Monday
November 19, 2007
vol 18, no. 323

                A Rose whose petals of purity forever bloom with abundant graces

    Think of a particular virtue, more than likely St. Rose of Lima lived it to perfection. Humility, obedience, modesty, you name it, there aren't enough petals on a rose to count how many virtues St. Rose exhibited throughout her relatively brief thirty-one years on this temporal turf. Rose embodies the perseverance of St. Monica and the sufferings of the most willing victim soul and she personified our Lady in her fiat as obedient daughter, virtuous wife, compassionate mother and accepting widow, and willingly sent her own flesh and blood back to the Father. In the example of St. Rose we are presented with a vivid illustration of the many attributes of God.

    In the marvelous tapestry woven by the Holy Ghost throughout the history of Holy Mother Church, the Divine Attributes of God, and inparticular the attributes both Divine and Human of Our Lord Jesus Christ, have been revealed in every canonized saint. God’s Providence for us, his ‘little ones” is made known through those whom He chooses to bring before our senses His very ‘image and likenesses” in which we are made.

    The golden thread of the Holy Ghost’s tapestry, by which the Mystical Body of Christ is united, is the magnificent Opus of God leading us to our Heavenly Home. This double thread of Charity and Suffering, which the Holy Ghost employees, cannot be separated, for it embodies Christ’s own command: “If anyone love Me, let him take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

    Charity and suffering cannot be separated, as these virtues comprise the sum of all other virtues. No saint, canonized or not, reached Heaven without having been a living expression of God’s Charity, and His most dolorous sufferings.

    St. Rose of Lima is our subject in this column; the first canonized Saint of South America.

    She lived at a time when Europe was under diabolical forces, for Lucifer had marshaled his legions into an attack against Our beloved Savior and His One True Faith, through the fallible, fallen nature of Martin Luther and his ilk. Luther made a fatal mistake by taking his eyes off God and putting them upon himself. He thought he knew better than God, and acted accordingly, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation.

    As a short side note, if any of you believe the heretical nonsense of the ‘conciliar popes’, who have, even recently, praised Luther, false shepherds readying to ‘celebrate’ the fifth century anniversary of Luther’s revolt, you are a victim of satan’s diabolical disorientation. Like those who wear the robes and miters of ‘authority’ in the conciliar establishment, you are headed down the primrose path to perdition.

    While Europe lost millions of souls to Luther’s abominations against Holy Mother Church, in far away South America, in a country founded by Spanish explorers and adventurers, Rose of Lima was born to bear witness to the truth that when one keeps their gaze steadily fixed on Our Lord, God does great things through weak human beings. As an infant, Rose’s face would change dramatically, undertaking to beauty and splendor of a living rose. Hence her name.

    Suffice it to say in this brief column that the Spanish conquerors committed many atrocities against the native inhabitants of these South American countries. However, with the Conquistadors came zealous missionaries. These dedicated servants of Christ planted the One True Faith among the native inhabitants, baptizing countless souls to replace the countless souls satan was snatching away from their Creator in Europe as the Protestant movement gained momentum.

    Hidden in Lima, Peru, was Rose. Born of noble parents, Rose had been chosen by God to live in holiness from her birth to her tomb. Though graced and gifted by God for her chosen vocations, Rose, as with each one of us, also had a free will. Anywhere along the course of her life, Rose could have said ‘No’ to God’s calling, ‘No’ to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, ‘No’ to the Mother of God to whom she had a most tender devotion.

    However, Rose understood at a tender age that the Cross of Christ, the Crucifix, succinctly and concisely contained all the knowledge she needed to continue to say ‘Yes’, embracing the Cross of Suffering at every moment. Thus, she gives us lesson one: Suffer in this life, and the Sanctifier will mold you into the very image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Desirous of entering the convent at an early age, where Rose realized she would best be able to renounce the world fully, concentrating, contemplating our Divine Redeemer, she first underwent many sufferings ordained by God which proved her virtue, her piety, her obedience to God first in all things.

