Passion Week [Monday - Saturday]
#1
Monday in Passion Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Station, at Rome, is in the church of Saint Chrysogonus, one of the most celebrated Martyrs of the Church of Rome. His name is inserted in the Canon of the Mass.

Collect
Sanctifica, quæsumus, Domine, nostra jejunia: et cunctarum nobis indulgentiam propitius largire culparum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
Sanctify, O Lord, we beseech thee, our fasts, and mercifully grant us the pardon of all our sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Epistle
Lesson from Jonas the Prophet. Ch. III.

In those days: The word of the Lord came to Jonas the second time, saying: Arise and go to Ninive, the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee. And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord. Now Ninive was a great city of three days’ journey. And Jonas began to enter into the city one day’s journey: and he cried and said: Yet forty days and Ninive shall be destroyed. And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least. And the word came to the king of Ninive: and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive, from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water. And let men and bests be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish? And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and the Lord our God had mercy on his people.

Quote:The Church’s intention in this day’s lesson is to encourage us to earnestness and perseverance in our penance. Here we have an idolatrous city, a haughty and debauched capital, whose crimes have merited the anger of heaven. God threatens it with his vengeance: yet forty days, and Ninive and its inhabitants shall be destroyed. How came it that this threat was not carried into effect? What was it that caused Ninive to be spared? Its people returned to the God they had left; they sued for mercy; they humbled themselves and fasted; and the Church concludes the Prophet’s account by these touching words of her own: “And the Lord our God had mercy on his people.” They were Gentiles, but they became his people because they did penance at the preaching of the Prophet. God had made a covenant with one only nation—the Jews; but he rejected not the Gentiles, as often as they renounced their false Gods, confessed his holy name, and desired to serve him. We are here taught the efficacy of corporal mortification; when united with spiritual penance, that is, with the repentance of the heart, it has power to appease God’s anger. How highly, then, should we not prize the holy exercises of penance put upon us by the Church during this holy Season! Let us also learn to dread that false spirituality which tells us that exterior mortification is of little value: such doctrine is the result of rationalism and cowardice.

This passage from the Prophet Jonas is also intended for the Catechumens, whose baptism is so close at hand. It teaches them to have confidence in this merciful God of the Christians, whose threats are so terrible, but who, notwithstanding, turns from his threats to forgive the repentant sinner. These Catechumens, who had hitherto lived in the Ninive of paganism, were here taught that God, even before sending his Son into the world, invited all men to become his people. Seeing the immense obstacles their Gentile ancestors had to surmount in order to receive and persevere in the grace offered them, they would bless God their Savior for having, by his Incarnation, his Sacrifice, his Sacraments, and his Church, facilitated salvation for us who live under the New Testament. True, he was the source of salvation to all preceding generations: but with what incomparable richness is he the source of ours? The Public Penitents, too, had their instructions in this Epistle. What an encouragement for them to hope for pardon! God had shown mercy to Ninive, sinful as it was, and sentenced to destruction: he would, therefore, accept their repentance and penance, he would stay his justice, and show them mercy and pardon.


Gospel
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John. Ch. VIII.

At that time: The Rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to him that sent me. You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come. The Jews, therefore, said among themselves: Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What is this saying that he hath said: You shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, you cannot come? And on the last and great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth in me, as the Scripture saith, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Now this he said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in him.

Quote:The enemies of Jesus sought to stone him to death, as we were told in yesterday’s Gospel; today they are bent on making him a prisoner, and send soldiers to seize him. This time, Jesus does not hide himself; but how awful are the words he speaks: I go to Him that sent me: you shall seek me, and shall not find me! The sinner, then, who has long abused the grace of God, may have his ingratitude and contempt punished in this just but terrific way—that he shall not be able to find the Jesus he has despised; he shall seek and shall not find. Antiochus, when humbled under the hand of God, prayed, yet obtained not mercy. After the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, while the Church was casting her roots in the world, the Jews, who had crucified the Just One, were seeking in each of the many impostors, who were then rising up in Judea, and fomenting rebellions, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Surrounded on all sides by the Roman legions, with their temple and palaces a prey to flames, they sent up their cries to heaven, and besought the God of their fathers to send, as he had promised, the Deliverer! It never occurred to them that this Deliverer had shown himself to their fathers, to many even of themselves; that they had put him to death, and that the Apostles had already carried his name to the ends of the earth. They went on looking for him even to the very day when the deicide city fell, burying beneath its ruins them that the sword had spared. Had they been asked what it was they were awaiting, they would have replied that they were expecting their Messias! He had come and gone. You shall seek me, and shall not find me! Let them, too, think of these terrible words of Jesus, who intend to neglect the graces offered them during this Easter. Let us pray, let us make intercession for them, lest they fall into that awful threat of a repentance that seeks mercy when it is too late to find aught save an inexorable Justice.

But what consoling thoughts are suggested by the concluding words of our Gospel! Faithful souls, and you that have repented! listen to what your Jesus says, for it is to you that he speaks: If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. Remember the prayer of the Samaritan woman: Give me, O Lord, to drink of this water! This water is divine grace: come and drink your fill at the fountains of your Savior, as the Prophet Isaias bids you. This water gives purity to the soul that is defiled, strength to them that are weak, and love to them that have no fervor. Nay, our Savior assures us, that he who believes in Him shall himself become as a fountain of living water, for the Holy Ghost will come upon him, and this soul shall pour out upon others of the fulness that she herself has received. With what joy must not the Catechumen have listened to these words, which promised him that his thirst should soon be quenched at the holy Font! Jesus has made himself everything to the world he has come to save: Light to guide us, Bread to nourish us, a Vine to gladden our hearts with its fruit, and lastly, a Fountain of Living Water to quench our thirst.


Humiliate capita vestra Deo. 
Bow down your heads to God.

Da, quæsumus, Domine, populo tuo salutem mentis et corporis: ut bonis operibus inhærendo, tua semper mereatur protectione defendi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, to thy people, health both of body and mind, that being constant in the practice of good works, they may always be safe under thy protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


This being the day on which the Church offers to our meditations the history of the Prophet Jonas preaching to Ninive, we subjoin a new fragment from the Hymn of Prudentius on Fasting. It is the passage where he relates the life of this Prophet, and the repentance of the wicked City.
Hymn
Referre prisei stemma nunc jejunii
Libet, fideli proditum volumine,
Ut diruende civitatis incolis
Fulmen benigni mansuefactum Patris,
Pie repressis ignibus, pepercerit. 

I fain would now, in holy Fasting’s praise, tell, from the book of truth, how God our Father, with his wonted love, repressed the fire and thunder of his wrath, and spared the city doomed to be destroyed.


Gens insolenti præpotens jactantia
Pollebat olim: quam fluentem requiter
Corrupta vulgo solverat lascivia;
Et inde bruto contumax fastidio
Cultum superni negligebat Numinis. 

In ancient days, a city flourished, whose mighty power drove her into haughtiness extreme. Criminal indulgence and lewd corruption had destroyed the morals of her people, so brutalizing them, that they left the worship of the God of heaven.


Offensa tandem jugis indulgentiæ
Censura, justis excitatur motibus,
Dextram perarmat rhomphæali incendio,
Nimbos crepantes, et fragosos turbines
Vibrans tonantum nube flammarum quatit. 

At length, the tired patience of God’s long-suffering gave way to justice, which moves his hand to prepare his arrowed lightnings, and storm-voiced clouds, and jarring whirlwinds, and thunderbolts that shake the vault of heaven.


Sed pœnitendi dum datur diecula,
Si forte volient improbam libidinem
Veteresque nugas condomare, ac frangere.
Suspendit ictum terror exorabilis,
Paulumque dicta substitit sententia. 

