THE SEVENTH DAY (Chapter 7)
The Little Flower and Miracles
"The age of miracles is over." That is the flat and
contemptuous statement of unbelief, repeated again and again,
and backed by a thousand clever arguments.
Just when the statement, however, was made with greatest
confidence, God, who never fails to give the world miracles as
He gives it saints, gave us, as a fountain of wonders, Lourdes,
with its scientifically proved miracles, and then, with a
gesture of gracious liberality, sent us the Little Flower and
her shower of miraculous roses.
There is something beautiful in the fact that the Little Flower
never performed a miracle while she lived and never asked for a
miracle for herself.
After her death, her body, as she predicted, became dust as does
the rest of human flesh. She wanted no wonder to accompany her
life or her death.
Yet she knew clearly that the modern world needed miracles.
God's miracles must show that He is still supreme over the
world, guiding it and guarding it as He did in past times.
Miracles must do for our age what they have done for other ages
weak in faith; they must prove that the Church is true and that
God is working with it.
Our times, which have grown so sceptical about the supernatural
world, need to be brought face to face with the fact of its
existence. And God, who wished to focus our eyes on the Little
Flower, wanted miracles to show to the world the sanctity and
beauty of the nun who had deliberately hidden her gifts in an
So we are singularly blessed that in our age, which stated with
such emphasis that miracles no longer happen, and in fact never
could have happened, the Little Flower has answered the sneer
with a confident smile.
She has piled high her miracles and has dropped down upon our
earth, upon believers and unbelievers alike, the sweet and
unmistakable shower of roses. An ever growing library records
the story of her miracles.
But the deeper and more beautiful record is kept in the hearts
of those who have felt her miraculous intercession. No one could
be more lavish than she. She promised a shower, and it has
proved a downpour, of graces. She foretold that she would spend
her heaven doing good on earth, but even those who heard her
prophecy did not dream how vast that good would be nor how keen
would be her interest in the needs of earth.
She has been the sweet little physician, touching human ills
tenderly and effectively. Miracles of healing have been so
numerous that their story fills the world with astonishment. The
deaf have heard, the dumb have spoken, the paralytics have
leaped from their beds, the incurable have been healed. With a
graciousness that reminds us of Christ's miracle of changing
water into wine, she has multiplied food, filled empty convent
treasuries, and supplied apparently hopeless wants.
Faith has not been necessary to secure her miracles. It would
almost seem that she sought out those who has no belief in God
and who had never heard of her. The sceptic who insists that
miracles are the result of delusion or self - hypnotism, has
only to listen to the arrant unbelievers who suddenly smelled
the roses or saw the vision of a strangely beautiful nun and
witnessed a miracle worked in their incredulous souls or before
their surprised eyes.
Of course, the physical miracles of healing are to us the most
astonishing, for the simple reason that we see them and touch
them with our senses.
Yet we know that the miracle by which Christ raised from death
the daughter of Jairus is unimportant and facile compared to
that by which He lifted Magdalen from her death in sin. The
moral miracles are much greater than the physical as soul is
greater than body and man's redemption greater than his creation.
And here the miracles of the Little Flower are almost without
number. Her calmly beautiful face has made men and women turn
from a life of sin to imitate with new love and fixed purpose
the purity and innocence which they read in her brow and eyes.
The story of her brave fight against suffering has given courage
to countless agonising souls. She has touched scrupulous souls
and given them peace. She has calmed minds that were lashed by
storms of doubt and temptation. She has brought to the knowledge
and love of God men and women who had wandered long and eagerly down devious paths.
Men who had schooled themselves to hate Christ's Church caught
the perfume of her life and knew with a sudden revelation that
the garden in which so rare a flower bloomed must be God's own
Mere reference to her miracles would seem enough; because on
account of them she is probably best known. But we must not
forget that her greatest miracles were not the healing of sick
bodies nor the conversion of wandering souls; the greatest
miracles of the Little Flower were her own perfect life and the
swift, almost involuntary turning of the world toward her.
Her life, so utterly beautiful is God's miracle to show what
grace can do with one of his creatures. The fact that suddenly,
almost in a day, an unknown convent became a place of
international pilgrimage and that the apathetic world ran with
flowers and palms, the flags of the nations and the medals of
heroic soldiers, with confident petitions and grateful
thanksgiving, to a nun whose face in life had not been known to
a hundred people, this is the miracle of miracles.
An age that was repudiating the very things she lived and died
for, miraculously fell in love overnight with the Little Flower.
Confidently, as the aviators came to her before their flights
and the soldiers came to her before their battles, we kneel to
the Little Flower, knowing that she will drop one of her roses
into our hands outstretched appealingly. We are quick to ask for
physical miracles; bodily pain, disease, the loss of money or
position touch us nearly, and we run at once begging a miracle.
The Little Flower often obtains such favours for us willingly;
but she would rather we asked for things far more precious. She
would like us to ask for the conversion of others or for deeper
faith and truer love for our own souls; she would eagerly help
us fight our fierce temptations or calm those teasing doubts.
Best of all, she would love to help us make our lives the
miracle of noble living which is the most valuable argument in
the world for the truth of our faith.
If our life is so truly Catholic that it draws people to us and
through us to Christ, we ourselves are duplicating the finest
miracle of the Little Flower.
The Novena Prayers for Day 7
Three Hail Marys in honour of the Little Flower for the
intention of the novena.
Let us pray:
St. Therese, Wonderworker of our age, we thank thee for the
miracles which thou hast obtained from God.
The shower of roses which thou hast dropped down upon the earth
has increased our faith in the supernatural, taught us that God
loves us to the extent of working miracles for us and has shown
us the power of the saints.
We ourselves need miracles, too, Blessed Therese, for soul and
body. Thou knowest the special miracle of converting souls,
turning sinners into saints, bringing unbelievers to the
knowledge of truth, and making flowers of virtue to spring in
our barren souls. Grant thy miracles, too, to those we love and
for whom we are offering this novena. Obtain for us the special
favours we are asking during this novena.
(Here pause and silently mention the special graces or blessings
you are seeking through the novena.)
V. We fly to thy protection and intercession, O Little Flower
R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
O Lord, Who hast said, "Unless you become as little children,
you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven," grant us, we beseech
thee, so to follow the footsteps of the virgin St. Therese, in
humility and simplicity of heart that we may obtain the rewards
of eternity. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
End of Chapter 7