Tuesday, September 30, 2014

St. Jerome

Today is the feast of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Jerome.  Known for being the translator of the Bible, St. Jerome may be just as famous for his irascible temperament.  There's something about the pure humanity of that personality trait that makes him particularly lovable to many of us.  We grab hold of the faults of the saints with jealous hope for ourselves.

 I've been known to have a tad bit of a temper myself... (Ask anyone.) So, yeah.  I feel a comfortable companionship with a saint with the same problem.  Our William, also a little man of extremes, has adopted St. Jerome as his patron in crankiness, too. But we can't use our shared weaknesses as an excuse.

The remarkable fact of Jerome's bad temper is that he managed to overcome it.

Years of prayer, study, and solitude -- and the sheer will to be mild-mannered for love of Christ -- tamed the lion, St. Jerome.  It's possible for all of us to do the same. The saints weren't born holy, they willed to be holy -- they worked and prayed for it.  No matter the bad tendency, we can all do the same. We just have to want it badly enough.

In my iconography (if I became a saint), I'd have a tame lion by my side (for temper) a canary on my shoulder (for flightiness), and a turtle running on a hamster wheel (for laziness).

St. Jerome by Fra Filippo
Intercede for us, please, good St. Jerome.  Help us to will to overcome our faults, to be sorry for our sins, and most of all to love God with the great love that you learned to have.

* For links to more history, traditions, and coloring pages for the day, go here.
* The children's assignment for today was to choose symbols for their own iconography, showing 1) what chief fault they had to overcome (like St. Jerome's lion for temper), 2) what God-given talent they would need to develop for God's glory (signified by St. Jerome's book), and 3) one other symbol of circumstance or action that would pinpoint them in history or habit (like St. Jerome's cell in the desert).  What would be your iconography?  It's an interesting meditation!

But, now for something a little quirky and off the wall...  

Does anyone out there recall Dion DiMucci, the 1950s singer of The Wanderer?  Confronted with his mortality after the death of Buddy Holly (story is he actually turned down a seat on that fated flight), DiMucci found religion in the '60s, and after a couple decades of serious Bible study, he found all roads led to the Catholic Church, converting to the faith in the '90s.  Since his Catholic roots are uniquely twined through the pages of the Bible, it's a no-brainer that DiMucci is a particular fan of our St. Jerome.  He penned the following blues ode in honor of today's patron.

Not to be confused with Sousa's The Thunderer...

* And here's a little something even quirkier...  St. Jerome would faint -- but, in the interest of full disclosure (and because something about the absurdity of it tickles me),  here's the line dance tutorial for "The Thunderer"

No comments: