One of the signs of a person of integrity is their willingness to see through to the end the projects they start. Jesus reflects this idea in the Gospel when he tells his disciples that once they start out on the path of discipleship, to turn back ought never be an option that we consider. In other words, as we set out to follow Jesus, let us be sure that we are ready to follow this decision through whatever difficulties and hardships we might encounter.

Unfortunately, one of the prevailing attitudes that seems to be growing more and more prevalent, particularly in young people, is the practice of giving up as soon as any sort of difficulty or hardship arises in the course of their lives. This often occurs within marriages. Nearly half of all marriages end in separation or divorce largely, I believe, because couples are unwilling to face the hard choices to work through difficulties when they occur in their relationships. Thus, the response when a difficulty arises is to run away from it and give up on the marriage! Such a response makes a mockery of any understanding of commitment or true love. True love will not be daunted by the size of any problem. It will always find a way to overcome any difficulty.
Today is the feast day of St Jerome one of the greatest lovers of the Scriptures the Church has ever seen. He was so impressed by the power of the Scriptures to change his life that he spent a large part of his life translating the Scriptures from the original Greek and Hebrew into Latin so that more people would have access to them. This was a monumental work but he realized it was an important step forward in enabling people to read and study the Scriptures. Today there are ongoing efforts to translate the Scriptures into various languages and dialects so that all people will be able to be exposed to the Word of God. Without these efforts evangelization becomes much more difficult.

Struggles and trials are all a part of serving God, whether they be emotional, physical, spiritual or psychological. I hate to think about the size of the task confronting Jerome when he began work on what was to become the Vulgate edition of the Scriptures. I do not think I would have been able to do it. Thank God that Jerome was committed to this task!

As we think today of the many commitments we have made, to God, ourselves and others, let us allow the example of Therese and her intercession to inspire and help us to be faithful to them all.