Wednesday of Fourth Week in Lent

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  1. Admin

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    Station at St Paul-without-the-Walls

    Wednesday of Fourth Week in Lent

    The Station was held at Rome in the great Basilica of St. Paul on the Ostian Way. It was natural to assemble near the tomb of the Doctor of the Gentiles on this day, called the Feria of the Great Scrutiny, when they held the examination upon which depended the admission of catechumens to baptism.

    After the singing of the Introit, which announces the baptism in which God "will pour on the souls the water which will cleanse them from all stain," the catechumens were exorcised anew, were marked with the sign of the cross and received the imposition of hands. This water has already purified us. [The rites for the admission of the catechumens and those for their final preparation which proceeded during Lent are found in the ceremonies of baptism, particularly the exorcism, the signing with the cross, the imposition of hands and the recitation of the Pater noster and Credo, which formerly took place at the Mass of the Catechumens on this day.]

    After having read the Epistle or the Lessons from the prophets Ezechiel and Isaias, who speak of this same purification "when souls shall be made white as snow," the beginning of the four Gospels was read to them and the Apostles' Creed and Pater noster explained to them. Let us love to read the Gospels, let us often recite the Credo and the Pater noster.

    The Gospels tells us of the healing of the man blind from birth, who was sent to wash himself in the pool of Siloe. This is another symbol of baptism and of the instructions preceding it, which conveyed to the Gcntiles the supernatural light of which they were deprived, and gave them faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Let us purify ourselves by penance from the defilements which have unfortunately stained our baptismal innocence, and God will make our souls white as snow.

    Aware that fasting is for the just man a means of increasing his merits, and for the guilty of obtaining forgiveness for his sins (Collect), let us with courage mortify our bodies so that we may enjoy more readily the tidings that are of heaven.


    When I shall be sanctified in you, I will gather you from every land: and I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness: and I will give you a new spirit. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be always in my mouth. (Ezechiel 36:23-26 and Psalm 33:2 from the Introit of Mass)

    O God, who grantest to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon through their fasts; have mercy on Thy suppliant people: that the confession of our guilt may enable us to obtain the forgiveness of our sins.

    Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who are chastised by fasting may rejoice also with true devotion, that our earthly affections being weakened, we may more easily understand the things of heaven.

    Gospel : (John 9 : 1-28)
    1AND Jesus passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth: 2And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? 3Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6When he had said these things, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay on his eyes, 7And said to him: Go, wash in the pool of Siloe, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing. 8The neighbours therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said: This is he. 9But others said: No, but he is like him. But he said: I am he. 10They said therefore to him: How were thy eyes opened? 11He answered: That man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me: Go to the pool of Siloe, and wash. And I went, I washed, and I see. 12And they said to him: Where is he? He saith: I know not.

    The Pharisees Investigate

    13They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. 14Now it was the sabbath, when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15Again therefore the Pharisees asked him, how he had received his sight. But he said to them: He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see. 16Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17They say therefore to the blind man again: What sayest thou of him that hath opened they eyes? And he said: He is a prophet.

    18The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, 19And asked them, saying: Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see? 20His parents answered them, and said: We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21But how he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself: he is of age, let him speak for himself. 22These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore did his parents say: He is of age, ask himself.

    24They therefore called the man again that had been blind, and said to him: Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. 25He said therefore to them: If he be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. 26They said then to him: What did he to thee? How did he open thy eyes? 27He answered them: I have told you already, and you have heard: why would you hear it again? will you also become his disciples? 28They reviled him therefore, and said: Be thou his disciple; but we are the disciples of Moses.