THURSDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT – MASS PROPERS

San Lorenzo in Panisperna - Ceiling fresco of St. Lawrence in Glory by Antonio Bicchierai

San Lorenzo in Panisperna – Ceiling fresco of St. Lawrence in Glory by Antonio Bicchierai

THURSDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Station is in the church of St. Laurence in Paneperna, one of those which the piety of the faithful of Rome has built in honour of this the most celebrated of the martyrs of the holy city.

St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

How venerable our saint of today, with his hundred and twenty years, and his episcopal dignity, and his martyr-crown! He succeeded the apostle St. James in the see of Jerusalem; he had known Jesus, and had been His disciple; he was related to Jesus, for he was of the house of David; his father was Cleophas, and his mother that Mary, whom the tie of kindred united so closely to the blessed Mother of God that she has been called her sister. What grand titles these of Simeon who comes with all our other martyrs of Septuagesima, to inspirit us to penance! Such a veteran, who had been a contemporary of the Saviour of the world, and was a pastor who could repeat to his flock the very lessons Jesus had given him, could never rejoin his divine Master save by the path of martyrdom, and that martyrdom must be the cross. Like Jesus, then, he dies on a cross; and his death, which happened in the year 106, closes the first period of the Christian era, or, as it is called, the apostolic age. Let us honour this venerable pontiff, whose name awakens within us the recollection of all that is dear to our faith. Let us ask him to extend to us that fatherly love, which nursed the Church of Jerusalem for so many long years. He will bless us from that throne which he won by the cross, and will obtain for us the grace we so much need, the grace of conversion.

The following is the lesson given on St. Simeon

Icon of St. Simeon of Jerusalem

Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was ordained bishop of Jerusalem, and was Saint James’s immediate successor in that see. In the reign of the Emperor Trajan, he was accused to the Consul Atticus of being a Christian and a relation of Christ; for, at this time, all they that were of the house of David were seized. After having endured various tortures, Simeon was put to death by the same punishment which our Saviour suffered, and all the beholders were filled with astonishment to see how, at his age (for he was a hundred and twenty years old), he could go through the intense pains of crucifixion, without showing a sign of fear or irresolution.

Receive, most venerable saint, the humble homage of our devotion. What is all human glory compared with thine? Thou wast of the family of Christ; thy teaching was that which His divine lips had given thee; thy charity for men was formed on the model of His sacred Heart; and thy death was the closest representation of His. We may not claim the honour thou hadst, of calling ourselves brothers of the Lord Jesus: but pray for us, that we may be of those of whom He thus speaks: ‘Whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.’ We have not, like thee, received the doctrine of salvation from the very lips of Jesus; but we have it in all its purity, by means of holy tradition, of which thou art one of the earliest links; oh, obtain for us a docility to this word of God, and pardon for our past disobedience. We have not to be nailed to a cross, as thou wast; but the world is thickly set with trials, to which our Lord Himself gives the name of the cross. These we must bear with patience, if we would have part with Jesus in His glory. Pray for us, O Simeon, that henceforth we may be more faithful; that we may never more become rebels to our duty; and that we may repair the faults we have so often committed by infringing the law of our God.

           February 18

                  MASS

THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Commemoration St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

Station Church at St. Laurence’s Panisperna

(Indulgence of 10 years and 10 quarantines)

            Violet vestments

    Commentary taken from

The Liturgical year by Ven. Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger

Sacrament of Holy Orders - Holiness and majesty in His sanctuary.

INTROIT – Psalm 95:6,1

Confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu ejus: et sanctitas et magnificentia in sanctificatione ejus. Ps. Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino omnis terra. Glória Patri.

Praise and beauty are before Him: holiness and majesty in His sanctuary. Ps. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

Look down favourably, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the devotion of Thy people, that they whose bodies are mortified by abstinence, may through the fruit of good works be refreshed  in mind. Through our Lord.

Commemoration St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

Look mercifully, almighty God, upon our weakness, and since the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of blessed Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop, sustain us.