    Thus, when quite young she was married at the express command of her parents. Rose complied with not a single complaint. Her husband was a pagan. God permitted Rose to be tested in the virtues of patience, of confidence in Divine Providence to care for her and her spouse. Thus, for years Rose bore with patience an abusive husband, a man who grew crueler as the years passed.

    Still, Rose never ceased to pray for her husband’s conversion, nor did she lack in the sweetness of patience to bear the injuries and insults of her husband. With many tears and constant mortification and penance, Rose lovingly fulfilled her vocation as wife, and in reward, she was blessed with motherhood, having sons.

    Her heartfelt lamentations before the Throne of Almighty God won for her husband the grace of conversion. Imagine Rose’s unearthly joy when this tremendous event took place in a household heretofore rent by her solid Catholicism and her husband’s avowed paganism! Upon his conversion, Rose’s husband recognized in his wife the marvels of God’s grace, and he began to imitate her, who imitated her Divine Redeemer. God alone knows how much the pure Rose of Peru suffered during these grievous years.

    As every soul must be tried in the purifying flames of suffering, Rose’s sufferings did not end with the conversion of her husband. Some time later, the pure Rose suffered the loss of her spouse, the latter now fully belonging to Christ Crucified. Try to imagine, if you will, the utter shock, sorrow, and perhaps devastation she endured when her husband was murdered.

    Strengthened by God through grace, Rose was very human, and she grieved for her spouse’s murder, but grieved even morose for those who had committed such a mortal sin before the face of God. She set about at once praying for the soul of her departed husband, while never ceasing to pray and ask pardon for his murderers, offering herself to suffer whatever Our Lord desired of her to make expiation and reparation for those who had so offended God.

    In the midst of such suffering, a new cross came to weigh upon Rose’s shoulders: Her sons, reared by our saint, imbued with the sacraments and knowledge of the One True Faith, were nonetheless young men of their particular time and place, and satan capitalized upon these circumstances to incite these young men to plot revenge against the murderers of their father.

    At once Rose prostrated herself before the Throne of Almighty God, and besought from her Divine Redeemer a favor, which she never once doubted His Mercy and Providence would answer. She implored our Savior to grant the graces necessary to stop her sons from committing a mortal sin. Realizing the dangers present to her sons, she also sought from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Intercession of His Most Holy Mother, the grace for her sons to remain steadfast to Christ, to repent of their planned revenge. Her prayer, accompanied by fasts, mortifications of the flesh, tears, as well as every sacrifice she could make, asked of Our Lord the grace that once her sons were reconciled with Him that in His Infinite Mercy He would take them from this earth lest they should ever offend him by mortal sin. Jesus, smiling at His Rose, heard and answered her prayer, calling forth from this mortal sojourn her sons.

    Rose was now not only a widow, but also bereft of her children. She bore all with patience, and in so doing imitated not only Our Savior, but Our Heavenly mother as well, who, during her earthly journey, was spotless virgin, mother, widow, and suffered the loss of her Divine Son on Calvary. Like Our Lady, Rose grieved, but never without hope.

    Bereft of family, Rose sought admittance into the convent—her first desire. However, she was denied admittance to the religious life, and without a single word of complaint, continued to practice self-mortification, increased her prayer life, and adored Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Most Sacred and Sorrowful Passion. Her daily mortifications of the flesh, her contemplation of our Lord’s Passion, and her deep contemplation of His Passion did not go unanswered. After several other attempts to enter religious life which ended in her being denied admittance, the Holy Ghost inspired her to try yet again, and by Divine Providence, Rose was at length admitted to the convent.

