew

In our fallen human condition, we might think that an entitlement mentality is just the thing to live by day in day out, as it’s a kind of bullying power maneuver to present oneself as vulnerable but with an iron fist.

But then we realize that as Christians we shouldn’t be so obnoxious and so we try to be a bit more pleasant about it, but a few vestiges of this might remain, so that we hold our Lord’s redemption of us over the head of our Heavenly Father, not in the sense of the Divine Mercy prayer of mercy founded on justice — “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world” — but in the sense that since Jesus has redeemed us, we deserve heaven on earth, no more sickness, no more death, no more bad economy, no more bad people doing bad things

But we have to remember that the consequences of original sin freely chosen with the sin and which we still suffer with while we are in this world — weakness of mind, weakness of will, emotions all over the place, sickness and death — are, in justice, part of the “economy” of salvation as theologians call it, the way, the manner our Lord has chosen (mercy still founded on justice) for us to assent to His goodness and kindness.

To wit: if we suffer the consequences of the sin (minus the guilt which He forgives), then we know better why it is we need to be redeemed and saved, then we know better why it is that we are to be in humble thanksgiving of Him, in praise of Him for stepping into this world when He didn’t have to do that, taking our place in the death we deserve because of sin so that, He remaining innocent but taking our place, He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

Once we see the benefit we receive in suffering the effects of sin, that we can use all of that as an occasion to run to Jesus to thank Him for coming to grab us out of this world, we can drop the entitlement mentality, the bitterness, the cynicism, and even thank Him for the opportunity provided by the consequences of original sin to praise Him.

The dew is due, but how that dew is provided might surprise us, what with, instead, the Holy Spirit forming us into the image of Jesus in heaven, but which action we perceive on this earth as being formed into His image crucified, and we don’t mind that so much because we finally look at the love which had Him stay on the Cross, drawing us all to Himself, we being taken by such great love that would stand in our place.

Thank you Jesus. And thank you, Mary, for standing under that cross to intercede for us.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Jack*** in the Pulpit edition)

jack in the pulpit

This is the Dragon, the Jack In the Pulpit, very near the hermitage. The flower is just now starting to come up. You can see it just between/above the two middle leaves of the two plants. It is poisonous, even deadly, even used to kill people, the leaves, the stalk, the root, the berries, the flower, all of it. Super toxic. Hmmm. Not sure what the story is behind the reference to any pulpit in the nickname of the plant. The other nickname, with reference to the Dragon, isn’t any better. Other nicknames only go downhill from there. The Latin name, Arum maculatum, makes it seem that this is the flower one would never ever give to the IMmaculate Conception (macula=stain; immacula=no stain). Jack in the Pulpit maybe refers to some early American fire and brimstone preacher man who never referenced mercy in his sermons. You gotta keep justice in perspective with mercy. You gotta.

Should the flower blossom successfully, it would nevertheless make a good flower to give to the Immaculate Conception. After all, she also interceded for those preacher guys who know nothing about the beatitude about those who show mercy getting mercy. She wouldn’t make that intercession unless there were a bit of hope available for those seemingly lost to the dragon, toxic as they are. There is nothing more beautiful than a toxic sinner presenting himself now humbly before Jesus and His good mom. Pray for us sinners, Mary, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Confession! It’s so easy.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (day off edition)

Ever notice how nature never takes a day off? The Holy Family never takes a day off. God rested from all HE had done, sure. But we messed up right away and couldn’t make it to that Sabbath until God rose from the dead on the first day of the week. And not totally, as we fill up in ourselves what is lacking to the sufferings of Christ, as St Paul says concerning our reception of Mercy in showing Mercy. We rest in heaven, though I think the celebration and thanksgiving will be at fever pitch. The Father works now and Jesus with Him as Jesus says, even on the Sabbath. Priests work on the Sabbath/Sunday and as Jesus says, do not sin. Knuckleheads like me need if possible another day off. Jesus tried to do that with the Apostles. We’ll see what happens. Let’s start with a never-day-off-flower for the Immaculate Conception. See above. Jesus made that so that we could give it to His Immaculate Mother. I love that.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (hate mail edition)

