Back at the start of the liturgical year, I drew a patron saint for the year, using Jen Fulwiler's saint's name generator. I meant to write about it at the time, but time slipped away with other things and other posts. Eventually I decided that I would wait until my patron's feast day to post, rather than just putting it up randomly.
I'm glad that I've had most of this year to reflect on and learn about Saint Jerome. When I first drew his name, I was confused; though I have a library, I'm certainly not a librarian. Though I have some level of knowledge of three languages, I am far from a translator. Instead of arguing, or going back again to choose a different saint, I prayed that the reason why St. Jerome was chosen to be my patron for this year would become apparent. Hmmm... a love of books and a passion for learning? That was the first connection I saw. After further reading and reflection, I began to see what I needed to learn from him about a time to retreat into solitude and a time to answer a summons back into the world. When I first quit working, I needed the time to not be involved in anything, to completely devote myself to recovering, getting healthier, and dealing with everything related to IF. Though it certainly wasn't the Pope calling me, Husbandido and the Holy Spirit both had something important to say about me re-engaging with the world. Husbandido strongly encouraged me to get involved with the local alumnae group for my college. Then over several weeks late last summer the Holy Spirit started urging me to answer a call for applications to the parish pastoral council. I wasn't sure that I wanted the job, but I put in the application and went to the interview. It's now been about a year since I started on pastoral council, and while it has been known to drive me bonkers at times, in my more rational moments I know that what I am doing is important. (In some of those Clomid-induced less rational moments... well, at least Husbandido is good at listening to me rant.)
As the amount of time and effort involved in both the alumnae group and pastoral council became more apparent, I started to reevaluate whether I was trying to do too much, given the side effects of my medications. When we were told that I would need surgery and that the following months would be our best chances, I knew I needed to cut back; I stepped down from the vice presidency of the alumnae club. I have continued to serve on pastoral council, but I decided to pass on a bible study this year. With pastoral council meetings going from once a month to twice a month to three times this month (plus requiring all of us to be at every Mass this weekend), I have questioned whether this is a time to retreat into my personal desert or a time to continue answering a call; I am still trying to discern what to do. Saint Jerome, pray for us! Pray that we might know when we are called to solitude and when we are called to serve!