Only the Strongest

My neighbours laughed at me!

When we moved here, and I told them I was planning a seaside flower garden, they chuckled and told me that flowers do not survive so close to the sea. The air is too salty, they said.

However, after researching types of flowers, I learned which ones do survive, and even thrive here. Often they are plants with thick waxy leaves. Only the strongest flowering plants will endure the salt spray.

Pictured are Rieger Begonias.

In traditional Catholic thought, these flowers symbolize the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I now spend much time outside, praying, and tending my seaside garden.

It is a Mary garden. No, Catholics of course do not ‘worship’ Mary, but they do honour her, as the woman from Christ drew his humanity.

Here are the words of a famous Protestant Christian that you may be familiar with, concerning Mary:

‘She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honour her enough’.

These are the words of Martin Luther, given at his 1531 Christmas Sermon. He retained his devotion to Mary throughout his whole life.

54 thoughts on “Only the Strongest

  1. Yes Sally! All so true and reverence of course should be given to Mary the woman like no other before her or since, she is to be venerated and only a fool in my eyes can’t appreciate that truth which is so obvious. Beautiful garden and goes to show us that like the Rieger Begonias a faith that is genuine and follows the sacred heart of Jesus and how He was connected to humanity by being in the womb of Mary His most precious Holy Mother blessed among women for those nine months created a special bond that He God only has with Mary, no one else, and she is that special and remarkable, as the pouring out of God’s love for humanity into this actual world we are in began and was expressed through the human birth of Himself through this blessed virgin expressing β€œGod’s Holy Power and humanity together,” so that these flowers express that power through faith by the Sacred Heart of Jesus. God could have produced Himself in any number of ways beyond our feeble imaginations; but He chose this way and chose Mary! Because, she was chosen to be the mother of God, on earth for a great purpose and plan, an ongoing plan, that she was meant to be and is a great special part of. Thank you for this enriching perspective that points perfectly at the truth!

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      1. πŸŒ·πŸ€— Hi Sally… and yes totally agree, and again here I say, perhaps tongue in cheek with a twist of lemon; someone would have to be a stooge to not see this simple Truth! Like my dad once told me as a teen, “God made Life simple, but people complicate it.” Love that Shrine Garden! Begonias are one of three species of flowers I have bought at a garden center to plant around my big shed and in a flower box. The other two are bacopa and fuchsia which I especially like to inter-mingle all three in the window flower boxes. πŸŒ·πŸ€—

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      2. Good! And I love them all, but I’m a tree huger too so that might explain my feeling for nature and things that grow in the mother earth! Bacopa, a nice hanging plant to have accented with the others! Definitely let me know what you think once you check them all. πŸŒ·πŸ€—

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      3. I love trees too. Birch trees are my favourite. Do you have a favourite kind of tree? I checked out Bacopa- they are really cute plants. Thanks, Lawrence. 🌷

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      4. You’re welcome Sally…and I actually love Birch trees, I will try to share a photo of a special one soon; that was destroyed by the sick twisted government when it wasn’t at all necessary, dumb mean people in that government decision, but I used to take strolls with my dog and lie under it! It broke my heart to see the destruction of it one day, such a strong, healthy and special beautiful looking specimen! So I recorded video and stills as well, I got my truck and hauled away a portion of one of the many huge spire feeder limbs it had shooting up from a wide girth trunk, an unusual tree; I think because it originally long ago was growing among apple trees in an orchard farm area there long before the land was sold and developed; and perhaps the farmer pruned it the way he did the apple trees or through some earth soil fungal communication it was tuned in with the other trees and tried to be one of them? Either way I never saw another like it. I eventually got over the fact that it was gone and not there to stroll over to with my dog and lie down under it on summer or autumn days. I think because of all that and my missing it, Birch trees became my favorite, but I did and still do love dwarf Japanese maples and Norwegian maples a lot too. 🌷

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  2. A few weeks ago, I drew up plans for my dream backyard. Two items of note are; my own prayer chapel, and a Mary garden using as many white flowers as possible. When I told my sister about this she said, ‘What about, Jesus?!”. she sounded quite alarmed. I have lovingly, and devotedly worshiping Christ for decades. Nothing will change that, not even a Mary garden. Getting to know Mary as an orthodox Christian and then reading Carrie Gress’ book about, Mary I have fallen even more in love with the Mother of our Lord. How can I NOT create a beautiful garden for her in honor of her great obedience and sacrifice? I feel as though I have so many lost years to make up.
    Thank you for sharing your garden story. What a lovely shrine.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. Your dream backyard sounds beautiful. White flowers are beautiful. My garden has been a wonderful peaceful place in our staunchly ‘protestant’ town.😊🌷

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  3. Thanks Sally. Good job! There is very little actual history of Mary’s life, only that which appears in the written Word. Because we share such great admiration for her, I think you may be interested in a series I wrote about her last December entitled β€œMary Highly Favored.” I’ll give you the link to the Introduction here. At the bottom of that first post are links to the other parts of the series. Blessings to you!

    https://rjdawson.com/2019/12/12/mary-highly-favored-blessed-are-you-among-women-intro/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you so much for sharing this series ! πŸ€—
      We can all learn so much from Mary’s wonderful humility, and her courage in agreeing to become the mother of our Lord, considering the social climate of the day.
      Catholic Tradition names the parents of Mary as Anne and Joachim.
      They were an older couple, according to tradition, who longed for a child, and Mary was God’s gift to them. 🌷

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