Night in the Garden

 

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26, 39)

Today, we will look at Our Lord’s Prayer in the Garden of Olives on that sad and beautiful night which began His Passion and saving death for us. Our basis for this is Father Groenings’ classic, “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning”, from TAN Books. It is available in Kindle and paperback.

As He left the Upper Room, Jesus led His disciples in a Passover hymn, the only time the scriptures record that He sang. When they reached the Garden of Gethsemane, He cautioned the disciples to “Watch, lest ye enter into temptation”. Taking Peter, James and John, He went a bit further and told them, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch.” Going forward, He fell on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Twice, Jesus interrupted this prayer to return to His apostles, and after each disappointment, returned to this same prayer, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  Luke then tells us, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

This passage of the Gospel is one of the richest troves of wisdom for meditation available to us, particularly for times of severest trial and at the hour of death. By working on this now, we prepare ourselves for these inevitable times to come. The first and most obvious thing we all notice is that Jesus is alone in His agony, His closest friends are sleeping, unaware of His great agony of spirit nor even noticing His precious blood being shed.

Think on this. Christ prayed while they slept, unaware of the danger. We too, arise at night and pray for our sleeping brethren, who close their eyes to the danger and sleep on, oblivious. But we who know, must arise and pray with Jesus, our Lord and God. Father Groenings tells us that, “in a family, a single member who knows how to pray well, is often the greatest blessing of the rest. But if those must pray who are among the sleeping, how much more those who are among the dead, i.e., among sinners.” Yes, exactly!

Finally, Christ prayed while His enemies were banding together to take Him prisoner and deliver Him to death on the Cross. In this instance, we are shown the wisdom of Christ, His lesson for us especially at this time. His enemies were uniting in one satanic focus, to destroy Him. His response was to pray! Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ shows us by His eloquent example that prayer is the primary, the essential weapon when we are attacked or when the Church is attacked by the dark powers of this world. The attack came from within – Judas – and from without – the synagogue of satan. Just as today. Just as today. These things never change. And prayer is the weapon given to us by Our Savior Himself. Without prayer, our other actions cannot succeed.

When Peter attempted violence, striking at Malchus’ ear, Our Lord reproved him, commanding him to sheath his sword. Thus armed with prayer, Our Lord went forth to complete the task given Him by His Father. Father Groenings reminds us, “We also, in these troublous times, should use trustingly the weapon of prayer and confidently hope that the liberation of Holy Mother Church may be brought about by Him (God).” Note that the foregoing was written at the end of the 19th century. Even then, Father could speak of liberating the Church. This was because of the bitter war waged against the Papacy by the Masonic powers of that time, which were even then determined in their resolve to destroy the Church.

Another lesson we see in this prayer in the Garden is that Christ prayed earnestly that this suffering be taken from Him. Thus, we see that it is permissible to ask for the relief of temporal suffering. And then, we see also, that we always must accept God’s will for us, and trust in His providence. He who extends this chalice of suffering, offers us rich graces in unimaginable profusion, just for the asking – and the trusting!

For our prayers to be heard, they must be like to Christ’s, that is; they must be respectful. Christ “knelt down and fell upon His face”. Father Groenings tells us, “If ever any man could deem Himself dispensed from external marks of reverence it was certainly the God-Man … if the Savior did not dare to raise His countenance toward Heaven, what awe should not appear in the sinner?” …

“Is it not remarkable that there should be Christian men who are ashamed to bend the knee to God Almighty…? But those who, in the house of God, give scandal to others by silly and impertinent behavior can only be people of thoughtless brains or of depraved morals. They are proud spirits, slaves of human respect.”  [Father Groenings  must have had prescient knowledge of our current Pontiff, who refuses to kneel for the Consecration at the Holy Sacrifice, yet kneels for heretics to “bless” him, and places beach balls and soccer jerseys on the altar, denigrating the Blessed Sacrament.]

