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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The Station is in the church of St. Pudentiana, daughter of Pudens the senator. This holy virgin of Rome lived in the second 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 honoured this house with his presence, during the lifetime of Pudentiana’s grandfather.

Collect

Exaudi nos, omnipotens et misericors Deus: et continentiæ salu taris 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.

Epistle

Lectio libri Regum.

IV. Cap. iv.

In diebus illis: Mulier quædam clamabat ad Elieæum prophetam, dicens: Semis tuus vir meus mortuus est: efc tu nosti quia semis tuus fuit timens Dominum: et ecce creditor venit ut tollat duos filios meos ad serviendum sibi. Cui dixit Elisæus: Quid vis ut faciam tibi? Die mihi quid habes in domo tua? At ilia respondit: Non habeo ancilla tua quidquam in domo mea, nisi pa rum olei, quo ungar. Cui ait: Vade, pete mutuo ab omnibus vicinis tuis vasa vacua non pauca. Et ingredere, et claude 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 ilia infundebat. Cumque plena fuissent vasa, dixit ad filium suum: Affer mihi adhuc vas. Et ille respondit: Non habeo. Stetitque oleum. Venit au tern illa, et indicavit homini Dei. Et ille: Vade, inquit, vende oleum, et redde creditori tuo: tu autem et filii tui vivite de reliquo.
Lesson from the Book of Kings.

IV. Ch. iv.

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 servo him. And Eliseus said to her: What wilt 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 neighbours 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 those 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 son: 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 thy 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 such. ‘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.[1] Let us, then, during these 1days 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 practise 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 not know what our right hand doth.[2] 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 neighbour 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 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.

Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. xviii.

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, lucratue eris fratrem tuum. Si autem te non audierit, adhibe tecum adhuc unum vel duos, ut in ore duorum vel trium testium etet omne verbum. Quod si non audierit eos, die Ecclesiae. Si autem Ecclesiam non audierit, sit tibi sicut ethnicus et publicanus. Amen dico vobis: quæcumque alligaveritis super terrain, erunt ligata et in cælo;et quæcumque solveritis super terram, erunt soluta, et in cælo. Iterum dico vobis, quia si duo ex vobis consenserint super terram, de omni re quamcumque petierint, fiet illis a Patre meo, qui in oælis est. Ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum. Tunc accedens 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.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xviii.

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 shallhear 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 to 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.[3] 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 earthshall 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 loose them upon earth, the hand of God will loose 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.’[4] Men, from whose lips comes to the world the truth, without which there is no salvation: men, who alone on earth have 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 Saviour—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; there 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.

Tua nos, Domine, protection defende: et ab omni semper iniquitate custodi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Bow down your heads to God.

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.

Hymn
(In V. Feria V. Hebdomadœ)

Audivit propheta adventum tuum, Domine, et timuit: quod esses nasciturus ex Virgine et mundo exhibendue; dixitque: Audi vi auditum tuum et timui. Sit gloria, Domine, tuæ potentiæ.

Ne despexeris tua opera, ac tuum figmentum, juste Judex, neglexeris: quamquam peccavi solus, tu o demens, qua Homo supra hominem omnem potestatem tamen dimittendi peccata, qua es Dominus universorum, habes.

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

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

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

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

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

Jam grandiloquum ago, et corde temere audacem. Ne me condemnes cum pharisæo: imo publicani, qui solus misericors sis, humilitatem concede: tu me, justejudex, huic adcense.

Ipse mihi factus sum idolum, vitiie corrumpens animara: verum poenitentem suseipe, et revoca agnoscentem. No efficiar alieno in possessionem et escam: tu ipse Salvator, mei miserere.
The prophet trembled when he heard that thou, O Lord, wast to come: that thou wast to be bom of a Virgin, and be made visible to the world. He said: I heard thy hearing, and was afraid. Glory be to thy power, O Lord!

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.

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 thevery gate. Life is passing away, as a dream, and as a flower. Why trouble we ourselves with vain things?

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.

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.

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.

My life is short, and filled with labour and trouble: but do thou receive mo, 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 Saviour; hav£ mercy on me.

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!

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 Saviour: have mercy on me.

 

[1] St. Matt. v. 7.
[2] Ibid. vi, 3.
[3] St. Luke vi. 38.
[4] St. Luke x. 16.