Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

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Station at St Cecilia (in Trastavere).


Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

The Station is at the sanctuary where the body of the illustrious Roman virgin St. Cecilia rests. It was there she lived and died a martyr. In the fifth century this church was mentioned as one of the most celebrated parochial or titular churches of Rome. It is situated in Trastevere. It was customary to read in this church, the Gospel in which Jesus tells to a woman it is necessary to drink His chalice, if one is to participate in His glory.

We read at the Epistle the prayer of Mardochai in favour of the Jewish people whom the impious Aman had determined to destroy. He implored the Lord to turn their sadness into joy. The Christian people in the same way are mourning in their Lenten penance and are looking forward to the holy Paschal joys. But to deserve them, a. the Gospel tells us, we must first drink the chalice of the One who came to shed His blood to redeem us and who will make us sharers in His resurrection, if we die to our sins: Let us abstain from the food which sustains our bodies, and from the vices which poison our souls (Collect).


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Forsake me not, O Lord, my God, do not Thou depart from me: attend unto my help, O Lord, the power of m salvation. Rebuke me not, O Lord, in Thy indignation; nor chastise me in Thy wrath. (Psalm 32:22-23,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Mercifully regard Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and grant that we, whom Thou commandest to abstain from carnal food, may also refrain from hurtful vices. (Collect)




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At that time: Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. And so on, and that which followeth. Matt. 20, 17-28.
A Homily by St. Ambrose the Bishop

Consider what the mother of Zebedee's children, in company with her sons, and on their behalf, came to ask of the Lord. Her request, albeit immoderate, was yet excusable. As a mother, she was anxious for the honour of her sons, and more than that, she was stricken in years, and deprived of consolation. For at a time when she had sore need of the help and support of her sons, now in the vigour of their manhood, she allowed them to be absent from her. In her godliness, she was ready to suffer the loss of her own comfort, that her sons might gain the reward of following Christ. For at the first call of the Lord (as we read), they left their nets, and their father, and followed him.

With all the zeal and tenderness of natural affection, she besought the Saviour, saying: Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. Though it was a mistake, it was a mistake of love. For a mother's love knoweth no moderation. If such a prayer be covetous, yet is it a pardonable greed, for she hungered not for money, but for grace. Nor was the petition shameful, for it sought, not her own good, but her children's. Remember that she was a mother, and think on what is meant by that word.
 

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For centuries Christians have turned to St. Joseph as a powerful patron and faithful guardian, father and friend. Invoked as the Glory of home life, Patron of the Dying and Terror of Demons, Christians call upon St. Joseph for healing and conversion, help with their children, a new job or home, and for all their needs of body and soul.

Honored as the Patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph’s paternal protection of the Lord Jesus continues even from heaven, as he watches over Christ’s Mystical Body on earth. The foster-father of the Son of God is also a father to those who have become God’s sons and daughters through the sacrament of baptism.

Saints and popes down the centuries have experienced and extolled St. Joseph’s great power to intercede. “Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint,” wrote St. Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, “for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God.”

“Men of every rank and country should fly to the trust and guard of the blessed Joseph,” especially fathers of families, Pope Leo XIII wrote in his encyclical on devotion to St. Joseph, Quamquam pluries.

Why 30 days, you might wonder? According to tradition, St. Joseph died just before Jesus entered into his public ministry. The prayer therefore honors St. Joseph for each of the 30 years he spent with Jesus and Mary on earth.

This prayer can be said during any 30-day period, but with St. Joseph’s feast upon us, now is a particularly opportune time to turn to him asking his help and guidance for all your needs, the needs of your family, loved ones, friends, and all those in need of prayer.

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THIRTY DAY PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
IN HONOR OF THE 30 YEARS HE SPENT WITH JESUS AND MARY

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow.

Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection. Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.

I ask it by the painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan, you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.

I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.

I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows. I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His mother for three days.

I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.

I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.

I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God. O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petitions or think of them.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of: JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.

“A blameless life, St. Joseph, may we lead, by your kind patronage from danger freed.”

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