Yet does he grant them time for penitence, wherein to tame and break the wickedness of their lust and wonted follies. Mercy, that waits for prayer, holds back the blow of anger; a brief delay puts off the day of doom.


Jonam prophetam mitis ultor excitat,
Pœnæ imminentis iret ut prænuncius;
Sed nosset ille quum minacem judicem
Servare malle, quam ferire ac plectere,
Tectam latenter vertit in Tharsos fugam. 

The meek Avenger sends a herald of the coming woe: it is Jonas the Prophet. But he, well knowing that the threatening Judge is prone to save, rather than to strike and punish, stealthily to Tharsis flees.


Celsam paratis pontibus scandit ratem:
Udo revincta fune puppis solvitur.
Itur per altum: fit procellosum mare:
Tum causa tanti quæritur periculi:
Sors in fugacem missa vatem decidit. 

A noble vessel was prepared for sail, whereon he takes his place. The anchor weighed, the vessel puts from shore. She ploughs the deep, when lo! a storm. Endangered thus, the crew would know the cause, and casting lots, it falls upon the fugitive, the Prophet.


Jussus perire solus e cunctis reus,
Cujus voluta crimen urna expresserat,
Præceps rotatur, et profundo immergitur:
Exceptus inde belluinis faucibus,
Alvi capacis vivus hauritur specu. 

Of all, the only one in fault is he. His guilt is clear, the lot has told the tale. Headlong is he cast, and buried in the deep: and as he falls, a whale’s huge jaw receives the Prophet, burying him alive in the sepulcher of his capacious womb.


Intactus exin teriæ noctis vice
Monstri vomentis pellitur singultibus,
Qua murmuranti fine fluctus frangitur,
Salsosque candens spuma tundit pumices,
Ructatus exit, seque servatum stupet. 

There, for three nights, does Jonas, he unhurt; which passed, the sick monster heaves him from his womb, just where the murmuring billows break upon the shore, and whiten the salty rocks with foam. The Prophet comes forth,—wondering, but safe.


In Ninivitas se coactus percito
Gressu reflectit; quos ut increpaverat,
Pudenda censor imputans opprobria.
Impendet, inquit, ira summi vindicis,
Urbemque flamma mox cremabit: credite. 

Compelled, to Ninive he turns his hurried steps. He chides, he censures, he charges her with all her shameless crimes, saying: “The anger of the great Avenger shall fall upon you, and speedily your City shall be made a prey to fire. Believe the prophecy I speak.”


Apicem deinceps ardui montis petit,
Visurus inde conglobatum turbidæ
Fumum ruinæ, cladis et diræ struem,
Tectus flagellis multimodi germinis,
Nato et repente perfruens umbraculo. 

Then to the summit of a lofty hill he goes, from whence to see the thickened clouds of smoke rising from the ruined heap, and gaze upon the pile of unpitied dead. Suddenly there grows upon the spot an ivy-tree, whose knotted branches yield a shaded cover.


Sed mœsta postquam civitas vulnus novi
Hausit doloris, heu! spremum palpitat.
Cursant per ampla congregatim mœnia
Plebs, et senatus, omnia ætas civium,
Pallens juventus, ejulantes feminæ. 

But scarce had the mournful City felt the wound of her coming grief, than deathly fear possesses her. Her people and her senate, her young and old, youths pale with panic, and women wailing loud, scamper in groups along the spacious walls.


Placet frementem publicis jejuniis
Placare Christum: mos edendi spernitur.
Glaucos amictus induit monilibus
Matrona demptis, proque gemma, et serico
Crinem fluentem sordidus spargit cinis. 

It is decreed—the anger of Christ shall by fasting be appeased. Henceforth, they spurn to eat. Matrons doff their trinkets, and vest in dingy garbs, and, for their wreaths of pearls and silks, sprinkle ashes on their hair.


Squalent recincta veste pullati patres,
Setasque plangens turba sumit textiles,
Impexa villis virgo bestialibus,
Nigrante vultum contegit velamine,
Jacens arenis et puer provolvitur. 

Patricians put on robes of somber hue; the people, weeping, take hair-shirts for their dress; disheveled maidens clad in skins of beasts, and hide their faces in veils of black. Children, too, make the dust of earth their bed.


Rex ipse Coos æstuantem murices
Lænam revulsa dissipabat fibula,
Gemmas virentes, et lapillos sutiles,
Insigne frontis exuebat vinculum
Turpi capillos impeditus pulvere. 

The king himself from his shoulders tears the Cossian purple robe, and for the diadem that decks his brow with emeralds and gems, strews grim ashes on his head.


Nullus bibendi, nemo voscendi memor:
Jejuna mensas pubes omnis liquerat:
Quin et negato lacte vagientium
Fletu madescunt parvulorum cunulæ:
Succum papillæ parca nutrix derogat. 

None think of drink or meat. Among the youths, not one would touch the food prepared. Nay, babes are kept from their mothers’ breasts, and in their cradles, wet with tears, these little fasters lie.


Greges et ipsos claudit armentalium
Solers virorum cura, ne vagum pecus
Contingat ore rorulenta gramina,
Potum strepentis neve fontis hauriat;
Vacuis querelæ personant præsepibus. 

The herdsman, too, pens up his flock with care, lest, left to roam, the dewy grass or rippling fount should tempt them to transgress the universal fast; but now, pent up, their moans rebellow through their prison-cave.


Mollitus his, et talibus, brevem Deus
Iram refrænat, temperans oraculum
Prosper sinistrum: prona nam clementia
Haud difficulter supplicum mortalium
Solvit reatum, fitque fautrix flentium. 

Thus is God appeased, his anger brief restrained, and threatened evil yields to proffered love: for mercy leans to pardon men their sins, if they but humbly pray; and when they weep, she makes herself their friend.



Let us close the day with these stanzas in honor of the holy Cross. We have taken them from the Triodion of the Greek Church.
Hymn
(Feria VI. mediæ Septimanæ.)
Sanctissimum lignum, in quo Christus manibus extensis adversarias potestates devicit, adoremus jejunio nitidi, ad laudem et gloriam Omnipotentis. 
Purified by our fast, let us, to the praise and glory of the Omnipotent God, venerate that most holy Cross, whereon Christ, with his arms stretched forth, overcame the power of our enemy.


Crux salutifera sanctificationem suppeditans proposita cernitur. Accedamus, cor et corpus emundantes. 
The saving Cross, that sanctifies us, is now exposed before our eyes. Let us draw nigh, having purified our body and our soul.


Igne mandatorum tuorum munda me, benigne, et da, ut salutiferam Passionem tuam intuear, et cum desiderio adorem, Cruce vallatus et conservatus. 
Cleanse me, O merciful Savior, by the fire of thy commandments, and grant that I may contemplate thy saving Passion, and lovingly adore it, having the Cross for my protection and defense.


Aquis jejunii pectora purgati, lignum Crucis fideliter amplectamur, in quo Christus crucifixus aquam immortalitatis nobis emisit. 
Having our hearts purified by the waters of our fast, let us, with faith, embrace the wood of the Cross, on which Christ was crucified, and gave us the water of immortality.


Crucis velut velo alati, salutarem jejunii navigationem jam mediam emensi sumus, Jesu Salvator, per quam deduc nos ad Passionis tuæ portum. 
Having thy Cross as our sail, we have already winged our way half through the saving voyage of our fast. Lead us by the same, O Jesus our Savior, into the haven of thy Passion.


Præmonstrabat te Moyses in monte, o Crux, in gentium interitum. Nos vero efformantes te, et corde intuentes et adorantes, hostes carpis expertes virtute tua profligamus. 