flores hot

I got some hate mail that’s hateful enough, prejudicial enough, abstracted into crazy-land enough that I would not be surprised if there were some hateful actions, actual violence, that would come from this person against any Catholic target. There was no threat of physical violence. Yet all the signs were there that the mentality enabling such violence has taken over the sender, e.g., all members of a class of people (Catholics) are guilty of all crimes in the world and ought to be taken out. If there were to be violence, it would be difficult for any judge not to charge the person with a hate crime based on what was sent, difficult for any court reporter[!] not to write up the story as a hate crime. In the midst of a long diatribe, the sender writes: “Your church, your sick religion, is despicable, period.” At any rate…

Any sin any of us commits is like hate mail sent to Jesus’ good mom. If we would like to have hope for ourselves despite whatever we’ve done in our lives, we must also have hope for others, no matter what. Our Lord says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). The Immaculate Conception brings us to Jesus regardless of any hate mail we’ve ever sent.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Carved you into my hands edition)

flores petite

Tiny flower for the Immaculate Conception secure in the palm of a leaf.

“I have carved you into the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).

Jesus has carved us most securely into the palms of His hands and He wont let us go until He gives us as a gift to the Immaculate Conception, His good mom. After all, she asked about us under the Cross. Behold, He makes all things new (see Revelation 21:5).

Jesus Passion of the Christ hand nail

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Tiny little world edition)

flores bush

This, whatever it is (some sort of bush) was in the parking lot of Cook Out where the neighbors to the hermitage and myself went for some ice cream before the Confirmation and Installation of the new pastor of the neighboring parish the other day. They waited patiently for me to take this picture as they know I put up Flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Mr Neighbor and I have often discussed appreciation for our dear Creator’s creation, that it’s part of being a little child as our Lord mentioned:

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

But here’s the deal: the awe a little kid has for creation comes about precisely because there is a spiritual analogy being made with the Creator. “God created this. Wow!” was the thought I always had as a little kid, and still do, whenever I saw or do now see these little things, these little worlds, these microcosms screaming out that they are part of a universe created by a loving Creator.

Of course, we can fool ourselves, using such things as a distraction to ignore the Creator of creation, blowing the importance of a part of creation out of proportion, so that it’s the only thing we think about, ignoring that, as it were, text without context is pretext. When we don’t appreciate the context (the Creator) we don’t appreciate the text, and are only left with out pretext. In our weakness of original sin, we are tempted to do such a thing all the time. It is only God’s love which cuts through such mind games.

When giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception, it is a way of saying thank you to Mary for containing more than the entire universe within herself for nine months, God Himself, tiny tiny tiny Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (out of focus edition)

flores focus

When giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception, there is a possibility that the flower might well be in good focus for us, perhaps too much so, so that the emphasis is on the flower, not on the one to whom we are giving the flower, who falls out of focus. But, hey! That’s O.K.! Mary knows that all too well. She’s well able to encourage us. And that maternal care then comes into focus for us.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (by the gabillion, or not, edition)

flores rosebuds

A gabillion roses and rosebuds… Did you ever notice that flowers for the Immaculate Conception even on the same plant are all totally alike and totally individual, totally. Um, just like us. Thank you Jesus. For your mom. :¬)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (I’m not a nice priest edition)

flores orange 3

Seen going straight up one of our mountains in these backsides of the beyonds.

Have you ever noticed that I tend to accompany some of my more outrageous posts about my “Shadow” or about target practice or about meeting up with terrorists right around the world during my own weird sojourn on this earth with posts giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception? Might it be that I protesteth too much? Might it be that this is a way to make it all better? After all, how sweet, how innocent is that? Surely I’m a nice priest after all!

