Wednesday of the Third Week in Lent
God on Sinai had commanded men, the Epistle and Gospel tell us, to honour their parents and to love their neighbours. The Pharisees added to these commandments human traditions which consisted of formalities wholly external, to which they attached more importance than they did to the law of Moses. The Church, therefore, seeks to put us on our guard against the observance of exterior practices of worship or fasts which are not united to acts of charity. For in order to obtain the approval of heaven our penance must come from a heart overflowing with love of God and our neighbour, for it is from the heart that the holiness and malice of man proceeds. To bodily morifications let us take gret care to add the practice of virtues: sincerity, justice, patience, charity, or, as the Collect expresses it, let us impose upon ourselves fasting of soul and body.
Ego autem in Domino sperabo: exsultabor et laetabor in tua misericordia: quia respexisti humilitatem meam. * In te, Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternum : in justitia tua libera me, et eripe me.
But I will hope in the Lord: I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast regarded my humility. * In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in Thy justice and rescue me.
(Psalm 30:7-8,2 from the Introit of Mass)
Praesta nobis, quaesumus, Domine: ut salutaribus jejuniis eruditi, a noxiis quoque vitiis abstinentes, propitiationem tuam facilius impetremus.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that disciplined by wholesome fasting and abstaining from all vices, we may more easily gain forgiveness.
The candidates from among the heathen after a period of waiting became catechumens at the Station this day. Their sponsor presented them by testifying to their purity of intention and conduct.Their names were written on tablets of ivory covered in leather, which were read at the Commemoration of the Living. After the Collect and before the Lessons they proceeded to the rites of exsufflation, of the sign of the cross, of the imposition of hands, and of that of the salt which are still to be found in the first part of the ceremonies of baptism.