Tag Archives: Immaculate Conception

Laudie-dog Eclipse-dog; Islam and the crescent moon; Jesus and me.

laudie dog eclispse dog

So, there I was, sitting in a chair, head back, eclipse glasses on, staring at the moon crossing the sun, with Laudie-dog trying to get my attention. So, I took a number of pictures of her, including this one. Mind you, she is not blind, this moment was just a millionth of a nano-second in length in which I somehow managed to take the picture just as she also looked up just before totality. She wasn’t just imitating me; she was trying to tell me that something weird was going on, like, um, me sitting and staring at the sun, because, how dumb is that, right?

During totality, Laudie dog was shaking with fear. But the shaking wasn’t, mind you, in fear of the celestial events. Rather, the town of Andrews was playing super weird spooky music even while others were shooting off fire-works. Laudie dog has no liking for that activity. Anyway, here’s the totality to my naked eye (and naked camera):

eclipse totality andrews nc 2017-

I loved going to the planetarium in the Twin Cities as a kid. It’s totally different when you see things happening in front of you. When the moon started blocking the sun, the first thought that came into my mind and heart and soul was: “God exists! God is so very wonderful! God loves us!”

But this wasn’t just an intellectual thing. I suppose people will make fun of me for saying this, but this was a spiritual event for me, very very very peaceful. By that I mean something beyond Saint Paul’s chapter one of his letter to the Romans. All creation speaks of the glory of God, yes! But more… It was as if Jesus was with me watching the eclipse, which, although He is creating that eclipse, although He is creating me, He can come in His wonderfully condescending love (in the absolutely best sense) and be in His own creation (He is incarnate!). And, by the way, He can also give a flower to the Immaculate Conception.

eclipse beginning crescent andrews nc 2017

Meanwhile, with the crescent sun a thought came to mind about the crescent moon and Islam.

While I was studying the Syrian language I came across a cultural tid-bit well known to every Muslim in that part of the world but not to someone like me from the North woods of Minnesota: the moon is a man, enlightening in difficult circumstances, helpful and kind, never threatening, even while the sun is a woman, always threatening, burning, hurtful, unrelentingly cruel. During a solar eclipse, the moon beats down the sun. The phases of the moon are actually just the sun trying to escape on the other side of the earth. Once in a while the moon hunts down the sun and shows the sun who is boss. The crescent moon is lifted up above every mosque/cultural center. The meteor rock in mecca is part of the moon come to earth, right? In that part of the world, the received mythology treated various celestial bodies as the gods, that is, the sons and daughters of the original deities which progressively became more material as time went on.

Meanwhile, the woman clothed with the sun in the Apocalypse (and our Lady of Guadalupe) has the crescent moon under her feet. Heh heh heh.

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Filed under Dogs, Nature, Spiritual life

Flores for the Immaculate Conception (ragamuffin waif guttersnipe orphan street urchin adopted kid edition)

flores bright

Holy Mother Church has long presented the most glorious aspects of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God assumed soul and body into heaven, sometimes doing this also in reaction to attacks on her Divine Son. While none of these interventions which provide magisterial teaching on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition make Mary out to be unapproachable even though she is that woman clothed with the sun, with the stars about her and the moon under her feet, it is easy to get that unapproachable impression if we don’t collectively start also to note how these very things make her approachable, that is, even while paying attention to those things people have found somewhat uncomfortable to notice. Thus:

Let’s call to mind the whole “Mary is only the mother of Jesus and she had no other kids” drama, you know, with all the arguments that “the brothers and sisters of Jesus” are really just “cousins” because the language at the time had no word for “cousins” and simply used “brothers and sisters” blah blah blah. That’s all correct, but, I think, misguided. Yes, Mary was the birth mother of Jesus alone, and there are those who are verifiably the cousins of Jesus mentioned in the Scriptures. But remember the time Jesus was rejected in His own native place, and especially that time “the brothers and sisters of Jesus” dragged Mary to where He was so that they could prove to her that He was demon possessed because He didn’t have time even to eat in that He was so good and kind?

Cousins don’t act like that. Only those who are insecure and think they have to prove something to gain their feeling of security do that kind of thing. What I think is going on here is that when the Holy Family returned from Egypt, now speaking Arabic and most likely marginalized with their house having been stolen while they were gone, have their plight noticed by the street kids who were for whatever reason also marginalized. Those kids instantaneously gravitated to and were adopted into the Holy Family en masse when they saw just one brought in, fed and cared for. Jesus wasn’t a brat. Jesus was the only child. They were envious of Him. They had to prove something, they thought, to Mary to protect their own position in the household.

In all of this, did Mary throw them out? No. Was she always available for all waifs who were dying of neglect on the streets? Yes. For her, were they like bright flowers given to her by her Son? Yes. Did they realize how much she loved them? No. Did that stop her from loving them? No. We are so very secure in the Holy Family and we don’t even know it. Typical us. Heaven will be different. Good thing our fallen human feelings don’t dictate actual reality. Our perceptions aren’t always correct. We are loved even if we don’t feel like it. Heaven will be different.

