Saturday, July 18, 2020

A glimpse of the hermitage garden ....

What I did for a friend...

I concentrated all the pots so it could be viewed comfortably from the house. Darold had mobility issues, as well as Parkinson's related dementia - albeit fairly mild. So he sat in the 'garden room' where he could watch TV, go online, and look out on the 'secret' part of the garden. He loved the hedge untrimmed this year with all the privacy. It reminded him of a PBS garden show about tracking rhododendron in the Himalayas - I may have that wrong.  The shade garden is now more wild - which he liked, because I told him St. Francis encouraged a wild portion to gardens for the critters.  Indeed,  critters live there, so there is lots of activity. Rabbits and gophers - and once upon a time, a couple raccoons visited. He loved watching the birds and the bunnies.

This year I planted to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and goldfinch, otherwise there are the cardinals, sparrows and house wrens, and a couple of midnight blue birds I can't identify. The little water features attract a host of others - they are at different levels for the ground squirrels and rabbits to drink from.  He actually complimented me on the arrangement of pots, that was a first!

He would love it tonight, since everything is voluptuous.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel

O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, 
most fruitful vine, 
splendor of heaven, 
holy and singular, 
who brought forth the Son of God, 
still ever remaining a pure virgin, 
assist us in our necessity! 
O Star of the Sea, 
help and protect us! 
Show us that you are our Mother! 


Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is an ancient devotion, and one, it seems to me, necessary in our times when there are signs of persecution and the threat of war. When the dogma of faith is challenged and compromised throughout Christendom. When paganism has once again attracted and made captive mainstream society. When idolatry has replaced true worship of God the Father in spirit and truth.

Mt. Carmel reminds us of the Prophet Elijah of course, he who defeated the false prophets of Baal. The Order of Carmel has always seen the prophets Elijah and Elisha as the 'proto-founders' of the order. In the passage from Kings wherein Elijah sees the "little cloud rising from the sea" from his perch atop the summit of Mt. Carmel many have written that this little cloud prefigures the Virgin who would bear the Savior - hence, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

The last apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes took place on the feast of Mt. Carmel, July 16:

The 18th appearance 16 July 1858
This was the final appearance. Because the grotto was barricaded by the local government, Bernadette knelt outside the fence by the riverbank. "I thought I was at the Grotto, at the same distance as I was the other times. All I saw was Our Lady ... She was more beautiful than ever."

Perhaps more significantly, at Fatima Our Lady showed herself as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel during the miracle of the sun. For me, there are intriguing parallels on that account with the Prophet Elijah in his confrontation with the pagan priests on Carmel, and calling down fire from heaven. Because of that, it lends an apocalyptic nuance to the final vision of Fatima.

Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, notre Consolation à l’heure de la mort, priez pour nous pécheurs,
Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, Avocate des pêcheurs les plus abandonnés, priez pour nous pécheurs,
Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, Pour ceux qui sont endurcis dans le vice,
Nous venons à Vous avec confiance, Ô Notre Dame du Mont Carmel...