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Faith/Spirituality Forum: signs from God and from Saints

by Catherine Frakas 18 Apr 2001

signs from God and from Saints QUESTION from Faith on December 31, 2002 I hope you can help with this...I pray novenas semi-regularly and especially when I pray the St. Therese prayer, often I receive a real rose or I see it in a wierd place. For example, I have been saying the novena and the other day said it very sincerely, from memory, while driving, asked for three requests (both for myself and on behalf of others) but said to be sure I would like a real live rose as a sign my prayers were heard.
I was thinking...this is a longshot cause I was by myself that day, who would give me a rose? Not even 30 minutes later my car is approached by a street vendor selling roses! This has never happened in this particular suburb, very unusual. Not only that, but in the bundle I bought were THREE roses. I had asked for THREE favors! Two of them have already been granted.
Today I was thinking about my last one, and how discouraged I was becoming. I thought maybe I should give that one up, maybe God does not want to answer that one. I went to get in the shower at that moment. Grabbed a bathtowel and noticed something scratchy on it. Figured I left one of those inspected by stickers on it even though the towel is a year old. Well, guess what the sticker said ROSES. I thought I was seeing things. It appears to be a sticker from a floral department.
Last time I said the novena (prayer request was granted that time too, by the way, by the Grace of God) that day a man came into my workplace wearing a red jersey with the surname ROSE on the back. I felt trememdous assurance God was with me. Like I said, that prayer was answered.
When my mother was ill years ago, I prayed for her healing. A red car with license plate ROSE pulled in front of me. If that didn't convince me, the next day ANOTHER red car with plate reading ROZE 1 also cut me off in traffic. I don't want to get superstitious, but what is up with the rose thing?
I've done research on the origin of the novena, and apparently a priest asked for a rose as a sign, and that's where it started.
Is it wrong or unbiblical to ask for signs like this? Also, is it wrong to ask for signs from God in other ways? If we don't ask for signs, will he still put coincidences and synchronistic events in our path to remind us he is there watching and working? I would really like to know, because Protestants always imply that signs are not scriptural and that the rose thing is silly.
I know roses are everywhere, BUT, they always show up unexpectedly, like ON STICKER ON A BATHTOWEL from my own linen closet, right after I begin to doubt my prayers will be answered?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 3, 2003 Dear Faith:
Sometimes God does give us a sign of his love and his answer to prayer such as a rose, but that is rather rare.
What you have described here does not sound to me like a supernatural sign at all. As you admit, roses are everywhere. The reason you will begin to see them everywhere is because, in essence, you are looking for them.
If you did not have roses on the brain, as-it-where, you would probably have missed most of the rose sitings you describe.
We must be very careful. This is how superstitious behavior begins. For example, maybe God did give you a rose ONCE as a sign of his love for you. Then, once that happens a person begins to see roses everywhere.
Most of your experience sounds more like coincidence to me.
As for asking God for a sign, we should NEVER do that. That is putting God to a test and the Bible tells us to not do that.
Jesus also said that it is a evil and sinful generation that seeks after a sign.
One of the reasons we should not seek signs is that it is too easy to become superstitious and we begin to anticipate the sign instead of trusting in God totally. Jesus said, blessed is the man who believes yet has not seen.
Also, the devil can counterfeit these signs EASILY.
I know that this is not the answer you want, maybe, but I caution you about asking for signs.
As to the question of God giving us a sign of something even if we don't ask, yes He does. And that is a far better sign. BUT, be careful about interpreting everything as a sign. There really is such a thing as coincidence and coincidence can do strange things that are way out of the ordinary.
So take signs with a grain of salt. If you by coincidence see a rose, you can thank God that it reminds you of his love, even if it was not directly sent by Him.
God Bless.
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