How seriously to take a rose from St. Therese

Hello all!

I've been discerning for a while and I was really wanting to become religious. I didn't know where I was going exactly, but I didn't really think I was going to do anything besides the religious life. Then recently, I did a novena to St. Therese before her feast day. I asked for a red rose if I was called to the married life, a white rose if the religious life, and pink rose if I was not supposed to know yet. I told St. Therese the night before the last day that I needed a real rose. One that I could hold in my hand that was beyond a doubt intended as a gift for me.

The next morning as soon as I got up I prayed the last day of the novena and headed out the door to class. There hanging on my door was red rose. It was a real rose and sitting in a bag of water. In fact the whole lounge outside my room was full of red roses and pictures and quotes from St. Therese. One of my suite-mates, whose patron saint and middle name is Therese, decided to go all out with decorating the night before. She gave everyone in our suite a red rose on their door.

At first I was upset. Then I thought maybe this isn't the one. I'm not sure what I would have thought if I had gotten another rose that day. I would probably have just been confused. But I didn't get any more roses. Not a single one did I see that day besides the red ones all over the suite.

l was going to go on a Nun Run over spring break and visit several orders with some other girls from my college. Now, I'm not sure if I should go. I sent a lot of emails to the coordinator suggesting orders and she is kind of assuming I'm going. It would still be fun, but do you think I should still go? I'm just not sure how definitive a rose is. How seriously should I take it? Should I plan my life around it?

I've done a novena to St. Therese before and gotten quite confused myself. It was when I was at a Carmelite convent and I asked her to send me a rose if I was called there. While I was there, I saw her statue in the guest hall with some fake roses at the base. At the time, since I was quite impulsive and immature, I took this to be the sign I was looking for, however, I didn't receive a real rose that I had asked for. But I continued discerning with them and applied to their order. I was obviously not called there, not only because of the rose mistake, but because I went to their apostolate to work and felt terribly out of place. I decided to withdraw my application. Now, as I look back, I realize that St. Therese didn't do what I asked her. I even wrote my prayer down and when I looked at it, I knew that the plastic roses were not a sign since they probably were there for a long time since the Carmelites put them there.

It's not necessary to take every little sign seriously. In fact, it's a bad idea to because it leads to superstition. If I were you, I would take the sign with a grain of salt and continue praying about it. Go to Adoration and ask Jesus what He wants you to do. Also, I don't think you should put off the nun-run simply because of this. Go and have some fun! Just because you might not be called to religious life doesn't mean that you have to miss it and stop discerning. Hope this helps! :thumbsup:

[quote="Joyful_1, post:1, topic:215391"]
Hello all!

I've been discerning for a while and I was really wanting to become religious. I didn't know where I was going exactly, but I didn't really think I was going to do anything besides the religious life. Then recently, I did a novena to St. Therese before her feast day. I asked for a red rose if I was called to the married life, a white rose if the religious life, and pink rose if I was not supposed to know yet. I told St. Therese the night before the last day that I needed a real rose. One that I could hold in my hand that was beyond a doubt intended as a gift for me.

The next morning as soon as I got up I prayed the last day of the novena and headed out the door to class. There hanging on my door was red rose. It was a real rose and sitting in a bag of water. In fact the whole lounge outside my room was full of red roses and pictures and quotes from St. Therese. One of my suite-mates, whose patron saint and middle name is Therese, decided to go all out with decorating the night before. She gave everyone in our suite a red rose on their door.

At first I was upset. Then I thought maybe this isn't the one. I'm not sure what I would have thought if I had gotten another rose that day. I would probably have just been confused. But I didn't get any more roses. Not a single one did I see that day besides the red ones all over the suite.

l was going to go on a Nun Run over spring break and visit several orders with some other girls from my college. Now, I'm not sure if I should go. I sent a lot of emails to the coordinator suggesting orders and she is kind of assuming I'm going. It would still be fun, but do you think I should still go? I'm just not sure how definitive a rose is. How seriously should I take it? Should I plan my life around it?

[/quote]

We don't control God or the saints, nor can we insist that, if they give us signs, those signs must be unambiguous. They want us to work out our own vocations and salvations. Yes, they may communicate things to us, but they are not obliged to do so in the ways we want.