Moses on the mount was a figure of thee, O holy Cross (when he prayed with his outstretched arms), unto the destruction of the Amalekites. Grant that we, who sign thee on ourselves, and lovingly gaze on and venerate thee, may, by thy power, put our spiritual enemies to flight.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#2
Tuesday in Passion Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Station, in Rome, was formerly the church of the martyr Saint Cyriacus, and as such it is still given in the Roman Missal; but this holy sanctuary having been destroyed, and the relics of the holy deacon translated to the Church of Saint Mary in Via lata, it is here that the Station is now held.

Collect
Nostra tibi, Domine, quæsumus, sint accepta jejunia: quæ nos expiando, gratia tua dignos efficiant; et ad remedia perducant æterna. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
May our fast, O Lord, we beseech thee, be acceptable to thee, and, having purified us from sin, make us worthy of thy grace, and procure us everlasting remedies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle
Lesson from Daniel the Prophet. Ch. XIV.

In those days: The people of Babylon gathered together against the king and said to him: Deliver up to us Daniel, who hath destroyed Bel, and killed the Dragon, otherwise we will destroy thee and thy house. And the king saw that they pressed upon him violently; and being constrained by necessity, he delivered Daniel to them. And they cast him into the den of lions, and he was there six days. And in the den there were seven lions, and they have given to them two carcases every day, and two sheep: but then they were not given unto them, to the intent that they might devour Daniel. Now there was in Judea a prophet called Habacuc, and he had boiled pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl; and was going into the field to carry it to the reapers. And the Angels of the Lord said to Habacuc: Carry the dinner which thou hast, into Babylon, to Daniel, who is in the lion’s den. And Habacuc said: Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den. And the Angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head, and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon, over the den, in the force of his spirit. And Habacuc cried, saying, O Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee. And Daniel said: Thou hast remembered me, O God, and thou hast not forsaken them that love thee. And Daniel arose and ate. And the Angel of the Lord presently set Habacuc again in his own place. And upon the seventh day the king came to bewail Daniel: and he came to the den, and looked in, and behold Daniel was sitting in the midst of the lions. And the king cried out with a loud voice, saying: Great art thou, O Lord, the God of Daniel. And he drew him out of the lion’s den. But those that had been the cause of his destruction, he cast into the den, and they were devoured in a moment before him. Then the king said: Let all the inhabitants of the whole earth fear the God of Daniel; for he is the Savior, working signs and wonders in the earth; who hath delivered Daniel out of the lion’s den.

Quote:This Lesson was intended, in an especial manner, as an instruction to the Catechumens. They were preparing to enroll themselves as Christians; it was, therefore, necessary that they should have examples put before them, which they might study and imitate. Daniel, cast into the Lion’s Den for having despised and destroyed the idol Bel, was the type of a Martyr. This Prophet had confessed the true God in Babylon; he had put to death a Dragon, to which the people, after Bel had been destroyed, had given their idolatrous worship: nothing less than Daniel’s death could appease their indignation. The holy man, full of confidence in God, allowed himself to be thrown into the Lion’s Den, thus setting an example of courageous faith to the future Christians: they would imitate him, and, for three centuries, would nobly shed their blood for the establishment of the Church of Christ. In the Roman catacombs, we continually meet with the representation of Daniel surrounded by lions, and many of these paintings date from the ages of Persecution. Thus, the eye of the Catechumens could see what their ear heard—both told them to be ready for trial and sacrifice. It is true, the history of Daniel showed them the power of God interfering and delivering him from death; but they were fully aware that in order to merit a like deliverance, they would have to show a like constancy, and be ready to suffer death rather than deny their faith. From time to time, a Christian was led to the amphitheater, and the wild beasts would fawn at his feet; but such miracles only put off the Martyr’s sacrifice, and perhaps won others to the faith.

It was the Prophet’s courage, and not his victory over the lion’s, that the Church proposed to her Catechumens. The great thing for them to bear in mind was this maxim of our Lord: Fear not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body into hell. We are the descendants of these early Christians; but our faith has not cost us what it cost them. And yet we have a tyrant to try even ours: we have to confess our faith, not indeed before Proconsuls or Emperors, but before the World. Let the example of the brave Martyrs send us forth from our Lent with a courageous determination to withstand this tyrant, with his maxims, his pomps, and his works. There has been a truce between him and us, during these days of retirement and penance; but the battle will soon be renewed, and then we must stand the brunt, and show that we are Christians.


Gospel
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John. Ch. VII.

At that time: Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. And his brethren said to him: Depart from hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost. For there is no man that doth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly; if thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said to them: My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go you up to this festival day, but I go not up to this festival day; because my time is not accomplished. When he had said these things, he himself staid in Galilee. But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. The Jews therefore sought him on the festival day, and said: Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For some said: He is a good man. And others said: No, but he seduceth the people. Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.

Quote:The facts here related refer to an earlier part of our Lord’s life; but the Church proposes them to our consideration today, on account of their connection with those given us in the Gospels read to us during the last few days. We learn from these words of St. John, that the Jews were plotting the death of Jesus, not only when this the last Pasch for the Synagogue was approaching, but even so far back as the Feast of Tabernacles, which, was kept in September. The Son of God was reduced to the necessity of going from place to place as it were in secret: if He would go to Jerusalem, He must take precautions! Let us adore these humiliations of the Man-God, who has deigned to sanctify every position of life, even that of the just man persecuted and obliged to hide Himself from His enemies. It would have been an easy matter for Him to confound His adversaries by working miracles, such as those which Herod’s curiosity sought for; He could have compelled them to treat Him with the reverence that was due to Him. But this is not God’s way; He does not force man to duty; He acts, and then leaves man to recognize his Creator’s claims. In order to do this, man must be attentive and humble, he must impose silence on his passions. The divine light shows itself to the soul that thus comports herself First, she sees the actions, the works, of God; then, she believes, and wishes to believe; her happiness, as well as her merit, lies in Faith, and faith will be recompensed in eternity with Light, with the Vision.

Flesh and blood cannot understand this; they love show and noise. The Son of God, having come down upon this earth, could not subject Himself to such an abasement as that of making a parade of His infinite power before men. He had to work miracles, in order to give a guarantee of his mission; but, as Man, everything He did was not to be a miracle. By far the longest period of His life was devoted to the humble duties of a creature; had it not been so, how should we have learned from Him what we so much needed to know? His Brethren, (the Jews gave the name of Brothers to all who were collaterally related,) His Brethren wished Jesus to make a display of His miraculous power, for some of the glory would have accrued to them. This their ambition caused our Lord to address them in these strong words, upon which we should meditate during this holy season, for, later on, we shall stand in need of the teaching: “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth.” Let us, therefore, for the time to come, not please the world; its friendship would separate us from Jesus Christ.

Humiliate capita vestra Deo. 
Bow down your heads to God.

Da nobis, quæsumus, Domine, perseverantem in tua voluntate famulatum: ut in diebus nostris, et merito et numero, populus tibi serviens augeatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen
Grant us, O Lord, we beseech thee, perseverance in thy service; that in our days, thy faithful may increase both in number and goodness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The following devout Hymn, taken from the ancient Roman-French Missals, may serve us as an expression of the sentiments we entertain towards our loving Redeemer.

Hymn

Rex Christe factor omnium.
Redemptor et credentium:
Placare votis supplicum
Te laudibus colentium. 

O Jesus! thou King and Creator of all, Redeemer, too, of believers, be appeased by the prayers and praise of thy humble suppliants.


Cujus benigna gratia
Crucis per alma vulnera,
Virtute solvit ardua
Primi parentis vincula. 

’Twas thy loving grace that, by the dear wounds of the Cross, broke so powerfully the fetters forged by our first Parents.


Qui es Creator siderum
Tegmen subisti carneum:
Dignatus es vilissimam
Pati doloris formulam. 


Thou, that art the Creator of the stars, didst deign to assume a body of flesh, and endure the most humiliating sufferings.


