Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven."
When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemd to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep aprticipation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."
"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! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men."
-from the writings of Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617), was originally named Isabel, (by her grandmother) but later was changed to Rose by her mother who thought she was as pretty as a rose. She knelt to pray and meditate in her garden as a child, and often would put pepper and lye on her skin so that she wouldn't look as beautiful as she was to avoid being attracted to young men. She was fascinated by Saint Catherine of Sienna after learning about her, and strived to imitate her. She often made secret sacrifices and severe penances, and later cut off her hair as Saint Catherine did. She then became a Dominican tertiary in 1606, and she received invisible stigmata. She slept on a bed of broken glass and thorns, offering all her sufferings for the conversion of sinners, and the souls in Purgatory. She was beatified on the 15th of April 1668, by Pope Clement IX
and canonized on the 2nd of April 1671, by Pope Clement X