Currently blooming about the land is the delightful peony which is commonly known as the “Pentecost Rose” or “Mary’s Rose.” When brought indoors, these buds pack a powerful aromatic punch, filling an entire room with their sweet odor. Their appearance at the table, or in the hall, fills the occupants of the home with instant happiness; perhaps it is because of their vibrant color coupled with the delicacy of their blooms? The entire make-up of these little beauties delight. Their association with the most sublime creature ever created by God (after Jesus Christ, of course), the Blessed Virgin Mary, is entirely appropriate. I can imagine her in glory holding a sprig of these, as they reflect their Beauty to her, and she, in turn, reflects her Beauty to them.
In a world of concrete, mass-marketed ugliness, there are peonies to remind us of Eternal things, as Beauty is wont to do.
When one apprehends a thing of Beauty, as in a flower, a person feels a strange sense to protect and nourish it. We feel this way with little things, such as babies. I know I am repeating myself, but this is how we normally would feel about unborn babies. We normally would be overcome by a strong sense to nourish and protect the innocent life resting without fanfare beneath its mother’s heart. We would also be compelled to nourish the mother in her pregnant state, vulnerable as she is to the dangers of life; but, alas, in this modern, concrete loving age, we promote the state sanctioned killing of unborn babies, which maims not only the babies, but the mothers, as well. Abortion is discussed in a Utilitarian manner which leads me to conclude that we, as a culture, as a people, have lost the love of the garden, the love of mystery, the love of Beauty.
When a peony pops up in the garden, we do not discuss whether it is wanted, or not. We do not sit about wondering what sort of contribution it might make to our lives.
It is a flower.
It is a gift from God.
God created it.
So it is with babies.
They are flowers.
We need to wake up, and break free from the Utilitarian propaganda with which our cultural air is ladened.
We might break free by bending down and smelling a flower, or by looking into the eyes of a baby. We might remember that once we were children, and the land about us was strange, and green, and we dreamed of things great and absurd.
Let all peonies and babies thrive so that we might say to God on that last day: I remembered you and did not despise the gifts you gave me.