Ligatus es ut solveres
Mundi ruentis complices:
Per probra tergens crimina
Quæ mundus auxit plurimus. 

Thy hands were tied, that thou mightest loosen sinners, accomplices of a world condemned: thou didst suffer shame, so to cleanse away the manifold sins of the world.


Cruci redemptor figeris,
Terram sed omnem concutis:
Tradis potentem spiritum,
Nigrescit atque sæculum. 

Thou, our Redeemer, art fastened to the Cross, but thou movest the whole earth: thou breathest forth thy mighty Spirit, and the world is buried in darkness.


Mox in paternæ gloriæ
Victor resplendens colmine:
Cum Spiritus munimine
Defende nos, Rex optime. Amen. 

But soon we see thee shining triumphantly on the high throne of thy Father’s glory: do thou, O best of Kings, defend us by the protection of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Let us pay our homage to the holy Cross, ion these words of the Greek Liturgy.

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Hymn
(Feria IV. mediæ Septimanæ)

Dominus omnium et conditor Deus, in medio terræ in Crucem elevatus es, attrahens ad te eam, quæ pessimo inimici suasu corruerat, humanam naturam. Quapropter sincere te concelebramus, Passione tua roborati. 
Thou, O Lord God, the Creator of all things, wast lifted up on the Cross, in the middle of the earth; thou didst draw up to thyself that human nature, which had fallen by the most wicked persuasion of the enemy. Wherefore we pay thee our loyal homage, for thy Passion has strengthened us.


Mundatis sensibus jejunii lumine, intellectualibus Crucis radiis largissime illustremur, eamque hodie propositam reverenter conspicientes, castia labiis, ore et corde adoremus. 
The light of fasting has purified our senses; may we be most brightly enlightened by the spiritual rays of thy Cross. On this day it is exposed to our view; grant that we may devoutly kiss it, and venerate it in our hymns and hearts.


Locum ubi steterunt pedes Domini adoremus, Crucem videlicet divinam; obsecrantes ut animæ nostræ pedes in petra divinorum mandatorum firmentur, et ut gressus ejus, divina gratia in viam pacis dirigantur. 
Let us adore the place where stood his feet, that is, the holy Cross, and beseech him to firmly fix the feast of our soul on the rock of his divine commandments, and, by his holy grace, guide her steps into the way of peace.


Plaudite omnes fines terræ in hymnis, quando adorari videtis lignum in quo Christus suspensus, et diabolus volneratus est. 
Loudly sing your hymns, O all ye ends of the earth, when ye behold men venerating that wood, whereon Christ was fastened, and whereby Satan received his wound.


Vivifica Crux hodie proponitur: cum gaudio igitur et timore adoremus Domini Crucem, ut Spiritum Sanctum socipiamus. 
The life-giving Cross is this day exposed: let us, then, with joy and fear, venerate the Cross of our Lord, that we may receive the Holy Ghost.


Accedens ut te tangam, vivifica Crux, cohorresco et lingua et mente, cermens in te divinum Domini mei sanguinem effusum esse. 
O life-giving Cross, my tongue and heart tremble with fear, as I draw nigh to touch thee, for I see the divine Blood of my Lord poured forth upon thee.


Confirma, Domine, Ecclesiam tuam, quam acquisivisti virtute Crucis tuæ; in illa enim inimicum triumphasti, totumque mundum illuminasti. 

Strengthen, O Lord, thy Church, which thou didst purchase to thyself by the power of thy Cross; for by the Cross thou didst triumph over the enemy and enlighten the whole world.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#3
WEDNESDAY IN PASSION WEEK
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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At Rome, the Station is the church of Saint Marcellus, Pope and Martyr. This church was once the house of the holy lady Lucina, who gave it to the Pontiff, that he might consecrate it to God.

Collect
Sanctificato hoc jejunio, Deus, tuorum corda fidelium miserator illustra: et quibus devotionis præstas affectum, præbe supplicantibus pium benignus auditum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Enlighten, O God of mercy, the hearts of thy people by means of this holy fast; and since all our devotion is the effect of thy bounty, mercifully hear the petitions we make. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Epistle
Lesson from the book of Leviticus. Ch. XIX.

In those days: the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the assembly of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal. You shall not lie: neither shall any man deceive his neighbor. Thou shalt not swear falsely by my name, nor profane the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbor, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that has been hired by thee, shall not abide with thee until the morning. Thou shalt not speak evil of the dead, nor put a stumbling block before the blind: but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honor the countenance of the mighty. Judge thy neighbor according to justice. Thou shalt not be a detractor, nor a whisperer among the people. Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in the heart, but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him. Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye my laws, for I am the Lord your God.

Quote:This passage from Leviticus, wherein our duties to our neighbor as so clearly and so fully defined, is read to us today, in order that we may see how we fulfill these important duties, and correct whatever shortcomings we may discover in ourselves. It is God who here speaks; it is God who commands. Observe that phrase: I am the Lord: he repeats it several times, to show us that if we injure our neighbor, He, God himself, will become the avenger. How strange must not such doctrine have seemed to the Catechumens, who had been brought up in the selfish and heartless principles of Paganism! Here they are told that all men are Brethren, and that God is the common Father of all, commanding all to love one another with sincere charity, and without distinction of nation or class. Let us Christians resolve to fulfill this precept to the letter: these are days for good resolutions. Let us remember that the commandments we have been reading were given to the Israelite people, many ages before the preaching of the Law of Love. If, then, God exacted from the Jew a cordial love of his fellow men, when the divine law was written on mere tablets of stone; what will he not require from the Christian, who can now read that Law in the heart of the Man-God, who has come down from heaven and made himself our Brother, in order that we might find it easier and sweeter to fulfill the precept of charity? Human nature united in his Person to the Divine, is henceforth sacred; it has become an object of the heavenly Father’s love. It was out of fraternal love for this our nature that Jesus suffered death, teaching us, by his own example, to have such love for our brethren that, if necessary, we ought to lay down our lives for them. It is the Beloved Disciple that teaches us this, and he had it from his Divine Master.

Gospel
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John. Ch. X.

At that time: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch: the Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not. The works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life: and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no man can snatch it out of the hand of my Father. I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone him. Jesus answered them: Many good works I have shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him: For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy: and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said you are gods? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the Scripture cannot be broken; do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest; because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though you will not believe me, believe the works, that you may know, and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

Quote:After the Feast of Tabernacles came that of the Dedication, and Jesus remained in Jerusalem. The hatred his enemies bore him is greater than ever. They come round about him, that they may make him say he is the Christ, and then accuse him of claiming a mission which does not belong to him. Jesus deigns not to reply to their question, but tells them that they have seen his works, and that these give ample testimony of his being Christ, the Son of God. It is by faith, and by faith alone, that man can here know his God. God manifests himself by his divine works: man sees them, and is bound to believe the truth to which they bear testimony. By thus believing, he has both the certitude of what he believes, and the merit of his believing. The proud Jew rebels against this: he would fain dictate to God how he should act, and sees not that such a pretension is impious and absurd.

