Tag Archives: Flores

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Son of David, edition)



The flower is outside of Valley View Nursing Home here in Andrews. The Star of David with the Cross is one solid piece of Mohogany that a wonderful family in the parish gave me this late last night at their house while we were plotting out some aspects of the Confirmation Mass with the Bishop coming up soon. It was made in Indonesia, though I have to wonder if those in Indonesia have been following my blog, it being as I sometimes put up a picture of Sassy the Subaru:


My heart and soul fly to the top of Mount Carmel, to the Stations of the Cross right next to our Holy Father Elijah’s cave. There are many flowers for the Immaculate Conception along the route of those Stations of the Cross:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Happy Birthday! Coastal Karnataka)

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Dear Father, Wish you a Happy Feast of the Nativity [of Mary Immaculate, September 8]. Here (coastal Karnataka) a novena is conducted at all parishes in preparation for the feast. And after the Novena all gather around the statue of Infant Mary and shower flowers on the statue while singing a particular hymn. On this occasion all the family members gather and have a festive lunch together only Vegetarian on banana leaves. Attached are some photos and a video. With prayers, Father D

Thank you, Father D. I was unable to put up a flower for Mary for her birthday yesterday. Thanks for allowing me to rejoice with you.

For you, Mary, from your priest sons.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (It’s been a while, edition)

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Sometimes, when there’s much on one’s plate, one can only fill a vase with flowers to give to Jesus’ good mom, and then, since it’s been a while, beg her indulgence, and then race off once again for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, without lots of commentary… as I am want to do…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Just… Wow… edition)


Sometimes we go through the dreaded “Just… Wow…” moments. Those can be times of enthralling awesomeness, or of utter devastation, or entirely draining while in solidarity with those who suffer, with those who die. Jesus’ good mom had plenty of “Just… Wow…” moments in her life, so, a bunch of flowers for her.

Plenty of all of those “Just… Wow…” moments have made their way to me in the last number of weeks, setting me on my heels. So, I’ve been pretty quiet.

One of those things I’d like to write about is the death (in his sleep) of a very close and honorable friend, on August 15 – Feast of the Assumption of Mary, souls and body, into heaven. That close friend was one of Europe’s best attorneys, and of the worlds best academics, continuing to help – in his retirement – doctoral students all over the world. He also had a lifetime of “Just… Wow…” moments. He was devoted to Jesus’ good mom, and helped me with this as well. This caught the notice of Benedict XVI, for whom this fellow had great respect. More on him, later.

But for right now, yes, some flowers for you, Mary. You stood fast with Jesus.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (streaked with blood, edition)


Proportional to our shock at shootings in El Paso and Dayton and… (List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019) – and remember that defensive shooters saved untold numbers of lives, some stats putting this into seven figures – anyway, proportional to our shock at the violence, not counting wars, violence in families, etc, proportional to that shock is just how much we have not had our eyes open to the violence Jesus’ good mom saw under the cross when her Divine Son was burdened with violence and sin of all of fallen humanity. There she stands, streaked with blood… praying for us. A flower for you, Mary.

I had planned to write a big post on Saint Mary Majors and Our Lady of the Snows, but this was the best I could muster in these last few days.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The First Robe of Light, edition)


And so it begins. The Jasmine are coming out. Above is the first of zillions to come.

Speaking of “first”….

In the Greek of the Sacred Scriptures, the word for “first” first of all always means “first”, that is, numerically the beginning of a series or the prime actor in a hierarchy. It never simply means “best” unless that meaning is derivative of the first meaning of being first of all first.

The First Born from the Dead refers on so many levels to Christ Jesus, keeping the meaning also of being first of all first.

When “first” is mistranslated as merely “best” with no connection to first of all being first, the meaning is entirely mistaken.

Thus, the prodigal son is given not merely the “best” robe upon his return, upon his being found by the father; he is given the very first robe (which is why it is best). This refers not to the first robe you find, the first one atop the heap of laundry. No. That would be stupid. “The First Robe” was a set phrase for hundreds of years before Christ Jesus voiced this parable. It referred to the first robe Adam wore before original sin, a robe of light, a robe of innocence. Give that to him.

