MEDITATION ON THE PASSION: He Began To Grow Sorrowful And To Be Sad
Agony in the Garden
he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Mt.xxvi.
Because that sins are first committed in heart before they be done in work, Christ would suffer the sorrows of heart before the pains of body, that thou mayest know that he was grievously afflicted not only in body, but also in mind, and there are four principal kinds of sorrows assigned by the Evangelists, which Christ admitted of his own will in the Garden, and retained them even till his death.
The first was a certain terror and fear of the most grievous pains now at hand, and also of a most terrible death, which nature always abhors beyond measure, & also of the sins of all man-kind which he took upon him in the Garden, and clothed himself therewith as with a garment weaved of all kind of filthiness, with which in the person of all sinners he must suffer the severity of God.
The second grief was loathsomeness, being weary of all things in this life, seeing himself forsaken not only of all men but also of his heavenly Father.
The third was sorrowfulness first, for the grievous sins which the Jews should commit in his death, and also for the small number of them which should be partakers of this his so great affliction, and likewise for the unfaithfulness of thee and of other Christians, who by their blasphemous words and grievous sins should shed and defile the most precious blood which he was now ready to offer for them.
The fourth was sadness, that is, a grievous trouble or anxiety of mind, when he saw there was no means for him to escape: For of the one side the commandment of his Father, and the great love of man-kind encouraged and pricked him forward; and on the other side nature feared and repugnaned.
These four afflictions Christ took upon him, that he might prepare a medicine for sinners who are troubled with the like passions: For they which are not content with any estate live in continual weariness and loathsomeness, & they which are always pricked in conscience live in perpetual sorrow; and they which are troubled with remembrance of death live in continual fear; and they pass their life in sadness and doubtfulness which know that their sins shall be examined by the strict judgment of Christ, which happeneth chiefly at the hour of death, when Christ our Judge standeth at our doors. Do thou pray unto our Lord that those his afflictions may bring unto thee fortitude, joy, alacrity, and security.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616