I had one of the coolest things happen yesterday.
On Tuesday, I finished praying a handful of novenas, one of them to St. Thérèse of Lisieux. As many of you may know, St. Thérèse promises to send “a shower of roses” to those who pray her novena as a sign of her intercession. So when I completed my novena on Tuesday, I said, “Ok, St. Thérèse I expect my roses tomorrow,” not in a brazen way, but in a confident way.
On Wednesday morning I went to Mass. The altar was beautifully decorated with white flowers all over the place – calalillies, tulips, carnations. At the foot of the altar was a beautiful arrangement of white mums surrounding what looked like about five dozen long-stemmed white roses, although I couldn’t quite tell from where I sat.
After Mass, I asked Brother John if the flowers so majestically adorning the altar were for a wedding or a funeral. He explained to me that they were for the funeral of 91-year old Pasquale, who loved to garden. I inquired further, “Are those roses up front?” “Yes,” he replied. I told him that I had just finished a novena to St. Thérèse, to which he replied, “Well, there are your roses! Would you like one?” He then brought me up to the altar, removed a rose from the arrangement and handed it to me! The picture above is of those roses.
The smile on my face reached from ear to ear as I rejoiced in Saint Thérèse’s heavenly intercession! I squelched the giggling of my child-like delight. Fascination, joy, and anticipation engulfed me. All day long I chuckled at coolness of it all!
As I usually do on Wednesday nights, I went to adoration. The person who shares my hour was unable to make it, so it was just me and Jesus. This is always a special time for me. I like having a change of pace with my buddy missing because then I can pray out loud, and I can sing. I did both. Kneeling before the Lord with deep love, gratitude and joy, my gaze fixed on Him and His on me.
I pondered the events of the past couple of days – my childlike confidence and His generous response. And as I sat there looking at Him, I said aloud, “You have made me whole.”
I remember years when I felt like I had to be perfect and that I could never measure up. I recall distinctly being led through a guided meditation where Jesus stood with open arms inviting me to come to Him, and I couldn’t do it. I had to turn away. How very sad. But now, today, if I could crawl up and snuggle in His lap, I would. It’s not just this really unique experience of the past couple of days or seeing His hand in things that makes me feel that way. It’s what He’s done to my heart.
He has made it whole.
I think this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Unless you become like a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3) A child trusts quickly and without reservation. A child delights in simple things. A child loves easily and shows it no matter who is watching. Their hearts are open and pure. I think that’s how Jesus wants us to be with Him.
This long journey of mine was not without pain, and I did not travel it alone. I came to realize that through all the hurts we have in our life and in those places where we feel so completely alone, Jesus is right there with us. He walks silently beside us waiting for us to invite Him in so that He can make us whole.
So today, let us pray with the psalmist: “Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns. See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths.” (Ps 139: 23-24)
Saint Thérèse, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Anne
Heavenly Harmony, Song for the Day: In the solitude of the adoration chapel last night, I sang this song to my Lord and Savior. You are My Stronghold by Watermark, based on Psalm 27, the psalm he gave me as prayer as I awaited my second child. (This site is slow to load, and you have to hit the play button for it to start. Enjoy!)