Blog Post - August 30th
S. Rose of Lima| SS. Felix and Adauctus| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Rose of Lima
The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.
She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena (April 29) as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.
The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.
When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.
During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.
What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.
It is easy to dismiss excessive penances of the saints as the expression of a certain culture or temperament. But a woman wearing a crown of thorns may at least prod our consciences. We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history. We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable. Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.” Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?
“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna” (Matthew 18:8–9).
Patron Saint of:
Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS. Felix and Adauctus, Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
In the year 304 Felix was living piously and happily, doing the work of a Christian priest in Rome, when he was captured, along with many other Christians at the start of the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian. First he was savagely tortured. Then he was sentenced to be beheaded, for no torture sufficed to make him give up his Christian beliefs.
Felix was led to the place of execution. So noble and apparently unconcerned did he seem at the prospect of imminent death that one of the crowd who had so far kept secret his own Christianity, shouted out: 'I too follow and believe the same commandments that this man confesses. I too follow and believe in the same Jesus Christ. And I too will give away my life to further his cause.'
The Roman soldiers rushed to seize the man, and he too was beheaded alongside Saint Felix. Unfortunately no-one even gathered his name. He was therefore dubbed 'Adauctus', which simply means 'the additional one'.
Both martyrs were reverently buried in the cemetery of Commodilla on the Ostian Way. By the time the list of martyrs known as the Depositio Martyrum was compiled in the year 354, they were simply known as 'Felix and Adauctus'.
About thirty years later Pope Damasus ordered that their tomb be restored and he put an inscription over it.
Casting the First Stone:
There are enough people with stones in their hands ready to hurl away. Let us adopt the example of Jesus who, at every occasion, seeks to wrap the individual in love and calls them to a life of holiness.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Jesus wants to toss and shake you, to thresh you like wheat in order that your spirit may be cleansed and purfied as He wishes.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Four: 237-262
We continue to the fourth notebook that Saint Faustina filled with reflections and revelations from Jesus. As we enter into this notebook, allow yourself to seek God in the silence. This chapter begins with Saint Faustina revealing that she was experiencing a “dark night” (Diary #1235). She lacked the sensory feelings of closeness to God. By analogy, it would be as if you were in a dark room filled with treasures and someone told you that all the treasures of this room were yours. You could not see them but you trusted the person who spoke about all that was around you. Knowledge of these treasures filled your mind even though the darkness hid them from your eyes.
So it is with God. Saint Faustina loved our Lord with all her heart and with every beat of her heart. She knew His closeness and love. But it appears that she could not sense this through her human senses. This gift of darkness allowed her to enter into a relationship with God on a spiritual level far deeper.
Seek this depth of relationship with God as you read through this chapter. Move beyond a desire to feel close to God and allow yourself to become close to God. He wants to enter your heart on a much deeper level than you ever knew possible. Be open to the newness of a relationship shrouded in darkness and allow the Lord to communicate His Mercy to you on this new level of love.
Reflection 242: True Beauty Uniquely Shining Through
It’s been said that “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, some say that the definition of beauty depends upon the subjective preference of one person or another. Though there may be some truth to this on a more superficial level, on a deeper level true beauty comes from God and is objective in every way. It’s not dependent upon our personal preference; rather, it depends upon God. The more something or someone resembles God and His Mercy, the more beautiful it is. This is important to know in regard to our souls. We all want to be perceived as “beautiful” by others. But we must also understand that this is only possible through a life of holiness. And what’s amazing is that the beauty of each person is unique. In Heaven, we will not all be the same; rather, the uniqueness of each person will shine forth the radiance of God in a special way, unique only to that person. Seek to allow the beauty and splendor of God to shine forth through your life so that you will be an instrument of His glory (See Diary #1251).
Do you desire to be beautiful? Perhaps this is a question more easily answered by women than men, since it is a word more common to women. But reflect upon the question. As you do, try to look at beauty from a different perspective. On the deepest level, it’s not a natural physical attractiveness. True beauty is a sharing in the glory of God and allowing that glory to shine through your soul as light shines through a prism. Seek to let God shine through you so that the beauty of God will bless others with His Mercy in a unique and profound way.
Lord, You are the glory and splendor of my soul. Your beauty is awe-inspiring and radiant in every way. Come live in me and shine through me so that others will see Your transforming beauty in my life. I offer myself to You, dear Lord, as an instrument of Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.