Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On the Agony in the Garden

Immediately following the Last Supper, in which Jesus gave to His disciples His Body and Blood, He retreated to the garden to pray, for He knew the steps ahead of Him.

Perhaps the reason He asked His disciples to remain awake and pray with Him, and why He took the three closer in, was less because He knew what was coming in the near hours and more because He knew that very part of His passion would be the hardest - the spiritual suffering.

We all know that He suffered immensely in the privacy of that garden. He bore the interior pain of every sin - both the separation from His Father incurred by the sinner, and the pain or evil received by the one sinned against. Has it been considered that "Father, take this cup from me - But Thy Will, not mine own" might have referred to the suffering which he underwent in those secret, trying moments? After such pain, physical suffering would have been almost a relief, save for the emotional suffering piled on top (if you're confused, just wait a week).

I just cannot fathom how One with such an inbred hatred for sin could withstand the pain of every sin ever committed. Sin is really awful. I know it doesn't seem like it to us, but think of the great saints, who fervently detested their tiniest imperfections because of the pain they caused Our Lord. The God-man Himself must be infinitely more sensitive to such things.

If only I could have a greater sense of sin. Perhaps it would help me to offend Him less. At the very least, it would allow me a deeper share in this part of His passion.

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee,
Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

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