But if Jesus openly declare the truth, he will scandalize these evil-minded men! Be it so: the truth must be preached. Our Lord has others to consult besides them; there are the well-intentioned, and they will believe what he teaches. He therefore utters these sublime words, whereby he declares not only that he is Christ, but that he is God: I and the Father are one. He knew that this would enrage his enemies; but he had to make himself known to the world, and arm the Church against the false doctrines of heretics who were to rise up in future ages. One of these is to be Arius, who will teach that Jesus is not God, but only the most perfect of creatures: the Church will answer that Jesus is one with the Father—consubstantial to the Father: and then, after causing much trouble and sin, Arianism will die out and be forgotten. The Jews, mentioned in today’s Gospel, are the forerunners of Arius; they understand what our Lord says—he says he is God; and they seek to stone him. Jesus gives them a fresh grace; he shows them why they should receive what he here teaches: he reminds them, by the Scriptures they know off by heart, that the name god sometimes has been applied, in a limited sense, to men who had certain high offices put upon them by heaven; and then, he bids them think of all the miracles they have seen him work, which so plainly testify to his being assisted by his Father, and once more declares himself to be God, saying: The Father is in me, and I in the Father. But men, hardened in obstinacy as these are, cannot be convinced; and the sin they have committed against the Holy Ghost is working its effects. How different is it with the Sheep of this divine Shepherd! They hear his voice; they follow him; he gives them eternal life; no man shall pluck them out of his hand. Happy Sheep indeed! They believe, because they love; and as it is through the heart that Truth gains ascendancy over them, so is it by pride of intellect that darkness gets admission into the soul of the unbeliever, and lasts as long as pride lasts. Alas! poor unbeliever! he loves his darkness; he calls it light; he blasphemes when he thinks he reasons, just as these Jews crucified the Son of God, that, as they said, they might give glory to God!


Humiliate capita vestra Deo.
Bow down your heads to God.

Adesto supplicationibus nostris, omnipotens Deus; et quibus fiduciam sperandæ pietatis indulges, consuetæ misericordiæ tribue benignus effectum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Hear our prayers and entreaties, O Almighty God, and grant that those to whom thou givest hopes of thy mercy, may experience the effects of thy usual clemency. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Mozarabic Breviary gives us the following beautiful prayer, which consists of exclamations to our suffering Jesus.
Prayer
(Sabbato Dominicæ V. Quadragesimæ.)
℣. Verus Dei Filius Christe.
℣. O Jesus! thou true Son of God.

℟. Exaudi: populo supplicanti miserere.
℟. Graciously hear us! have mercy on thy suppliant people.

℣. Qui triumpho Crucis tuæ salvasti solus orbem, tu cruoris tui pœna nos libera.
℣. Thou that alone didst save the world by the triumph of thy Cross, do thou, by the Blood thou didst shed, deliver us.

℟. Et exaudi.
℟. And graciously hear us.

℣. Qui moriens mortem damnas, resurgens vitam præstas, sustinens pro nobis pœnam indebitam.
℣. By thy Death, thou didst destroy death; By thy Resurrection, thou didst give us life; for our sakes, thou didst suffer undue punishment.

℟. Et exaudi.
℟. And graciously hear us.

℣. Passionis tuæ dies celebremus indemnes: ut per hoc dulcedo tua nos foveat.
℣. May we celebrate, in peace, these days of thy Passion, and thereby be consoled by thy sweetness.

℟. Et exaudi.
℟. And graciously hear us.

℣. Pro quibus passus es crucem, non permittas perire; sed per crucem duc ad vitam perpetuam.
℣. Let not them perish, for whom thou didst suffer the Cross; but, by thy Cross, lead them to life everlasting.

℟. Et exaudi.
℟. And graciously hear us.



Let us now turn towards the Holy Cross. These words of the Greek Church, in her Triodion, will assist our devotion.
Hymn
(Feria V. mediæ Septimanæ)
Crucis speciem insinuans, manus, permutato ordine, olim expandit decantatissimus Jacob, benedictionem nepotibus impertiens; simulque salutiferam benedictionem quæ ad nos omnes, pertingit indicans.
When the most praiseworthy Patriarch Jacob, was, of old, about to bless his children, he crossed his arms; in this he represented the Cross, and prefigured that saving blessing which thence came to each of us.

Te salutiferam armaturam, te invictum trophæum, lætitiæ signum, quo mors eccisa est, amplectimur, illustres effecti ejus gloria qui in te, Crux honoratissima, affixus est.
We embrace thee, most venerable Cross, as our armor of salvation, the invincible trophy, the standard of joy, whereby Death was put to death; for we have been made to share in the glory of Him that was nailed upon thee.

Assistunt incorporearum Virtutum ordines trementes coram ligno vitam præbente. In te enim Christus sanguinem effudit, pretium redemptionis repræsentans, dæmonibus piaculare et capitale, ob perniciem hominibus illatam.
The choirs of the angelic Powers stand in holy awe around thee, O life-giving tree! For it was on thee that Christ shed his Blood, which was the price of our redemption, and which utterly destroyed all those rights that sin had given the devil over mankind.

Percussum me hostis gladio sana sanguine tuo, Verbum, et lancea celeriter peccatorum meorum chirographum disrumpe, et in librum vitæ inscribe.
O Word (made Flesh)! the sword of the enemy hath struck me; heal me by thy Blood. Speedily tear, with thy Spear, the hand-writing of my sins, and write my name in the book of life.

Inferni habitaculum incussisti, ubi in terra defixa es: fidelibus autem fulcrum inconcussum et stabilis protectio effecta es, o veneranda Crux.
O venerable Cross! when thou wast fixed in the earth, thou didst make to tremble the region of hell; but thou wast made a firm support and unshaken protection to the Faithful.

Feraces virtutum effecti decerpamus divini ligni vivificos fructus, quos protulit nobis in hoc extensus Jesus vitis illa fructifera.
Being made faithful in virtue, let us pluck from the divine Tree those life-giving fruits, offered unto us by that rich Vine, Jesus, who lay stretched upon it.

Laudamus, Jesu, immensam bonitatem tuam adorantes Crucem, lanceam et arundinem per quam sustulisti, misericors, inimicitiarum medium parietem.
O Jesus! we praise thy immense goodness, as we venerate the Cross, and Spear, and Reed, whereby, O merciful God, thou didst remove the wall of enmity that stood between us and thee.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#4
Thursday in Passion Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Station at Rome, is in the Church of Saint Apollinaris, who was a disciple of St. Peter, and, afterwards. Bishop of Ravenna, and Martyr.

Collect
Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut dignitas conditionis humanæ per immoderantiam sauciata, medicinalis percimoniæ studio reformetur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, which hath been wounded by excess, may be cured by the practice of healing temperance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Epistle
Lesson from Daniel the Prophet. Ch. III.

In those days, Azarias prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name’s sake, and abolish not thy covenant: and take not away thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham thy beloved, and Isaac thy servant, and Israel thy holy one: to whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first-fruits before thee, that we may find thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit, let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee. And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face. Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies. And deliver us according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord: and let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken; and let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world, O Lord our God.

Quote:Thus did Juda, when captive in Babylon, pour forth her prayers to God, by the mouth of Azarias. Sion was desolate beyond measure; her people were in exile; her solemnities were hushed. Her children were to continue in a strange land for seventy years; after which God would be mindful of them, and lead them, by the hand of Cyrus, back to Jerusalem, when the building of the second Temple would be begun, that Temple which was to receive the Messias within its walls. What crime had Juda committed, that she should be thus severely punished? The Daughter of Sion had fallen into idolatry; she had broken the sacred engagement which made her the Spouse of her God. Her crime, however, was expiated by these seventy years of captivity, and when she returned to the land of her fathers, she never relapsed into the worship of false gods. When the Son of God came to dwell in her, he found her innocent of idolatry. But scarcely had forty years elapsed after the Ascension of this Divine Redeemer, than Juda was again an exile; not indeed led captive into Babylon, but dispersed in every nation under the sun after having first seen the massacre of thousands of her children. This time, it is not merely for seventy years, but for eighteen centuries, that she is without prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or Temple. Her new crime must be greater than idolatry, for, after all these long ages of suffering and humiliation, the justice of the Father is not appeased! It is, because the blood that was shed, by the Jewish people, on Calvary, was not the blood of a man—it was the blood of a God. Yes, the very sight of the chastisement inflicted on the murderers proclaims to the world that they were deicides. Their crime was an unparalleled one; its punishment is to be so too; it is to last to the end of time, when God, for the sake of Abraham his beloved, and Isaac his servant, and Jacob his holy one, will visit Juda with an extraordinary grace, and her conversion will console the Church, whose affliction is then to be great by reason of the apostasy of many of her children. This spectacle of a whole people bearing on itself the curse of God for having crucified the Son of God, should make a Christian tremble for himself. It teaches him that Divine justice is terrible, and that the Father demands an account of the Blood of his Son, even to the last drop, from those that shed it. Let us lose no time, but go at once and, in this precious Blood, cleanse ourselves from the share we have had in the sin of the Jews; and, throwing off the chains of iniquity, let us imitate those among them whom we see, from time to time, separating themselves from their people and returning to the Messias—let us also be converts, and turn to that Jesus whose hands are stretched out on the Cross, ever ready to receive the humble penitent.