Think about it. Isn't the religious life a "marriage" to Jesus? Don't nuns take their vows in wedding dresses and put rings on their fingers signifying that marriage? They used to anyway, and I'm sure some still do. It's possible your sign was only meant to convey to you that, if you have a vocation to the sisterhood, you should seek an order in which that marriage is real, not illusory. Possibly you could do either thing, but the significance of the sign, if it is one, is that you, yourself ought not take the whole issue lightly. It might simply mean "MEAN IT!"

Seems to me you ought to keep investigating. If the religious life is not for you, you'll find it out, and pretty clearly too. I wouldn't worry overmuch about it. If marriage is your vocation for sure, you'll figure it out. Could be you're demanding a bit too much of St. Therese here, and she just isn't going to make it easy for you. Maybe it's best for you that she doesn't.

no you do not plan your whole life around one rose, continue to discern religious life according to your plan, if the reasons for so doing are still valid, the reasons you had when you embarked on the plan. The rose is one sign among many and speaks to your subconscious or to other signs and messages from God you may be ignoring or suppressing, but by itself is not a command from heaven.

I am sure I told this story before, but my neighbor, “Mary” a former Catholic living an “unconventional” lifestyle wanted to send her daughter to parochial school with my children for a better academic education. I warned her that she would be taught all the doctrine and traditions, and at some point would see the contradiction between what she learned at school and what was practiced at home. Well, she went, and came home full of the story of St. Therese, to whom our 3rd grade teacher had a great devotion. She told her mom she had prayed to St. Therese and confidently expected a rose as a positive answer. She told no one else, but wanted to see again a person who had lived with them in her early childhood and had been almost a second mother to her, but had moved far away and broken off contact with the family. Her mom tried to let her down easy, how the story was a nice legend but not to expect the impossible.

Well my DD was given a rose by a customer on her paper route, and thought she would just give it to our new neighbors, so left it at “Mary’s” door. Of course they found it within moments of her conversation with her daughter who was triumphant. Now what do I do, thought Mary, I have no way to contact this woman, don’t even know where she lives.

That weekend the old friend called, was on her way through town, found her number from an old employer, and wanted a place to stay for a few days.

Therese 1, doubting Catholic 0

It's also possible that you're not called to religious life, but are called to be a consecrated virgin or a consecrated woman (and thus espoused to Jesus).

Asking for a clear sign isn't often practical. What might be a clear sign to a saint would be ambiguous to us, due to our lack of knowledge of God's will at that time.

Go on the Nun Run. Keep discerning. Perhaps in a few years, all will be clear, including the sign of the red rose.

I so wish people would stop this devotion. Directing the course of one's life by happenstance and appearances of colored roses.

I worked at a floral shop, customers order them and we delivered them as promised. Little did I know - at the time - that people where basing life decisions on their arrival.

It's superstitious and borders on Old Testament Judaism and their belief in signs.

Honestly, I'm going to go to 3 months live in the OCD this Nov because of her. Make it short, she only asked me why I don't try to go to carmelite (OCD) when I was very confused to make decision about trying to join religious life. On that time I went to trappist monastery and very confused when I would start because I was still afraid. Until that time then I started corespondence to OCD and here I am have courage to try live in and of course with God's Grace.

That’s a great story, Annie!

St. Thérèse is near and dear to my heart, so I have to share my take. :slight_smile:

I agree that you cannot or should not base this decision on this one thing. You may reflect back on the whole thing 5 years down the road and realize that St. Thérèse did answer your prayer, but don’t allow this to circumvent your vocational discernment. Discernment is a process, not a singular definitive moment (though singular moments can be part of the process and provide us with clarity). We don’t want our faith to become superstition.

A number of years ago, I was praying about whether or not to ask out my then-friend-now-wife. I was praying in the chapel the day after St. Thérèse’s feast day and I began praying:

If it is God’s will that I should date her, send me a rose. And not just any rose, a pink rose (since that’s her favorite color and red is too easy). And don’t just make it some random rose that I see on the side of the road or a picture in a book. It has to be a real rose that is unmistakably meant for me in particular.

No sooner did I pray this than I came to my senses and realized that I should not be presuming upon the Lord or St. Thérèse for signs. I apologized, prayed a bit more, and left.

As I was walking down the sidewalk, I ran into a friend who had come to a curious stop. She saw me and said, “Hey, look at this!” When I got near, I saw that she was pointing directly to a pink rose – the only flower in bloom on the entire bush. On the other side of the sidewalk, there was another rosebush full of red roses. But she was pointing to the only pink one.

