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Surprise
We completed our novena to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face today. All during the novena I was expecting to receive roses, a sign of Saint Thérèse’s loving attention to one’s prayer. No roses came . . . until this morning: not cut roses, but two rose bushes, complete with thorns, to be planted here in our monastery garden. I find this extraordinary. The Little Flower sent us, not cut roses destined to wilt and die, but two roses bushes destined to take root, and grow, and blossom again and again. Is this not a wonderful affirmation of our calling to take root here, to put forth shoots, and to blossom? Once again, Saint Thérèse has surprised and delighted me.
O glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face,
cherished child of the Father,
virgin espoused to the Son,
humble Doctor instructed by the Holy Ghost,
We greet thee with joy
and approach thee with confidence.
The wonders wrought by thy intercession
are too many to be counted;
thou showest thyself the friend and advocate
of all who have recourse to thee in time of need.
We rely on thy childlike power over the Father’s Heart.
From the thy place in heaven
thou seest our afflictions
and, by a merciful disposition of Providence,
thou sendest roses of pity to those who seek thy help.
There is no mIsery of body or of soul
to which thou dost not respond with love.
Thou who didst seek to be love in the heart of the Church,
while still on earth,
art forever love in the heart of the Church
from the place that is thine in Heaven.
Descend to us, Saint Thérèse.
Hasten to us who are waiting for a rose from heaven,
a sign of thy compassion, a pledge of thy assistance.
Who hath not heard of thy errands of love
in every place and on every continent?
Walk with us, Saint Thérèse,
lest we wander from thy little way.
Change, we pray thee, our timid and faltering confidence,
into a confidence that is limitless and bold,
that by offering ourselves, as thou didst offer thyself,
to the mystery of Merciful Love,
our confidence may be perfected, as was thine,
in the contemplation of the holy and adorable Face of Jesus:
thine own heart’s treasure in this valley of tears,
and thine all-surpassing joy
in the brightness of the heavenly fatherland.
Amen.