Gospel
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Luke. Ch. VII.

At that time: One of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; and standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that touches him, that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? Simon answering, said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house; thou gavest me no water for my feet, but she with tears hath washed my feet and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves: Who is this, that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.

Quote:What consolation there is for us in this Gospel, and how different are the reflections it suggests, from those we were just making upon the Epistle! The event here related does not belong to the time of our Savior’s Passion; but, during these days of mercy, does it not behoove us to glorify the meekness of that Divine Heart, which is preparing to grant pardon to countless sinners throughout the world? Besides, is not Magdalene the inseparable Companion of her dear Crucified Master, even to Calvary? Let us, then, study this admirable penitent, this type of love faithful even to death.

Magdalene had led a wicked life: as the Gospel tells us elsewhere, seven devils had taken up their abode within her. But no sooner has she seen and heard Jesus, than immediately she is filled with a horror for sin; divine love is enkindled within her heart; she has but one desire, and that is to make amends for her past life. Her sins have been public; her conversion must be so too. She has lived in vanity and luxury; she is resolved to give all up. Her perfumes are all to be for her God, her Jesus; that hair of hers, of which she has been so proud, shall serve to wipe his sacred feet; her eyes shall henceforth spend themselves in shedding tears of contrite love. The grace of the Holy Ghost urges her to go to Jesus. He is in the house of a Pharisee, who is giving an entertainment. To go to him now would be exposing herself to observation. She cares not. Taking with her an ointment of great worth, she makes her way into the feast, throws herself at Jesus’ feet, washes them with her tears, wipes them with the hair of her head, kisses them, anoints them with the ointment. Jesus himself tells us with what interior sentiments she accompanies these outward acts of respect: but even had he not spoken, her tears, her generosity, her position at his feet, tell us enough; she is heartbroken, she is grateful, she is humble: who but a Pharisee could have mistaken her?

The Pharisee, then, is shocked! His heart had within it much of that Jewish pride which is soon to crucify the Messias. He looks disdainfully at Magdalene; he is disappointed with his Guest, and murmurs out his conclusion: This man, if he were a Prophet, would surely know who and what manner of woman this is! Poor Pharisee!—if he had the spirit of God within him, he would recognize Jesus to be the promised Savior, by this wonderful condescension shown to a penitent. With all his reputation as a Pharisee, how contemptible he is, compared with this woman! Jesus would give him a useful lesson, and draws the parallel between the two—Magdalene and the Pharisee:—he passes his own divine judgment on them, and the preference is given to Magdalene. What is it that has thus transformed her, and made her deserve not only the pardon but the praise of Jesus? Her love: She hath loved her Redeemer, she hath loved him much; and therefore, she was forgiven much. A few hours ago, and this Magdalene loved but the world and its pleasures; now she cares for nothing, sees nothing, loves nothing, but Jesus: she is a Convert. Henceforward, she keeps close to her Divine Master; she is ambitious to supply his wants; but above all, she longs to see and hear him. When the hour of trial shall come, and his very Apostles dare not be with him, she will follow him to Calvary, stand at the foot of the Cross, and see Him die that has made her live. What an argument for hope is here, even for the worst of sinners! He to whom most is forgiven, is often the most fervent in love! You, then, whose souls are burdened with sins, think of your sins and confess them; but most of all, think how you may most love. Let your love be in proportion to your pardon, and doubt it not: Your sins shall be forgiven.


Humiliate capita vestra Deo.
Bow down your heads to God.

Esto quæsumus, Domine, propitius plebi tuæ: ut quæ tibi non placent respuentes, tuorum potius repleantur delectationibus mandatorum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
Be propitious, O Lord, we beseech thee, to thy people; that, forsaking what displeaseth thee, they may find comfort in keeping thy law. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us close this Thursday of Passion Week with the following devout Hymn, taken from the Mozarabic Breviary.
Hymn
Verbum Patris quod prodiit factum caro;
Agnus Dei peccata mundi auferens:
Ad te venimus cernui, ut inclytum
Bibamus almæ Passionis sanguinem. 

O Word of the Father, that camest into this world, and wast made Flesh! O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world! to thee do we come, and, in prostrate adoration, beseech thee to give us to drink of the Blood shed for us in thy sacred Passion.


Ostende vulnerum sacrorum stigmata:
Exsurgat insignis Crucis fortissimum
Signum, quod in vigore perpetim
Manens, credentibus salvationem conferat. 

Show unto us the marks of thy divine wounds! Let the invincible Standard of thy glorious Cross be raised on high, and, by its imperishable power, bring salvation to them that believe.


Arundo, clavi, sputa, potus myrrheus,
Corona spinarum, flagella, lancea,
Impressa sunt damnationis verbera:
Jam nostra pro his cuncta dele crimina. 

The Reed, the Nails, the spittle, the Gall, the Crown of Thorns, the Whips, the Spear—these were the Instruments of thy sufferings: oh! cleanse us by them from all our sins.


Fons vulneris sacri riget præcordia,
Lavet cruor, malitiæque contagia:
Sit vita præsens absque omni crimine;
Futura detur in beato munere. 

May the Blood that gushed from thy sacred Wounds, flow on our hearts the purify them from their stains of guilt, enable us to pass through this world without sin, and give us, in the next, the reward of bliss.


Ut cum resurgendi dies effulserit,
Orbique regni claritas illuxerit,
Sequamur ætheris viam quæ nos trahat
In se receptos jam perennes incolas. 

That when the resurrection-day shall break upon the world, brightening it with the splendors of the eternal kingdom, we may ascend by the path that leads above, and dwell in heaven, citizens eternal.


Honor sit æterno Deo, sit gloria
Uni Patri, ejusque soli Filio
Cum Spiritu; quæ Trinitas perenniter
Vivit potens in sæculorum sæculis. Amen. 

Honor be to the Eternal God! Glory be to the One Father, and to his Only Son, together with the Holy Ghost:—the Almighty Trinity, that liveth unceasingly for ever and ever. Amen.


Let us again borrow from the Greek Church the expression of our devotion to the Holy Cross.

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Hymn
(Feria V. mediæ Septimanæ)
Securis quam Elisæus ex Jordane retulit, Crucem significabat, qua ex profundo vanitatis retraxisti gentes lætis vocibus cantantes: Benedictus es, Deus patrum nostrorum. 
The wood wherewith Eliseus drew the axe from the Jordan, was a figure of thy Cross, O Jesus! wherewith thou didst draw, from the depths of their vanities, the nations that thus sing to thee in joy: Blessed art thou the God of our Fathers!

Lætantur cum terra cœlestia ob adorationem Crucis tuæ; etenim per te Angeli et homines cunjuncti sunt, clamantes: Benedictus Dominus Deus noster. 
Let the heavens rejoice together with the earth, as we venerate thy Cross; for it was by thee that Angels and men are united, and sing: Blessed is the Lord our God!

