MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION THE NINTH MEDITATION: Of The Prayer Which Our Lord Made In The Garden.

BRANDI, Giacinto 
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane 
c. 1650
THE NINTH MEDITATION.

Of the prayer which our Lord made in the Garden.

THE GOSPEL

Jesus prayed that if it might be, this hour might pass from him, and he said. my Father, if it be possible transfer this chalice from me, nevertheless let not my will but thine be done. And being risen from prayer & gone to his Disciples, he findeth them sleeping, and saith to Peter, Simon steepest thou? could you not watch one hour with me? watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation, the spirit is prompt, but the flesh is weak. Again the second time he went & made the self same prayer saying, My Father if this Chalice may not pass but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and dindeth them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy, & they wist not what they should answer him. And leaving them he went again, and prayed the third time saying the self same words.

PROPHESIES.

1. Aedificavit in giro meo, et circumaedit me sella, et labore, sedet ciu clamavero et rogauero exclusit orationem meam. Our Lord hath builded round about me, and hath compassed me in with bitterness & grief, yea also when I shall cry out and pray unto him he hath excluded my prayer.

2. Suftrnus qui simul contristaretur, et non fui: et qui conselaretur, et non invent. I expected if any would be sad with me, & there was none: and if there was any to comfort me, but I found not any.

CONSIDERATIONS.

1. Our Savior as a true Bishop, loaded with all the sins of the world, presenteth himself before the throne of his Fathers glory, and inclining himself with profound humility and reverence unto his Father, with great crying and tears he offereth unto him his prayers. The most benign Jesus had often times as our Advocate prayed for us, and was always heard, now he praieth for himself, but he is not heard of his Father, of whom it is written that in such sort he loved the world that he gave for it his only begotten Son, which Christ knowing full well, and desiring that the will of his Father might be fulfilled, would not be heard for himself: that he might be heard for us. He loved more our salvation then his own life: He praieth therefore to his Father and saith. Father if it may be, transfer from me this chalice: my soul would not feel this pain and bitterness, which is prepared for her: But this O Father is my demand, that this my will be not done: that you do not condescend unto this my natural affection, but that the same may be done which you ha e ordained from all eternity, which is, that I suffer & drink for all, this most bitter chalice.

2. O singular obedience, O goodness ineffable of our Redeemer, how greatly are we bound unto you most sweet Lord, for this your so great charity towards? for if you had not set your mouth to this better chalice, there could not have been found neither in Heaven nor in Earth which could have been able to drink it. and if you with your most sweet lips had not sweetened the bitterness, the travails the passions and temptations, of this miserable life, what patience and what strength would have been found which could have been able to have tolerated them?

3. In so great travail of his, sweet Jesus is not unmindful of his dear Disciples, and after a sort being more carful for them then for himself, he leaveth his prayer & goeth to visit them, but finding them asleep, he saith to Peter which had showed himself self more stout and more faithful them the others, Simon sleepest thou? could you not watch one hour with me? as though he would have said, thou, which a little before didst make thy vaunt that thou wouldest die for me, now in my greatest need art asleep, & Judas which will betray me to the Jews slept not, but watcheth all the night preparing weapons and soliciting the multitude to come and take me. Alas (blessed Jesus) how much more vigilant and careful are the ministers of the Devil to execute his perverse wills, then are your servants in the works of your divine service? O my soul how often times, whilst thou also art lulled in the sleep of thy coldness & negligence, hast thou heard this voice of thy most pitiful Jesus, which talking sweetly to thy heart, saith unto thee. Simon dormis? Simon sleepest thou? as if he said: The Devil thy adversary in a manner of a hungry Lion, reroute and goeth about thee to devour thee, and I for thy defense for to deliver thee from death have exposed my body to his cruel bitings, and given my beloved soul into the hands of mine enemies, and thou as though it nothing appertained unto thee, lies sleeping without any regard either of thy salvation or else of all that, which I have done and suffered forth.