As we consider Our Lord in His agony, we also note that He expresses His tender love for God His Father and His willingness to accept His Father’s will. We see then that the ultimate test for us is to turn with loving obedience to our heavenly Father in our times of greatest affliction. For it is precisely in these times that we earn the greatest merit, and many graces come to us from this. If we are truly Mary’s children, we must follow her Divine Son in His perfect resignation to His Father’s will,

“Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt.”
The Effects of Christ’s Prayer in the Garden

The first effect of Our Lord’s Prayer was, “And there appeared to Him an Angel from Heaven strengthening Him.”  Think on this! The Second Person of the most Holy Trinity, King of Angels, Consoler of hearts, is here consoled by an Angel! We recall that after His severe fast of forty days, Our Lord was ministered to by Angels. Do you see the humility of Our Lord? To take from His creatures consolation? Now think of His apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, begging our love in return for His love! How can we be so indifferent!

This most tender scene should move our hearts towards love of Our Lord and Savior and also instill in us trust in our allies, the Angels given to us to guide and guard, to sustain us in our struggles. What an exquisite example the most Holy Trinity provides us to remind us of God’s loving providence in all our needs.

And now we come to a most important lesson. Earlier, God demanded of Abraham the sacrifice of his son, Isaac. At the last moment, God spared Isaac. But here, in the Passion, the Father does not spare His beloved Son. The chalice does not pass from Him.

In the Last Joyful Mystery, Our Lord tells His Mother that He must be about His Father’s business. And now, in this, the First Sorrowful Mystery, we see precisely what is meant by His Father’s business. This chalice will not be removed. It will be consumed down to the last of its bitter dregs. The bitterness consisted of the realization that this precious sacrifice would be rejected, even despised by so many, to their own eternal damnation. Among those many damned souls would be so many shepherds. And today, their loss is the source of His continued sorrow in this, the Passion of His Church.

The Angel’s consolation renewed Our Lord’s determination and now, totally immersed in the will of His Father, He rouses His disciples, “Rise up, let us go”. By this example, Christ, our Head, leads us, His mystical body, as we too, rise up to meet the challenges of our day, the persecutions which await us all.

For although it appears that we are alone, among the sleeping and the dead, His Angels accompany us, and the Chalice of our bitter suffering, engraved with “Not my will but Thy will be done” comes to us from those loving, wounded hands.

Thank you for reading. I pray for you always!

This article originally published here in March, 2018.

 Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, obtain for us by your loving intercession the grace and courage to persevere in the coming trials of faith.

 Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

 Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

 St. Joseph, terror of demons, protect our priests!

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong  for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies.

 

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

 

Words from the Cross

With His first Word from the Cross, Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. Thus, He begins His crucifixion emphasizing the mercy of our Heavenly Father. In the second Word, He  showed mercy to  Dismas, the thief who was repentant. Then, with the third Word, He entrusted His Mother to John, and thus to us, and entrusts us to her. We take note that this Word alone binds every follower of Christ to defend the honor of the most Blessed Virgin Mary. Think for yourselves the dismal situation today, in this bitter passion of the Church.

After these first three Words, comes the fourth, which breaks upon us like a storm at dawn, when the sun’s light is withdrawn and the lightning illumines the torrents of rain and the wind-whipped trees.

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

At this very hour, at this very Word, the darkness of the eclipse began to ease. In Father Groenings’ words, it “marked a turning point in which error’s shadow was to recede before truth, and the day of salvation was to begin.

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

How are we to understand such a complaint? Is Christ doubting His Father? Modernists have implied such. What is the truth?

Continue reading “My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

The Carrying of the Cross, 2018

 

Once Pilate pronounced the sentence, Jesus was again stripped. This time the ragged mockery of a royal cloak (which had clotted to His wounds) was brutally removed and He was re-robed in His own garments and hastened away to take up His cross. Now, in those days, it was customary for there to be a delay between the sentencing and the execution.

“Since the advent of Tiberius to the imperial throne, criminals sentenced by the Roman senate were reprieved for ten days, and when the emperor had pronounced the sentence, even for thirty days.”  (Fr. Groenings,  “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning: A Scriptural commentary on the Passion”, TAN Books. Kindle Edition).

But the enemies of Christ could tolerate no delay, for they were afire to achieve their goal, the total destruction of the Son of Man and all He represented. In this, they are very like to the enemies of Christ in His Church today, who hasten in their mad rush to destroy faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His beloved Church.

Continue reading “The Carrying of the Cross, 2018”

A prayer in Gethsemane

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26, 39)

Today, we will look at Our Lord’s Prayer in the Garden of Olives on that sad and beautiful night which began His Passion and saving death for us. Our basis for this is Father Groenings’ classic, “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning”, from TAN Books. It is available in Kindle and paperback.

