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.
Commemoration of St Cuthbert, Bishop & Confessor
Cuthbert was born in Northumbria in northern England about 625. One night, while tending a herd of sheep, he saw lights in the sky which he interpreted as a soul being escorted heavenward by a band of angels. Later, he learned that Aidan of Lindisfarne (31 August 651) had died that night, and he resolved to enter the monastic life. He was a monk at Melrose Abbey from 651 to 664, and when the Abbot, Eata, became abbot and bishop at Lindisfarne, Cuthbert accompanied him and was Prior there until 676.
Although he had been brought up in the Celtic customs, he accepted the decrees of the Synod of Whitby in 663, which committed the English Church to following instead the Roman customs that had been introduced into Canterbury by Augustine, and so he helped to minimize contention over the decision.
Although his real preference was for the solitary life of a hermit, he recognized a duty to minister to the needs of the people about him. Year after year he made long journeys, on horseback and on foot, to Durham and throughout Northumbria, and in the regions of Berwick and Galloway, preaching to the scattered population in remote and sparsely settled areas, instructing them in the faith and encouraging them in the practice of it, urging them in times of sickness not to rely on charms or amulets, but to pray to God and put their trust in His mercy and love. Like Francis of Assisi, he had a remarkable rapport with animals, both wild and domestic.
Theodore, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made Cuthbert Bishop of Hexham, but he was a solitary by nature, and promptly exchanged bishoprics with Eata so as to remain at Lindisfarne. After two years, he retired to the neighboring island of Farne as a hermit, and died there the following year.
INTROIT Psalm 54: 2, 3
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me; let my enemies be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul. (Psalm 69: 4). Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame : that desire evils to me. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat O God, come to my assistance…
Behold with kindness, we beseech Thee O Lord, the devotion of Thy people, that they, who are now mortified in body by abstinence, may be refreshed in soul by the fruit of their good work. Through our Lord…
For St Cuthbert
O GOD, who by the inestimable gift of thy grace dost glorify thy Saints, grant, we beseech thee; that at the intercession of blessed Cuthbert thy Confessor and Bishop, may we be found worthy to attain to the perfection of all virtues. Through our Lord…
LESSON Jeremias 17: 5-10
Lesson from Jeremias the Prophet. Thus saith the Lord God : Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come : but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert, in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable : who can know it? I am the Lord who search the heart, and prove the reins : who give to everyone according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices : saith the Lord almighty.
GRADUAL Psalm 78: 9, 10
Forgive us our sins, O Lord, lest the Gentiles should say : Where is their God? V. Help us, O God, our Savior: and for the honor of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us.
GOSPEL St. Luke 16: 19-31
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees :”There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him : moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom And the rich man also died, and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, and he cried and said : Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him : Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now his is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos : so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from hence come hither. And he said :Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him : They have Moses and the prophets : let them hear them. But he said : No, Father Abraham : but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him : If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Exodus 32: 11, 13-14
Moses prayed in the sight of the Lord his God, and said : Why, O Lord, art Thou angry with Thy people? Let the anger of Thy soul be appeased : remember Abraham, Isac and Jacob, to whom Thou sworest that Thou wouldst give the land flowing with milk and honey. And the Lord was appeased from the evil, which He had threatened to do to His people.
May the fast we have devoted to Thy name, O Lord, sanctify us by means of this sacrifice : that, what our observance professes externally, it may effectually perform within us. Through our Lord…
For St Cuthbert
Be moved by our entreaties, Lord, we pray thee, and with thy blessed confessor bishop Cuthbert pleading for us, grant that we ministers of thy heavenly sacraments may be free from every fault. Let thy purifying grace cleanse us through the very mysteries we serve. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of Lent
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 6:57
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him, saith the Lord.
Let not Thy grace forsake us, O Lord we beseech Thee : but may it render us devoted to Thy holy service, and ever procure for us Thy assistance. Through our Lord…
For St Cuthbert
Grant, we pray thee, Lord our God, that we who have been purified by the divine eucharist may, at the intercession of thy blessed confessor bishop Cuthbert, move on to the fulfilment in heaven of this sacrament in which we have taken part. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Come, O Lord, to Thy servants and grant Thy perpetual favors to their supplications; that whereas they glory in Thee, their Creator and Ruler, Thou mayest gather and restore to them Thy gifts and mayest keep alive in them that which Thou hast restored. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.