Good evening, O readers! Fair warning: this post contains religion. If you are not in the mood to read about religion, may I suggest coming back tomorrow, when the post for Fiction Friday will contain, appropriately, fiction? If you are in the mood, please, read on. It's not a preachy story, or a heavy one, so who knows? You might even enjoy it.
As anyone who's been around my writing fandom for a while will probably have figured out by now, I'm a practicing Roman Catholic, and have been all my life. While I will not change my beliefs to suit other people, neither do I ask them to change their beliefs to suit me. I try my best not to give offense, and when I slip, because I am human and I do slip, I try my best to make amends for any rude things I may have said or done. Similar politeness is always appreciated. Thank you.
With that out of the way, let me clear up a misconception I have occasionally encountered. Although many Catholics will use the phrase "praying to Saint Such-and-so", we are not saying that we pray to the saint in the same way that we pray to God. It's a shortened way of saying that we are asking a certain saint to pray for and with us on a particular topic, in the same way you might ask a friend or relative to pray for and with you about something you want or need.
Today happens to be the feast day of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Therese of Lisieux or the Little Flower. She was known to say that she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth, and that she would let fall a shower of roses as a sign of grace. She is a popular saint to ask for intercession, and many people who ask for her prayers believe that they receive the sign of a rose or roses to help assure them that their prayers are being heard.
My grandmother, who passed away in 2013, had a special devotion to Saint Therese. Grandmom (as we always called her) was also a very special lady in her own right. She loved to cook and bake, she had a quiet, sneaky sense of humor, and because her parents were first-generation immigrants and she was a young woman during the Great Depression, she had an invariable rule to never buy anything at full price. I can hear her right now telling me to "always wait until it goes on sale!"
Well, today was not the best day for me. Nothing big went wrong, but a whole bunch of little annoyances just kept mounting up and mounting up until I wanted to scream. But I was at work, and screaming at work is bad. So instead of screaming, I prayed. "God, please help me. Saint Therese, pray for me. Grandmom, pray for me. Please, send me a sign! Help me know that things will get better! Help me believe that I shouldn't give up!"
The workday ended, and I was in a foul mood, because I had not received anything that could even remotely be considered a sign. I stormed out of the building, walked around the corner, crossed the street, and stopped dead.
There is a little flower shop along the road which is the most direct route to my bus stop. I've actually bought flowers there before. But what had not been there this morning, and what was very, very evidently there now, was this:
This is, indisputably, a sign. But not just any sign! It is a sign advertising roses, which are on sale! I have a very strong suspicion that it is the saintly, and grandmotherly, equivalent of whapping me upside the head and telling me to get over myself already. It broke me out of my funk, and it's got me back to feeling hopeful, so I have to say, it worked. So thank you, Grandmom and St. Therese. I'll be good now, I promise.
Hope you enjoyed this little bit of my life, O readers, and there shall be more fictional offerings tomorrow. I'll listen to requests, even if I don't promise to accept them, and thanks as always for reading!