WITH Septuagesima Sunday we
begin the second cycle of the liturgical year, that which has as its , centre Easter Sunday and extends to the following Advent, a period which aovers the whole drama of out Redemption.
The season of Septuagesima is not, Irons the liturgical point of view, strongly marked. On Sundays, purple makes its appearance, but the Office foi these weeks employs the psalms found in the Psalter. There is, however, one slight exception to this: on Sundays from Septuagesima to Palm Sunday, Instead of Psalm 117 prescribed for Prime, Psalms 92 and 99 are recited.
Prominent in the devotions of this time is the subject of Election. It is the theme of the Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday, echoes of which are heard in the entiphone throughout the Moe for that day. Full treatment is given the question in thee,Lesson front Romans 9 read at Vespers, If the thought which tlwse references suggest he carried in mind during this short Season (which is a prelude to Lent), it will be found to throw light en the potential character of the period. The sufferings which the elect experience are to be reckoned as tokens of
God's favour and a mark of the high rank in the Kingdom' of God which He has assigned us. That shows itself in three ways.
IN the collect reference is made to the 1 afflictions justly, imposed on us lot our sins. The courage which faces up to the evil secrets of our hearts and of the humeri heart generally is unknown to the world at large. It is a special privilege of the elect. The knowledge .which this honesty gives them and the pain it causes is the price they have to pay for the privilege wanted them. And, being of a higher and more aensieve nature, the sufTering which the consciousness of sin 'causes is proportionately greaeer.
Secondly. the sufferings, both interior and exterior, which results from our Election unites us with our crucified Lord in His redemptive work for the world. By this means we become fellow-labourers with God. The discipline we endure indicates that we have received The highest of all vocations.
Thirdly, that suffering contains within it the promise of eternal life. If we, are buried with Christ we shall also rise with Him. To evade the Cross. therefore, is to tear off our epaulets and tO
he degraded to the rank,. Noblesse oblige.