This morning at Mass, I learned a little about St. Jerome and took a quick family poll of all family members who were in attendance. It was unanimous among me, myself, and I. St. Jerome is our new family Saint! When I was a little girl growing up in Brooklyn, I have some interesting memories of attending St. Jerome's Catholic School. It wasn't all full length gowns and marching around the street singing "Ave Maria." There were some dark times of nuns in full habits, rulers, and collecting pennies and nickels for the pagan babies (really...what were we thinking?) I didn't die and consider myself blessed to have survived Catholic education in the 60's. I think there are a lot of us who endured it and should have t-shirts and meetings. I bet the overwhelming sentiment would be, "wow, I wish our kids could experience that!" I mean, it couldn't fly now...rulers, pagan babies, praying on the streets...even St. Jerome himself would be too politically incorrect. An arrogant child blessed with wealth and brains, the classically educated Jerome made himself so unpopular in Rome that he had to leave in 3 years. He moved to Bethlehem, where he translated the bible for the masses.To the sarcastic Jerome, living in a cave, even if it was next to where Jesus was born, must have been a trial. However, if an arrogant, sarcastic, rich boy can become a saint...I think there is some hope for the Murphy's!!
google image of st. Jerome in his study...with a skull as a nod to the eminent season of Halloween :o) want to keep the kids interested!! It does lend him an air of interest, don't you think?
This weeks second reading is from Philippians's. St. Paul is telling them that they must always keep their minds on what is good, pure, and true. I think that is so important now, at a time when we are flooded with so much information. Last summer I read a book about the processed food industry. Prior to that, I suspected that there was a problem with processed foods. I had no idea that there were food monopolies running the industry...hell, practically the government. That there were genetically modified seeds and foods in our food supplies and the dangers to humans were so well documented that other countries...countries where health care was not privately funded....that refused to allow it to be sold. I do not live in a bubble. I read the news and go on the Internet, nothing. But once I was aware, it seemed like every where I turned there were other news sources, books, articles, and blogs on the subject. It is like that with all topics, though. If you are interested in it, all of sudden you will see it everywhere. That is what Paul wants for us. If we think about God, we will see him everywhere...If we turn our minds to everything that is good, pure, and true, that is what we will look for, and see. That is what we need to see.
Here is a worksheet to help your children with this reading...
Lord, help me to see what is good, pure, and true. Help me to know what is and focus on these things turning away from those that are not. If I am focusing on these things, it will naturally become that to which I point my children. As a family, we will turn away from things of the world on which our minds should not linger...amen.