Thursday of the Second Week in Lent
Station at St Mary beyond the Tiber
Today's Station takes place in a basilica erected shortly after the peace of Constantine by Julius I and which is one of the first churches of Rome dedicated to the Mother of God. Mary is there represented seated among the wise Virgins who hold their lamps. This is an allusion to the spring of oil which gushed out at this spot shortly before the birth of Him whom she had the happiness of carrying in her arms and who is called Christ or the Anointed of the Lord. This was one of the twenty-five parishes of Rome in the fifth century.
Jeremias speaks to us in the Epistle of two men, one of whom put his trust in himself and the other in God. The first dries up like the heather in the desert, and the second bears the abundant fruits of his good works,
In like manner, says the parable of the Gospel, there were two men. one of whom enjoyed life instead of doing penance and the other suffered. The first went to hell, whilst the second was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. This is a symbol of Israel who rejected Christ and was cast out, whilst the Gentiles, through baptism and penance, enter into the Kingdom of God.
Let us implore the Lord to grant us by His grace perseverance in prayer and fasting, in order that we may be delivered from the enemies both of soul and body (Collect).
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me: let my enemies be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul. * Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame: that desire evils to me.
(Psalm 69:2-4 from the Introit of Mass)
Praesta nobis, quaesumus, Domine, auxilium gratiae tuae: ut jejuniis et orationibus convenienter intenti, liberemur ab hostibus mentis et corporis.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace: that being duly intent on fasts and prayers, we may be delivered from enemies of soul and body.