    Throughout her relatively short life, Rose had also understood through infused knowledge that humility is the handmaiden of Charity, and she stood out as one who knew no limits in serving the poor, seeing in each person Christ Himself. She exhausted her own earthly treasures, bestowing every last possession in alleviating the sufferings of the least of God’s ‘little ones’. Patience, perseverance, humility, self-abnegation, mortification of her senses, subjection of her body to the higher goal of imitation of Christ, aided her to mount the ladder of piety swiftly, although each rung of that ladder constituted more privations, more crosses, more austerities.

    Though she cared naught for the transitory things of this passing valley of tears, Rose, now a professed religious, learned the secret, the mystery of gaining Heaven, while doing good upon earth to all her fellow creatures. So powerful was her intercession with our beloved Savior, that she became known while alive (and particularly after her death), that a true child of God must expect, in the spirit of humility and utter confidence in Our Lord’s Providence for all his creatures, that in proportion to that which Rose willingly gave to God in adoration, worship, praise, petition, and thanksgiving, prompted her beloved Jesus to answer her petitions by the working of many authentic miracles as she lived, and said miracles continuing after her saintly death.

    Once in the convent, away from the distractions of society, her family ‘safe’ in the hands of Almighty God and of the Blessed Mother, Rose’s virtues increased, as did her sufferings, be the latter of mind, body, and soul. Her bodily mortifications, so necessary to abandon the things of this world, while proving the depth of her love for Our Crucified Savior, prompted her to wear a rough hair shirt beneath her outer garments. Furthermore, she was able to conceal beneath the headpiece of her Order a crown of thorn which she fashioned by her own hands under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Ghost

    Well pleased with his ‘little Rose’, Our Lord gave to her a wound from His Crown of Thorns. This supernatural wound signified not only her unity with God, but also her boundless love, piety, charity, zeal for the conversion of her fellow men, as it tested her patience until the moment of death.

    Rose’s generosity toward her fellow men increased daily, and she never lacked in charity toward anyone who sought her out, for her earthly fame caused countless souls to seek her out. The double-edged sword of unbloody martyrdom was given her, for while she with ‘meekness of heart’ attended to the needs of those subjects brought to her by God, at the same time, she found that her duty and obligation to be ‘the salt of the earth’, a ‘light’ to those trapped in Lucifer’s infernal plots, made a substantial impact in her heart’s desire to contemplate the most Sacred and Sorrowful Passion of Jesus Christ. Yet, she lost nothing in pouring herself out as a libation for the poor, the lost, the disillusioned, and the sinner. God, Who cannot be outdone in Charity, not only worked many miracles through His Rose, but also raised her to ever-higher levels of contemplation of His Passion.

    When, on her deathbed, she was asked how she could expect so much from Our Lord, even to by-passing Purgatory and arriving at her eternal home in Heaven, Rose answered her fellow religious, and thus answered us in our own day, that God is perfectly capable of fulfilling the heart’s upright, just, and holy requests to the measure in which we place all our trust and confidence in Him. Never was God deaf to the entreaties of Rose, and thus people flocked to her for both temporal and spiritual needs. Her fame as a worker of miracles, the latter more often than not of a seemingly impossible nature, achieved for those who came to her, the miracles of the impossible,; and for many others, she obtained for them that ineffable Peace of Our Crucified Savior to bear their individual crosses, without becoming discouraged. Having lived from birth until she was called home by Our Lord, Rose of Lima lived the way of the Cross, bejeweled by virtues which shown forth from her very countenance. She was daughter, wife, mother, widow, religious, and lest we forget, willingly suffered the loss of her sons, lest they offend God in any way, particularly through mortal sin.

    Rose of Lima is a saint for all of us, for her life included many vocations, each one a means to union with God. Never once did she lose that incredible unearthly peace which only comes from deep and abiding love of Our Savior. She contemplated Our Lord’s Passion, drawing from this inexhaustible proof of Divine Love, the graces necessary for her state in life, and the benevolence of God in granting to use Rose as a messenger to the people of her native country, as well as other nations—the working of miracles.

