Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent


The Station is in the Church of St. Pudentiana, daughter of Pudens, the Senator. This holy virgin of Rome lived in the 2nd century. She was remarkable for her charity, and for the zeal wherewith she sought for and buried the bodies of the Martyrs. Her Church is built on the very spot where stood the house in which she lived with her father and her sister St. Praxedes. St. Peter, the Apostle, had honored this house with his presence, during the lifetime of Pudentiana’s grandfather.


Exaudi nos, omnipotens et misericors Deus; et continentiæ salutaris propitius nobis dona concede. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Graciously hear us, O Almighty and merciful God, and grant us the gift of salutary continence. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lectio libri Regum. Lesson from the book of Kings.
ii Cap. iv. ii Ch. iv.

In diebus illis: Milier quædem clamabat ad Elisæum Prophetam, dicens: Servus tuus vir meus mortuus est; et tu nosti quia servus tuus fuit timens Dominum: et ecce creditor venit ut tollat duos filios meos ad serviendum sibi. Cui dixit Elisæus: Quid vis ut faciam tibi? Dic mihi, quid habes in domo tua? At illa respondit: Non habeo ancilla tua quidquam in domo meua, nisi parum olei, quo ungar. Cui ait: Vade, pete mutuo ab omnibus vicinis tuis vasa vacua non pauca. Et ingredere, et obtande ostium tuum, cum intrinsecus fueris tu et filii tui: et mitte inde in omnia vasa hæc: et cum plena fuerint, tolles. Ivit itaque mulier, et clausit ostium super se, et super filios suos: illi offerebant vasa, et illa infundebat. Cumque plena fuissent vasa, dixit ad filium suum: Affer mihi adhuc vas. Et ille respondit: Non habeo. Stetique oleum. Venit autem illa, et indicavit homini Dei. Et ille: Vade, inquit, vende oleum, et redde creditori tuo: tu autem et filii tui vivite de reliquo.

In those days: A certain woman cried to Eliseus, saying: Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God, and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him. And Eliseus said to her: What tilt thou have me do for thee? Tell me what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I thy handmaid have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me. And he said to her: Go, borrow of all thy neighbors empty vessels not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, with thy sons, and pour out thereof into all these vessels; and when they are full take them away. So the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons; they brought her the vessels and she poured in. And when the vessels were full, she said to her sons: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood; and she came and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay the creditor; and thou and thy sons live of the rest.

It is not difficult to unravel the mystery of this day’s Lesson. Man’s creditor is Satan; our sins have made him so. Go, says the Prophet, and pay the creditor. But how is this to be done?—We shall obtain the pardon of our sins by works of mercy, of which Oil is the symbol. Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Let us, then, during these days of salvation, secure our reconciliation and forgiveness by doing all we can to assist our brethren who are in want; let us join Almsdeeds to our Fasting, and practice works of mercy. Thus shall we touch the heart of our Heavenly Father. Putting our debts into His hands, we shall take away from Satan all the claims he had upon us. Let us learn a lesson from this woman. She lets no one see her as she fills the vessels with oil: let us also shut the door when we do good, so that our left hand shall know not what our right hand doth. Take notice, too, that the woman goes on pouring out the oil as long as she has vessels to hold it. So our mercy towards our neighbors must be proportionate to our means. The extent of these means is known to God, and he will not have us fall short of the power he has given us for doing good. Let us, then, be liberal in our alms during this holy Season; let us make the resolution to be not so at all times. When our material resources are exhausted, let us be merciful in desire, by interceding with those who are able to give, and by praying to God to help the suffering and the poor.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum. Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Si peccaverit in te frater tuus, vade, et corripe eum inter te et ipsum solum. Si te audierit, lucratus eris fratrem tuum. Si autem te non audierit, adhibe tecum adhuc unum vel duos, ut in ore duorum vel trium testium stet omne verbum. Quod si non audierit eos, dic Ecclesiæ. Si autem Ecclesiam non audierit, sit tibi sicut ethnicus et publicanus. Amen dico vobis: quæcumque alligaveritis super terram, erunt ligata et in cœlo; et quæcumque solveritis super terram, erunt soluta et in cœlo. Iterum dico vobis, quia si duo ex vobis consenserint super terram, de omni re quamcumque petierint, fiet illis a Patre meo, qui in cœlis est. Ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum. Tunc eccedens Petrus ad eum, dixit: Domine, quoties peccabit in me frater meus, et dimittam ei? Usque septies? Dicit illi Jesus: Non dico tibi usque septies; sed usque septuagies septies.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them, tell the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again, I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father, who is in heaven; for where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto him, and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times, but till seventy times seven times.

The Mercy which God commands us to show our fellow creatures does not consist only in corporal and spiritual almsdeeds to the poor and the suffering; it includes, moreover, the pardon and forgetfulness of injuries. This is the test whereby God proves the sincerity of our conversion. With the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. If we, from our hearts, pardon our enemies, our Heavenly Father will unreservedly pardon us. These are the days when we are hoping to be reconciled with our God; let us do all we can to gain our brother; and for this end, pardon him, if needs be, seventy times seven times. Surely we are not going to allow the miserable quarrels of our earthly pilgrimage to make us lose heaven! Therefore, let us forgive insults and injuries, and thus imitate our God himself, who is ever forgiving us.

