And There Appeared To Him An Angel From Heaven, Strengthening Him

DUCCIO di Buoninsegna 
Agony in the Garden (detail) 
1308-11
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. Lk.xxii.
Consider first, that though in Christ the divine nature was joined with human nature, into the same person; yet in this time of his passion he took no comfort at all from thence.

Consider secondly how great and grievous those torments were, that man was not sufficient to mitigate them, but that it was necessary for an Angel to come from Heaven.

Consider thirdly what was the cause why Christ would be comforted by an Angel; to wit, because he would know to suffer with us, when we are afflicted, and teach us not to have recourse to frail and vain delights, such as are commonly drawn from creatures; but unto spiritual, angelical, & heavenly things.

Consider fourthly that God never forsaketh them, that trust in him. For although he do not always free us from our troubles, yet he doth ever give us his grace and strength, that we may be able to bear them.

Consider fifthly that Angels are always present at our prayers, therefore thou must be careful and diligent to worship them being present, in a religious and comely manner, and pray unto God according to the Psalm (in the fight of Angels I will sing unto thee.)

Consider sixthly how the Angel did comfort Christ; for he did it not by any inward comfort or grace, (because Christ admitted no comfort in all the time of his passion) but used some outward words, wherein he propounded unto him, both the absolute necessity of such bitter pains, and the great profit, that shall come thereby, and also the resolute will of his Father, & the oracles of the Prophets, & c.

Consider seventhly whether there be any thing, wherein thou mayest comfort and confirm Christ, and encourage him to do something for thy sake: which will be effected, if he shall see thee behave thy self well, & wisely to employ the talent, which he hath delivered unto thee, and that thou dost endure thy labors courageously: For then he will behold thee lovingly & exalt thee to higher honor.  In he mean time do thou pray unto Christ, to comfort and instruct thee, not only in outward words, but especially in inward virtue and wisdom.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616


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