It seemed fitting that my 500th post (what?!?!) should be about St. Thérèse, and even more fitting that it should fall on her feast day. First off – 500 posts? Are you kidding me? When I started this blog three and a half year ago (again – what?!), I had no idea that (1) I’d be writing for this long and (2) that I’d write 500 posts. I’m in awe, but God is good and I fully believe He is still working here, so I’ll keep writing.
Second off – St. Thérèse, my homegirl, my holy BFF. I have no idea where I’d be without her. Last year I prayed a novena to her that ended on her feast day. My intention for that novena – as some of you may know – was whether or not I was called to marry Anthony. We’d been dating for five-ish months at that point, but I knew it was serious. Unlike all the other times I’d said a relationship was different, this one really was – it was holier and filled with more mutual-respect than any other relationship I’d been in. So I prayed and asked my girl to interceded and send me a sign if, indeed, Anthony was the one I was supposed to marry. I woke up on the morning of her feast day and my mom (yup, I lived at home) greeted me with a magazine that came addressed to me in the mail. Before showing me the magazine, she asked if there was something I wanted to tell her. I had no idea what she could be talking about, but then she handed it to me: The Knot Wedding Magazine with my name on it. I only ever received one copy – with my name on it no less – but I took it from her. Since I’d just woken up, it took a few minutes for it to click in my head that this was St. Thérèse answering my prayers. I told a couple of friends, with differing results. One was all-aboard the “OH MY GOSH YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY ANTHONY TRAIN!!” while the other was a bit more skeptical. Obviously I leaned towards the first response, but tried to taper my excitement.
Seven-ish weeks later, in the National Shrine of St. Thérèse in the adoration chapel, Anthony got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Even in the adoration chapel, surrounded by roses, I was praying to my girl, “Is he REALLY the one you want to marry? Show me your roses.” I opened my eyes and was surrounded by roses. But I was in her shrine, of course there would be roses. I chided myself for getting ahead of the game, ahead of where I believed Anthony was at. A number of my friends believed he’d propose on this trip (it was the first time I went to Michigan to meet his family), but I refused to believe it. After pushing the idea firmly out of my head and writing off the plethora of roses, we turned to leave the chapel. As we did, Anthony called out my name and I turned around to see him on bended knee. St. Thérèse knew what she was doing.
Flash forward to the beginning of July. I started my monthly novena to St. Thérèse, but kept my intention (that we get pregnant) a secret. The day after the novena ended I woke up to a dozen red roses in bed. But…it was my birthday, so again, I questioned. I asked a few people to pray for clarity about whether or not those roses really were an answer to my novena – though this time I didn’t tell people what my intention for the novena was (much to their chagrin). Six days later, on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Thérèse came through yet again when the pregnancy test instantly turned positive.
You see, St. Thérèse always, always, always comes through for me. It may not always be in the ways I think – in fact there have been countless novenas that were never answered – but when she comes through, she comes through big time. Looking back, even the novenas that weren’t answered, were, in a way, answered. Her lack of response was itself my answer. She’s been guiding my life since I fell in love with her in college and I can’t help but be grateful for such an incredible saint, such a holy best friend, and such a powerful intercessor.
St. Thérèse, pray for us.