Catholic theologian George Weigel has produced a new spiritually intense book, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Weigel and the Station Church Pilgrimage

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  • March 27, 2014

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is Laetare Sunday — the Sunday of rejoicing, complete with rose vestments to lighten the Lenten purple. It complements Gaudete Sunday — the Third Sunday of Advent — but poses a puzzle.

As Christmas draws closer, one naturally is inclined to begin rejoicing. But in Lent? Lent is conspicuously a season not given to rejoicing, yet it remains the most popular of the liturgical seasons. My fellow parish priests will tell you that, in Lent, Mass attendance increases, as well as devotional life, penitential practices and acts of charity. Indeed, Lent is better observed that even the octave of Easter, which is formally the Church’s liturgical high point.

This year the joy of Lent has been intensified for me by my spiritual reading, which has been George Weigel’s new book, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. Including art history commentaries by Elizabeth Lev and illustrated with the fine work of his photographer son, Stephen Weigel, the book is a daily companion from Ash Wednesday through to Divine Mercy Sunday.

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