As He left the Upper Room, Jesus led His disciples in a Passover hymn, the only time the scriptures record that He sang. When they reached the Garden of Gethsemane, He cautioned the disciples to “Watch, lest ye enter into temptation”. Taking Peter, James and John, He went a bit further and told them, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch.” Going forward, He fell on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Twice, Jesus interrupted this prayer to return to His apostles, and after each disappointment, returned to this same prayer, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  Luke then tells us, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

This passage of the Gospel is one of the richest troves of wisdom for meditation available to us, particularly for times of severest trial and at the hour of death. By working on this now, we prepare ourselves for these inevitable times to come. The first and most obvious thing we all notice is that Jesus is alone in His agony, His closest friends are sleeping, unaware of His great agony of spirit nor even noticing His precious blood being shed.

Think on this. Christ prayed while they slept, unaware of the danger. We too, arise at night and pray for our sleeping brethren, who close their eyes to the danger and sleep on, oblivious. But we who know, must arise and pray with Jesus, our Lord and God. Father Groenings tells us that, “in a family, a single member who knows how to pray well, is often the greatest blessing of the rest. But if those must pray who are among the sleeping, how much more those who are among the dead, i.e., among sinners.” Yes, exactly!

Finally, Christ prayed while His enemies were banding together to take Him prisoner and deliver Him to death on the Cross. In this instance, we are shown the wisdom of Christ, His lesson for us especially at this time. His enemies were uniting in one satanic focus, to destroy Him. His response was to pray! Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ shows us by His eloquent example that prayer is the primary, the essential weapon when we are attacked or when the Church is attacked by the dark powers of this world. The attack came from within – Judas – and from without – the synagogue of satan. Just as today. Just as today. These things never change. And prayer is the weapon given to us by Our Savior Himself. Without prayer, our other actions cannot succeed.

Continue reading “A prayer in Gethsemane”

My God, my God, why?

“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15,13

With His first Word from the Cross, Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. Thus, He begins His crucifixion emphasizing the merciful aspect of God, our Heavenly Father. In the second Word, He rewarded Dismas, the repentant thief. Then, with the third Word, He entrusted His Mother to John, and thus to us, and entrusts us to her. We take note that this Word alone binds every follower of Christ to defend the honor of the most Blessed Virgin Mary. Think for yourselves the dismal situation today, in this bitter passion of the Church.

After these first three Words, comes the fourth, which breaks upon us like a storm at dawn, when the sun’s light is withdrawn and the lightning illumines the torrents of rain and the wind-whipped trees.

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

At this very hour, at this very Word, the darkness of the eclipse began to ease. In Father Groenings’ words, it “marked a turning point in which error’s shadow was to recede before truth, and the day of salvation was to begin.

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

How are we to understand such a complaint? Is Christ doubting His Father? Modernists have implied such. What is the truth?

In the first place, we note that while His first Word from the Cross was from the Son of God to His  Father, this fourth Word is from Christ the Son of Man to God. Again, we turn to Father Groenings:

The abandonment by God of Christ’s human nature was not a separation of the latter from the second Person of God. For the union of the second Person of the Godhead with Christ’s human nature was and is inseparable. If this union had been dissolved at the death of Christ, then not God, but a mere man would have died for us, and our redemption would not be accomplished.

Neither was the abandonment by God of the human nature in Christ a withdrawal of grace. On the contrary, the plenitude of grace at all times existing in Christ effected that fortitude which bore Him up on the cross as it had done in the Garden of Olives. The abandonment, finally, did not consist in depriving the soul of Christ for a time of the direct vision of God. Christ rather complained, not only that God refused to preserve His human nature from impending death, but also that He abandoned it to suffering without the least solace whatever.

For His human nature might have been relieved in a twofold way;

First, through a direct action on all that contributed to make it suffer: sparing Him the sensible pain of  the thorns, the nails and the scourges, and the interior pain of the mockery and humiliations of the crucifixion.

Secondly, God could have filled the soul of Christ with such consolation that He would not have felt external pain. This was done for many of the martyrs, who rejoiced even as they endured torture for Christ.

