Friday, October 1, 2010

St. Therese of Lisieux

Life offers many reasons for unceasing prayer and many reasons for constant thanks. Life is both a challenge and a joy. God has sent us so many ways to offer prayer and thanksgiving. And we know that He finds importance in both because He has sent His Son and His mother and many others to teach us to pray. He also sends us the occasional sign that our prayer is answered and it seems the more answers we receive, the more apt we are to continue the prayers. God knows our very being. He knows how to get us back on our knees.

When I was younger, my mother would often, out of nowhere, ask, “Can you smell that?” We knew that meant mom had been praying a novena to St. Theresa and her plea had been answered. St. Theresa must have planted a garden of roses each year just for my mother. Mom always shared when prayers worked with outward physical signs we could understand. She knew if she had proof, there was a chance we’d try them ourselves in our deepest needs.

My grandmother, Rose Reginald Mary Claire Dalton Dortch, was an amazing woman. Another person in our lives who loved and lived her Catholic faith. My grandfather had a Baptist upbringing and my grandmother told me how she never pushed Catholicism on him. She invited but never pushed and eventually he joined the Catholic Church. She was gentle and kind and incredibly intelligent. Always offering but never unloading. Her pleasure in giving to anyone around her made her a constant joy to be around. We rarely went to her house that we did not leave with something from her cedar chest. “Come back in my room and let’s see if I have anything you want.” She’d open that big chest, always at the end of her bed, and offer us whatever treasure she happened to have at the time. The huge wooden box was always filled with surprises. She was constantly giving.

At the age of one hundred and two, with my grandfather long since gone, my grandmother moved to a place where she could have round the clock help if she needed. As I left Mass one day, a young woman approached me and introduced herself as one of the nurses taking care of my grandmother, Rose. She felt compelled to share that she had prayed a novena to St. Theresa for a desperate need and after the nine days was distraught not to have received a confirmation that all would be well. On that day, she was assigned my grandmother as a patient. So focused in search of a long stemmed flower or the scent of such, it took her some time to realize that St. Theresa had sent her Rose in a different way.

Life offers many reasons for unceasing prayer and many reasons for constant thanks.

"St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore and tell him I will love him each day more and more."


  1. My love for Saint Therese knows no bounds; she is a constant source of inspiration and intercession. Thank you for the post.

    Abbey ♥

  2. Your grandmother sounds a lot like mine. I loved her dearly and was heart broken when she died at an early age of 61 from cancer.

    It truly does sounds to me that your grandmother Rose was that dear affirmation the nurse was looking for! What a blessing!

    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  3. What a wonderful story!! I love hearing the ways God works in our lives.

  4. Emily Nixon blsdkateri@hotmail.comOctober 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Your mother kindly gave me your name so I could find you online. If "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous", then it was just so that the first column I read was about your grandmother, darling Aunt Rose. Your lovely memories touched my heart, and made me feel in good company for my Grandmommy, and of course her amazing sisters, are great powers of example in my life as well. Actually, I talk to Grandmommy everyday and though she went to Heaven when I was only seven, she is completely alive for me. A fervent devotion to Mary was one of the many gifts that she gave to me, and this powerful love has carried me, and also pushed me to always try to do more for others, all of my life.
    I look forward to reading more of your words and hope perhaps to see you someday in Nashville.
    Fondly, Emily