Thanks, CarmeliteGirl, for bumping up this thread so I could find it.
My best “rose story” was a few years ago (although I have been overwhelmed with the scent of roses a few times recently).
In 1991 I began to walk away from God in a most frightful way. My “walk” ended up with me rejecting Christianity and eventually even being a total atheist for a time. I mocked God, His Church, and those who followed Him. Needless to say, it was a dark time, full of hateful sins. This all came to an abrupt end in summer 2006, when I had a dream in which I was told to go to Mass and pray the Rosary. It was so unexpected, and so clear, and I had been feeling so lost, that I followed what I was told in the dream. That was my return to the Church.
But it was only a return to attending mass and praying the Rosary. In my heart I felt nothing. I envied the people who could say the prayers and believe them. I envied those who believed in the Resurrection and the teachings of the Church. My years away from the faith had left my soul quite damaged. (Incidentally, I did not go to confession for at least six months after I began my Catholic “practices.”)
OK, so here’s the rose part. After months and months of practicing the faith, I still felt nothing and felt I couldn’t believe what I couldn’t see. My senses and my intellect would not allow me to believe in God. My rejection of the gift of faith seemed to have made faith flee from my soul.
I said a prayer: “God, I know that I am not supposed to put you to the test, and I trust that you will understand my reasons for asking you this. Please, if you exist, send me a rose.” And I asked St. Therese, my patron saint, to intercede for me.
And then I waited.
A week or two later, in early February, I was suddenly handed a rose as I left an event I attended with a friend. I took the rose and said, “Thanks. I can’t remember the last time anyone gave me a rose – years…” And suddenly I remembered my request. My heart nearly stopped.
I meditated on the meaning of that rose many, many times. In that rose I saw that God Does Exist. And knowing He does exist, I next had to ask myself “What does He want? Which is the path to Him?”
Thank you, St. Therese, for your intercession.