The path to sainthood: Santa Rosa of Lima

   (v.2, #16, published by The White Lodge, copyright 1980)
   "Rose of Lima has a special claim on our interest for she has the honor of being the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Church.
   The child who became St. Rose of Lima was born on April 20, 1586, of a Spaniard, Gasper de Flores, and Maria d'Olivia, a woman who had Inca blood in her veins.  The infant, one of ten children born to the couple, was baptized Isabel, after an aunt, Isabel de Herrara, who acted as godmother.
   By the time she was confirmed by Archbishop Toribio of Lima, the name Isabel had been replaced by Rose, and this was the name now bestowed on her.  Rose had a fresh, lovely complexion, and she was worried by the thought that this name had been given as a tribute to her beauty.  So sensitive was her conscience that she had genuine scruples over bearing the name, and on one occasion, after hearing someone praise her comeliness, she rubbed pepper into her face to mar it; another time, she put lime on her hands, inducing acute suffering.  This was her way--a way conditioned by the time and place--of fighting a temptation to vanity.  Such self-imposed cruelties, as we have seen in the lives of some of the other saints, have not been uncommon, particularly among those of a mystical bent.
   Rose seems to have taken for her model St. Catherine of Siena, and, like the earlier saint, she experienced so ardent a love of god whenever she was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament that exaltation completely filled her soul.  Yet Rose was not without a practical side.  Her father had been well-to-do, but when he lost money in mining ventures, the family's fortunes reached a very low ebb.  Rose helped out by selling her fine needlework; she also raised beautiful flowers and these too were taken to market.  One of her brothers, Ferdinand, was sympathetic and understanding toward this sister who was so markedly different.  As she grew to maturity, her parents were anxious to have Rose marry, and indeed there were several worthy aspirants for her hand.  Rose did not wish marriage, and, to end the arguments and offers, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, donned the habit, and took a vow of perpetual virginity.
   For many years Rose lived virtually as a recluse.  There was a little hut in the family garden, and this she used as an oratory.  She often wore on her head a circlet of silver studded on the inside with sharp points, in memory of the Lord's crown of thorns.  Other forms of penitence which she inflicted on her body were floggings administered three times daily, the wearing of a hair shirt, and the dragging of a heavy, wooden cross about the garden.  She rubbed her lips with gall and often chewed bitter herbs to deaden the sense of taste.  Both eating and sleeping were reduced to a minimum.  Naturally her health was affected, but the physical disorders which resulted from this regime--stomach ailments, asthma, rheumatism, and fevers--were suffered uncomplainingly.  This manner of life offended her family, who preferred their daughter to follow the more conventional and accepted ways of holiness.
   Once when there was no money to buy bread, Rose went to the closet and opened the chest, believing that God would provide for them, and there, indeed, were the loaves she desired, only whiter and of more beautiful shape than she had ever made.  Another day when there was no honey, one of the necessaries of life in Peru, Rose went with confidence to the place where it was usually kept, and found sufficient to last them for eight months.  Many other instances of favors received might be cited but space forbids.
   It was Rose who encouraged the people of Lima to erect the convent of St. Catherine of Siena in Peru, and pledged her word that the money required would be supplied.
   In spite of the rigors of her ascetic life, Rose was not wholly detached from happenings around her, and her awareness of the suffering of others often led her to protest against some of the practices of the Spanish overlords.  In the new world, the discovery of unbelievable mineral resources was doing little to enrich or ennoble the lives of the Peruvian natives.  The gold and silver from this land of El Dorado was being shipped back to strengthen the empire and embellish the palaces and cathedrals of Old Spain, but at its source there was vice, exploitation and corruption.  The natives were oppressed and impoverished, in spite of the missionaries' efforts to alleviate their miseries and to exercise a restraining hand on the governing class.  Rose was cognizant of the evils, and spoke out against them fearlessly.  Sometimes she brought sick and hungry persons into her own home that she might better care for them.
   For 15 years Rose bore the disapproval and persecution of those close to her, as well as the more severe trial of desolation of soul.  During an illness towards the end of her life, she was able to pray, 'Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Thy love in my heart.'
   A short time before she died she was continually in raptures and ecstasies, notwithstanding the intense suffering she was undergoing.  Two hours before she expired, she said to her confessor in confidence:  'O father, what great things I could tell you of the pleasures and consolations which God will bestow upon his Saints for all eternity!  I go with inconceivable delight to contemplate the adorable Face of God, Whom I have loved all my life.'
   This remarkable woman died on August 25, 1617, at age 31.  
   Not until after her death was it known how widely her beneficent influence had extended, and how deeply venerated she was by the common people of Lima.  When her body was borne down the street to the cathedral, a great cry of mourning arose from the crowd.  For several days it was impossible to perform the ritual of burial on account of the great press of sorrowing citizens around her bier.  She was finally laid to rest in the Dominican convent at Lima.
   This holy woman is highly honored in all Spanish-American countries and was declared patroness of South America and the Philippines.