Actually, it’s the other way around. The more outrageous posts are accompanied (to use that word[!]) by posts on giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception so as to be honest about being a bit of a hack, a bit of a hick, a bit of a redneck, a bumpkin, a yokel, yahoo, hayseed, even a knucklehead and, of all things, a donkey (in its more familiar appellative). I can’t think of anything more appropriate for such a tumbleweed as myself than to give flowers to Jesus’ mom and ours.

For example, and I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have an altogether different imagination of the scene unfolding at the Annunciation to Mary by Saint Gabriel that she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. The name “Gabriel” means something like “The ultra-war-hero-of-God.” The Mother of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15 (with, of course, her Son, the Redeemer) is set apart as the Warrior against Satan: “I will put enmity between you, Satan, and The Woman…” and only then does the text say “and between your seed (of Satan) and the Seed of the Woman” (and that would be the Redeemer, Jesus). So, it’s most appropriate that “The ultra-war-hero-of-God,” Saint Gabriel, is sent to Mary to make the announcement. What I imagine is that he presents himself to her fresh from battle, all blood and guts and armaments, as it were, filled with adrenaline, so to speak, from the fight with the ancient dragon, Satan, but ever so respectfully taking a knee before her and the Sacred Mysteries of the Incarnation of the Divine Son of God that is to take place before him, and ever so gently, ever so joyfully proclaiming his message to her that was given to him by God the Most High.

Should I, then, make brave to offer a little flower to Jesus’ good mom, it is done in view of this epic battle being waged on my behalf, totally unworthy as I am, totally unworthy as we all are, the war being waged with the strength of the freely given love of God for us. I have been the warrior against her Son. But He’s laid down His life for me. In other words, the flowers are given in trepidation, yes, but also in hope and therefore also in joy. Look, there she is, with anyone passing by the way knowing that there is no sorrow like her sorrow:

pieta

Can you imagine holding up a little flower to give to her? Kind of puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? The flower gets speckled with blood. Apart from Jesus, I’m not a nice priest. I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God and the Son of Mary with sin, original sin and whatever of my own rubbish.

The flower is a “Hail Mary…” of the Rosary (named after a flower for the Immaculate Conception, the rose), prayed while we are thankful for the grace of redemption, for the grace held out for our salvation. Hail Mary…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (You are being dead edition)

flores Mary hid with Christ in God

Here’s the statue of Mary in front of Holy Redeemer Church. Colossians 3:3…

The NAB translates: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

That’s nice. But the KJV is better: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

But let’s just go for a more up-to-date utterly troublesome and annoying, jarring literal translation of the without-borders of tense called aorist: “For you are being dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

This is not morbid. And that this life in Christ having us being dead to the world is not morbid is itself a truth that has almost entirely escaped us; the exhilarating life of Christ escapes us because we, without Christ, are just so very much six feet under dead even while we are alive in this world. The life of Christ within us is necessarily hid in all it’s brilliance and glory because this fallen world just has no way of taking in any of the greatness of that most awesome love and goodness and kindness and… and… living Truth.

No one was more alive to God and dead to this world that Mary. I love this little statue of Mary so very hidden among the flowers that Jesus had created for the Immaculate Conception.

 

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (So that’s what happens edition)

flores guadalupe rose

Long time readers know that I’ve put up a gabillion Flowers for the Immaculate Conception, flowers that I see here at the rectory, at church, at the hermitage, “picked” wherever I happen to be, always at the ready to pick flowers for Jesus’ good mom.

But that doesn’t mean I know anything about flowers. I certainly don’t have a green thumb. If it were left up to me, all flowers would die with too much or not enough sun, over or under or irregular watering or fertilizing, weeding out the flowers and mystified as to why only weeds grow, you know, that kind of thing.

One gracious reader sent in a bare roots in the box Florabunda Guadalupe Rose which I planted according to instructions after soaking for a few days. After a some months it burst into a zillion roses all at once, and then those disappeared and the leaves stopped growing and I thought that I had done it again, another dead plant.

