The yucca is a fascinating plant. Even though it is primarily a desert plant, you see it in many landscapes around this area. It starts as a pile of sword-like leaves from which emerges a tall stalk with tightly folded "arms" that slowly open out to unfold their flowers. The blossom of the yucca plant is the official state flower of New Mexico. Early settlers in that state called them "our Lord's candles."
"... the lamps of the golden menorah burn evening after evening ..." - 2 Chronicles 13:11
"Our Lord's candles" glow brilliantly in the sunlight and shimmer in the moonlight, much like the candles that burn on the golden menorah.
O Lord, as the flowers of the yucca light the night, may I be a light that shines forth to illuminate the way for others. Amen.
"I will be like the dew for Israel: he will blossom like the lily; He will strike root like the Lebanon cedar" - Hosea 14:6
While this Bible verse speaks of the lily, scripture scholars have debated whether the passage actually speaks more about another plant that is, in fact, found native to the land of the Bible: the iris.
The iris takes its name from the Greek word for "rainbow", and its meanings have come to include faith, hope and wisdom. Irises may also express courage and admiration.
In terms of Catholic tradition, the iris is a rival of the lily as the flower of the Virgin Mary. It appears as a religious symbol in the works of the early Flemish masters, where it both accompanies and replaces the lily in paintings of the Virgin. This symbolism developed because its name means "sword lily", which refers to Mary's sorrow at Christ's Passion. Spanish painters adopted the iris as a characteristic of the Queen of Heaven and as an attribute of the Immaculate Conception.
Irises: handsome, showy plants with a long and rich history.
"One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again." - Isaiah 2:4
We were watching a commemoration on Memorial Day when he said to me, "What would the world be like if there were no wars?".
I thought about what he said. There have always been wars. Not just recent conflicts, but the Korean War, the World Wars, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and on and on. The cave men probably even fought among themselves. Fighting over politics, rights, land, greed, possessions, religions, or just fighting for the sake of fighting.
While we cannot change the past, we can certainly think about a future with no wars. To live in peace. To have no need to produce weapons. To have no reason to become soldiers.
What would the world be like if there were no wars? How different would this world be?
"... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." - Galatians 5:22-23
I saw an interesting blog post that assigned "fruits" to each of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Seeing the faithful cherries growing on my tree, and with the spirit of Pentecost and Confirmation all around us, it seemed to be an appropriate reflection. Click here to read the reasoning behind each association.
LOVE - Strawberries
JOY - Pineapple
PEACE - Watermelon
PATIENCE - Lemon
KINDNESS - Grapes
GOODNESS - Bananas
FAITHFULNESS - Cherries
GENTLENESS - Peach
SELF CONTROL - Apple
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."