Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday of the First Week in Lent

Jesus in the Garden of Olives.


Jesus is sorrowful even unto death. The cause of his sadness is the foreknowledge of all that he is to suffer. But even more so it is the sight of my sins, my ingratitude, my misery! I laugh at those things which should cause me to weep! I take pleasure in that which ought to render me miserable! He has compassion on me, and I have none on him.


Jesus is seized with fear to prove that he is man, that he is human and infirm, like myself. He has divested himself of his strength, and clothed himself with my weakness. He has given me his courage, and taken my timidity. He trembles to assure me, fears to encourage me, falls to raise me! Oh, what goodness! What charity! Where can we find a physician who is willing to give his health and strength to his patients in exchange for their maladies and feebleness? Surely, he has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows.


Pleasure and grief constitute the causes of the sins of men, desire and fear their passions. Jesus has vanquished these two enemies and imparted to us his strength that we also may vanquish them. He has abstained from all pleasure, suffered all griefs, renounced all the desires of nature, triumphed over all fears sweat blood and water from all his veins, and contended even unto death.

Resolution: Today, in reparation for my sins, I will reach out to someone who is suffering either with a telephone call, a visit, or a hand-written note, showing my support and offering my prayers.

Prayer: O my Jesus, in the Garden of Olives thou didst suffer on account of my sins and my ingratitude. How unworthy I am of all thou hast done for me, and for me alone. All thou hast suffered, thou wouldst have suffered had I alone been in need of redemption, and I have repaid thee with ingratitude and indifference. I cannot console thee in the Garden, but I can console thee present in all those who suffer. Give me the grace to see thy face in all the sick and suffering and to reach out to them and care for them as I would for thee. Mary, my Mother and my Queen, open my eyes to see the blood-streaked face of thy son.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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