LENT
PREFACE

We begin, with this Volume, the holy Season of Lent; but such is the richness of its Liturgy, that we have found it impossible to take our readers beyond the Saturday of the Fourth Week. Passion and Holy Weeks, which complete the Forty Days of yearly penance, require to be treated at such length, that we could not have introduced them into this Volume without making it inconveniently large.

The present Volume is a very full one, although it only comprises the first four weeks of the Season of Lent. We have called it “Lent;” and yet, the two weeks of the next Volume are also comprised in Lent, nay, they are its most important and sacred part. But, in giving the name of Lent to this first section, we have followed the Liturgy itself, which applies this word to the first four weeks only; giving to the two that remain the names of Passion Week and Holy Week. Our next Volume will, therefore, be called, Passiontide and Holy Week.

We fervently hope that our readers, who have entered into the spirit of the Church during Septuagesima, will do the same for the Season which now begins; and for this end, they should attentively study the Lessons from the Scripture, selected by the Church for each day. To these Epistles and Gospels, we have added our humble comments. Such is the richness of the instruction contained in these venerable Lenten Instructions, that we might have written a volume for each week; and yet we have been obliged to content ourselves with a few short words of explanation. There are so few persons, now-a-days, who have a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, that frequently, what was most familiar with our Catholic forefathers, is perfectly ignored by those of the present generation. May God deign to bless these feeble efforts, and give to our people that spirit of understanding of holy things, which supports faith, and makes practice fervent.