    Meek and humble of heart St. Rose of Lima never took credit for any good that the world proclaimed she had done. On the contrary, Rose repeatedly told all with whom she came in contact that all Honor and Glory, all “good” comes directly from God and takes root in the immortal soul to the extent we believe with humility,. Charity, patience, perseverance, and confidence in Him.

    We may not be called to a life of sufferings equal to hers, but by God’s design, she left a legacy of the sure path to Heaven. For those who seek Him, He cannot remain aloof, cannot deny the pleas and entreaties of his ‘little ones’ who seek Him with utmost confidence.

    St. Rose of Lima lived the Beatitudes to the fullest degree, meriting miracles both during her life and after her death. She is a model for our imitation in the single state when she obeyed her parents and married; she is a model of those virtues possessed by Mary, Mother of God, “full of grace” to lose her husband, to have nearly lost her sons to mortal sin. So great her love for Christ, that she preferred their deaths (once her sons had been reconciled in the Sacrament of Penance) lest they fall prey to the wiles of satan, for Rose understood that to die is to gain; and in losing her sons at so young an age, she again resembled the Blessed Mother who also gave her Divine Son back to the heavenly Father on Calvary.

    How many of us today pray first for ourselves, and then with a pure heart pray for our immediate family and then the entire world. Rose did, despite the distractions of daily life, with its hardships, crosses, and intense suffering.

    Can we do less? Never before in the history of Holy Mother Church has their existed such crisis of apostasy, heresy, schism, and all heresies that have ever been or will be.

    God’s ‘rose’ blossomed forth as a shining example to us of this twenty-first century that regardless of our state in life, God commands us to Love Him above all creatures. By Rose's renunciation of all of the fleeting treasures of this earth she demonstrated exactly where those worldy thing belong: in the trash heap of history.

    Take some time to reflect deeply on St. Rose of Lima, often called the Saint of the Impossible and Hopeless. Tried by the fire of the Cross, purified in the flames of suffering, Rose was destined by God to stand out as an example for all ages and all states of life, that she may be a guide for us in our earthly sojourn.

    We, who have been chosen by God to live in these most evil times, must take a long, hard look at the state of our soul, and face ourselves in the mirror each day, that we might examine our conscience, and through grace know ourselves and amend our lives. We desperately need to return to the glorious virtues, which God brought forth in His Saints.

    Let the youth ponder upon a religious vocation, so sublime before the throne of the Triune Divinity. Let those who have been called to the married state never forget it’s dignity, and the immense privilege of bearing children and instructing them in the fullness of the One True Faith. Isn’t it about time the Church Militant stood together as one, lifting our voices, and in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseech Him to swiftly end this era of depravity, through the Triumph of Mary’ Immaculate Heart?

    St. Rose of Lima shines before the Throne of God as a witness to the practice of virtue in every aspect of life, and strews the straight and narrow path to Heaven with her own ‘roses’, her virtues.

    Let us return to the zeal of our ancestors in the practice of Our True Faith, and endeavor accordingly to the graces given us by God. We shall not only have to answer to Him at our Particular Judgment for our lack of Charity and Humility, but we will also have to answer for the many souls that were, perhaps, lost due to our negligence, because we simply cannot be bothered to mortify our flesh, suffer every insult, indignity, and calumny in the spirit Jesus left us: “Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”

    The piety of our ancestors from the birthday of Holy Mother Church has long been stifled, buried beneath the lies of God’s enemy and our enemy. Let us begin together to invoke the aid of St. Rose of Lima that we, too, may call many souls back to the One True Faith, and, in imitation of her virtues, let us put on sackcloth and ashes, mortify our senses, and seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will follow.

    Thank you, Almighty God, for raising up St. Rose of Lima, for our edification and emulation. May she intercede for every person still in their earthly quest for their true home. May all Honor and Glory be given to Thee, the Author of All Life and All Good.

    St. Rome of Lima, pray for us!

Cyndi





    University of Virtue
    Monday
    November 19, 2007
    Volume 18, no. 323