St. Jerome writes a nice long letter to a rich teenage patrician girl named Eustochium (and a wider audience too) about what she should do and not do in her chosen life as a consecrated virgin, especially since she lives at home in a Roman mansion and not somewhere out in the desert. She’s the daughter of his friend Paula, and he knows her and her family; many of her family members are pagans still. People regard her as deeply weird and a scandal, and have already tried hard to get her interested in doing more worldly things. So St. Jerome’s pretty frank about the potential problems of living unmarried for life, in a culture where only people having sex and enjoying luxurious indulgences all the time were deemed normal. (Nothing topical about this letter to us enlightened moderns. Nope.)
This part should be a little more interesting for you than St. Augustine this week. Next week, still more scandal in Roman high life and the piece of advice from St. Jerome I am most likely to follow: “Read often; learn as much as you can.” (T-shirt!)
UPDATE: Link fixed. Sigh. I hate it when I make a mistake setting up a directory at archive.org. Title and directory name should never be confused, and I did confuse them. Again.
Btw, my dad is feeling about a zillion times better. But whatever he had, it was sure nasty stomach stuff.