Tuesday, August 23, 2005

St. Rose of Lima

Today is the feast day of St. Rose of Lima, in the United States. (In Peru, her feast day is celebrated August 30th.) She lived in a garden and was so beautiful and holy that she used lye and pepper to ruin her face so as not to attract the attention of men. Today that would be considered self mutilation. In fact, St. Rose of Lima liked to suffer. She used to pray, "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."

Unlike most of us, St. Rose of Lima did not run away from her crosses. If she were a 21st-century American, she'd be pressured to get medicated. But that's the thing about saints: They tend not to do what we expect of them, and that's why they surprise us and show us how to be closer to God.