Nature’s Presence Column
THE LITTLE FLOWER
It might not be health related but this story crosses my mind often and is a testament to faith, hope, and love, which are, obviously, necessary for true health. Too often we fail to see the miracles around us and we become so wound up with stress, drama, and the hustle and bustle of life. This story is truly amazing and goes to show we are not alone. A few weeks ago my aunt told me an incredible story of something that had just happened to her. With her permission I am sharing this in the hopes of showing those who are going through hard times that they are not alone.
As a devout Catholic, prayer is a huge part of my aunt’s life. A few years ago a friend told her if she prayed a novena to St. Therese, The Little Flower, she would get a rose. My aunt was a bit surprised. The friend said it as a fact, “yeah, you’ll a rose,” without a doubt. So my aunt prayed the novena, and sure enough she got a rose. The rose appears in various ways; for example, the next time she prayed the novena it was completed right around the time when my mom helped organize a Rosary Rally. After the rally my mom sent a package to my aunt with leftover items and, as there were extra roses, she included one in the box. My aunt realized this promise by St. Therese is real.
This miracle is intertwined with a tragedy our family experienced last December when this aunt’s husband, who seemed healthy and had been taking care of himself, suddenly passed away leaving my beloved aunt a widow. While she has been doing her best to live her life it has no doubt been incredibly difficult to lose her life partner; some days are good while others are bad.
One morning recently she looked at the statue of St. Therese in her bedroom saying, “St. Therese, I want a rose.” Realizing she should complete a novena to have the right to ask for such a thing she started one that day. Toward the end of the nine days she had a trip to the Restore and overheard two men talking about carpentry work so she asked one of them if he knew how to lay tile for a small project. He informed her the other man was a great tile layer. Feeling comfortable with him she asked if he would be willing to look at her project and possibly do it for her, to which he agreed. In conversation they realized he had been a good friend of my late uncle, having known him for years.
After he had worked on the project for a couple of days, on the day of completion, he hesitantly told her a story of something that had happened to him that morning. He has several rosebushes to which he was tending before heading to Chimayo. As he was walking through his rose garden he heard my uncle tell him, “Take my wife a rose.” Ignoring this message, as it seemed outrageous for him to do such a thing, he finished what he had to do, loaded up his truck and climbed in. To his surprise, as he had tried to ignore the message, he saw my uncle’s face and heard him saying, “Don’t forget the rose.” Despite thinking the prospect of taking a rose to a complete stranger, the wife of an old friend and for no real reason, was ludicrous he hesitated but went back to his rose garden and picked out a rose.
As he recounted this story to my aunt he continually apologized for the absurdity of it but he said he regularly received messages he did not understand. He explained to her he was compelled to accommodate his late friend’s wishes, however crazy it seemed. Up to this point my aunt had all but forgotten that she had nearly completed her novena to St. Therese and had asked for a rose. When the reality of the situation hit her she realized how much more special it was for St. Therese to send the rose to her from her late husband through an old friend she met through happenstance.
Hearing this touching story gave me the chills, as it does with most others to whom she recounts it. It is an incredible testimony to faith, hope, and love. If we stop to listen we might hear those messages and provide comfort to a complete stranger not knowing at all what they have been through or are experiencing. If we have faith and hope and if we take a moment from our crazy lives we might experience a much-needed miracle in a most unexpected way. This experience renewed my aunt’s devotion to St. Therese and she hopes this story will encourage others to call on The Little Flower through her novena.