Compassionem tamquam cupresum suaveolentem, fidem tanquam cedrum, veram charitatem tanquam pinum afferentes. Domine crucem adoremus, glorificantes eum qui in illa affixus est, liberatorem. 
Venerating the Cross of our Lord, and glorifying our Redeemer, let us present him a three-fold homage: our Compassion, like the fragrant cypress; our Faith, like the cedar; our Love, like the pine.

Extendisti manus tuas in ligno, incontinentis manus peccatum dissolvens; lancea vulneratus es, eademque inimicum sauciasti. Fel gustasti, et male blandam malitiam exemisti; aceto potatus es, qui omnium lætitia es. 
Thou didst stretch forth thy hands upon the Cross, to show that ’twas thou didst destroy the sin done by the hand of licentious man. Thou wast wounded with the spear, that thou mightest wound our foe. Thou didst taste Gall, that thou mightest turn evil pleasures from us. Thy drink was Vinegar, that thou mightest be a joy to each of us.

Ligno peccati interemptus sum, gustusque voluptuoso morti traditus. Vivifica me, Domine. Excita jacentem: fac me criciatuum tuorum adoratorem, et participem divinæ resurrectionis, et cohæredem eorum qui te diligunt.
I have eaten of the Tree of sin, and it was my ruin; I have tasted a pleasure that has caused me death. Bring me to life, O Lord! Raise me from my fall. Make me an adorer of thy Sufferings, a partner in thy Resurrection, a co-heir of them that love thee.

Gaudii signum, armatura invicta, Apostolorum decus, Pontificum robur, vires suffice languenti animæ meæ, et dignare me ut te adorem, laudesque tibi decantem, clamans: Omnia opera Domini, laudate Dominum et superexaltate in sæcula. 

O Cross! thou standard of joy, thou armor invulnerable, thou glory of the Apostles, thou strength of Pontiffs—supply my languid soul with power, and oh! may I venerate thee, and thus cry out thy praises: “All ye works of the Lord, praise the Lord, and extol him, above all, for ever!”
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#5
For Friday in Passion Week, see here: Mater Dolorosa - Passion Friday
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#6
Saturday in Passion Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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Today, we begin, as does the holy Gospel, to number the days which precede the Death, the Sacrifice, of the Lamb of God. St. John, in the 12th Chapter of his Gospel, tells us that this is the Sixth day before the Pasch.

Jesus is in Bethania, where a feast is being given in his honour. Lazarus, he whom Jesus has restored to life, was present at this repast, which was given in the house of Simon the Leper. Martha is busy looking after the various arrangements; her sister, Mary Magdalene, has a heavenly presentiment that the death and burial of her beloved Master are soon to be, and she has poured upon him a precious perfume. The Holy Gospel, which ever observes such a mysterious reserve with regard to the Mother of Jesus, does not tell us that Mary was at Bethania on this occasion, but there can be no doubt of her being present. The Apostles were also there, and partook of the repast. Whilst the friends of our Saviour were thus grouped around him, in this village, which was about two thousand paces from Jerusalem, the aspect of the faithless City becomes more and more threatening: and yet, though his Disciples are not aware of it, Jesus is to enter the City tomorrow, and in a most public manner. The heart of Mary is a prey to sadness; Magdalene is absorbed in grief; everything announces that the fatal day is near.

The Church has reserved for Monday next the Gospel which relates the history of this Saturday. The reason is, that formerly, and up to the 12th century, there was no Station held on this day in Rome: it was left free, in order that the Pope might rest before the great fatigues of Holy Week, whose long and solemn services were to begin on the morrow. But, although he did not preside over the assembly of the Faithful, he, on this day, had to observe two usages, which had been handed down by tradition, and which had almost become of liturgical importance in the Church at Rome.

During the whole year, the Pope used, every Sunday, to send a portion of the sacred species, consecrated by him, to each of the priests of the presbyterial Titles, or parochial Churches, of the City. But it was today that this distribution was made for the whole of Holy Week, perhaps on account of tomorrow’s long service. We know from the ancient liturgical books of Rome that it was in the Lateran Consistory that today’s sacred distribution was made, and it is probable (as the Blessed Cardinal Tommasi and Benedict the Fourteenth tell us) that the Bishops of the suburbicarian Churches were of the number of those who received it. We have several instances proving that, formerly, Bishops occasionally sent to one another the Blessed Sacrament, as a sign of the union that existed between them. With regard to the priests of the city Parochial Churches, to whom a Particle was sent by the Pope, they put a portion of it in the Chalice before receiving the Precious Blood.

The other custom, peculiar to this day, consisted in giving alms to all the poor. The Pope presided at this distribution, which was no doubt made ample enough to last the whole of the coming Week, when on account of the long ceremonies, it would scarcely be possible to attend to individual cases of poverty. The liturgists of the middle-ages allude to the beautiful appropriateness of the Roman Pontiffs distributing alms with his own hand, to the poor, on this day, the same on which Mary Magdalene embalmed, with her perfumes, the feet of Jesus.

Since the 12th century, a Station has been assigned to this Saturday; it takes place in the Church of Saint John before the Latin Gate. This ancient basilica is built near the spot where the Beloved Disciple was, by Domitian’s order, plunged into the cauldron of boiling oil.

Collect
Proficiat, quæsumus, Domine, plebs tibi dicata piæ devotionis affectu: ut sacris actionibus erudita, quanto majestati tuæ fit gratior, tanto donis potioribus augeatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
May the people consecrated to thy service, we beseech thee, O Lord, improve in the affections of piety; that instructed by these holy mysteries, they may be so much the more enriched with thy heavenly gifts, as they become more acceptable to thy divine majesty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Epistle
Lesson from Jeremias the Prophet. Ch. XVIII.

In those days, the wicked Jews said to one another: Come, and let us invent devies against the Just: for the law shall not perish from thepriest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and letus give no heed to all his words. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries. Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away thy indignation from them. Therefore deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword; let their wives be bereaved of children, and widows; and let the husbands be slain by death; let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle. Let a cry be heard out of their houses; for thou shalt bring the robber upon them suddenly, because they have digged a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet. But thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death; forgive not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from thy sight; let them be overthrown before thy eyes, in the time of thy wrath do thou destroy them, O Lord our God.

Quote:It makes us tremble to read these awful anathemas, which Jeremias, the figure of Christ, speaks against his enemies, the Jews. This prophecy, which was literally fulfilled at the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, received a more terrible fulfillment at the second visitation of God’s anger upon this city of malediction. This time, it was not because the Jews had persecuted a Prophet; it was because they had rejected and crucified the very Son of God. It was to their long-expected Messias that they had rendered evil for good. It was not a Saint, like Jeremias, that had spoken good for them to the Lord, and besought him to turn away his indignation from them; the Man-God himself had, without ceasing, made intercession for them, and treated them with the tenderest mercy. But all was in vain; this ungrateful people seemed to hate their divine Benefactor in proportion to his love of them; and at length, in the transport of their fury, they cried out: His blood be upon us and upon our children! What a frightful chastisement they entailed on themselves by this imprecation! God heard and remembered it. Alas! the sinner, who knows Jesus and the worth of his Blood, yet who again sheds this precious Blood—does he not expose himself to the severity of that same Justice, which fell so heavily on the Jews? Let us tremble and pray: let us implore the divine mercy in favor of those many obstinately blind and hardened sinners, who are hastening to destruction. Oh! that by the fervor of our supplications addressed to the merciful Heart of our common Redeemer, we could obtain a reversion of their sentence, and secure them pardon!


Gospel
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John. Ch. XII.

At that time: the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also, because many of the Jews by reason of him went away, and believed in Jesus. And on the next day a great multitude, that was come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel! And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Sion; behold, thy King cometh sitting; on an ass’s colt. These things his disciples did not know at first; but when Jesus was glorified, they then remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with him, when he called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet him, because they heard he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? behold, the whole world is gone after him. Now there were certain Gentiles among them that came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh, and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come that the Son of man shall be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life, shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honor. Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The multitude therefore that stood and heard, said that it thundered. Others said: An Angel spoke to him. Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and now sayest thou: The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not; and he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke, and he went away and hid himself from them.

