August 23: St. ROSE OF LIMA, Virgin.
Short bio + Divine Office 2nd reading.
Born in Lima, Peru, St. Rose (1586-1617) became the first saint of the American continent. She was a model of penitent life, continuous prayer, and simplicity of life. She received the habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic when she was five years old. She was particularly devoted to the Virgin Mary.
From the writings of Saint Rose of Lima, virgin
Let us know the love of Christ which surpasses all understanding
Our Lord and Saviour lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.”
When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: “Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions.
We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul.”
That same force strongly urged me to proclaim the beauty of divine grace. It pressed me so that my breath came slow and forced me to sweat and pant. I felt as if my soul could no longer be kept in the prison of the body, but that it had burst its chains and was free and alone and was going very swiftly through the whole world saying:
“If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions. All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace. This is the reward and the final gain of patience. No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men.”
℟. God has chosen what the world holds to be foolish to confound the wise; has chosen what is nothing, so as to bring to nothing what is now important;* no human creature may boast in the presence of God.
℣. The Lord, who is so high above us, yet looks upon lowly things; he humbles the proud whom he sees from afar;* no human creature may boast in the presence of God.
Let us pray.
O God, you set Saint Rose of Lima on fire with your love, so that, secluded from the world in the austerity of a life of penance, she might give herself to you alone; grant, we pray, that through her intercession we may tread the paths of life on earth and drink at the stream of your delights in heaven. Through our Lord.