The Sorrowful Mysteries: Agony in the Garden
There is so much to be gained from thoughtfully considering, and yes, dwelling on the events leading to Calvary.
But as they say, "No pain, no gain." There is so much to be gained from thoughtfully considering, and yes, dwelling on the events leading to Calvary. But this is uncomfortable stuff and very hard to face with a serious degree of reflection. (I still have to squelch the urge sometimes to skip over these cruel and heartbreaking scenes and go straight to the Glorious!)
I never hesitate to proclaim there´s nothing I wouldn´t do for one of my children because I love them so.
I love my Jesus, too. This year I feel challenged to sit still and do the uncomfortable…reflect on the agony, contemplate the wickedness, listen to the hatred, wince at the excruciating pain…and see myself in all of it.
He did it all…for me. He loves me so.
The Sorrowful Mysteries, part one
1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:42-44
Let this mystery teach us true contrition for our sins.
True contrition… it seems to me that before we can have true contrition, we have to first truly understand that we have sinned.
I think our self-obsessed, modern, "enlightened" culture would very much like to proclaim Sin as an archaic, prohibitive concept whose time is over. Moral restrictions, clearly defined standards of right and wrong, and consequences for violators are all antiquated notions wrongly imposed on people of free will.
To dare to suggest that Someone outside ourselves, higher than ourselves has the authority to define right and wrong, good and evil, and then establish the just punishment for wrongdoing, well, that´s practically blasphemous in this age of moral relativism.
How can we be truly sorry if we´re not thoroughly convinced we´ve done wrong? Okay, maybe we can admit that we´ve sinned, but we haven´t done anything truly terrible, so it´s not really that bad. It can´t be that big a deal.
Think about that scene in the Garden again. Jesus was in so much anguish that he sweat blood as he prayed! He asked God to change the plan and find some other way, so it´s obvious this Sin problem is a very big deal, indeed. The torture He was about to suffer wasn´t due to something small or trivial.
But I can´t help wondering… what grieves Him more – that we sin, or that we try to cover our sin, make light of it, and even delight in it?
Is it the arrogance that inhabits our sins and causes us to deny that we haven´t just broken a rule or made a little mistake – we have sinned against a perfect and just God who also happens to love us beyond our comprehension?! Our sin is aggravated by prideful indifference. Insult is added to injury.
Why? Because it is scary as all hell, literally, to fully grasp the gravity of our own sin and the consequences of it, and were it not for the Cross and the unspeakable love of the Father, none of us could bear it. Contrition that begins out of fear of the just punishment for sin is a good place to start, but God isn´t satisfied with leaving us there. He wants to overwhelm us with His love; that crazy, illogical, endless love that took our hideous sin upon His perfect Self and endured our punishment for us.
We no longer have anything to fear. Now we are free to be repentant ,out of sorrow, not terror or despair. We can face our wretched condition and own up to our sins honestly, because what awaits us is forgiveness, not wrath. Once that reality takes root in our hearts, then gratitude inspires us, humility enables us, and LOVE compels us to true contrition.
"Blessed is he who transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" and you forgave the guilt of my sin." Psalm 32:1-5
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge…Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:1-4, 7
Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.
Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal: Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- Create marbled Easter eggs this Easter with an amazingly easy technique
- Living Now in the Hope of Eternity: The Resurrection, Are You Ready?
- With Faith Let Us Enter into the Great and Holy Week
- Who Is God? A Holy Week Reflection
- Holy Week Invites us to Let Go of Self, Embrace the Lord Anew
- Learning To Wait: Accompanying Jesus On His Journey Through Holy Week
- There's still time! Continue to clean house and make room for God as we reach the end of Lent
- Facing Palm Sunday With Dread and Joyful Anticipation
- Once again Lent is almost over, but did YOU keep this Commandment this year?
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM) - Catholic Online, 3/30/2015
One of the most popular traditions during the Lenten Season is the Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter egg symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as defined by the early Christians. The tradition, ...Continue Reading
Deacon F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 3/30/2015
Want to know who God is? That answer will not come easily, for it involves sacrifice and death to self. There are no shortcuts; there are no "techniques" to learn. However, as Blessed John Paul II ...Continue Reading
F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 3/30/2015
The Easter season is a sublime and sacred time in which our heart sings: "The Lord is risen!" The wondrous mystery of the resurrection and eternal life awaits, for if we have lost our life for the ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 3/30/2015
Holy Week invites us to let go of self and embrace the Lord anew. To begin again! How desperately the current age needs to hear this Good news that we can all begin again! The real question is not ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »