Human life is very fragile, much like the life of a flower. Almost all flowers wilt and die when their stems are harmed, so some flowers, like the rose, have developed defenses against the dangers of the world. A rose is also recognized as one of the most beautiful flowers in the world.
A rose is a flower, which reflects each person in a mystical sense. A rose blooms slowly over time with much loving care; it is the same way with our soul. Our soul requires us to shape and mold our life to Christ’s life. We develop defenses to protect the fragile bloom of our soul from the goats of the world who would come to eat it. The thorns do not come only from our own designs, but from the Cross. We must suffer in this world, because Christ suffered, pierced by our sins out of love for us. When we choose to follow Jesus, we must “deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow him” (Luke ). As Christians none of us have any right to expect an easy life, but rather all Christians must expect and be expected to be imitators of Christ in all things. Pope John Paul II teaches in Salvifici Doloris, “The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the redemption was accomplished” (19f). In the denial of the world, believers come to share in the redemptive power of the cross through sharing in the suffering of Christ. Each person is to redeem the world around them by being Christ to the world daily. But how does one become Christ to the world? Each person must daily reach out to the lowly, the sick, the hopeless, the despairing, the hungry, the naked and the homeless, since Christ came forth to each Christian when we were in a similar place. Every person has spiritual needs as well as physical needs and as a community of believers, we must be attuned to these needs. Unity grows out of love lived each day in action for our brothers and sisters. We are not meant to be fighting amongst ourselves; people are not the ones who we are fighting in the world.