Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday After Ash Wednesday

The station for today is as noted in the missal, in the church of St. Trypho, martyr; but this church having been destroyed many centuries ago, the station is now in that of St. Augustine, which is built on the same site.


Adesto, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, et concede ut hoc solemne jejunium, quod animabus corporibusque curandis salubriter institutum est, devoto servitio celebremus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Give ear, O Lord, to our prayers, and grant that we may, with true devotion, observe this solemn fast which was wholesomely instituted for giving health to both our souls and bodies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lectio Isaiæ Prophetæ. Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.
Cap. lviii. Ch. lviii.

Hæc dicit Dominus Deus: Si abstuleris de medio tui catenam, et desieris extendere digitum et loqui quod non prodest; cum effuderis esurienti animam tuam, et animam afflictam repleveris, orietur in tenebris lux tua, et tenebrae tuæ erunt sicut meridies. Et requiem tibi dabit Dominus semper, et implebit splendoribus animam tuam, et ossa tua liberabit; et eris quasi hortus irriguus, et sicut fons aquarum cujus non deficient aquae. Et ædificabuntur in te deserta sæculorum, fundamenta generationis et generationis suscitabis; et vocaberis æsepium, avertens semitas in quietem. Si averteris a sabbato pedem tuum, facere voluntatem tuam in die sancto meo; et vocaveris sabbatum delicatum, et sanctum Domini gloriosum, et glorificaveris eum dum non facis vias tuas, et non invenitur voluntas tua, ut loquaris sermonem: tunc delectaberis super Domino; et sustollam te super altitudines terrae, et cibabo te haereditate Jacob, patris tui; os enim Domini locutum est.

Thus saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy own will in my holy day, and call the sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found: to speak a word: Then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Saturday is a day replete with mystery. It is the day of God’s rest; it is a figure of the eternal peace which awaits us in heaven after the toils of this life are over. The object of the Church in giving us today, this lesson from Isaias, is to teach us how we are to merit our eternal Sabbath. We have scarcely entered on our campaign of penance, when this affectionate mother of ours comes to console us. If we abound in good works during this holy season, in which we have taken leave of the distracting vanities of the world, the light of grace shall rise up even in the darkness which now clouds our soul. This soul which has been so long obscured by sin and by the love of the world and self, shall become bright as the noon day; the glory of Jesus’ Resurrection shall be ours too; and if we are faithful to grace, the Easter of time will lead us to the Easter of eternity. Let us, therefore, build up the places that have been so long desolate; let us raise up the foundations, repair the fences, turn away our feet from the violation of holy observances, do not our own ways and our own will in opposition to those of our divine Master; and then He will give us everlasting rest, and fill our soul with His own brightness.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

Cap. vi. Ch. vi.

In illo tempore: Cum sero esset, erat navis in medio mari et ipse solus in terra. Et videns eos laborantes in remigando (erat enim ventus contrarius eis) et circa quartam vigiliam noctis venit ad eos ambulans supra mare: et volebat præterire eos. At illi ut viderunt eum ambulantem supra mare, putaverunt phantasma esse, et exclamaverunt. Omnes enim viderunt eum, et conturbati sunt. Et statim locutus est cum eis, et dixit eis: Confidite, ego sum: nolite timere. Et ascendit ad illos in navim, et cessavit ventus. Et plus magis intra se stupebant: non enim intellexerunt de panibus: erat enim cor eorum obcaecatum. Et cum transfretassent, venerunt in terram Genesareth, et applicuerunt. Cumque egressi essent de navi, continuo cognoverunt eum: et percurrentes universam regionem illam, coeperunt in grabatis eos, qui se male habebant, circumferre, ubi audiebant eum esse. Et quocumque introibat, in vicos, vel in villas aut civitates, in plateis ponebant infirmos, et deprecabantur eum, ut vel fimbriam vestimenti ejus tangerent, et quotquot tangebant eum, salvi fiebant.

At that time: When it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and himself alone on the land. And seeing them labouring in rowing, (for the wind was against them,) and about the fourth watch of the night, he cometh to them walking upon the sea, and he would have passed by them. But they seeing him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not. And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves: For they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genezareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew him: And running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

The ship, the Church, has set sail; the voyage is to last forty days. The disciples labor in rowing, for the wind is against them; they begin to fear lest they may not be able to gain the port. But Jesus comes to them on the sea; He goes up to them in the ship; the rest of the voyage is most prosperous. The ancient liturgists thus explain the Church’s intention in her choice of today’s Gospel. Forty days of penance are, it is true, little enough for a long life that has been spent in everything save God’s service; and yet our cowardice would sink under these forty days unless we had Jesus with us. Let us not fear; it is He; He prays with us, fasts with us, and does all our works of mercy with us. Was it not He that first began these forty days of expiation? Let us keep our eyes fixed on Him, and be of good heart. If we grow tired, let us go to Him, as did the poor sick ones of whom our Gospel speaks. The very touch of His garments sufficed to restore health to such as had lost it; let us go to Him in His adorable Sacrament; and the divine life, whose germ is already within us, will develop itself, and the energy, which was beginning to droop in our hearts, will regain all its vigor.

Humilitate capita vestra Deo.

Bow down your heads to God.

Fideles tui, Deus, per tua dona firmentur: ut eadem et percipiendo requirant, et quærendo sine fine percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

May thy faithful, O God, be strengthened by thy gifts; that, by receiving them, they may ever hunger after them, and hungering after them, they may have their desires satisfied in the everlasting possession of them. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us close our Saturday with a prayer to Mary, the refuge of sinners. Let us express the confidence we have in her by the following devout sequence. It is taken from the German missals of the fourteenth century.


Tibi cordis in altari
Decet preces immolari,
Virgo sacratissima.

It behooves us, O most holy Virgin, to offer thee, on the altar of our hearts, the offering of our prayers.

Nam cum in se sit inepta,
>Tuo Nato sit accepta
Per te precum victima.

For whereas the sacrifice of our prayers has no merit of its own, it may be made acceptable, through thee, to thy Son.

Pro peccatis immolato
Peccatorum præsentato
Precum sacrificia.

Present to him, who was sacrificed for sin, the sacrifice of sinners’ prayers.

Per te Deum adit reus,
Ad quem per te venit Deus:
Amborum tu media.

It is through thee the sinner comes to God, for this God came to the sinner through thee, O thou the mediatrix between God and man!

Nec abhorre peccatores
Sine quibus nunquem fores
Tanto digna Filio.

It was for the sake of sinners that thou wast made worthy of such a Son: canst thou, then, despise them?

Si non essent redimendi,
Nulla tibi pariendi
Redemptoram ratio.

It was because there were sinners to be redeemed, that thou wast made Mother of the Redeemer.

Sed nec Patris ad consessum
Habuisses huc accessum,
Si non ex te genitum
Esset ibi positum.

Neither wouldst thou be seated nigh the Father’s throne, hadst thou not been Mother of him who shares his Father’s throne.

Virgo, Virgo sic promota
Causa nostri, nostra vota
Promovenda suscipe
Coram summo Principe. Amen.

Take, then, O holy Virgin, who for our sake hast been thus exalted, take thou our prayers, and present them to our sovereign Lord. Amen.


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