4. Consider the great benignity of our Savior, who finding his Disciples asleep doth not reprehend them sharply, but with patience tollerateth their sluggishness and infirmity. See moreover how in manner of a faithful Pasteor he praieth, taketh heed, and care of his sheep, he remaineth waking that they may sleep secure, he alone fighteth, that they may take their repose: he exponeth himself as an innocent lamb to the teeth of cruel wolves for to save and deliver from death his sheep, O how truly is it written my Lord that you loved us until the end, and that in the end you showed us greater signs of love.

5. Our Lord returneth to prayer, and cometh again to his Disciples, and yet findeth them sleeping. Take compassion O my soul on thy Redeemer, see how for thy sake he is environed round about with so great anguish and assaulted on the one side, with the terrible presence of death, & on the other side, findeth not any which will harken unto him, or help him or so much as comfort him: sorrowful Jesus goeth and returneth from his Disciples unto his Father, and from his Father unto his Disciples, & findeth on every side the gates all comfort to be fast shut up, wherefore in lamenting sort he said well by his Prophet. Circuspexi, et non erat auxiliator: quesivi et non fit qui adivnaret. I looked about me, and there was not any that would succor me, I sought, but none would help me.

6. Go my soul unto the Garden where thy Lord is praying for thee, there thou shalt see opened that book of life, wherein are hidden all the treasures of the divine wisdom: and knowledge, there thou shalt behold that mirror of all virtues, of a most profound humility of a most enflamed charity, of a most perfect obedience and patience: there thou shalt see that valiant David, thy Lord and thy God armed with a burning desire and zeal to enter into combat and to give his blood and his life for his people: See how encouraged by love he descendeth alone & before his adversaries unto the place of fight: where before that the envious Jews lay their bloody hands on him, he voluntary taketh such torment on himself, that never was seen any grief like unto this of his, O with what anguish was the most sweet heart of thy Savior oppressed: and what pain and vexation sustained he being pressed in that hard press of fear and love. O what compassion did the superior part of that most holy Soul, take of the inferior part of the sense and what faithful intercession did she make unto the Father for the same, saying Father, if it be possible transfer from me this chalice, and afterward reconciling again the afflicted flesh unto the spirit, said, let not my will be done but thine: O how noble was a this resignation and oblation of our Redeemer, truly my Lord with your great charity you overcame flesh and blood.

THE PRAYER.

Thou shalt pray unto Christ our Lord, by that profound humility and resignation, wherewith he prayed unto his Father: to give thee grace that in all thy tribulations, temptations and travails thou maist humble thy self under the power of his hands, and being spoiled of all particular interest, mayest remit and resign thy self in all things to his divine will, and likewise to grant thee grace to overcome thy coldness & slothfulness that walking from hence forth with greater diligence and fervor in the way of his service, thou mayest never be overcome but always get the victory of all temptations.

DOCUMENTS.

1.We ought to preserve in prayer, and to ask oftentimes for grace, and not to retire ourselves or despair, if we be not so soon heard for that oftentimes which at the beginning is denied, is granted us in the end.

2. Our prayer, in all the petitions which we make unto God, ought to be accompanied in our Lord, making recourse unto him as to our Father, and partly with obedience & resignation of our self to his divine will, saying with Christ, Father, not mine, but thy will be done.

3. We ought in such sort, to give our selves, and attend unto spiritual exercises, that together with all we be careful of the salvation of our neighbors helping them with our exhortations, and other works of charity as Christ did with his Apostles.

4. We must watch over the custody of our heart, and senses, and pray often, that by no temptations we be overcome, and so fly as the Apostles did.

5. Couldest thou not watch one hour with me said Christ to Peter. Great confusion is it to those which in the service of God are remiss and cold, seeing that wordings spend their years and whole lives in offending of God for the which afterward they are to receive eternal punishment: and they whom our Lord calleth to labor with him one only hour to give them afterward for recompense thereof the Kingdom of Heaven, stand without all regard drowned in the deep sleeps of tepidity and negligence.

6. Howbeit all those which are negligent in divine service are worthy of great reprehension: yet notwithstanding such as are placed for guides and examples to others, sin more grievously, and shall be more severely reprehended of our Lord.

7. we ought to the imitation of Christ, when as we pray, to humble ourselves profoundly, acknowledging our own unworthiness, because it is written that the prayer of those which do humble themselves shall penetrate the clouds: oration humiliates se nubes penetrabit

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