Quote:The enemies of Jesus have come to that pitch of hatred which robs a man of his senses. Lazarus, who has been restored from death to life, is here standing before them; and instead of his resuscitation convincing them of Jesus’ being the Messias, it sets them thinking how best to make away with this irresistible witness. O senseless men! that Jesus who raised him to life when dead, can again bring him to life if you murder him.—Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, which we are solemnly to commemorate tomorrow, adds to their jealousy and hatred. Behold, say they, we prevail nothing: the whole world goes after him. Alas! this ovation is to be soon followed by one of those reverses to which a populace is so subject. Meanwhile, however, we have certain Gentiles who desire to see Jesus. It is the beginning of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy: The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. Then shall the Son of man be glorified; then shall all nations, by their humble homage to the Crucified, protest against the sinful blindness of the Jews. But before this comes to pass, it is requisite that the Divine Wheat be cast into the ground, and die. Then, the glorious harvest; and the beautiful seed shall yield a hundredfold.

And yet, Jesus feels, in his human nature, a momentary fear at the thought of this death He is to undergo. It is not the agony in the Garden; it is a trouble of soul. Let us listen to His words: Father! save me from this hour. It is our God who foresees all that He is about to suffer for our sakes, and it fills Him with fear: He asks to be freed from it, though His will has decreed and accepted it. He immediately adds: But, for this cause I came unto this hour: Father I glorify Thy name. His soul is now calm; He once more accepts the hard conditions of our salvation. After this, his words bespeak a triumph; by virtue of the sacrifice about to be offered, satan shall be dethroned: The prince of this world shall be cast out. But the defeat of satan is not the only fruit of our Saviour’s immolation: man, earthly and depraved creature as He is, is to be raised from this earth to heaven. The Son of God is to be the heavenly loadstone, attracting man to Himself: And I, if I he lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. He forgets His sufferings, and the terrible death which just now troubled Him; He thinks but of the defeat of our implacable enemy, and of our being saved and glorified by His Cross. These few words reveal the whole Heart of our Redeemer: if we attentively weigh them, they will suffice to inflame us with devotion as we celebrate the ineffable mysteries of Holy Week.

Humiliate capita vestra Deo. 
Bow down your heads to God.

Tueatur, quæsumus, Domine, dextera tua populum deprecantem, et purificatum dignanter erudiat: ut consolatione præsenti, ad futura bona proficiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
May thy right hand, O Lord, we beseech thee, protect thy people making supplication to thee, and purifying them from their sins, make them wise, that they may make such use of the comforts of this present life, as to arrive at that which is eternal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us sue for mercy from the Savior of our souls, in these words of supplication used in the Gothic Liturgy of Spain.
Supplication
(Feria VI. Dominicæ V.)
℣. Miserere, et parce, clementissime Domine, populo tuo. 
℣. Have mercy upon, and spare, thy people, O most merciful Lord!

℟. Quia peccavimus tibi. 
℟. For we have sinned against thee.

℣. De crucis throno aspice nos miseros, et passionum compeditos vinculis nostris absolve, Redemptor, suppliciis. 
℣. Look down, from the throne of thy Cross, upon us miserable creatures, who are fettered by the chains of our passions. Deliver us, O thou our Redeemer, from the punishments we deserve.

℟. Quia peccavimus tibi. 
℟. For we have sinned against thee.

℣. Passus flagella, et crucis injuriam, persecutorum sustinens convicia, dona delictis nostris pœnitentiam. 
℣. O thou what wast scourged, ignominiously crucified, and insulted by them that persecuted thee! grant us repentance for our sins.

℟. Quia peccavimus tibi. 
℟. For we have sinned against thee.

℣. Vox tua Patrem pro nobis expostulet, quæ silens fuit olim ante judicem, ut te regnante perfruamur Domino. 
℣. O thou, that heretofore wast silent before the judge! raise up thy voice in pleading for us to thy Father, that we may be happy with thee, our King and Lord.

℟. Quia peccavimus tibi. 
℟. For we have sinned against thee.


The following sequence, in praise of Mary, is most appropriate for this Saturday of Passion Week.
It sweetly blends together the homages we owe to the Cross of Jesus and to the Dolors of Mary. We have taken it from the Horæ of the 16th century.

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Sequence

Lignum vitæ quærimus,
Qui vitam amisimus
Fructu ligni vetiti. 

We, that by the fruit of the forbidden tree, lost our life, now seek the Tree of life.


Nec inventum noverit
Qui fructum non viderit
Adhærentem stipiti. 

He alone hath found this Tree, who sees the Branch whereon is fixed the Fruit.


Fructus per quem vivitur
Pendet, sicut creditur,
Virginis ad ubera. 

Our faith tells us, that the Fruit, that gives us life, hangs on Mary’s breast.


Et ad Crucem iterum,
Inter viros scelerum,
Passus quinque vulnera. 

And on the Cross, between two thieves, though, here, he is pierced with five wounds.


Hic Virgo puerpera,
Hic Crux salutifers:
Ambo ligna mystica. 

The Virgin-Mother, and the saving Cross—yea, both are mystic Trees;


Hæc hyssopus humilis,
Illa cedrus nobilis:
Utraque vivifica. 

The Cross, humble as the hyssop; Mary, noble as the cedar—both are trees of life.


Positus in medio,
Quo me vertam nescio. 

Placed between the two, I know not to which to turn.


In hoc dulci dubio,
Dulcis est collatio. 

O sweet perplexity! O sweet comparison!


Hic complexus brachiis,
Modis vagit variis. 

Here, my Jesus lies, fondled in his Mother’s arms, a weeping little Babe;


Hic extendit brachia
Complexurus omnia. 

There, with his arms stretched out, calling all to his embace.


Charum Mater tenere
Novit hic tenere. 

Here, ’tis a burden sweet to a Mother’s love;


Charitas sub latere,
Nescit hic latere. 

There, ’tis Love itself, too ardent to be hid.


Hic adhærens pectori,
Pascitur ab ubere. 

Here, leaning on his Mother’s heart, he is fed at her breast;


Hic affixus arbori,
Pascit nos ex vulnere. 

There, fastened to the tree, he feeds us from his wounds.


Crux ministrat pabula,
Fructu nos reficiens. 

The Cross supplies us with the food of its refreshing Fruit;


Mater est præambula,
Fructum nobis nutriens. 

The Mother forestalls the Cross, feeding the very Fruit, feeding him for us.


Tandem ad hoc trahitur
Finalis sententia:
Quod nemo consequitur
Unam sine alia. 

This, then, is my decision;—we cannot have the one without the other.


Qui Crucem elegerit,
Nec sic Matrem deserit:
Cum ad Crucem venerit,
Matrem ibi poterit
Stantem invenire.

He that chooses the Cross, must have the Mother; for when he comes to the Cross, he will find the Mother standing at the foot.


Nec qui Matrem elegit,
Crucem prorsus abigit:
Si modum intelligit
Quo per Matrem contigit
Gladium transire. 

He that chooses the Mother, meets the Cross as well, for it was whilst standing at the Cross, that the Mother’s heart was pierced.


Fili Matris unice,
Matris crucifixæ,
Nos de Cruce respice,
Fili crucifixe.

 O Jesus! crucified Son of a crucified Mother! look upon us from thy Cross.


Fructus o vivifice,
Fructus ligni vitæ,
Nos teipso refice,
Nobis da frui te.
Amen.

 O living Fruit! O Fruit of the Tree of life! refresh us with thyself, give us the enjoyment of thine own dear self. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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