However, nothing of the kind happened, On the contrary, God abandoned the soul of Christ to repugnance, to fear, to sadness and to the excruciating knowledge that His Passion would be useless to so many human beings. God even allowed Satan whose hour was at hand, to use this time of sufferings to cruelly torture the Soul of Christ. Indeed, the only assistance God gave was to allow Christ’s human nature  the strength  to sustain it in order to prolong His suffering.

This was the object and the cause of Christ’s plaintive reproach. And we know that  Christ gave the full consent of His Will to this abandonment.

Continue reading “My God, my God, why?”

The Carrying of the Cross

Crucify Him! His blood be upon us!

Once Pilate pronounced the sentence, Jesus was again stripped. This time the ragged mockery of a royal cloak (which had clotted to His wounds) was brutally removed and He was re-robed in His own garments and hastened away to take up His cross. Now, in those days, it was customary for there to be a delay between the sentencing and the execution.

“Since the advent of Tiberius to the imperial throne, criminals sentenced by the Roman senate were reprieved for ten days, and when the emperor had pronounced the sentence, even for thirty days.”  (Fr. Groenings,  “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning: A Scriptural commentary on the Passion”, TAN Books. Kindle Edition).

But the enemies of Christ could tolerate no delay, for they were afire to achieve their goal, the total destruction of the Son of Man and all He represented. In this, they are very like to the enemies of Christ in His Church today, who hasten in their mad rush to destroy faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His beloved Church.

As was customary, Pilate had commanded that the notice of the crime be posted on the crucifix. in three languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Fr. Groenings shares some insights on the meaning of this notice,

“The confusion of languages at Babylon was the expression of God’s anger. The holy cross, the sign of reconciliation, was to restore the unity of tongues. In the unity of faith and of love the peoples of all tongues should be united in the worship of the Crucified One. The title read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Now we have it in clear terms from the judge himself that Christ was not executed on account of a crime, but because He was Jesus, that is, the Redeemer, and because He was King in the realm of truth.”

Today, we might fruitfully consider the application of the foregoing passage to the confusion of tongues resulting from the Conciliar changes, the abandonment of Latin, the fragmenting of the Faith, the confusion and disunity caused by Pope Francis, especially through “Amoris Laetitia”, his Ode to Sexual Sin.

Although the chief priests were indignant at the wording of the notice, Pilate was obdurate and thus unwittingly, he affirmed the innocence of Christ and the profound truth of the purpose of the crucifixion, that is, Christ died at the hands of the Chosen who rejected the salvation offered them by their loving Savior. And so do they today, the Synagogue of Satan which arrogantly believes they control the Church of our Savior.

Now, we know from Venerable Maria de Agreda and other prophecies that Our Lord had, even as a child, anticipated the moment that He would “be about His Father’s business” and had often enacted His crucifixion. and so He kissed His cross and took it upon His wounded shoulder. It was not forced upon Him, for He embraced it willingly.

As Our Lord carries His cross in this sad procession, we recall the prefigurings in the Old Law, Abel being led to the place where Cain would execute him with a wooden club, Isaac,  carrying on his shoulders the wood of his intended immolation, and even David going forth, staff in hand to slay Goliath.

It was the Roman custom to parade the convicted through the most populous streets on the way to their execution so that the people would fear their rulers and so did it come to pass with Our Savior, Who was made  to be the example of the fate reserved for those who challenge  the rulers of this world.

Each of the  three falls provided an opportunity for Our Lord’s enemies to gloat over Him, spit on Him and kick Him as He writhed in helpless pain, striving to arise beneath the heavy cross. These falls are caused by our own sins, and were endured by Our Savior, who wills to endure the same humiliation that we must undergo to make reparation as we too, arise from our falls into sin.  We must focus on His falls often,  and see His tender love for us, His willingness to suffer with us, beckoning us to repent of our sins, accept the humiliation that this occasions and arise with our cross and come, follow Him.

Continue reading “The Carrying of the Cross”

Crowning the King of Martyrs

Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band; And stripping Him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews.  And spitting upon Him, they took the reed, and struck His head.  And bowing their knees, they adored Him.

Behold the Man, your King!

Even the pagan soldiers knew that a King must be invested with the symbols of his royalty, that is, draped with a royal mantle, crowned, and finally, given a scepter as a sign of his power and rule. And so the soldiers obliged this strange King, who had said “but now My kingdom is not from hence”. And so, what royal insignia might they find fitting?