Now that I’m ranting on translations, how about another from that parable. Translations speak of the father being moved to pity or some such thing upon his seeing his son trudging back. No. What it says in the inspired Greek is that the father’s heart was sacrificed upon seeing his son, obviously sacrificed in favor of his son. That sacrifice of his heart was a reference to the provision of redemption, of salvation in the sacrifice of the Heart of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. A flower for you, Mary.

sacred hearts

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Still a papist?! edition)


Yesterday Sassy the Subaru saw well over 400 miles as Mass with the Bishop and fellow priests at the Cathedral in Charlotte. It was the Jubilee Mass for a number of priests this year, one at 60 years of Masses, two at 55 years of Masses, one at 50 years of Masses, and one – a predecessor of mine here in Andrews – at 25 years.

With one priest I had a fast moving discussion about the horrific state of affairs in Nigeria, where mayhem has escalated in the past couple of months and weeks, what with now continuous terrorism and slaughtering of Christians by Islamicists, an “ethnic cleansing” – let’s call it what it is, a genocide, village by village, region by region. There is a confiscation of gun permits of Christians and a confiscation of guns, even while the Islamicists are allowed by the Islamicist president to continue their murdering. That’s what gun confiscation is all about.

With some others a discussion was to be had about how to deal with the homosexualist bullying within the Church, what amounts here and there to an ethnic cleansing of believers, particularly and pointedly as wrought by some individuals in the Vatican. We were all of the same judgement, that we have to stick together, and stay always with Jesus, as He is the One, the only One.

I mentioned, as is my want, prayers for Pope Francis, complaining that some people interpret my appeals as absolutely agreeing with absolutely everything Pope Francis says and does. “Pfft!” exclaimed one priests, incredulous that I should ever get any trouble for praying for anyone: “I pray for Pope Francis all the time!” he said, again and again. “How is that a problem?” That’s my question as well. Such an attitude of not praying for the very person who would obviously be the most attacked by Satan in the Church contravenes Jesus’ desire to pray for all and sundry, regardless. Jesus prayed for the very one who would deny Him three times, the very first Pontiff, Peter himself. So, like, yeah, what is the problem? Who are these people who insist that one absolutely cannot ever pray for anyone unless you absolutely agree with everything they say and do? I mean, how stupid and, it seems to me, how malicious is that?

Perhaps they forget that they themselves were on their way to hell except for Jesus laying down His life for them, you know, because they were just that evil.

Let’s recall this scene from the Passion of the Christ, the denial of Jesus by Peter and then Jesus’ good mom being so willing to forgive:

A rose for you, Mary.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The whole creation proclaims, edition)


“Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made” (Romans 1:20).

And that’s true even for our fallen human nature. For the Immaculate Conception, with her purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision for the perception of the invisible proclaimed by the visible, well… we fallen creatures can hardly even imagine the love by which Jesus’ good mom would praise God for such a display of power and divinity, knowing well that that power and divinity carries the Love who God is.

But we fallen creatures can know that there is something extra special between Jesus and His good mom even with such things as a flower. So, a flower given by Jesus to us, back to Jesus, then to His good mom:

shepherd boy

Meanwhile, we know that it will take Jesus standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, to get us there. In the header picture of this blog, one sees what happened to Jesus so as to accomplish this. One also sees a boy about the same age as this fellow in the painting:

death gaza boy 1

Having a moment to appreciate the Love of God – God is Love – is not incongruous with living in this world where there is so much hate. It’s not escapism. It’s not, as Marx said, a religious opiate of society. No. A moment to appreciate the Love of God provides the answer to such hatred.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Hidden with Christ in God, edition)


The garden out front of the church has grown up in wild serenity, hiding Mary who is already hidden with Christ in God, for all to see, but hidden nonetheless, as much as supernatural is unknown to the mere natural, even if all of creation proclaims with insistence and eloquence the Creator of all (see Romans 1).

All of this is hidden from the one who suppresses recognition of the Creator proclaimed by creation. The suppressors know nothing of being hidden with Christ in God. The suppressors turn into violent beasts (see Romans 1 at the end). But they also are redeemed even if not presently saved. We don’t know who will be saved. It is incumbent upon us to bring people to the wounds of Jesus.

