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


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


Lesson of the Book of Kings 4:1-7

In those days: A certain woman cried to Eliseus, saying: Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God, and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him. And Eliseus said to her: What 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 neighbors empty vessels not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, with thy sons, and pour out thereof into all these vessels; and when they are full take them away. So the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons; they brought her the vessels and she poured in.

And when the vessels were full, she said to her sons: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood; and she came and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay the creditor; and thou and thy sons live of the rest.

It is not difficult to unravel the mystery of this day’s lesson. Man’s creditor is Satan; our sins have made him so. Go, says the prophet, and pay the creditor. But how is this to be done? We shall obtain the pardon of our sins by works of mercy, of which oil is the symbol. Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Let us, then, during these days of salvation, secure our reconciliation and forgiveness by doing all we can to assist our brethren who are in want; let us join almsgiving to our fasting, and practice works of mercy. Thus shall we touch the heart of our Heavenly Father. Putting our debts into His hands, we shall take away from Satan all the claims he had upon us.

Let us learn a lesson from this woman. She lets no one see her as she fills the vessels with oil: let us also shut the door when we do good, so that our left hand shall know not what oar right hand doth. (Matthew 6:3)

Take notice too, that the woman goes on pouring out the oil long as she has vessels to hold it. So our mere [actions] towards our neighbors must be proportionate to our means. The extent of these means is known to God, and He will not have us fall short of the power He has given us for doing good.

Let us, then, be liberal in our alms during this holy season; let us make the resolution to be 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.


Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew 18:15-22:

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples; If thy brother shall offend against thee, go and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them, tell the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

Again, I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father, who is in heaven; for where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto him, and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times, but till seventy times seven times.

The Mercy which God commands us to show our fellow creatures does not consist only in corporal and spiritual almsdeeds to the poor and the suffering; it includes, moreover, the pardon and forgetfulness of injuries. This is the test whereby God proves the sincerity of our conversion. With the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)

If we, from our hearts, pardon our enemies, our Heavenly Father will unreservedly pardon us. These are the days when we are hoping to be reconciled with our God; let us do all we can to gain our brother; and for this end, pardon him, if needs be, seventy times seven times. Surely we are not going to allow the miserable quarrels of our earthly pilgrimage to make us lose heaven! Therefore, let us forgive insults and injuries, and thus imitate our God Himself, who is ever forgiving us.

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

And lastly, let us not pass by unnoticed this other sentence, which has a close relation with the one we have just alluded to: If a man hear not the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and publican. What is this Church? Men to whom Jesus Christ said: He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me. (Luke 10:16) Men from whose lips comes to the world the Truth, without which there is no salvation: men who are the only ones on earth who have the power to reconcile the sinner with his God, save him from the hell he has deserved, and open to him the gates of heaven.

Can we be surprised, after this, that our Savior — who would have these men to be his instruments, and as it were, the communication between Himself and mankind — should treat as a heathen, as one that has never received Baptism, him that refuses to acknowledge their authority? There is no revealed truth, except through their teaching; their is no salvation, except through the Sacraments which they administer; there is no hoping in Christ Jesus, except where there is submission to the spiritual laws which they promulgate.

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.

(In V. Feria V. Hebdomadæ)

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

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

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 Savior; have mercy on me.

This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Guéranger (1841-1875). LifeSiteNews is grateful to The Ecu-Men website for making this classic work easily available online.