COLLECT – FOR THE INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS

Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of Saint Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.

COLLECT PRAYER FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

O Almighty and Eternal God, Who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all Whom Thou knowest shall be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost; One God; forever and ever, Amen.

Prophet Ezekiel's vision of dry bones

EPISTLE – Ezechiel 18:1-9

In those days, the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What is the meaning that you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge. As I live, saith the Lord God, this parable shall be no more to you a proverb in Israel. Behold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, the same shall die. And if a man be just, and do judgment and justice, and hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel: and hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife, nor come near to a menstruous woman: And hath not wronged any man: but hath restored the pledge to the debtor, hath taken nothing away by violence: hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment: Hath not lent upon usury, nor taken any increase: hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man: Hath walked in my commandments, and kept my judgments, to do truth: he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.

These words of the prophet declare to us the wonderful mercy of God towards the Gentiles, who are preparing to pass from darkness to light by the grace of holy Baptism. The Jews had a favourite proverb: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set an edge: but God assures us, even in the old Testament, that sins are personal, that is, they belong to him who commits them, and to no one else; so that the son of a wicked father, if he walk in the path of righteousness, shall find mercy and salvation. The apostles and their disciples preached the Gospel to the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were obedient to the call; they were the children of idolaters, and yet they were seen flocking to the font of regeneration, abjuring the evil ways of their fathers, and becoming the objects of God’s love. The same happened in the conversion of the barbarians of the west; it is happening now in our own times among infidel nations; and many will be the catechumens who, at the coming Easter, will receive the sacrament of Baptism.

     God frequently visits children with temporal punishments, because of the sins of their parents; it is a providence, which acts as a check upon men, deterring them from evil out of fear of bringing misery upon their families. But in the moral order, each individual is treated according to his own merits or demerits; and as God does not impute to a virtuous son the iniquities of the father, so neither do the virtues of the father cover the son’s iniquity. Philip the Fair was the grandson of St. Louis; and Wulfere, the wicked king of Mercia, was father of the two saints, Wulfhad and Ruffin. Similar contrasts are often found in families, for, as the Scripture says, ‘God hath left man in the hand of his own counsel. . .  Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose, shall be given unto him.’ And yet, such is the mercy of the Lord our God, that, if a man have made a bad choice, but afterwards cast away from himself the evil, and turn to what is good, he shall surely live, and his repentance shall restore to him what he had forfeited.

GRADUAL – Psalm 16: 8, 2

Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye: protect me under the shadow of Thy wings. Let my judgment come forth from Thy countenance: let Thine eyes behold the things that are equitable.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is grievously troubled by the devil.

GOSPEL – Matthew 15: 21-28

At that time Jesus went from thence, and retired into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan who came out of those coasts, crying out, said to him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David: my daughter is grievously troubled by the devil. Who answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us: And he answering, said: I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel. But she came and adored him, saying: Lord, help me. Who answering, said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs. But she said: Yea, Lord; for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters. Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.

Jesus is in admiration at the woman’s faith: He praises her for it; He would have us imitate her. And yet she was a Gentile; probably, she had been an idolatress; but maternal love induces her to come to Jesus, and throw herself at His feet. She obtains from Him her daughter’s cure, and, undoubtedly, her own conversion. It is an illustration of the consoling promise we have just been hearing from the prophet Ezechiel: there are chosen souls in every race, even in that cursed one of Canaan. Our Lord treats this woman with apparent harshness, although He intends to grant her what she asks: He would have her faith gain strength by being tried, and thus deserve to be rewarded. Let us pray, during these days of mercy, with persevering confidence. The daughter of this Canaanite woman was troubled by a devil, that is, her body was possessed by an evil spirit. How many are there, everywhere in the Church, whose souls are a prey to satan, by being in the state of mortal sin! Are they conscious of their misery? Do they beg of our Lord to have mercy on them, and deliver them? And if, at first, He defer their pardon, do they humble themselves like this woman of our Gospel, who confesses that she quite deserves this contempt wherewith Jesus seems to treat her? Lost sheep of the house of Israel! Make good use of this holy season, when your good Shepherd is so nigh unto you. Before forty days have elapsed, He will be put to death, and the people that shall deny Him shall not be His. Before forty days are over, we shall be celebrating the anniversary of this great sacrifice; and the sinner that shall not be converted from the error of his ways, and shall not have come to Jesus, as did this humble woman of Canaan, will deserve to be for ever rejected. Let us, then, be earnest in the great work of our conversion, and fit ourselves for pardon. Such is the generosity of our heavenly Father, that if we desire, with all the sincerity of our soul, to be once more His faithful children, He will give us more than the crumbs which fall from His table; He will give us Jesus, the Bread of life; and oh, what a pledge of reconciliation is that!

