Lent Day 10: Friday after the First Sunday in Lent — The Sacred Agony in the Garden.

The Sacred Agony in the Garden.

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Read St. Matthew xxv. 30-40.

[30] And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head.

[31] And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him. [32] And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they forced to take up his cross. [33]  And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. [34]  And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink. [35]  And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.

[36] And they sat and watched him. [37]  And they put over his head his cause written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. [38]  Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand, and one on the left. [39]  And they that passed by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads, [40] And saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

1. During the Agony in the Garden, Our Lord anticipated all the coming agony of His Passion.  He allowed His human soul to feel in all its intensity each detail of the unspeakable suffering that was now close at hand. Hitherto it had indeed been distinctly present to Him, but now it seemed to take possession of His whole soul. Now it was a mortal fear, resulting from a clear, vivid realization of all that He had to endure. When darkness invades our souls, we should remember that none is like the deep, black darkness that spread over the sacred soul of Jesus.

2. What relief did Jesus seek in this agony of terror that had come over Him?  The relief of prayer.  He knew that in all desolation and distress the best plan, the only plan, is to throw ourselves upon the mercy of God.  There is no imperfection in asking to be delivered from something that we can scarcely endure, whether present agony or the anticipation of it, else Christ would not have prayed: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me!”  In our darkest hours we can at least repeat these sacred words that were spoken as a pattern to us.

3. Yet we must remember the conclusion of the prayer, the act of resignation, which leaves all in the hands of God.  “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt!”  These words spoken from our hearts will always give us strength to bear what seems unbearable, and will take the bitterness out of our pains.


This article, Lent Day 10: Friday after the First Sunday in Lent — The Sacred Agony in the Garden. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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