Meditation On The Passion: And Being In An Agony, He Prayed The Longer

DÜRER, Albrecht 
Agony in the Garden (No. 2) 
1508
And being in an agony, he prayed the longer.Lk.xxii.
This agony was a certain inward striving, not of the flesh against the spirit, but of nature against Death: and in all this bitter time Christ was to fight in three several conflicts, and he was superior in every one.

First with nature, abhorring to die so cruel a death.

Secondly with the justice of his Father, exacting grievous punishment.

Thirdly with the most cruel enemy of man-kind.

But he began with the battle against nature, that thou mayest know how to behave thy self in thy conflict for thy salvation: that is, that first of all thou must endeavour to subdue thy inclination, & to restrain thy desires, which being overcome, thou shalt find God pacified, and the Devil will fly from thee.

Consider first with what contention, & with how great labor Christ thy Captain doth fight; and doest thou hope to be saved without fight?

Consider secondly that in this agony he prayed longer, because thou must continue longest in prayer in time of affliction.

Consider thirdly what that is, which he desired in his long prayer? not that the cup might be taken from him for he had before used shorter words to that end) but, since he must needs suffer, that thou mightest obtain profit by his torments. Admire here that excellent love of Christ, who alone is the true comfort of Angels.  Lament for thy sins which were the cause of his suffering, stir up also in thy self the other affections of love, confidence, & commiseration, whereof this place administer abundant cause.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616

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