Couldst Thou Not Watch One Hour?

MANTEGNA, Andrea 
Agony in the Garden 
c. 1459
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? Mk.xiv.
Consider first: Christ was troubled, & his disciples slept, the Church suffereth, and we grieve not thereat.  Thou also how slack art thou often times in the service of God, & how earnest in thy private business.

Consider secondly that after a short prayer, our Lord sod presently up, as if for grief of mind he could not stay long in one place, desirous to have some comfort , sometimes of his Father, and sometimes from his disciples. Every word spoken unto Peter hath force: (Simon) he saith not, Peter, which new name signifieth constancy, but Simon, his auntient name: So in every Christian may be found a new name of the sons of God, with which being endued they sin not; and a name of nature, by which they are accounted frail men, and subject to many vices. ( Dost thou sleep?)  Peter is reprehended, not for any great fault, but because he slept: and believe thou, that God valueth much the least faults, which thou dost commit. (Couldest thou not?) he teacheth us to labor, & be diligent in doing good works though they be hard, seeing that temptations, infirmity of nature, and such like, which we pretend for excuses, shall not excuse us. (One hour) he toucheth the shortness of time, wherein we must labor: And where he saith (watch) he sheweth the easiness of the service of God, in which is only required of thee, that thou shalt watch, that is, that thou best watchful in all thy actions, to wit, that in all thy senses thou best careful, and watchful, lest the Devil creep into thy mind: (with me) that is, not alone, but having me for thy guide.

Here examine thy conscience what hetherto thou hast done for Christ, and what labors thou hast taken for the world, and now at the lest refer all things to the glory of God, which thou dost for the world, and pray him that he will be thy guide in thy spiritual warfare.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616


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