The soldiers soon found a discarded scarlet rag of large enough size and after first ripping off His outer garment, they draped His now freshly bleeding shoulders in this dirty mockery of a robe. As we think on the vivid symbolism in this scene compare it to our Pontiff’s words and actions – what homage does he offer to the King of Kings? A royal robe?

Now, the Roman soldiers clearly understood the necessity of the Crowning, for their gods were always crowned, Apollo with laurel, Bacchus with grape vines, Jupiter with gold. And so a crown fit for this King must be found.

And the Jews too, understood that their high priest wore a tiara when he offered the sacrifice. And did not their bridegroom according to their custom, wear a diadem at his wedding?

And we who watch this scene, we also recall that in those days a conqueror was often crowned to celebrate his victory; how much more so then, this King who by His death and resurrection will conquer sin and death!

What crown for this Son of Man, who told Pilate, “Thou sayest that I am a King.”

What crown for this Priest, who sacrifices His own Body and Blood for the salvation of those He loves.

What crown for this Divine Bridegroom, about to redeem His Bride with His own Blood, giving His life for her that she may live.

Father Groenings tells us that no other mantle was befitting for the Redeemer of the world. He was the picture of the world’s sins, which were red as scarlet, but through Him were to become white as snow. The mantle should be red as a sign that His kingdom, founded in blood, was to be spread by means of blood, that is, by the blood of the apostles and of the martyrs. It was ragged and torn in token that, in imitation of Christ, His ministers would redeem the souls of men and subject them to Christ, not by means of gold and silver, but through the hardships of poverty.

Ed. comment: Today, I would add that the Lavender Mafia headed by Pope Francis has given a new meaning to the foul and ragged mantle with which the pagan soldiers humiliated our Lord Jesus Christ. For they have befouled His Church and humiliated this lovely Bride of Christ as never before in history. See here for a Lifesite News article on one example of Pope Francis’s choice of prelates. There are many others. Thus, the pope makes a mockery of the true King of Kings!

Continue reading “Crowning the King of Martyrs”

In the Garden of Olives, a Prayer

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26, 39)

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Today, we will look at Our Lord’s Prayer in the Garden of Olives on that sad and beautiful night which began His Passion and saving death for us. Our basis for this is Father Groenings’ classic, “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning”, from TAN Books. It is available in Kindle and paperback.

As He left the Upper Room, Jesus led His disciples in a Passover hymn, the only time the scriptures record that He sang. When they reached the Garden of Gethsemani, He cautioned the disciples to “Watch, lest ye enter into temptation”. Taking Peter, James and John, He went a bit further and told them, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch.” Going forward, He fell on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Twice, Jesus interrupted this prayer to return to His apostles, and after each disappointment, returned to this same prayer, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  Luke then tells us, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

This passage of the Gospel is one of the richest troves of wisdom for meditation available to us, particularly for times of severest trial and at the hour of death. By working on this now, we prepare ourselves for these inevitable times to come. The first and most obvious thing we all notice is that Jesus is alone in His agony, His closest friends are sleeping, unaware of His great agony of spirit nor even noticing His precious blood being shed.

Think on this. Christ prayed while they slept, unaware of the danger. We too, arise at night and pray for our sleeping brethren, who close their eyes to the danger and sleep on, oblivious. But we who know, must arise and pray with Jesus, our Lord and God. Father Groenings tells us that, “in a family, a single member who knows how to pray well, is often the greatest blessing of the rest. But if those must pray who are among the sleeping, how much more those who are among the dead, i.e., among sinners.” Yes, exactly!

Finally, Christ prayed while His enemies were banding together to take Him prisoner and deliver Him to death on the Cross. In this instance, we are shown the wisdom of Christ, His lesson for us especially at this time. His enemies were uniting in one satanic focus, to destroy Him. His response was to pray! Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ shows us by His eloquent example that prayer is the primary, the essential weapon when we are attacked or when the Church is attacked by the dark powers of this world. The attack came from within – Judas – and from without – the synagogue of satan. Just as today. Just as today. These things never change. And prayer is the weapon given to us by Our Savior Himself. Without prayer, our other actions cannot succeed.

Continue reading “In the Garden of Olives, a Prayer”