The Cloisters. Basilica Of Saint Paul-Without-The-Walls, Rome. Author: Dnalor 01. Licence (CC-BY-SA 3.0). Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Quadregesima Sunday. First Sunday Of Lent. Lenten Station At The Papal Arch-Basilica Of Saint John Lateran.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Quadregesima Sunday.
   First Sunday of Lent.

Station at Saint John Lateran.

Indulgence of 10 Years and 10 Quarantines.


Privilege of The First Class.

Violet Vestments.

Artist: René de Cramer.
"Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium".
Used with Permission.

English: Papal Arch-Basilica of Saint John Lateran. 
Main façade of the
Latin: Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sanctorum Iohannes Baptistae
Evangelistae in Laterano. Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput
Italiano: Facciata principale della Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano,

progettata da Alessandro Galilei (1735).
Français: Façade principale de la basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran
par Alessandro Galilei, 1735.
Photo: 2006/09/07.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jastrow
(Wikimedia Commons)

Originally, The Forty Days of Lent were counted from this Sunday. The Liturgical gathering of "The Station" takes place today, as it has since the 4th-Century A.D., at Saint John Lateran, which is The Patriarchal Basilica of The Bishops of Rome. At its first Consecration, it was Dedicated to "Saint Saviour", a name which calls to mind the Redemption accomplished by Our Blessed Lord.

Immediately after His Baptism, Our Lord began to prepare for His Public Life by a Fast of Forty Days in the mountainous desert which stretches between Jericho and the mountains of Judea. [Tradition tells us that Our Lord took shelter in the grotto on the highest peak of all, known as Mount of the Quarantine.] It was there that He was tempted by Satan, who wished to discover whether The Son of Mary was, in reality, The Son of God (Gospel of The Mass of The Day).

As in the case of Adam, Satan addresses his first attack to the senses. Our Lord is hungry and the tempter suggests to Him that He should turn stones into bread. In the same way, he tries, during these Forty Days, to make us give up on our Fasting and mortification. This is the concupiscence of the flesh.

English: Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Vatican.
With its length of 400 feet, this Basilica ranks fifteenth among the largest Churches in the World.
Français: Basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran, Vatican, située à Rome, Latium, Italie. Avec sa longueur de 121,84 mètres, cette Basilique se classe au 15è rang parmi les plus grandes églises au monde.
Photo: September 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tango7174
(Wikimedia Commons)

The devil had promised our first parent that he should be as God. Now, he takes Our Lord to the pinnacle of the Temple and tries to induce Him to let Himself be carried by the Angels through the air, amidst the applause of the crowds below. Satan tempts us by Pride, which is opposed to the spirit of Prayer and meditation on God's Word. This is the Pride of Life.

Finally, just as he had promised Adam a knowledge which, like that of God Himself, should enable him to know all things, so Satan assures Jesus that he will make Him Ruler over all Created Things, if He will fall at his feet and worship him. In the same way, the devil seeks to attach us to Temporal goods, when we ought, by Alms and Works of Charity, to be doing good to our neighbour. This is the concupiscence of the eyes, or Avarice.

Since the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, Our Lord made use of the 90th Psalm against Satan, and this is the theme of the whole Mass and is found again and again in The Office of The Day. "His Truth shall cover thee with a shield," says the Psalmist. This Psalm is, therefore, the ideal Psalm for Lent as a special time of warfare against the devil.

English: Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Vatican. 
The Choir and Apse. 
The mosaics 
in the Dome are a 19th-Century rebuilding of 
Jacopo Torriti's works, dating to the 13th-Century.
Français: Basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran, située à Rome. 

Chœur et abside. 


mosaïque du dôme est une réfection du XIXè siècle 
de l'œuvre 
de Jacopo Torriti remontant au XIIIè siècle.
Photo: September 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tango7174
(Wikimedia Commons)

Again, The Eleventh Verse: "He hath given His Angels charge over Thee, to keep Thee in all Thy ways," recurs in Vespers-like refrain during the whole Season. We find the entire Psalm in the Tract, which reminds us of the old custom of singing Psalms during certain parts of The Mass.

Some of its Verses make up the Introit, with its Verse, the Gradual, the Communion and the Offertory, which last was formerly composed, in today's Mass, of three Verses instead of one, following the order of the threefold temptation as recorded in the Gospel.

Side-by-side with this Psalm, the Epistle, certainly dating from the time of Pope Saint Leo, sounds one of the characteristic notes of Lent. There, Saint Paul borrows a Text of Isaias: "In an accepted time, have I heard thee, and in the Day of Salvation have I helped thee." "Behold," says the Apostle, "now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the Day of Salvation" (Epistle and First Nocturn).

The Decorated Ceiling 
of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, 
Rome, Italy.
Photo: March 2010.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On this, Saint Leo comments: "Although there is no Season of the Year which is not rich in Divine Gifts and in which we, by God's Grace, do not find immediate access to His Mercy; nevertheless, at this time, when the return of the day on which we are redeemed summons us to fulfill all the duties of Christian piety, the Souls of Christians must be stirred with more zeal for spiritual progress, and possessed of a very great confidence in Almighty God.

In this manner, with pure Souls and bodies, shall we celebrate this Mystery of The Lord's Passion, Sublime beyond all others. True, we ought always to be in The Divine Presence, just as much as on The Easter Feast. But, because this spiritual vigour is the possession of only a few, while, on the other hand, the weakness of the flesh leads to any very severe observance being relaxed, and on the other, the varied occupations of this life share and divide our interest, it necessarily happens that the dust of the world soils the hearts, even of Religious themselves.

The Cloisters at Saint John Lateran.
Photo: August 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Kodiak
(Wikimedia Commons)

This Divine Institution has been planned with great profit to our Salvation, in a manner that the exercises of these Forty Days may help us to regain the Purity of our Souls, making up, in a way, for the faults of the rest of the Year, by Fasting and pious deeds.

However, we must be careful to give no-one the least cause of complaint or scandal, so that our general behaviour may not be inconsistent with our Fasting and Penance. For it is useless to reduce the nourishment of the body unless the Soul departs from sin" (Second Nocturn).

In this "acceptable time" and in these "Days of Salvation", let us purify ourselves with The Church (Collect), "in Fastings, in Chastity," by zeal in hearing and meditating on The Word of God and by Charity unfeigned (Epistle).

Every Parish Priest Celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.

Mass: Invocábit me.
Preface: For Lent.

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