So St. Thérèse obliged my request anyway, as brazen as it was. :o

Of course, I was fairly certain that this girl was the one for me, but the external confirmation was a nice touch. :slight_smile:

[quote="Barbkw, post:6, topic:215391"]
I so wish people would stop this devotion. Directing the course of one's life by happenstance and appearances of colored roses.

I worked at a floral shop, customers order them and we delivered them as promised. Little did I know - at the time - that people where basing life decisions on their arrival.

It's superstitious and borders on Old Testament Judaism and their belief in signs.

[/quote]

Please don't say "Stop this devotion." Some years ago I prayed to St. Therese for my nephew to find employment. He had a very difficult time finding employment, and was really hoping for a particular position. I did not request a rose, in fact a rose never even occurred to me. I just was praying for employment for him. He did get the job. This was some time in October. When I went out to work in my yard, I was shocked to see a HUGE rose crowning my rose bush. The bush was entirely devoid of leaves. I had not seen a bud there before. Who but St. Therese could have been the gardener then? She does, indeed, let you know she heard your prayer and answers with a rose. After all, she did say she would shower the earth with roses from heaven.

Don’t stop the running thing! Continue praying and continue asking Therese’s intercession.

As far as “signs” are concerned, we ought to be careful because it’s not that they don’t come but sometimes we may misinterpreted or whatever…

I remember, last year I wrote to a religious order and then I asked God that if the sisters reply within “two weeks” it means I’m called to religious life but if not then I will marry. I didn’t tell it to anybody and when the reply didn’t come, I concluded that I was not called to religious life. So I dated a wonderful man and I knew that I was gonna Marry him despite few issues.

BUT

After few months, my religious vocation came back with a profoundly power and I found myself breaking up with my boyfriend and say Yes to God. I believe, I will join a convent next year after my master studies in December.

D.

Three years ago I was hoping I'd get a rose from St. Therese-- white for religious life, red for marriage. I prayed about it and was on the lookout. Very shorty afterward, I went into one of my parish's classrooms for a Bible study, and there at the head of the room was a statue of Mary with some red roses set before her. I stared. "Wow, there's my answer!" But immediately after that, a priest came in with a bouquet of white roses and set them in front of the red roses. "What on earth is that supposed to mean?" I thought.

After the Bible study I went right into the church, and there in front of the statue of Mary by the altar was a big bouquet of roses. They were mixed, red and white. Then the next time I went to Adoration there was a bouquet of roses at the foot of the Tabernacle, and each rose petal was white with a reddish tip.

I concluded from all this that I wasn't going to get any help from roses. :) So I kept discerning in more mundane ways and in two weeks I'm going to enter a convent. :) :) But I know several stories of people receiving very clear rose signs and I certainly believe St. Therese does communicate in that way with some people-- but not with all. And usually the rose wasn't out of the blue, but a beautiful confirmation of a choice that was also being discerned in other ways.

[quote="Barbkw, post:6, topic:215391"]
I so wish people would stop this devotion. Directing the course of one's life by happenstance and appearances of colored roses.

I worked at a floral shop, customers order them and we delivered them as promised. Little did I know - at the time - that people where basing life decisions on their arrival.

It's superstitious and borders on Old Testament Judaism and their belief in signs.

[/quote]

"It is a faithless generation that asks for a sign" drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drb&bk=47&ch=12&l=39&f=s#x

God indeed sometimes can give a sign but I would not be following it until I had it affirmed by spritual direction. Asking for a sign and then following what one thinks is that actual sign does border on supersitition and even perhaps presuming in the first place to ask for one and bypass God's normal way of acting in His world

TS

[quote="oiboyz, post:11, topic:215391"]
Three years ago I was hoping I'd get a rose from St. Therese-- white for religious life, red for marriage. I prayed about it and was on the lookout. Very shorty afterward, I went into one of my parish's classrooms for a Bible study, and there at the head of the room was a statue of Mary with some red roses set before her. I stared. "Wow, there's my answer!" But immediately after that, a priest came in with a bouquet of white roses and set them in front of the red roses. "What on earth is that supposed to mean?" I thought.

After the Bible study I went right into the church, and there in front of the statue of Mary by the altar was a big bouquet of roses. They were mixed, red and white. Then the next time I went to Adoration there was a bouquet of roses at the foot of the Tabernacle, and each rose petal was white with a reddish tip.

I concluded from all this that I wasn't going to get any help from roses. :) So I kept discerning in more mundane ways and in two weeks I'm going to enter a convent. :) :) But I know several stories of people receiving very clear rose signs and I certainly believe St. Therese does communicate in that way with some people-- but not with all. And usually the rose wasn't out of the blue, but a beautiful confirmation of a choice that was also being discerned in other ways.

