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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent.

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent.
Station at St. Lawrence in the House of St. Damasus.

(S. Lorenzo in Damaso.)

Today the church is part of the Cancelleria, or the chancery,
that houses the Holy Father's Tribunals:
the Roman Rota, Apostolic Signatura, and Apostolic Penitentiary.

The Basilica of St. Lawrence in Damaso
takes its name from the great Pontiff of the catacombs,

who caused it to be built beside the ancient Archives of the Roman Church,
on the spot where his father had ended his ecclesiastical career,
and where he himself had begun his own.
It is therefore full of memories connected with his family.

St Damasus' statue
in the Portico ceiling of St Peter's Basilica.

We know from documentary evedince that the family of Damasus
had been established in Rome for a long period,

while the high ecclesiastical office held by his father

made it easy to suppose that the son, too,

would in time attain to the highest honours,
so in a famous inscription we find the following designation
bestowed upon Damasus in his quality of being born a Pope:

Natus qui antistes Sedis Apostolicae

Who is born the bishop of the Apostolic See.
Under the high altar of the stational basilica rest the sacred relics of its founder.

The Lesson is from the Book of Exodus
relates the rebellion of the Israelites against Moses.
Whilst it may contains an allusion to the schism
which broke out in Rome on the occasion of the election
of Damasus as Pope,
when even a great part of the clergy abandoned him,
it is most certainly a type of the treatment
which our Lord received from his own people
when He went up to Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles,
and of which we read in the Gospel of today
(John 7: 14-31).

Today's Gospel begins
Jam die festo mediante... About the midst of the feast...
From these words in today's Gospel,
in the Roman Liturgical terminology,
this first week of the second half of Lent
was known as mediana.
But in other churches the term is not used
until the middle of the paschal season.

The Offertory is from Psalm 39:
"...and he put a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God."
What is this new canticle of praise?
The hymn of the resurrection,
the Eucharistia of the New Testament in the blood of Christ.

Let us pray.

Convertere; poenitere; revela occulta; ...

Be converted, my soul!
Do penance;
reveal thy hidden sins;
say to thy God Who knowest all things:
Thou, my only Saviour, knowest all things;
do Thou, as David sings,
have mercy upon me according to Thy great mercy.

My days have vanished
as the dream of one that wakeneth;
wherefore like Ezechias, I weep on my couch
and beseech Thee to add to the years of my life.
But who, O my soul,
can be thine Isaias and help thee,
but He that is God of all?

1 comment:

Anne B said...

May holy Pope St Damasus pray for us that we may truly appreciate this New Canticle, the Eucharistic Prayer, the Holy Mass - the very Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

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