The Well (el Pozo) at the Basilica of St. Rose

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day Nine - Rose,Spouse of Jesus

Isabella received the name of “Rose of Saint Mary” by her Lord in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary at the church of Santo Domingo. By that time she already had a relationship with the Lord. When she was just five years old, she attempted to imitate the holiness of St. Catherine of Sienna and had personally consecrated her virginity to God by vow, promising henceforth to live only for the accomplishment of His holy Will.

Rose was more than a disciple for the Lord. We always remain as Christian disciples of the Lord, but as we grow in holiness, we realize that we are more than just students. We become more aware of what it means to have a share in the Body of Christ - As Christ has a share in our humanity, we have a share in his divinity. As Saints Peter and Paul remind us: “[The Lord] has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4) and “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ,” (Gal 3:27) and again “For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power.” (Col 2:9-10)

Rose was more than just a disciple. She was fully united to Him. At the age of twelve, she had already reached the highest degree of prayer, which mystic writers call the prayer of union. Whether awake or sleep she was one with God. While she was working in the yard or helping her mother at home, she continued to have an inner conversation with God.

Retreating into her little cell – her hermitage, Rose prayed the 149 names of God over and over again. This exercise would quickly bring her to that state of complete joy. “If you abide in my love,” says the Lord, “my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.” In this prayer cell, Rose would utter the Holy Name of Jesus and soon find the Divine Spouse with her. Before her eyes, she would see the Divine Infant, her “Little Doctor,” who would offer her comfort.

Her greatest love was to receive her Lord in the Eucharist, often fasting for more than a day before she received her Lord. She authored a prayer and would recite it often within her heart, especially after she received communion:

Adorable Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, our Creator and our Redeemer, I grieve from the bottom of my heart for having so often offended Thee, because Thou art He Who is, and because I love You above all things. O true God, the betrothed of my soul, most amiable Jesus, my adorable consoler, I desire to love Thee with that perfect, complete, sincere, incomparable, invincible, and eternal love wherewith the Blessed in Heaven love Thee! Yes, O God of my heart, joy of my soul, I desire to love Thee as much as Thou art loved by Thy Mother, blessed among all women, my Mother and Lady, the most pure Virgin Mary. I would gladly love Thee as Thou lovest Thyself, my Lord and my God, my salvation and my happiness. O my most adorable Jesus, grant that I may be consumed and melted in the furnace of Thy most ardent charity!

Following this prayer, Rose would go into a state of ecstasy. On one occasion, Rose fell into this rare spiritual state of oneness with her Divine Spouse and received a revelation that she was to take the Habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic. Shortly thereafter, she received a message from her Lord, “Rose of My Heart, be thou My Spouse.”

In addition to knowing and loving the Lord, Saint Rose was devoted to serving the Lord. She beheld her Divine Spouse in the suffering poor she served. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, so you do unto me,” says the Lord. In the manner of St. Dominic, preacher to the poor and to lost souls, Rose used her acts of charity to bring the people of Lima closer to the Lord.

Rose underwent great torment in her own life. Her health was always delicate, but she would rather die than complain. Instead, she knew that the cross she carried brought her closer Jesus. She would pray, “O Lord, increase my sufferings, but increase also Your love in my heart.” On one occasion, her Lord responded:

“Affliction is always the companion of grace. Grace can only be attained by suffering; Divine consolations are distributed in the same portion as sufferings; let everyone understand this. Let no one deceive themselves. The way of the cross is the only path which leads to Heaven. Earthly sorrows are the roots of heavenly joys.”

More illnesses were placed upon the patient Spouse of the Lord. The last sickness that overtook her paralyzed her right arm. She was in great agony, but she would have it no other way. If her Divine Spouse died on the cross, she would not be spared the same pain. When her mother placed a pillow under her head, Rose cried, “Take away the pillow so that, like Jesus, I may die resting my head upon wood.”

After receiving Last Rites – Confession, Anointing, and Communion – and like the wise virgins of scripture awaiting with lighted lamp the return of the bridegroom, Rose asked for a blessed candle. After receiving it, she uttered her last words were, “Jesus, Jesus, be with me.” At the age of thirty-one, August 24th, 1617, the Bridegroom came to meet her.

As was the case for Catherine of Sienna, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, or John Paul II, Rose was declared a Saint immediately by the world around her. However, she was not officially canonized until August 30th, 1671 by Clement X.

This child of Divine Love was the first Saint of the New World. She is the patroness of Peru, the Americas, the Philippine Islands and countless dioceses and parishes throughout the world.


Rose, Spouse of Jesus,

Pray that I may learn to love the Lord and become one with Him.
May your life inspire me to abide in His love and come to that complete joy
That you gained in your time on earth.

Finally, pray that I may Lord may come to me in my hour of death and
bring me to Heaven where you live with Mary and all the Saints, in union with Christ,
Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

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