Thursday, December 14, 2006

65 Roses CAN'T be wrong!

65 roses CANT be wrong.

I realize there are those of you who may have not met my dear Sister Therese. The world knows her as “St. Therese of Lisieux” She is a dear sweet sister who lived 24 short remarkable years. She was a cloistered Carmelite nun in Liseux, France. For those who have not met her, she has written a remarkable account of her life and her soul in a book called simply “The Story of a Soul” There is also a remarkable movie about her called “Therese” What can I say about such a dear wonderful woman. For those of you who have come to know her, you will have seen, as I found, a woman who, like all of us, went through her own troubled times – her “dark night of the soul" Yet she learned to love God with every fiber of her being. She rose above her troubled soul to become a saint. There is a story I would like to share with you all that tells much about this remarkable sister. It is the story of a last smile.

For those of you who may not be nuns, and I will bet there are a lot of you, in a cloistered convent, there is a part of the convent where visitors can go that is traditionally much like a grill, a latticed “window” if you will, where people can visit with the cloistered sisters.

Again, for those of you who may not be nuns, I can tell you, when you are in a convent with someone, they become your family. Like the modern expression “My brother from another mother” the sisters in the convent with you are truly that – your sisters. It doesn’t matter if you shared the same mother or not.

And so to the story of a last smile….I will let Marie of the Trinity tell you herself.

“When Therese died, the body was laid out in front of the grill so that visitors could come and pay their respects. Often people would pass rosaries through the grill to the sister in attendance so that was she could touch the rosary to the body. During the time I spent with Therese, there at the grill, I couldn’t stop crying. I was very close to Therese. She was my best friend. She was my sister. She taught me how to love God. My tears fell and would not stop. It was just as a visitor passed a rosary through the grill to me that it happened. I reached down to touch the visitor’s rosary to Therese’s body and it got caught in her fingers! No matter what I did I couldn’t get it loose! There I was, pulling and crying and nothing I could do would free the rosary. As I was struggling I heard Therese say to me interiorly ‘I am not going to let go until you give me a smile.’ I said to myself, ‘No I feel like crying. I’m not going to smile.’ Soon the visitor started getting impatient with me and said, ‘what is taking so long.’ Then the humor of the situation struck me and I started laughing. As I did the fingers let go and there I had the rosary back again. Therese got her smile.”

Therese was a woman of remarkable humor. She can make you laugh and make you cry. She brought everyone who knew her, and who gets to know her closer to God. She has taught me how to love God. How to feel loved by God. She has even taught me to love everyone who hates me right back. Like everyone who has ever met her, or come to know her, I miss Therese terribly and long to be with her. Before God called her home she said would “spend her heaven doing good on earth” and said, “After my death I will let fall a shower of roses.” That has become the way that Therese lets you know she has heard your prayer – with a rose.

There came a time when my life had hit bottom. I was ready to kill myself. Instead of killing myself, I admitted to God that I couldn’t handle my own life any more. It was only when I was willing to give my entire life to God, with no conditions, that He turned my entire life around. Where there was misery, there is now joy.

In those dark days, before I even considered being a nun, I went to the convent I now call home. I had met the sister who is now my Mother Superior, very briefly, years ago. I am not sure, to this day, why I went there, other than to say, God guided me there. I was welcomed with open arms. Mother Superior hid my keys so I could not leave and watched over me. In those days when I first gave my life to God, no one knew I was at the convent. I felt worthless. I felt alone. Yet Therese let me know I was loved, and that she was watching over me in a very special way. I had just begun praying. I asked Therese a very special question in prayer. To this day only Mother Superior and I know what that question is. I got the answer to my question. I found a new life that is wonderful. I walked into the kitchen for an evening meal and there they were, delivered to me – 65 roses. Therese was watching over me. She has always been there for me.

Thank you Sister Therese for showing me the way, and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for finding me again.

65 roses can’t be wrong.

1 comment:

vonda said...

can you please talk to me more about the 65 roses i also have some ???