    O Love That wilt Not Let Me Go  by George Matheson, 1882
  O Love that wilt not let me go,
   I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
   May richer, fuller be.

  O Light that followest all my way,
   I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
   May brighter, fairer be.

  O Joy that seekest me through pain,
   I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
   That mourn shall tearless be.

  O Cross that liftest up my head,
   I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
   Life that shall endless be."

Affirmations from the Maha Chohan

   "(given January 5, 1964 and April 11, 1974)
1.  I AM the penetration and the permeation of the flame of love from the heart of God filling all the universe
2.  I AM the power of God, the kingdom of God, the love of God anchored within the God flame of my own being
3.  I AM a living sacrifice to the perfection of life's glorious purpose
4.  I AM the all-powerful release of the radiation of the Holy Spirit to intensify the action of the Holy Spirit upon the planetary body and in the hearts of the people of this earth
5.  I AM consciousness in the radiance of the Great Central Sun
6.  I AM the release of the rainbow rays from the heart of God
7.  I AM the power of divine love in all that I do
8.  I AM Christ-illumed consciousness
9.  I AM the regeneration of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men
10.  I AM an advocate of divine law to mankind
11.  I AM the great God flame that is within the heart of all men
12.  I AM the power of divine love in action/ I AM an intense action of understanding/ I AM the all-enfolding power of the Holy Spirit
13.  I AM the full realization of spiritual responsibility
14.  I AM the unfailing light of the law of God acting on behalf of the holy cause of freedom
15.  I AM the release of freedom for the planet and every elemental upon the planet
16.  I AM the Spirit of Holiness

1.  I AM the wholeness of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit
2.  I AM the wholeness of the circle of infinity
3.  I AM the fulfillment of the longing for wholeness
4.  I AM the return to the state of oneness in God
5.  I AM the awareness of the circumference of that identity which God has bequeathed to me
6.  I AM contemplation of the oneness of life/ I AM entering the oneness of life/ I AM experiencing the oneness of life/ I AM the oneness of life
7.  I AM in the center of a rose/ I AM the flaming fire of that oneness/ I AM in the center of the circle/ And I AM the comfort flame
8.  I AM in the center of God's consciousness
9.  I AM the bursting forth of the energies of the heart inundating cosmos, filling all space, becoming part of all time
10.  I AM the movement of the Divine Mother/ I AM the movement of the energy of the Holy Spirit
11.  I AM Mother/ I AM as the movement of the currents of the Holy Spirit/ I AM love in motion/ I AM love reaching for the stars/ I AM love carrying the message of hierarchy far and wide
12.  I surrender all that blocks the flow of the energies of Omega into my life
13.  I AM the Divine Mother in manifestation/ I AM the Woman clothed with the Sun/ I AM the overcoming of all lunar energies which I place beneath my feet/ For I AM God's manifestation of the mastery of life/ I AM the fulfillment of the promise of the crown of twelve stars/ I AM the mastery of the virtues of the Almighty One/ I AM the movement, the action in time and space, of God's own Spirit of the Holy One/ And thus I cannot remain separate, apart, alone/ For I AM the fulfillment of all cycles of cosmic consciousness/ Indeed I AM the fulfillment of the law of life/  All hail!  I AM Father, Mother, Son
and Holy Spirit/ I AM the One Flame/ I AM the One Flame of Life blazing upon the altar of being
14.  I AM the flame of love weaving the wedding garment of my soul
15.  I AM the flow of love
16.  I AM in the warmth of God
17.  I AM in the consciousness of the Mother
18.  I AM the perpetual joy of the Mother
19.  I AM the love of the Mother that flows freely
20.  I AM the gentle manifestation of the law"

The Crystallization of the God Flame: