Co-conspirators with God

Dorothy Day died on November 29, 1980. In 1945, she published these reflections at being at her mother’s bedside until the moment of her mother’s death.

The ending is most interesting. She writes:

One morning I prayed to the Little Flower [St. Thérèse of Lisieux], whose picture is over the foot of my bed, that she would especially look after my mother. I reminded her of her own grief at her father’s long dying. That night Julia Porcelli brought me in some dried blessed roses. The next day, a friend brought a tiny bouquet with lace paper about it made up of roses and carnations, and my mother greeted it with a smile and held it in her hands a few times that afternoon. And it was that evening that she died, so quietly, so gently, saying but a few moments before to my brother, “Kiss me goodnight and run along, because I want to go to sleep.”

A week later when I went to Poughkeepsie to visit my three aunts, one of whom is a Catholic, and to go with them to offer up a Mass of thanksgiving for my mother’s most peaceful death, we came out of St. Peter’s church that misty morning to be greeted by a brilliant rose in the garden next to the Church. And when we arrived home for breakfast, there was a bouquet telegraphed to us from Florida and in the center of the fall flowers were two lovely roses. The little Flower was prompt and generous indeed in her message.

I write the account because I like to show my gratitude by telling others of such favors. Perhaps, too, it may comfort others who have sore and lonely hearts over the approaching death of a near one. “Life is changed, not taken away,” and what a glorious change in these sad times, after a long and valiant life.

“Look down with favor, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the offering we make for the soul of Grace, thy servant; from heaven send healing to it, and bid it rest in the certainty of Thy love.”

“O Lord, the God of mercies, grant to the soul of Thy hand-maid a place of solace, of peaceful rest and of glorious light.”

Receiving roses, particularly in connection with St. Thérèse’s intercession, has long been seen to be a sign of God’s providence.

But how does it work?

First, a friend brought Dorothy some dried blessed roses. Then, another friend brought a small bouquet. Next, someone had to have planted roses once upon a time outside of the church that Dorothy was visiting. And finally, someone thought to telegraph a bouquet of roses.

What I take away from this is that God needs us to be His co-conspirators to help show His providence in the world.

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