Blog Post - September 30th
S. Jerome| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen.
He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine (August 28) said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known."
St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church.
In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary of Pope Damasus (December 11).
After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
Jerome was a strong, outspoken man. He had the virtues and the unpleasant fruits of being a fearless critic and all the usual moral problems of a man. He was, as someone has said, no admirer of moderation whether in virtue or against evil. He was swift to anger, but also swift to feel remorse, even more severe on his own shortcomings than on those of others. A pope is said to have remarked, on seeing a picture of Jerome striking his breast with a stone, "You do well to carry that stone, for without it the Church would never have canonized you" (Butler's Lives of the Saints).
"In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert, burnt up with the heat of the scorching sun so that it frightens even the monks that inhabit it, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome. In this exile and prison to which for the fear of hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, I many times imagined myself witnessing the dancing of the Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them: In my cold body and in my parched-up flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion was able to live. Alone with this enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and I tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, but I grieve that I am not now what I then was" ("Letter to St. Eustochium").
Patron Saint of:
In Troubled Times:
Without friends we would never make it through the years of grieving, not only the first year but the subsequent ones that continue to remind us of our new identity as a now-single man or woman. Our friendships are godsends, a place of comfort and familiarity as we acclimate to a new life.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Do, on your part, whatever you possibly can to carry out... what truly is God's will ... Let your zeal ... be devoid of any defect.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 273: No Earthly Ties, Only Love of God
The pinnacle of our relationship with God includes being stripped of every other earthly tie so that nothing holds us back from running toward God with great passion and purpose. We must be freed of every attachment in this life so that our one attachment is God and His holy Will. This does not mean we ought to neglect our love for others. This is especially true with family love. Love for those in your family must take on a special focus and become total and irrevocable. However, there is a difference between loving your family with a perfect love and being attached to them in an earthly way. In fact, holy detachment is necessary if you are to love with the Heart of Christ. Loving Jesus as your one desire in life will direct you to Him through others. You will love Christ in your family and in all aspects of your earthly vocation. But your love for all will be a love for Christ when you love Him with this perfect love. When this happens, every other attachment will be transformed into your love of God (See Diary #1365).
What do you love in this world? What is it that you are attached to? Think about your greatest earthly loves. Hopefully these loves include family members and others whom God has put in your life. Now examine those loves and ponder whether they are centered in Christ. By loving them are you actually loving God? Or do these earthly loves remain ends in themselves? Reflect upon the goal of making love of God the one and only focus of your life and try to discover how you love God in and through every other person and every aspect of your life.
My Lord, I love You and desire to love You above all else and in all else. May You become the one and only goal of my love. As I love You in all Your creatures may I be drawn closer to You and lavish Your perfect mercy upon their lives. Jesus, I trust in You.