OFFERTORY – Psalm 33: 8, 9

The Angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him, and shall deliver them: O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet.

SECRET

May these sacrificial rites, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the more readily save us in that they are introduced by healing fasts. Through our Lord.

Commemoration St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

Graciously accept, O Lord, the offerings dedicated to You by the merits of St. Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop; and grant that they may be a perpetual help to us.

SECRET – FOR THE INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS

Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, and by the virtue of this sacrament protect us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing on us both grace in this life and glory hereafter. Through our Lord.

SECRET PRAYER FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

O Almighty and Eternal God, O God, Who alone knowest the number of the elect to be admitted to the happiness of Heaven, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of all Thy saints, the names of all who have been recommended to our prayers and of all the faithful, may be inscribed in the book of blessed predestination. Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost; One God; forever and ever, Amen.

PREFACE FOR LENT

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who by the fasting of the body dost curb our vices, elevate our minds and bestow virtue and reward; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION – John 6:52

The bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world.

POSTCOMMUNION

Out of the abundance of Thy gifts, O Lord, sustain us with temporal safeguards, and renew us by the those that are eternal. Through our Lord.

Commemoration St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

We who have been refreshed by partaking of the divine sacrifice, beseech You, O Lord our God, that through the intercession of blessed Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop, we may experience the effects of the worship we perform.

POSTCOMMUNION – FOR THE INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS

Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, and by the virtue of this sacrament protect us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing on us both grace in this life and glory hereafter. Through our Lord.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

May the sacraments which we have received purify us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful Lord; and through the intercession of all Thy saints, grant that this Thy sacrament may not be unto us a condemnation, but a salutary intercession for pardon; may it be the washing away of sin, the strength of the weak, a protection against all dangers of the world, and a remission of all the sins of the faithful, whether living or dead, through our Lord.

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that all Christian people may acknowledge what they profess, and love the heavenly mystery they so often approach. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us read this admirable preface, taken from the Mozarabic missal. It shows us how Jesus is the Bread of life, which supports us during our fast. It will not be the less acceptable, because it is almost word for word a repetition of one already given from the Ambrosian rite.

PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS - TWENTY FIRST DAY - REFLECTION

                    PREFACE

(Illatio. Dominica III. Quadragesimae)

It is meet and just, yea truly right and available to salvation, that we should give thanks, O almighty Father, to thee, and to our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son: in whom they that fast find the  nourishment of their faith, the advancement of their hope, the strengthening of their charity. For he is the true and living Bread, who is the nourishment of eternity, and the food of virtue. For he is thy Word, by whom all things were made; the Bread, not only of the souls of men, but likewise of the very angels. With this Bread was thy servant Moses fed, when, receiving thy Law, he fasted forty days and forty nights, and abstained from bodily food, that he might be the better able to partake of thy sweetness. He lived and grew strong on thy Word, of whose sweetness his spirit drank, and with whose light his face did beam. Hence, he felt not hunger, and forgot all earthly food, for the sight of thy glory shone upon him, and, through the infusion of the Holy Spirit, he ate interiorly of the word. To us likewise, thou ceasest not to administer this Bread; yea, thou biddest us unceasingly hunger after it. When we feed on this Flesh, we are strengthened; when we drink of this Blood, we are cleansed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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