But, all of a sudden, the other week, I saw new growth in the leaves. Great, thought I, a second life. Then I saw the rose pictured above. I went out to take this picture and saw that the bush had another gatrillion buds ready to explode into flowers next to the little “grotto” of Our Lady. It’s like a lull in between fire works on the 4th of July. All quiet, all dark, and then… Wow!

This is also how things can be in the spiritual life, so much so that we can come to know what Saint Paul means when he says:

I know indeed how (1) to live in humble circumstances; I know also how (2) to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret (2) of being well fed and (1) of going hungry, (2) of living in abundance and (1) of being in need. (Philippians 4:12)

Notice that he throws around the order of the circumstances. We usually say that we know how to put up with good circumstances and even… and even… difficult circumstances. He reverses that order and emphasis: “I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.” Outrageous, that.

And then he throws it out the other way, twice, just to make sure that we get the right idea that stability, security, constancy in friendship with our Lord doesn’t depend on some sort of determination we have, but rather depends on the love our Lord holds us in. And that, in itself, is a Flower for the Immaculate Conception, she who stood next to our Lord in bad times and good, and good times and bad, and good times in bad.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Swiss Guard edition)

flores swiss guard

swiss guard fatimaThe Swiss Guard are, of course, dedicated to Our Lady. In their honor, and so, in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s honor, the Green-Thumb parishioner planted some of what she calls Swiss Guard flowers. At first I thought she meant some others, but I finally saw these open up with all the stripes like the uniforms of the Swiss Guard. Mind you, the Swiss Guard crowd, to a man, hates the uniforms designed by Michelangelo way back in the day. But, as long as they have them, these will be called the Swiss Guard flowers. I’m sure they don’t mind them being “picked” for the Immaculate Conception. By the way, everyone has been quick to point out that in time of famine, one can eat the leaves of these flowers like a salad. O.K. But, that would only get one just a part of a meal, one time. And then? Call the Swiss Guard, I say.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Jesus did that, just so cool edition)

flores cool

O.K., so, that’s the kind of thing I look for in giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception. That’s just so cool. Jesus did that, for His mom… and ours. Just so cool.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Thanks, Mother Mary, for… edition)

flores prince of peace

Thanks, Mother Mary, for…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Hens and Chicks and donkeys edition)

flores hens and chicks

The Hens and Chicks are wildly blooming at one of my Communion Calls in the back ridges of the back mountains of the back forests. Beautiful. Like Jewels. For our Lady.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 23:37-39).

Don’t think that our Lady wasn’t as eager as her Divine Son Jesus for the Hour of her intercession to come to pass. Don’t think she wasn’t eager to see the donkey on which Jesus would ride to His crucifixion when those Hosannas rang out. Finally!

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Mother Mary.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (That’s nice but… edition)

flores zillion pink

In hagiographical lore it is said that there was once a woman renowned far and wide for her captivating beauty and that Jesus appeared to a saint who was acquainted with her and asked him whether he thought that she was beautiful. He said that, yes, she was very beautiful. But our Lord was quick to disagree, and rather sharply, saying that she was quite ugly, she knowing nothing of the faith, she not living in grace, she not being a tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. Then, some time later, after her conversion, our Lord again appeared to the same saint and asked the same question, but then answering it Himself, that now, yes, she was radiantly beautiful, for she now enjoyed the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, it being this which made her beautiful.

“The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Meanwhile, the most beautiful of all, Immaculate Mary, free of all sin, radiant in sanctifying grace, said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:46-49).

She knew that also she needed redemption to enjoy the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity from the first moment of her conception. There was no one more thankful than her. It is good also for us who are conceived in sin to now thank the Lord for the grace He provides to us:

“It is good to give thanks to Yahweh, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning, your faithfulness in the night” (Psalm 92:2-3).

 

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