23 August 2012

FEMININE LATTE: As Sweet As A Rose


A REFLECTION IN HONOR OF ST. ROSE OF LIMA

Feast Day: August 23
Patron of Latin America and Phillipines
1586 - 1617

HER LIFE:

Virgin, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there the 24 of August, 1617.

St. Rose of
Lima is the patroness of Latin America and the Philippines. This South American Saint's real name was Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby that she was called Rose, and that name remained. As she grew older, she became more and more beautiful, and one day, her mother put a wreath of flowers on her head to show off her loveliness to friends. But Rose had no desire to be admired, for her heart had been given to Jesus. So she put a long pin into that wreath and it pierced her so deeply, that she had a hard time getting the wreath off afterward. Another time she became afraid that her beauty might be a temptation to someone, since people could not take their eyes off her. Therefore, she rubbed her face with pepper until it was all red and blistered.

St. Rose worked hard to support her poor parents and she humbly obeyed them, except when they tried to get her to marry. That she would not do. Her love of Jesus was so great that when she talked about Him, her face glowed and her eyes sparkled.

Rose had many temptations from the devil, and there were also many times when she had to suffer a feeling of terrible loneliness and sadness, for God seemed far away. Yet she cheerfully offered all these troubles to Him. In fact, in her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman use to pray: "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."

Many miracles followed her death. She was
beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honoured. Her feast is celebrated 23 of August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.

(SOURCE: Catholic Online)



MY PERSONAL REFLECTION:

St. Rose may not be my patron saint, but I share a deep connection with her. 

For 13 years, I was a "Rosenan", an alumna of Colegio de Sta. Rosa (which means, College of St. Rose), an exclusive Catholic school for girls in Makati City, Philippines.  She was the Patron Saint of my Alma Mater where I spent my education years from pre-school to high school.  I remembered passing by an image of her practically everyday as I go to school.  Many times we were asked to study her life, took part in activities to honor her feastday, and basically, be inspired by the woman that she is. 


My Alma Mater Logo

But I learned to admire her more as I grew up and experienced the sometimes difficult realities, but beautiful life as a Christian woman.  It is not a life spared from trials and temptations but it can be a wonderful life as I strive to live it as a woman fashioned after God's perfect design.

I believe that it's no coincidence that St. Rose was named after a beautiful flower.  

A rose is my favorite flower most especially the red ones.  It symbolizes love, beauty, and faith.  But roses also have thorns.  Scientific facts states that roses have thorns for protection purposes.  Its sweet smell attracts animals to eat it.  But the thorns keep the animals away for fear of being pricked.

In essence, the thorns in our life are our sufferings.  Sufferings allow us to be stronger and give us reasons to always seek God's protection and comfort.  

The life of St. Rose is indeed as beautiful as a flower made sweeter and stronger by the "thorns" in her life.  

On a personal note, St. Rose, symbolizes the woman I always strive and hope to become.

She was a woman of natural beauty.  

If I have one favorite sin, it's VANITY!  As a young girl, I was made to believe that being beautiful is important so that other people will not look down on you.  In my early 20s as I was starting a career, I spent so much of my hard-earned money in satisfying my desire for beauty.  Enjoying the perks of having a job and my own money to spend.  But it was also a moment in my life when I felt so dry and empty that not even the best clothes or shoes, even beauty treatment can ever makeover the "ugliness" I was feeling in my heart because of my worldy desires.  It was only when God called me to live the life of a missionary that I began to appreciate myself for who I am.  

St. Rose was a very beautiful woman - inside and out.  What made her even more beautiful is the fact that she never looked at herself as beautiful... not using it for the purpose of vanity or to satisfy any worldly desire.  

Hers was a natural beauty, radiating from her burning love for God.   

      She was an obedient and loving daughter.

St. Rose loved her parents.  She strived to help them and worked hard to support their family. 

As the eldest of 7 children, I know that I have the responsibility to help and support my family even if they didn't ask for it.  My family went through rough times... we struggled but managed to rise above the challenges.  It was our love that held us together and made us strong amidst the difficulties of life. 

Being a daughter was my first, most important role before I became a mom.   I am proud of the love and bond that I share with my parents and siblings.  

Even with my own family now, I am confident that the love of my family will continue to grow and be shared.  Knowing that as I fulfill my role as a wife to my husband and mother to my son, I am continuing to nurture the love that was planted in my heart by my parents.

St. Rose was a humble and obedient daughter.  Her love for Jesus was her strength and shining example in loving.

She was a woman fashioned after God's design.    

Despite her occasional spiritual dryness and sometimes doubts, she continued to be a woman after God's own heart.  She never lost her faith in the midst of trials and temptations.  

I know that there are moments in my life when I would doubt God's plans and promises.  Sometimes even to the point of questioning his intentions.  There are times when I would become stubborn to follow His will and insist on what I believe is best for me.  

But God always proved to be the only source of great blessings - blessings which are meant especially for me.  He knows my heart.  He simply had the right answers to my never-ending questions in life.  He is enough to satisfy that burning desire deep within me most especially in times when I needed Him the most.  

St. Rose was not spared from suffering.  But amidst the challenges she had to go through, her heart was firm and found strength in God.    

"Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."  
This is St. Rose's prayer. 

May I also learn to speak these words as I live my life each day... striving to be a woman after God's own heart.  May my heart be filled with joy in the midst of sufferings. And may my life be as beautiful as a flower nurtured by God's unconditional love.

Featured Blog in Association of Catholic Women Bloggers: As Sweet As A Rose

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