“The wounds of Jesus.” Yes. Don’t ask a fallen away to just come to church. Ask them to come with you a bit early, because you want to go to Confession. They’ll see how happy you are in having gone. They’ll want to do the same. It might take many invites over the months. But it may well be that they’ll go to Confession and know that happiness too. And maybe even the first time. Don’t be afraid of being hidden with Christ in God. Just the same, others would love to lose that fear as well.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Like snow, edition)

It snowed in mid-July in central Minnesota when I was a kid. Just a freak incident. It’s mid-July in Western North Carolina right now, and it “snows” every year at this time here. There are trees – I don’t know what they are called – which shed trillions of tiny cup shaped white flowers, perhaps just an 1/8 of an inch wide. They pile up. In the picture up top you see one of the trees next to the neighbors to the hermitage. These aren’t flowers you can pick. When they really start dropping, perhaps a small garden shovel would be more appropriate. It’s one of those things which just make you think of the goodness of God. All for you, Mary.


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flos Carmeli, edition)

When living at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel, after offering Holy Mass directly above the cave of Elijah, I would make brave to intone the Flos Carmeli, with all then joining in for a number of verses.

With all of those Flowers for the Immaculate Conception, I am reminded of the Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross, on Mount Carmel:

We might recall that The Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were fierce crusaders. After helping to retake the Holy Land from the genocidal empire building Islamicists of the time – akin to today’s ISIS, as always – they wanted to continue fighting in this Church Militant by way of prayer and penance and sacrifice and spiritual exercises for six months and then evangelizing with ferocious Elijah-like preaching for six months, year in, year out. I’ve been in all those caves and their now destroyed central monastery grounds in the wadi on Mount Carmel. Some like to speak of simple folk who wanted to say a prayer or two together for a few years before returning to Europe after a nice pilgrimage and then visits from the Saracens.

But, as it is, there were more Islamicist incursions, as always with that political “religion”. The early Carmelites were ousted, then came back, were ousted again, and on it went. Finally, their monastery was blown up fairly recently (1800s if I remember correctly), giving them the opportunity, upon return, to build, fortuitously, not in the wadi, but above the cave of Elijah.

I was invested in the Brown Scapular by way of receiving the entire habit in an extended ceremony presided by one of the Definitor Generals of the Discaled Carmelites. That Summer, so many decades ago, was an opportunity to memorize – in Latin – the entire rule of the first Carmelites provided by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and ratified by the Bishop of Rome.

Were you invested in the Brown Scapular? I received one on the way out the door of the church after my first Holy Communion. I wasn’t actually invested. That was 1968. The year of the catastrophic liberal cataclysm which did more to destroy the Church than any genocidal invading Saracens ever could. Wearing a Brown Scapular helps remind us of the Church Militant in which we live upon this earth. We are reminded to pray. Do you recall the promises that come with wearing the Brown Scapular, and the accompanying prayer?


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Trumpets! edition)

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Resurrection-Butterfly, edition)

These are about a 1/2 mile from the hermitage as the crow flies, or about 100 miles as the butterfly flies. These are Asclepias curassavica, a tropical milkweed loved by caterpillars that turn into, say, Monarch Butterflies.

If you think that Butterflies as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus is too sweet, too saccharine to ever be used, ever, think again. No, really… think…

Remember some Scripture verses that Jesus put in the first person singular just before He died tortured to death on the Cross for our sins. “I am a worm and no man.” The Monarch, the King, is indeed appropriate. Just ask our Lady if she noticed the difference before and after the Resurrection:


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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Saprotroph, edition)

A group of Ink Cap saprotroph mushrooms in the backyard… thinner than paper…

They come up in hours at night, burn away in the sun hours later after dropping their spores. So, I thought that’s all I would see. Instead, the backyard has been taken over by these guys.

Laudie-dog is scared of them, even though they seem to have contributed to her getting over her fear of heights:

Laudie-dog has not been shrooming, by the way, as these mushrooms are harmless if one doesn’t drink alcohol at the same time. These mushrooms are called Tippler’s Bane. Laudie isn’t a tippler.