But how grand are these other words of our Gospel: Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven! Oh! the hope and joy they bring to our hearts! How countless is the number of sinners who are soon to feel the truth of this consoling promise! They will confess their sins and offer to God the homage of a contrite and humble heart; and at the very moment that the hand of the Priest shall loosen them upon earth, the hand of God will loosen them from the bonds which held them as victims to eternal punishment.

And lastly, let us not pass by unnoticed this other sentence, which has a close relation with the one we have just alluded to: If a man hear not the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and publican. What is this Church? Men to whom Jesus Christ said: He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me. Men from whose lips comes to the world the Truth, without which there is no salvation: Men who are the only ones on earth who have the power to reconcile the sinner with his God, save him from the hell he has deserved, and open to him the gates of heaven. Can we be surprised, after this, that our Savior—who would have these Men to be his instruments, and as it were, the communication between himself and mankind—should treat as a heathen, as one that has never received Baptism, him that refuses to acknowledge their authority? There is no revealed truth, except through their teaching; their is no salvation, except through the Sacraments which they administer; there is no hoping in Christ Jesus, except where there is submission to the spiritual laws which they promulgate.

Humiliate capita vestra Deo.

Bow down your heads to God.

Tus nos, Domine, protectione defende: et ab omni semper iniquitate custodi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Defend us, O Lord, by thy protection, and ever preserve us from all iniquity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us address ourselves to God in these words of a Hymn composed by St. Andrew of Crete. We take it from the Greek Liturgy.

(In V. Feria V. Hebdomadæ)

Audivit Propheta adventum tuum, Domine, et timuit: quod esses nasciturus ex Virgine et mundo exhibendus; dixitque: Audivi auditum tuum et timui. Sit gloria, Domine, tuæ potentiæ.

The Prophet trembled when he heard that thou, O Lord, wast to come: that thou wast to be born of a Virgin, and made visible to the world. He said: I heard thy hearing, and was afraid. Glory be to thy power, O Lord!

No despexeris tua opera, ac tuum figmentum juste Judex, neglexeris: quanquam peccavi solus, tu o clemens, qua Homo supra hominem omnem, potestatem tamen dimittendi peccata, qua es Dominus universorum, habes.

Despise not, O just Judge, thy works: turn not away from the creature thou hast formed. My sins are indeed all my own work; but thou, O merciful Jesus, as Man above all men, hast power to forgive sin, for thou art the Lord of the universe.

Prope est finis, o anima, prope est, nec es solicita? non te præparas? tempus urget, exsurge: prope est judex in januis: velut somnium, velut flos, vita decurrit; ut quid vero frustra conturbamur?

Thy end is near, O my soul! How comes it thou art heedless? How is it, that thou art making no preparation? Time presses; arise! The Judge is near, even at the very gate. Life is passing away, as a dream, and as a flower. Why trouble we ourselves with vain things?

Resipisce, o anima mea, actus quos es operata, recogita, eosque ob oculos statue, atque ab oculis lacrymarum stillas funde. Die palam Christo actiones tuas et cogitationes, et justificare.

Recover thyself, O my soul! Recall to mind the acts of thy life; bring them before thee, and let thine eyes shed tears over them. Openly confess thy deeds and thoughts to Christ, and be justified.

Non fuerit in vita peccatum, actiove, aut malitia, quam ego, Salvator, intellectu et cogitatione atque proposito non peccaverim, affectu, mentis judicio, et actione, ut nemo unquam gravius peccaverit.

There is no sin, or evil action, or wickedness, which I, O Jesus! have not committed in mind and thought and intention. None ever sinned more grievously than I, in desire, in judgment, and in deed.

Inde etiam damnationis incurri reatum; inde, miser ego, conscientia propria judice, qua nihil mundus violentius habet, causa cecidi: tu judex et redemptor, cognitorque meus, parce et libera, salvumque fac servum tuum.

Therefore have I incurred damnation; therefore is sentence given against me, a wretched sinner, whose own conscience is my judge, and whose crimes surpass all that this world has seen. Do thou, my Judge, my Redeemer, and my Witness, spare and deliver and save thy servant.

Tempus vitæ meæ exisguum est, laboribusque et molestia plenum: verum pœnitentem suscipe et revoca agnoscentem. Ne fiam alieni possessio et esca: tu ipse Salvator, mei miserere.

My life is short, and filled with labor and trouble: but do thou receive me, for I repent; call me back unto thee, for I acknowledge thee to be my Lord. Let me not become the property and prey of any but thee. Thou art my Savior; have mercy on me.

Jam grandiloquum ago, et corde temere audacem. Ne me condemnes cum Pharisæo: imo Publicani, qui solus misericors sis, humilitatem concede: tu me, juste judex, huic adcense.

My words are haughty, and my heart presumptuous. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but give me, O thou the one only merciful God, the humility of the Publican, and number me with him, O my just Judge!

Ipse mihi factus sum idolum, vitiis corrumpens animam: verum pœnitentem suscipe, et revoca agnoscentem. Ne efficiar alieno in possessionem et escam: tu ipse Salvator mei miserere.

I have made myself my idol, and my sins have corrupted my soul: but do thou receive me, for I repent; call me back unto thee, for I acknowledge thee to be my Lord. Let me not become the property and prey of any but thee. Thou art my Savior; have mercy on me.


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