Friday in the Third Week in Lent
Station at St Laurence's in Lucina
This is one of the numerous sanctuaries built at Rome in honour of the martyred deacon. Part of the gridiron on which he was tortured is kept there. This chureh, one of the twenty-five titular or parish churches of the Christian capital in the fifth century, is still to-day that from which the first of the Cardinal Priests derives his title.
It was during the forty years passed in the desert that Moses and Aaron asked God to bring from the rock - a figure of Christ - "a spring of living water," so that all the people could quench their thirst (Epistle). During these forty days of Lent the Church asks Christ to give us the living water about which He spoke to the woman of Samaria near Jacob's well, the water which quenches our thirst for ever (Gospel). This water is our faith in Jesus, it is grace, it is the blood which flows from the wounds of thc Saviour, and which through baptism, penance and the other sacraments purifies our souls; and gushes forth into eternal life, of which it assures us a share,
We should note the parallel that it pleased christian art to establish between St. Peter and Moses. It is the latter who touched the rock from whence the water surged; this is a symbol of christian baptism given by the church of which St. Peter is the head.
Fac mecum, Domine, signum in bonum: ut videant, qui me oderunt, et confundantur: quoniam tu, Domine adjuvisti me, et consolatus es me. * Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam, et exaudi me: quoniam inops et pauper, sum ego.
Show me, O Lord, a token for good: that they who hate me may see, and be confounded: because Thou, O Lord, hast helped me, and hast comforted me. * Incline Thy ear, O Lord, and hear me: for I am needy and poor.
(Psalm 85:17 from the Introit of mass)
Jejunia nostra, quaesumus, Domine, benigno favore prosequere: ut, sicut ab alimentis abstinemus in corpore: ita a vitiis jejunemus in mente.
Look down with merciful approval on our fasts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that even our bodies abstain from food, so too may we fast from vice.