Memorial of Saint Jerome
Today is the feast of St. Jerome. From what I read he could be described as a person who was 90% intellect and 90% emotion. There was nothing half-way or wishy-washy about Jerome.
His first passion was learning. He was enamored of classical poetry. But after a dream that challenged his faith, he decided to switch his enthusiasm to Scripture. This was fortunate for the Church because this enthusiasm turned into a lifetime of studying and translating the bible. His translation, known as the Vulgate, was the official text of the Church for the next fifteen hundred years.
Jerome seemed to delight in controversy. For this he had a sharp wit and a sharp tongue. In one instance of overkill, he gave this opinion of an antagonist: "If he could only conceal his nose and keep his tongue still he may be taken to be both handsome and learned."
As devoted as he was to study and his work of translating, Jerome’s heart was also in tune with the needy. After the sack of Rome many refugees descended upon the Holy Land where Jerome lived. He said, "Today we must translate the words of the Scriptures into deeds, and instead of speaking saintly words we must act on them."
In whatever he did, whether intellectual pursuits or serving the poor, Jerome was a man of enthusiasm. "En" – in. "Theos"- God. Jerome was in God and God in him. Great things happen when we are in God and give God all the credit.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/