Anyway, I know these aren’t exactly flowers, and I know they these are the ultimate “Natura morta” presentation to Our Lady, but – Hey! – this oldster is still fascinated by all that is nature as all that is nature shouts out the glory of God, with things being as they should be, each thing having its place, each cooperating with all other things to make it all work.

“Natura morta” or “Dead nature” is badly translated as “Still Life,” as in paintings that include fruit and flowers, things that are dead because they cut off from the supply of life from a plant or tree, and therefore are for the moment especially to be valued because of their passing beauty, the reference to “the flowers of the field” made by our Lord Jesus, the Divine Son of Mary.

I myself have often been the subject of analogies to mushrooms of all kinds, you know, someone who is kept in the dark and fed, well, you know…

Why give such a saprotroph to Our Lady? Isn’t that an insult? Not at all.

On the one hand, saprotrophs, in and of themselves, have a beauty all their own.

We, on the other hand, have only our sin to claim as our own, and that sin makes us less than the animals, less than anything, including saprotrophs, which instead feed on us and turn us to dust when the time comes, and it will come, much much sooner than later.

Good thing that Jesus even takes away our sin, so that we have nothing, as the neighbor to the hermitage told me recently.

And that last point, then, is what giving saprotrophs to Mary is all about, namely, it is about the wounds of Jesus witnessed by Mary, we casting our sin unto Jesus and, revealing the glory of the love of the only Begotten of the Father, we see His mercy upon us, having us die with Him, but this time on the Cross… under which Mary stood.

All that comes to mind with a saprotroph. :-)

Of course, we don’t need to overthink it when giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. We can just do it.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Fathers Day, edition)

These guys have just jumped out of their little purple martin bird house a few feet away for the first time, learning how to fly, with purple martin mama anxiously protecting them from the neighborhood around the rectory which gathered to see the sight. I mean, these don’t look like purple martin kids, do they? I mean, the beak is hooked… Is that right? And the “babies” are already twice as big as the mama before they even know how to fly. What’s going on here?

Anyway, my first thought was “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception,” which I always have on the front burner. I’m thinking that that’s not a bad thing. Oh, and here’s another, who keeps looking at how far down the ground is…

Last night after the Vigil Mass the Latinos had a Fathers Day party, complete with singing and cake:

On Mothers Day the Latinos give all the ladies roses after Mass in the social hall with another party, of course. I said last night that the Fathers should get something as well. Many suggestions were made but all immediately dismissed as it was said that it just doesn’t work that way. But to my my way of thinking, it’s a gift to any Father to be able to give a gift on Fathers Day. So, a whole heap of flowers for you, Mary. I suppose the birds will fly away, having learned how to fly. But that’s as it should be.


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


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


There are those who complain that we Catholics honor Jesus’ good mom way too much, even to the point of condemning her, and calling honor of her demonic. Why? Just to differentiate themselves from Catholics? Really? I think Jesus will ask them about this at the judgment. But they will point to Catholics who think themselves above such honor of a good mom, who think that dishonoring Jesus’ mom, and, really, therefore, all moms, is a good thing. Dishonor of motherhood is not good.

I even heard one bishop some decades ago – who went out of his way to be my enemy (that’s on him from his point of view) – say that any devotion to Mary is a “fetish.” Yep. Don’t be scandalized by that. Instead, let’s open our eyes to see what is going on. Are we ourselves apologetic about honoring Mary, Jesus’ good mom?

Saint Luis de Montfort proclaims the principle well: we cannot outdo Jesus in honoring His good mom. Jesus can only delight in our honoring His good mom. Amidst all the hell and darkness and chaos in the world, how could it not be a delight for Mary’s Divine Son to see that amidst all that hell and darkness and chaos there is some honor for His good mom, that is, in our weak attempts to follow His good example, His love for His mom.

/// rant over.

Now then, scroll back up and look at the work of Jesus, who is The Artist for His good mom. How can she not delight in that?! :-)


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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

The ardent, fiery love of the Holy Spirit is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this one from a priest in India:


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


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

jewish yellow star jude

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

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