What Did She Mean
by Her "Shower of Roses"
Experience has shown that St. Thérèse's
"shower of roses" is both figurative and actual. As she
was dying in the convent infirmary, Thérèse could
look out and see the rose bushes blossoming. She loved roses. She
had thrown rose petals as a child before the Blessed Sacrament.
As she reflected on her quiet, hidden, and gentle life ending, she
believed in faith that God had great things in store for her. She
believed that her mission was only beginning as she entered the
fullness of life with God. She explained: "After my death,
I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing
good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints.
My mission is to make God loved..."
Shortly after her death, the rain
of roses began. Sometimes roses literally appeared, and sometimes
just the fragrance of them. Cures of painful and fatal diseases
and many other miraculous experiences were attributed to her intercession.
Sometimes people found inner peace and regained an inner warmth
of spirit and confidence, by appealing to St. Thérèse.
Many miracles and actions of St. Thérèse do not involve
roses. More often than not, marvelous things happen in people's
lives as they ask for her heavenly intercession. The miracles, healings,
and inner peace come from the trust one places in God, not from
any manifestation of roses. St. Thérèse lived in the
dark night of the senses and spirit, with little consolation. Thus,
the friends and followers of St. Thérèse expect no
consolation of sighted roses that their prayers are being answered.
Her "little way" is about childlike trust and gentle love.
She is the great apostle of faith in God's love, not simple reliance
on physical signs. Jesus warned us, and Thérèse experienced
that the desire for signs is a sign of weak faith. It is always
important to remember that St. Thérèse did not experience
extraordinary phenomena in her life. Her faith was refined and strengthened
Roses are Thérèse's
signature. It is her way of whispering to those who need a sign
that she has heard and God is responding. Thousands of people have
given witness to the way Thérèse responds to their
petitions and prayers with grace and roses. The grace is more important
than the roses. So many miracles have happened through the intercession
of St. Thérèse without any roses appearing; usually
the deep inner peace of accepting God's will and seeing His loving
plan and presence is the "rose" experienced. Sometimes
the lack of a physical "rose signature" is an affirmation
of a strong faith.
One does not pray for roses. Thérèse's
message is about simplicity and love in the ordinary events of life.
Trust in Thérèse is important, and when she wills,
roses or their fragrance may appear. The stories are remarkable
how roses have shown up in the lives and experiences of people,
especially in the darkest times. The ordinary and constant way these
roses and graces have shown up in people's experience is extraordinary.
It is important to always maintain the rose of confidence that our
All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the
mysterious ways of His Love.