Lent: March 14th
Monday of the Second Week of Lent
Other Commemorations: St. Matilda (RM)
Gospel (excerpt), Lk 6:36-38:
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
The greatest proof of Christ's charity was given on the Cross. With Christ our gift of ourselves will be given to God as an expression of our love. Communion will lift our human activities up to God's level, not only in will and intention, but in the reality of the sacrament. Let us offer then, and believe, and change our lives into more loving. —St. Andrew Bible MissalSt. Matilda (also known as "Maud" or "Maude"), Queen of Germany and wife of King Henry I is commemorated today in the Roman Martyrology. She was well known throughout the realm for her generosity, she taught the ignorant, comforted the sick, and visited prisoners. She was betrayed by Otto after Henry’s death when he falsely accused her of financial mismanagement.
Meditation—The Value of Fasting
Is fasting really worthwhile? Whenever I consider the value of a religious practice, I always look into the earthly life of our Savior. He is our model. He dwelt with us in order to teach us how to form our lives inwardly and outwardly. Christ Himself fasted often and accorded it high praise in His teaching. Recall how He fasted forty days before entering upon His work of teaching. At the beginning of Lent the Church wishes to stamp this fact deep in our hearts: our fasting must be in union with and in imitation of Christ's.
- Fasting is an extremely important means of resisting the inroads of hell (hence Lent).
- Fasting should be practiced as a memorial of Christ's death (Friday, Holy Week).
- Fast days occur by way of exception in Christian life, they are not the normal practice.
- Fasting holds a place alongside prayer and almsgiving as a pious exercise.
St. Matilda (also known as "Maud" or "Maude")
This princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud was then abbess. Our Saint remained in that house, an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, Duke of Saxony, in 913, who was afterwards chosen king of Germany. He was a pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects.
Whilst by his arms he checked the insolence of the Hungarians and Danes, and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Bavaria, Maud gained domestic victories over her spiritual enemies more worthy of a Christian and far greater in the eyes of Heaven. She nourished the precious seeds of devotion and humility in her heart by assiduous prayer and meditation. It was her delight to visit, comfort, and exhort the sick and the afflicted; to serve and instruct the poor, and to afford her charitable succor to prisoners. Her husband, edified by her example, concurred with her in every pious undertaking which she projected.
After twenty-three years' marriage God was pleased to call the king to himself, in 936. Maud, during his sickness, went to the church to pour forth her soul in prayer for him at the foot of the altar. As soon as she understood, by the tears and cries of the people, that he had expired, she called for a priest that was fasting to offer the holy sacrifice for his soul.
She had three sons: Otho, afterwards emperor; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; and St. Brunn, Archbishop of Cologne. Otho was crowned king of Germany in 937, and emperor at Rome in 962, after his victories over the Bohemians and Lombards.
The two oldest sons conspired to strip Maud of her dowry, on the unjust pretence that she had squandered the revenues of the state on the poor. The unnatural princes at length repented of their injustice, and restored to her all that had been taken from her.
She then became more liberal in her alms than ever, and founded many churches, with five monasteries.
In her last sickness she made her confession to her grandson William, the Archbishop of Mentz, who yet died twelve days before her, on his road home. She again made a public confession before the priests and monks of the place, received a second time the last sacraments, and, lying on a sack-cloth, with ashes on her head, died on the 14th of March in 968.
—Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 
Patron: death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused people, large families, people ridiculed for their piety, queens, second marriages, widows
Things to Do:
- Learn more about St. Matilda.
Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Station with San Pudenziana al Viminale (St. Pudentiana):
Today's station is in the church of St. Pudentiana, daughter of Pudens the senator. This holy virgin of Rome lived in the second century. She was remarkable for her charity, and for the zeal wherewith she sought for and buried the bodies of the martyrs. Her church is built on the very spot where stood the house in which she lived with her father and her sister St. Praxedes. St. Peter the Apostle had honored this house with his presence, during the lifetime of Pudentiana's grandfather.
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.