[/quote]

I would say St. Thérèse answered you back then. Her answer was "Keep discerning!" ;)

Congrats on entering a convent! That's great!

Congratulation!!

Thank you all for you answers. One of the reasons I wanted to rely so heavily on the sign is that I'm really skeptical of my personal emotions and feelings. I wanted something that I couldn't argue with and debate over what it meant and if it meant anything. I guess, you can never really have that unless you have like an apparition. It's all rather subjective.

I think I'm going to continue to discerning and still try to go on the Nun Run. However, this rose is definitely causeing me to consider the married life more seriously. I never really wanted to get married so I never really discerned it. In fact, I've kind of avoided thinking about the married life because I just wanted to be a sister. If nothing else, it's given me pause about my discernment method. It may very well be that God wants me to be married and I've been avoiding Him to satisfy my own idea of how to serve Him best.

Now that I've gotten this rose, I still want to be a nun, but I've come to terms with that fact that that may not be where God is calling me. I am continuing to pray to St. Therese about my vocation, and I'm going to try to take her as my patron saint(my RCIA instructor did "do" patron saints so I never got one). She really is a wonderful saint! My main goal is to become closer to God so that I'm more in tune with how He speaks.

I have to agree with the poster who said to "stop the devotion".

What this poster is saying is to stop the devotion where one spells out what they expect and demand the reception of certian colors of roses. That is superstition.

I am a Carmelite with devotion to St Therese. I have received a rose in the past after praying a novena but I was not basing my life on it nor did I say give me one color for one thing, another color for another thing, and a third color for wait. The novena does not guarantee a rose. I have prayed the novena many, many times with out any roses.

I have to say that I have found that this devotion has come to border on superstition. The devotion should not be used to make big decisions but as one of many things in discernement, more of an acknowledgement that one is on the right path but not used to decide anything on its own.

If you are discerning a vocation to the religious life make sure you have a spiritual director.

[quote="ByzCath, post:16, topic:215391"]
I have to agree with the poster who said to "stop the devotion".

What this poster is saying is to stop the devotion where one spells out what they expect and demand the reception of certian colors of roses. That is superstition.

I am a Carmelite with devotion to St Therese. I have received a rose in the past after praying a novena but I was not basing my life on it nor did I say give me one color for one thing, another color for another thing, and a third color for wait. The novena does not guarantee a rose. I have prayed the novena many, many times with out any roses.

I have to say that I have found that this devotion has come to border on superstition. The devotion should not be used to make big decisions but as one of many things in discernement, more of an acknowledgement that one is on the right path but not used to decide anything on its own.

If you are discerning a vocation to the religious life make sure you have a spiritual director.

[/quote]







I fully concur!:)

[quote="Joyful_1, post:15, topic:215391"]
However, this rose is definitely causeing me to consider the married life more seriously. I never really wanted to get married so I never really discerned it. In fact, I've kind of avoided thinking about the married life because I just wanted to be a sister. If nothing else, it's given me pause about my discernment method. It may very well be that God wants me to be married and I've been avoiding Him to satisfy my own idea of how to serve Him best.

[/quote]

And I'd venture to guess that this could likely have been St. Thérèse's (and God's!) entire purpose in presenting this rose to you: to be a catalyst to take a more serious look at all your vocation options.

I know that, with me, I felt called to the married life since second-grade. I always knew that I wanted to get married. In college, a few painful dating experiences encouraged me to look at the priesthood (:o). I am quite glad that I did because, in so doing, I was even more certain that I was called to married life. And I like to think that God was pleased at my being willing to forgo my heart's desire to serve him in whatever way He wanted.

I would never say to stop the devotion entirely, though. Certainly, there are some Catholic devotions like this one that can become superstition (and we must be attentive to avoiding such a thing), but that doesn't negate the proper use of the devotion. St. Thérèse did promise to spend eternity showering roses down on earth. Since she's a doctor of the Church, I'll take her at her word. :)

Thanks for your good wishes, Joe!

Joe - St. Thérèse did promise to spend eternity showering roses down on earth. Since she's a doctor of the Church, I'll take her at her word

I wonder if St. Therese meant literally "roses"? I have always taken it to mean spiritual blessings. I certainly hope and pray that all who may be discerning their future vocation and call from God will receive many spiritual blessings.

TS

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