Lent: March 31st
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Other Commemorations: St. Benjamin, martyr (RM)
Like the Pharisees we are quick to condemn the faults of others, often as a means of justifying ourselves. We cannot expect Christ to approve self-righteous indignation at our neighbor's weakness. He gives us the example of prudent silence and the incontrovertible principle: "He that is without sin . . . let him first cast a stone." In the face of these words and the consciousness of our own sinfulness, do we dare to condemn another? We have need to remember that only God can read the heart of man and that He alone can judge the guilt or merit of an action.Historically today is the feast of St. Benjamin a martyr of Persia (modern Iran), a deacon in the persecution conducted by the Sassanid rulers Yazdigerd I and his son Varahran. He was tortured and impaled.Stational Church
As Jesus neared the end of His public life, the opposition of the Jewish leaders became more violent and their desire to kill Him more determined. Our Lord, however, continued to teach in the temple, where large crowds came to hear Him. The admiration of the people intensified the hatred of the priests, and they planned to ensnare Jesus in His speech that they might have grounds for condemnation. While His enemies plotted His downfall, Our Lord spent the night in prayer on the Mount of Olives.
- If you wish to gain the courage to embrace the small crosses in your life with joy, pray the Stations of the Cross. This is an excellent practice that should not only be confined to Lent but ought to be prayed on Fridays throughout the year. An excellent version with beautiful meditations composed by Pope John Paul II is his Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. Some recommended versions are: Eucharistic Stations of the Cross, and the more traditional Stations of the Cross written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori can be found in most Catholic bookstores. Here are some guidelines for praying the Stations of the Cross in your home.
The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.
- Read more about St. Benjamin at EWTN.
- If you are named after St. Benjamin you can find a medal of him at the Catholic Company.
Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent
Station with Santi Silvestro e Martino (St. Sylvester in the Head and St. Martin in the Hills):
Popularly called "San Martino ai Monti," this was probably one of the tituli or parish churches during ancient Rome under by St. Sylvester I and dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. For more about history of the church, see San Martino al Monti.
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.