Thursday, November 08, 2007

On Our Lord's triple prayer, his prostration before the Father and his resignation of will

Lord Jesus Christ, Sustainer of angels and Refuge of the desolate, I bless and thank you for your anguished prayer and humble prostrations. On bended knees you trice prayed, earnestly and devoutly, to your heavenly Father that, if it be possible, the chalice of your Passion be taken from you, however, always adding: "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will "Luke 22:42.
I praise and glorify you for your strenuous combat against the horror of death and the most bitter sorrow of your Passion. But when the divine love that burned so ardently within you prevailed, it wiped out all human fear. I praise and thank you for the abundant flow of your bloody sweat, when in your agony you prayed the more fervently - drops of which, contrary to nature, poured profusely from your body. I adore and glorify you, Creator and Ruler of the heavenly spirits, for your humble acceptance of the angelic comfort, which you did not disdain to receive from the ministering angel. In this way you teach us that, in our weakness, we should not seek comfort in transitory things but strive for that which is heavenly. Good Jesus, with how great an ardent love did you love me! Your prayer was so fervent in my behalf that together with your desire to suffer for me, your warm blood, instead of natural sweat, flowed down upon the ground. I praise and reverence you with the endless honour, Creator of my soul and Exemplar of my life, for your complete resignation, the total abnegation of your will, and your body's natural instincts that made you abhor pain and death. When the hour of your suffering arrived, you spontaneously and willingly resigned yourself to your Father, saying: "Father, not my will, but yours be done "Mark 14:36. By these words you offered greater glory to your Father, and you merited abundantly for us. You thoroughly conquered the devil and clearly demonstrated to all of us faithful that you are our model of perfection, the sign of our salvation, and our way to perfect virtue.
Jesus, may I ever remember and adore you. With great affection of heart, I ask you to grant that I may gain the fruit of your thrice-repeated prayer and with a generous heart to imitate, in the religious state that I have chosen, your example of self-abnegation. Also grant me the grace courageously to overcome my defiant flesh for the benefit of my soul, to cast out all carnal fear, to pray more frequently, and attentively, to enjoy your assistance, to leave every outcome in your hands, to renounce my will thoroughly, and to be ready to suffer whatever comes.

After "On the Passion of Christ According to the Four Evangelists - Prayers and Meditations" - Fr. Thomas a Kempis