At the end of September, the very
last day of the 30th, the
Church always celebrates the memory of SAINT JEROME. Born a saint, he was not! A fiery and explosive temper that brought him
many enemies, fierce and long temptations against chastity that he battled with
prayer and prolonged fasting, and long prayer vigils—this was Saint Jerome.
Despite his temperamental defects and
frequent assaults from the enemy, Jerome had a keen intellect, a love for
study, but especially a love for the Bible, the Word of God.
The Church owes a huge debt of
gratitude to Saint Jerome especially for his great love for the Word of God and
his work in studying it. However, most important is that Saint Jerome, after
many years, finished translating the Bible from Greek and Aramaic into the
Latin—which we call the “Vulgate” and from the Latin Vulgate the Bible would
eventually be translated into our own languages—English, German, Spanish,
French, Italian, Portuguese, etc. All thanks
to the strenuous work of Saint Jerome.
The Second Vatican Council published
four famous Dogmatic Constitutions, the pillars of the Church in the Modern
world: Sacrosanctum Concilium, Gaudium Spes, Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum. In the later, Dei Verbum, which deals with
Divine Revelation and the Word of God, Saint Jerome, is cited. This has become one of the key citations in
this Document and a key for appreciating the importance of the Bible, the Word
of God. Here it is: “Ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” How true!
If we do not read the Bible, especially the Gospels, then we cannot know
who Jesus is; then we cannot really love Him; then consequently it will be hard
to follow Him as His friend and disciple.
With this being said, let us offer our Lord homage, love and respect for
His Word the Bible, by carrying out and implementing at least some of the
PURCHASE A CATHOLIC BIBLE. There are many Bibles, but you should try to
purchase a good Catholic Bible. A suggestion?
The Navarre Bible or the Jerusalem Bible are two Bibles with excellent
translations. Check them out and buy one of them; maybe buy two!
GIVE A CATHOLIC BIBLE AWAY! Weddings,
Birthday parties, anniversaries, Confirmations, family gatherings—why not give
a Bible, the Word of God? What could be better?
BLESSING. Take the Bible to the priest and let the priest,
who represents Jesus, to bless it. This will be your friend and companion the
rest of your life. Your Light, your shield, your Rock—good names for the Word
REVERENCE AND RESPECT. Enthrone your
Bible in a special place. Never treat it irreverently. This means, never throw
it, place it on the floor, place a beer mug on top of it. Remember! This is the Word of God and should be
respected with the greatest of reverence.
READ AND MEDITATE. The Bible is not a Christmas decoration or a collector’s
item, or a souvenir! Quite the contrary:
the Bible is meant to be read, meditated, day and night. Remember Psalm 1: “Happy
those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, nor go the way of sinners,
nor sit in the company of scoffers. Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy;
God’s law (Bible, Word of God— my own interpretation) they study day and
night.” (Psalm 1: 1-2). May we cherish reading and meditating on the Word
of God day and night!
MEMORIZE KEY VERSES! Jesus is our example! Fasting for forty days and nights, the devil
tempts Jesus. The first of the temptations of the devil was to turn stones into
bread. Jesus responded with these words: “It
is written: One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4).
DEFEND YOUR FAITH WITH THE WORD OF
GOD. Saint Paul says that the Word of
God is like a two-edged sword separating bone from marrow. Obviously, Saint
Paul means that the Word of God, the Bible, is powerful and should be used for
spiritual warfare to fight the enemies of the truth- Satan and his minions and
those who promote lies! Read Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologica and how this great saint defended doctrine relying
heavily on the Word of God!
HOLY MASS AND THE WORD OR GOD. Attend Daily Mass—the greatest prayer
underneath the heavens! The Dogmatic Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium—which explains the Mass and the Liturgy,
states that there are two tables that nourish us at Mass: the table of the Word
of God and the Table of the Body of the Lord—namely, the Eucharist! Go for this
double nourishment—indeed a heavenly banquet!
SPIRITUAL EXERCISES AND THE WORD OF GOD. When you have the chance, try to make the
Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. This might be the retreat
lasting a month, or eight days, or a weekend, or what is common today, retreat
in daily life which can last from six months up to a year, done with an able
Director. The bulk of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola is
the meditation or the contemplation of the Word of God! Try it! You will never regret it!
10.MARY AND THE WORD OF
GOD. Finally in your growing pursuit of
love for the Word of God never forget to turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary
carried the Word made flesh within her sacred womb for nine months. But the New
Testament teaches us that Mary meditated upon the Word of God in her Immaculate
Heart. After the Shepherds came to visit her Infant Child, the Evangelist
points to a key activity of Mary: “And
Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Lk. 2:19).
May Our Lady encourage us to do the same—to daily meditate upon the Word of God
in our hearts by reading the Bible, praying over the Bible, assimilating the
Bible and like Mary living out the Word of God!