St. Rose of Lima died in her early thirties, and yet she attained the height of heroic virtue. Her words from the second reading of this morning’s Office of Readings:
“If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions. All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace.”
I’m not there yet, I’m not even close. I can, however, see the holy wisdom in what she says. We don’t have to search far to find pain and affliction, trouble, infirmities and torments. Maybe there hasn’t been an easier time in recent history to attain heroic virtue, living as we do in a time of great mercy. Simply holding to the plain truth of the gospel and of Catholic teaching is considered incendiary in this post-moral society.