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Saturday in the Third Week of Lent


Martyrology - 18th of March

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Archangel Gabriel, who announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord.

At Jerusalem, holy Confessor Cyril, Bishop of that see, and Doctor of the Church, who suffered many things from the Arians for the faith's sake. He was several times driven from the see, but at length fell asleep in peace, [in the year 386,] illustrious for the glory of holiness. The (Ecumenical Council [of Constantinople,] in writing to Pope Damasus, gave a noble witness to the purity of his faith. We keep his feast upon the 22nd day of this present month of March.

Upon the same 18th day of March, were born into the better life:

At Caesarea, in Palestine, the blessed martyr Alexander, Bishop [of Jerusalem.] He came to Jerusalem from his own city, in Cappadocia, whereof he was Bishop, in order to visit the holy places. Narcissus, who was already very old, was then ruling the Church of Jerusalem, and Alexander by the revelation of God received the government thereof, afterward, and when he himself was in the venerable glory of grey hairs he was brought to Caesarea in the persecution under the Emperor Decius, and was put in prison, and finished his testimony confessing Christ.

At Augsburg, the holy martyrs Narcissus, Bishop of Augsburg, and the Deacon Felix. Narcissus was the first who preached the gospel in Rhaetia he afterwards went into Spain, and after he had brought many to believe in Christ at Girona he there received the palm of martyrdom, along with the Deacon Felix, in the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian.

At Nicomedia, the ten thousand holy martyrs who were slain with the sword for confessing Christ.

Also the holy martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpius, [fourth century.]

In England, holy Edward II., King of the English, who was murdered through a plot of his stepmother, and hath been famous for many miracles, [962-978.]

At Lucca, in Tuscany, holy Finnan, Bishop of that see, [in the sixth century,] famous for the power of working miracles, but whose principal feast is kept upon the 18th day of November, which is that of the translation of his body.

At Mantua, the holy Confessor Anselm, Bishop of the see, [in the year 1086.]

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practice the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Saturday in the Third Week: Mid-Lent

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will employ our meditation tomorrow: first, in returning to the first half of Lent through which we have already passed; second, in reflecting upon the means for spending in a better manner the second half of this holy season. We will then make the resolution: first, to apply ourselves to the practice of recollection and to a spirit of prayer by the frequent use of pious ejaculations; second, better to put in practice the instructions given to us and the spiritual reading to which we shall devote ourselves. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Augustine: “Be afraid of losing the grace which is passing by”.

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ, alone in the desert during the holy forty days of which we are celebrating the memory. The divine Solitary calls upon us to become better during this season of salvation. Let us be confounded at having until now responded so ill to His appeal, and let us ask of Him grace to respond to it better during the second half of Lent.

We were not what we ought to have been during the first half of Lent

In order to understand it, it is sufficient to consider what we ought to be and what we have been. First, what we ought to be. It is a great error to suppose that in order to assure our salvation it suffices not to commit great crimes. The young man in the Gospel who had kept all the commandments (Matt. xix:20) refused to embrace the highest perfection, which was to sell all his goods in order to give the price to the poor, and that was enough to make Our Lord exclaim with a sigh: “How difficult it is for the rich to be saved,” and for the apostles to ask: “If he is not saved, who then can be saved?” (Ibid. 25)—two sentences which seem to prophesy the loss of the unhappy young man’s soul. The apostles even had a discussion amongst themselves arising from self-love, but which did not exceed the limits of venial sin (Luke xxii:24), and yet Jesus Christ said to them: If you are not converted, neither shall you enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. xviii:3).

The Bishop of Ephesus, who it is believed was St Timothy, deserved to be praised by Our Lord for his labours and his zeal; nevertheless he would not have been saved if he had not endeavoured to become better. You were more fervent at the beginning, Jesus Christ said to him; “Be mindful, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and do penance, and do the first works, or else I come to thee, and I will move thy candlestick out of its place” (Rev. ii:5), that is to say: I will withdraw the light of My grace. All these examples show us clearly that we are mistaken in thinking our salvation to be assured if we do not commit great crimes. In order to make our vocation and our election certain we must take it to heart to lead a perfect life and to multiply our good works (II Pet. i:10). We must correspond with the graces which we receive and lead a life in harmony with them, for more shall be demanded from him who has received much (Luke xii:48). These, then, are what ought to have been our efforts during every day of the first half of Lent. Now is it thus that we have lived? Have we really taken to heart the great work of our perfection? Have we understood that those words of Our Lord, “Be ye perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect,” are not the enunciation of a mere counsel, but a precept to tend to perfection according to our strength and the grace given to us by God? Have we consequently endeavoured every day to do better than we did the preceding day, and at every hour to do better than during the hour which preceded it? What fruit have we derived from all the means of salvation during this holy season, so many instructions and exhortations, so many spiritual readings and so many pious examples, so many good thoughts and pious emotions, lastly, so many interior and exterior graces? Alas, let us confess, with sighs, that we have not been that which we ought to be.

Means for spending the second half of Lent in a better manner

First, we must renounce a life which is given up to levity, in order to devote ourselves to the practice of recollection, without which any kind of virtue is impossible. Second, we must say, from the bottom of our hearts, I am determined to be a saint; and in consequence of this resolution, we must carefully avoid even venial faults, without ever permitting ourselves deliberately to commit any; then we must often put to ourselves this question: Is it thus that the saints thought, acted, prayed, conversed? and regulate our conduct thereby. Third, we must not resist any grace, but put ourselves in the hands of God, in order to allow ourselves to be led by His Holy Spirit, like a child by the hand of its mother. When we read, or when we have an instruction given to us, we must say, what fruit shall I derive from it? To each good thought which comes to us we must answer God, as Samuel did, “Here I am, Lord” and follow the inspiration. Fourth, we must fix upon some special defects, the reformation of which we must pursue during the whole remainder of Lent, such as self-love, our temper, or sins of the tongue.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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