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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Another Lay Saint To Emulate--Rose of Lima

The Chapel of St. Mary of The Angels and Martyrs is almost completely packed. I am getting ready for my next adventure, organized by God. Learning to be obedient, (and, possibly living out one's purgatory on earth,), requires complete trust in God. This way of life also demands flexibility.

One of the signs of a decaying soul, like a decaying mind, is rigidity. Those who cannot change may be missing daily opportunities for metanoia, for that call from God to change anew.

Today is the feast day of my chosen confirmation saint, Rose of Lima. I chose her when I was twelve, the age of my confirmation, for many reasons.

The first is that, at the time, she was the only female saint born in the New World. She is an American saint, albeit South American.

Second, I was struck at my tender age, by her selflessness to others. She had a true servant's heart.

Third, I wanted to give all to Christ and live the simple life as she did, choosing simplicity over complexity in her life.

Fourth, she chose penances, such as becoming a perpetual vegetarian, and wearing coarse, rough clothes, among other mortifications. I was entranced by her fortitude and focus.

Fifth, she was noted, even early on, for her exact obedience. I wanted to be obedient.

Sixth, she experienced, like St. Catherine of Siena, whom Rose loves, a mystical marriage with Christ.

Seventh, Rose remained a lay person, a Third Order Dominican, like Catherine of Siena, another saint admired by me.

Eighth, she prayed for the souls in purgatory, and even as a little girl, I was draw to this work of mercy.

To me, St. Rose seemed like a breath of fresh air when I read her life in 1960. I was confirmed in March of 1961, and wanted to be like Rose. I still do....

Well, God gives grace according to His designs, and I still do not have my little hermitage, as Rose did in the back of her parents' property.

But, she still is a witness of a lay life worth living.

The only statue out now is my Infant of Prague, Who also reminds me of simplicity and innocence, the simplicity and innocence mirrored in the life of Rose of Lima. I have one of my crucifixes out, a Benedictine one, which is rather grand. I have several crucifixes and I look at the various interpretations of My Lord on these for meditation-but the rest are packed now.

Little Rose of Lima, a lay person and a penitent, one choosing suffering for the sake of others, should speak to all of us today, on the edge of the ruin of our nations. May this little saint, patron of all South America, speak to our hearts so that we can live the radical Gospel wherever God calls us to be.