St. Rose of Viterbo
Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. Even as a child Rose had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. While still very young, she began a life of penance in her parents' house. She was as generous to the poor as she was strict with herself. At the age of 10 she became a Secular Franciscan and soon began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus. Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope's side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope's side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father's home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.
Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope's side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope's side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father's home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.
The list of Franciscan saints seems to have quite a few men and women who accomplished nothing very extraordinary. Rose is one of them. She did not influence popes and kings, did not multiply bread for the hungry and never established the religious order of her dreams. But she made a place in her life for God's grace, and like St. Francis before her, saw death as the gateway to new life.
Rose's dying words to her parents were: "I die with joy, for I desire to be united to my God. Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening, but sweet and precious."
Daily Prayer - 2015-09-04
I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
"Leave me here freely all alone
I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Col 1:15-20
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Alleluia Jn 8:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 5:33-39
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)
Health experts recommend taking a five-minute break from work every hour as a way of decreasing stress and increasing concentration and productivity. Not only can breaks like these increase your productivity in the short term, but they can also improve your overall health.
If this is true for your physical life, imagine how much more true it can be for your spiritual life! So try it today. Every hour, make it a point to take a short break to refocus yourself. Maybe stretch or take a short walk; and as you're doing it, take just one line from today's first reading, and ponder it.
In prayer, see if one verse leaps out at you. Perhaps it's that Jesus is the image of God; perhaps it's that all things hold together in him; perhaps it's that he has made peace by the blood of the cross. Or it may be something from the Gospel reading instead. Whatever it is, write it down, and keep it with you. At each hour break, take out that verse, and read it over again. If you're near a computer, do a web search on its meaning. If you're out working in the field, repeat the verse to yourself over and over just as you would a decade of the Rosary. If you're surrounded by friends or co-workers, just take a quick break, and go somewhere quiet, where you can mull it over more. Try to understand the meaning of the passage better, and memorize it; or just sit quietly in God's presence, and let the words sink into your heart.
Your doctor might call it a "five-minute stress-busting break," but our spiritual ancestors called it "practicing the presence of God." No matter what you call it, the benefits are undeniable. You are touching base with the Lord at regular intervals, making the effort to be aware of his presence throughout the day. As you do, you'll get to know Jesus better, you'll develop your "spiritual muscles" more fully, and you'll be more aware of God's constant presence. Even more important, you will be better equipped to handle the stresses and demands of your day because you are in touch with your heavenly Father.
"Father, help me stay in touch with you today!"