Hope for our difficult personality

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Monday, Memorial of St. Jerome, 30 September 2019

Zechariah 8:1-8 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Luke 9:46-50

St. Jerome painting by El Greco portrayed as wearing the Cardinal’s robe to represent his highly esteemed works and contributions to the Church as one of the Four Western Fathers along with St. Augustine, St. Ambrose of Milan, and St. Gregory the Great. Photo from Google.

Praise and glory to you, God our loving Father! Thank you very much for giving us saints, men and women like us who were sinners with so many weaknesses but through your grace were able to lead holy lives.

Through your saints, you give us so much hope to be become better persons despite our many imperfections like our great Doctor of the Church, St. Jerome, the Father of Catholic biblical studies who immersed himself in the study and prayer of the Sacred Writings right in the Holy Land.

Considered as one of the great theologians of the Church, St. Jerome is said to be approachable but notorious for being a difficult person too due to his temper as well as sarcasm and being argumentative at times.

I confess, O God, that I am exactly the opposite of the kind of person Jesus Christ is telling us to be like – a child. Instead of being childlike, many times I have become childish, difficult to handle with my burst of temper and sometimes annoying sarcasm.

Like St. Jerome, fill me with your grace, with courage and willpower to conquer my irascibility and direct all my negative energies in pursuing you in prayers and good works.

Help me to follow St. Jerome in his call to “let us translate the words of the Scriptures into deeds.”

Fill me with your words, O Lord, cleanse me of my sins and iniquities so that your Holy Spirit may dwell in me, suffuse me with your holiness. Amen.

My favorite depiction of St. Jerome by Italian painter Antonello da Messina (c.1430-79), “St. Jerome in his Study.” Again, we see St. Jerome in red robe and hat like a Cardinal at his study desk with his faithful lion in the background which tradition says he had helped in the forest by removing a thorn in its paw. At the foreground are two birds: a peacock which is an ancient Christian symbol of eternal life that our saint meditated often (reason why he always has a skull in other paintings), and a partridge, a reference to St. Jerome’s notorious temper as the bird often represents jealous rage. Photo from Google.

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