And He Cometh Again And Findeth Them Sleeping: For Their Eyes Were Heavy
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Agony in the Garden (detail)
And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again Mt.xxvi.
Consider first how often Christ doth visit his Disciples, whereby he sheweth the passing grief of his mind, who received no comfort by his prayer, though he prayed with great affection, nor yet could be refreshed by the presence of his Disciples, even as sick folks are wont to turn this way, and that way to ease their weariness.
Consider secondly that Christ was never so troubled with any occasions, no not now, when he was ready to suffer, but that he always thought upon thy salvation: Yea& even now, when he is in Heaven, he hath his eyes always bent favorably towards thee.
Consider thirdly how little man can do without Christ, how soon he falleth asleep, how soon he fainteth if Jesus depart ever so little from him.
Consider fourthly what it is to have our eyes heavy, that is, when we are not so apt & ready to meditate on divine and heavenly things; by reason of earthly care which hinder the mind: As the immoderate desire of honor & riches, ambition, the vanities of this world, & such like affections of the mind: Therefore thou must pray unto God to take from thee that slouthfulness & heaviness, and accommodate thee to his own will.
Consider fifthly how much ashamed the Apostles were, who being admonished now the second time, could not yet contain themselves from sleep; wherefore amongst themselves they did carefully both accuse, and excuse their own infirmity: Note also this, (they did not know what they should answer unto him) For if the Apostles themselves, being men excelling others in sanctity, & holiness of life, in a matter of no great fault, wherein they might have alleged their own frailty, were so sorrowful, & knew not to answer: what answer wilt thou give to Almighty God, when thou shalt be cited before him for matters of great moment, and many grievous sins shall be objected against thee, which thou hast committed, not only by frailty, but also craftily & maliciously.
Consider sixthly that our Lord did not complain, that he was left alone in prayer and labor: Because thou shouldest resolve not to be grieved, if any time thou best enforced to take great pains, whilst others be idle. And pray unto our Lord, that he will stir thee up, when thou art slouthful.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616