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday. More on mercy later.

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Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception

Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Thank you ever so very much, Immaculate Conception! edition)

shepherd boy

My spirit is as light as a fluffy dandelion being given to Jesus for the Immaculate Conception. Our Lady has granted me this very day a great favor, two, in fact. I feel like a little kid before her, my spirit rejoicing. I’m bursting with joy, smiling from ear to ear.

byers dance paul vi audience hallMentioned in the conversation with the Bishop, who called me up, and with the Bishop bringing up the topic, was my thesis on the Immaculate Conception and my need to make a popular version of it. This is a sign, I believe from our Lady, that NOW’s the time! This will be the little flower I give to her through Jesus, if this is made possible by the providence of her Divine Son. I again dance with joy. Do I ever stop?

But that was just one thing. The other is… well… what a gift! I’ll write about that as time goes on. I’m speechless. I too, must be loved by the Immaculate Conception, and by her Divine Son. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Mary.

Dance dance dance dance dance…

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Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Flores, Genesis 2-4 to 3-24, Immaculate Conception, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Pope Francis

Extreme Grunge Caving in Lourdes with the Immaculate Conception. Yikes!

A grunge caving video I made when a permanent chaplain in the caves of Lourdes. Yikes! Don’t do this when you go to Lourdes, lest you die. Seriously. You’ll be arrested. It’s just that I was an official permanent chaplain. Know that the spikes are sharp! However, my extreme sport talents came back to me, and I made it in and out alive, many times actually. The caves were a bit of a refuge for me. The music was a one-off performance for the 150th anniversary. The Russian chant was a group delegated by Moscow for the occasion.

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Filed under Ecumenism, Mary

Immaculate Conception Project

LOURDES-GROTTO

The Grotto on my last day as chaplain in the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.

If it be God’s will, the successful completion of the Immaculate Conception Project will begin at the beginning. I’ve begun the popular version. So far, I’ve set up a new computer dedicated solely to the project (the two right screens below). I’ve started setting up a workstation, consolidating files from a half dozen broken down computers, installing a new version of WordPerfect, installing a new version of BibleWorks, and have an auxiliary computer dedicated to extra stuff.

work-station

I can’t give you anything of the popular version of the Immaculate Conception Project yet, but here are summary file and audio conference of the same, the thesis and, as an extra on this glorious feast day, the Flos Carmeli:

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CONFERENCE

GENESIS THESIS GEORGE DAVID BYERS

Here’s a picture of the computer screen with the cover edited this morning. A little busy, but it gives you some idea of what the Immaculate Conception Project is all about…

genesis-cover

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Filed under Genesis 2-4 to 3-24

Flores for the Immaculate Conception Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum ed.?

flores dogwood

The dogwoods are out in bloom. Such blood on their leathery petals.

It must be Lady Day!

This solemnity is named after what the angel did: “The Annunciation.” That’s not right. It shouldn’t be. It’s enough to make an angel upset. And you DO NOT want any angel upset with you.

“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum!”

Those words surely recall for you the great joy to be had in the family of faith when the Cardinal Proto-Deacon announces that an election has been made by the voting cardinals of a successor of Saint Peter, the bishop of the See of Rome, who is therefore and  because of that the Supreme Pontiff, il Papa, the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, a sign of unity, the one who is to confirm his brother successors to the apostles in the faith.

The proclamation avoids the pretension of using the same word chosen by Saint Jerome for his Latin translation of the Greek regarding the angel who is speaking of the birth of Christ to the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night: εὐαγγελίζομαι -euangelizo – I proclaim the Good News of a great joy [to you…]. Some of the Vetus Latina manuscripts simply, and not so accurately used the word to announce: annuntio vobis…

You’ll note that in two proclamations above, one to the family of faith about the earthly father of the family of faith and the other to the shepherds about the Good Shepherd, that the messengers keep their distance by emphasizing themselves: I am announcing to you a great joy… I am proclaiming the Good News to you, a great joy… Both announcements involve important events, but neither the newly elected Pontiff nor Jesus are immediately present, so that the messengers still have full authority and they need to mention this.

Instead, with announcement to Mary by the angel that she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, the angel takes himself out of the picture, and he tells her why:

“Χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ. Rejoice, you who perfectly continue to stand perfectly transformed in grace [and, in context, since the time of the first moment in which you received your vocation to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, since your conception]; the Lord is with you!”

The angel could hardly point to his own authority for making this announcement of a great joy, this proclamation of the Good News, because Mary had more authority in the angel, for, as he said, it is the Lord Himself who is with her. The angel is simply there for her instruction at her discretion. The emphasis is on God and her being the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God.

Yes, besides Genesis 3:15, this passage in Luke 1:28 points to the Immaculate Conception. I beg Jesus daily that I have the time to write about all this. But that’s another post. Meanwhile:

Thank you, Jesus, for deigning to come among us through dearest Mary. Thank you, Mary, for offering your response from which so very much would follow:

Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum

 

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Filed under Flores, Immaculate Conception