St. Therese Lisieux, The Little Flower, saved my life one night about six months after my sister died in 1999. That night not only brought me to my knees in tears and prayer but was the start of my relationship with beautiful St Therese and her Shower of Roses in my life.
My sister was terminally ill for long time. I not only watched her health decline but I was also a caregiver. You think you are prepared for death especially when your loved one has been sick for a long time. Take my word for it, you are never prepared. After two weeks in intensive care in early 1999, we asked the Doctors to not give her any additional medications and to let her go in peace.
The first few months after her death were a blur. There were so many things to worry about and my Mother was teetering between despair and a nervous breakdown. I spent my time off from work with my family and taking care of my Mom. I was trying to hold my Mom together without really realizing I hadn’t allowed myself to grieve.
Grief caught up to me one night at the end of that summer. In retrospect, it had been building for a while but I was soldiering on and ignoring it. I broken down in tears in a meeting in work the day before; my coworkers knew I had reached breaking point. I left work early that day and stayed home that weekend. I was completely broken and could not stop crying. I woke up around 1:00am in morning on Sunday with pressure in my chest and uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. I was alone in my apartment and I knew I was in trouble. I was having desperate thoughts. I knew I had to find a church that was opened 24 hours. I had lay my burdens on God’s shoulders. I needed the comfortable of my faith and of a church.
I lived in Ocean City at the time. None of the churches around me were opened 24 hours. I pulled out the phone book and found Our Lady of Sorrows which was 20 minutes way and was opened 24 hours. I got to OLS around 2:00am. When I walked in, I found a St. Therese Lisieux statue and the Miraculous Prayer To The Little Flower card. I spent the next four hours sitting in front of St. Therese and praying with the card in my hand. By the time I left the church, I knew she was with me. I could feel the comfort of her presence. I could smell roses. I walked around looking for roses but couldn’t find any but I smelled roses. That is St. Therese’ sign; you smell or receive a rose.
From that night forward I started to slowly allow myself grieve, I went into the work on Monday but talked to my boss and took a two week leave of absence because I knew I couldn’t work and heal. I started participating in grief counseling groups and therapy. I started slowly healing. I stopped in church daily for years to light candles, leave roses at St. Therese’s feet or just to say a quick prayer.
Since that night 18 years ago, I’ve maintained a relationship with St. Therese. I pray to her every day. I am member of the Little Flower Society. I use roses as my sign when I need confirmation from her. Over the years she has sent me hundreds of roses and answers thousands of prayers. She is my rose🌹 As you can imagine, roses are now very spiritual to me and carry great significance in my life. 🌹 If you ever want to make me happy, give me rose 🌹 Since that night I remind myself every day to little things with great love.
I know no other way than to be a lover. If I love you, you will know it. I don’t make grand gestures, I do small little things to show you I care. Instead of having my usual Christmas cards printed this year, I sent folks that are important to me each a Little Flower Christmas prayer card which enrolled each of them in five novena masses with the Carmelites starting Christmas day. This was my way of spreading St. Therese’s message of “little ways” of great love.
Below is the Miraculous Prayer To The Little Flower that I have said for the last 18 years. I’ve carried this card in my purse for 18 years. I have it in my apartment. I keep one in my bible and in my car. It’s my go to prayer. It always works! Sometimes we don’t always get what we pray for but we always get support and comfort when we pray. Who doesn’t need a novena? 🙏😂 Please visit http://www.littleflower.org for more information about St. Therese Lisieux and the Carmelites.
(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life is best when lived passionately