From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Dec 14 23:20:26 2020
Avoid Pride and Grasp Wisdom
"After hearing that they should be humble, some persons do not wish to
They think they will be proud if they have anything. It has been made
clear to us where God wishes us to be in the depths and where he
wishes us to be in the heights. He wishes us to be humble to avoid
pride, and he wishes us to be on high to grasp wisdom."
--St. Augustine--Commentary on Psalm 130, 12
Prayer: While I move and bear this body I pray that I may be pure,
generous, just, and prudent. May I be a perfect lover and knower of
--St. Augustine--Soliloquies 1, 6
December 15th - St. Mary De Rosa, Virgin
The lives of saints often fall into a pattern, or at least seem to.
This is especially true of saintly women who have founded religious
orders. One gets to think that if you know one you know them all.
This is not true, however. Each such saint, while moving in the same
direction, was nevertheless a unique individual who struggled for
virtue against unique odds. So, when we read the lives of saints, we
must look past their resemblance to other saints and search out the
particular message that their lives convey.
St. Mary di Rosa is a good example of what I mean.
Mary (baptized Paula) was the sixth of the nine children of a
well-to-do couple of Brescia in northern Italy. Unfortunately, her
mother died when Paula was 11, and she had to leave school at 17 to
become housekeeper for her family. Her father, Clement di Rosa, soon
began to look around for a suitable husband for Paula, but Paula
gently informed him that she had decided not to marry. Most Italian
fathers in those days would have ignored their children’s wishes in
this matter. Fortunately, Clement went along with her chosen celibacy,
and even cooperated with her in the good works she now began to
Her first effort was to look after the spiritual welfare of the girls
who worked at one of her father’s mills. Then she duplicated this work
in another village. Then, with the cooperation of the parish priest,
she established a women’s guild and arranged for retreats and
missions. The movement proved very successful. Next, when a terrible
epidemic of cholera hit Brescia in 1836, she asked her father’s
permission to work among the plague-stricken in the hospital. He
consented, although the idea naturally worried him.
After that, Paula was invited to supervise a house of industry for
impoverished and abandoned girls. Though only 24, she discharged this
difficult task well for two years. Then she herself established a
small lodging house for girls and worked in a school for girls with
hearing problems. Meanwhile, Paula kept studying and reading,
educating herself very capably, especially in theology.
Thus far, Paula di Rosa had worked as a devoted Christian laywoman. By
1840 she and a companion, the widow Bornati, began to consider the
foundation of a religious order to take care of the sick in hospitals,
not just as nurses but as totally dedicated service-people. The
congregation they founded was called “The Handmaids of Charity.” It
faced many initial difficulties, but it also won acclaim from those
who really appreciated what its members were doing.
In 1848, revolution hit northern Italy. Paula staffed St. Luke’s
military hospital, and in 1849, her sisters anticipated Florence
Nightingale by nursing the wounded both in hospitals and on the
battlefield. One day, when some disorderly troops broke into the
hospital, Paula met them carrying a large crucifix and flanked by two
other nuns bearing candles. The soldiers slunk away sheepishly.
Pope Pius IX finally gave papal approbation to her religious order in
1850, and in 1852 Paula made her vows as Sister Maria. She did not
live long thereafter, however. Always physically frail, she died on
December 15, 1855, aged only 42.
What special lesson does the life of Sr. Mary di Rosa teach? Listen to
her. Once she told one of her sisters: “I can’t go to bed with a quiet conscience if during the day I’ve missed any chance, however slight,
of preventing wrongdoing or of helping to bring about some good.”
There you have a truly wonderful lesson in the practical fulfillment
of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the
doing you have to worry about.
--Saint Jeanne de Chantal
O God, when thou didst go forth in the sight of thy people, when thou
didst pass through the desert: 9 The earth was moved, and the heavens
dropped at the presence of the God of Sina, at the presence of the God
of Israel. (Psalm 67:8-9)
A Morning Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Christ
Dear Lord, I adore Your Sacred Heart, which I desire to enter with acts of love, praise, adoration and thanksgiving. I offer You my own heart as I sigh
to You from its very depths, asking that You will work through me in all
that I do this day; thus may I draw You closer to me each day. I offer You
all the crosses and sufferings of the world, in union with Your life on
earth, in expiation for sins. Please join my every action and heartbeat to
the pulsations of Your Heart. I unite all my works of this day to those
labors You performed while You were on earth, bathing them in Your precious Blood, and I offer them to the Heavenly Father so that many souls may be
saved. - Amen.