Today is going to be a tough one for me.
My 86-year old Mom is having surgery. I know she’s a tough cookie and all, but I’m her daughter, her only daughter, and my mind is racing, racing, racing.
But something happened late yesterday afternoon that brought me great peace.
I’d like to share this story with you… no matter your beliefs, your faith, your trust in religious doctrine, your own spiritual guidance, energy, aura, awareness, or your belief in none of the above.
I believe that spirituality is the single most personal piece of any human being. I’ve studied, discussed and come to respect and appreciate every possible dictate that drives a human being to do good. There is nothing that I question in anyone else’s spirit.
I, personally, believe in prayer. I have a strong devotion to both the Blessed Mother and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. I have been praying for my Mom’s safe and successful surgery since I first knew she needed surgery… many, many months ago.
The Novena to St. Therese is calming to me. This is its origin…
ORIGIN OF THE NOVENA
|Father Putigan, a Jesuit, began the Novena to Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus on December 3, 1925, asking the glorious Saint for one great favor. For nine days he recited the “Glory be to the Father” twenty-four times thanking the Holy Trinity for the favors and Graces showered on Saint Theresa during the twenty-four years of her life on earth. The priest asked Saint Theresa, that as a sign that his novena was heard he would receive from someone a freshly plucked rose. On the third day of the novena, an unknown person sought out Father Putigan and presented him with a beautiful rose.
Father Putigan began the second novena on December 24 of the same year, and as a sign, asked for a white rose On the fourth day of this novena one of the Sister-nurses brought him a white rose saying:
|“Saint Theresa sent you this.”|
|Amazed, the priest asked: “Where did you get this?”|
|“I was in the chapel,” said the Sister, “and as I was leaving I passed the altar above which hangs the beautiful picture of Saint Theresa. This rose fell at my feet. I wanted to put it back into the bouquet, but a thought came to me that I should bring it to you.”|
|Father Putigan received the favors he had petitioned of the Little Flower of Jesus, and promised to spread the novena to increase devotion to, and bring her more honor. In this fashion, from the ninth to the seventeenth of each month, those who want to participate in the Twenty-four “Glory be to the Father’s” novena, should add to those of their own, the intentions of all who are at that time making the novena, thus forming one great prayer in common.
In the Novena to St. Theresa, one asks that St. Therese send a rose as a message of love for having received the prayer of faith and hope…
I said Novena upon Novena upon Novena to both the Blessed Mother and to St. Therese, feeling something bigger than myself in my prayers… sending a message of hope and health for my Mom.
Weeks would pass. I would not receive a rose, but I’ve never looked at spirituality in a finite, almost superstitious way. I look for the peace I receive when I pray and the awareness of a universe far bigger and greater than myself and my words.
Yesterday, the impending surgery and the recovery of my Mom gripped at my heart. I felt sad at the lack of control I had over everything that was going to happen. This is my Mom. She is my life-giver and my life…
And as I began a new Novena, I happened to be simultaneously driving into my driveway.
And then I saw it.
Overflowing, cascading in full bloom over the little garden walls that line my driveway were dozens and dozens of roses. My roses. Roses that Barry and I had planted years ago. Roses that had just about passed into dozens and dozens of safe little rose hips… until the Indian Summer heat of this past weekend, when our roses came out to play and to send a little message.
I was joyous as I left my car and was drawn to our roses…
The greatest, most joyous surprise.
I headed down the stairs into our little postage-stamp sized yard and gazed across our old, long, high stone wall.
And there were more roses, reaching up to the sky…
Reaching. Reaching. Reaching. Glorious in the sun…
Right in my own back yard.
I know where the roses came from. I know why they appeared yesterday.
I believe in my own sense of prayer, renewal and peace. And I believe that my prayers have been heard.
My heart is full as I begin today. As I face today.
I believe that peace and answers do come if we ask for them.
Most often, the peace of life and the answers we seek are right in our own back yards… both figurative and literally.
As I head to the hospital now… please pray for my Mom. I thank you with all my heart…