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.
Cum sanctificatus fuero in vobis, congregabo vos de universis terris: et effundam super vos aquam mundam, et mundabimini ab omnibus inquinamentis vestris: et dabo vobis spiritum novum. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
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)
Deus, qui et justis praemia meritorum, et peccatoribus per jejunium veniam praebes: miserere supplicibus tuis: ut reatus nostri confessio, indulgentiam valeat percipere delictorum.
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.
Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, quos jejunia votiva castigant, ipsa quoque devotio sancta laetificet, ut terrenis affectibus mitigatis, facilius caelestia capiamus.
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.
Images of the Stational Church: http://frcoulter.com/pics/station-churches/lent4/lent4.html#Wednesday