On the Courage of Jesus after His Prayer in the Garden.
Jesus, desolate and full of extreme anguish, arose from prayer to seek some kind friend who would sympathize with him and console him in his affliction, but there was no one. He approached his disciples, but they were sleeping. He again had recourse to prayer, but received no response from his Father. Restless in his agony, he came once more to his disciples and said: "What! could you not watch one hour with me? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Is it not to you, Christian soul, that these complaints and reproaches are addressed? Do you not sleep when you should watch and pray? Are you not afraid that you will fall into temptation?
Jesus prays the third time, and is not heard. Then, falling into extreme agony, the Father sent an angel to strengthen and console him. Learn from this to despise the consolations of men, and have recourse to God in all your afflictions; to pray to him in fears and doubts, and implore his succor and protection in dangers. Prayer is the best remedy for a soul that is sick, a sweet consolation for the afflicted, strength for the weak, courage for the timid, light for the blind, refuge for sinners, the buckler of faith, the life, nourishment, treasure, and salvation of all Christians. Why is it, then, that you pray so little? Why is it that you abandon prayer and pray with so little fervor and so many distractions?
Jesus, strengthened by prayer, came to his disciples, and said to them: "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold, he is at hand that will betray me." Whence obtained he this courage? Through prayer. Imitate your Master, accompany your King, follow your Captain. When it is necessary to resist a temptation or vanquish a repugnance of nature, say to your base and sleepy heart: Rise, and let us go to death or to prison, go to be reconciled with those whom we have offended, and assure those who have injured us of forgiveness. Rise, you who sleep, and Jesus Christ will enlighten you, strengthen you, defend you, render you victorious over your enemies, and crown you with glory after death.
Resolution: I will set aside time every morning and evening to pray.
Prayer: My desolate Jesus, it was prayer that gave thee the courage to face thy passion alone and abandoned. Grant me the grace always to pray and never to faint that like thee, I too may be victorious in the fight against eternal death. Help me in my resolve to pray every day, for if I do not, I know I will be lost forever. Mary my Mother, obtain for me this grace.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.