Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Garden of Gethsemane

A post from my archives:

The Olive Press:

At the base of The Mount of Olives lies Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus suffered His agony. An intense spiritual agony beyond human comprehension. The word Gethsemane means "olive press" and it was in this garden that Mercy was pressed to the fullest limits. An interior crushing so severe that Our Lord "fell to the ground and prayed if it were possible the hour might pass by him". And so begins the ultimate struggle with darkness as the weight of humanity's sins fell upon Him. A seemingly endless parade of human sin and corruption closing in upon Him. Pressing. Crushing. What did He see in this dark hour? Did He see the very depths to which human nature could sink? The pit of depravity, perversion and vice upon vice? Likely He saw this and worse, for the pressure grew so great that He sweat blood. Hematohidrosis.

Jesus suffered in his humanity, because it was human nature that needed redemption. And yet, despite the intensity of his suffering He still prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done." And Our Lord drank the cup of staggering to its very dregs, knowing that by the acceptance of this chalice even greater suffering would come upon him . Then, strengthened by an angel, He stood up and went to meet his betrayer.

In my eyes, the two greatest sufferings of Jesus were His Agony in the Garden and on the Cross when He felt completely forsaken by the Father and endured what one might call, "a living hell", for love of us. He became sin and took on all the sins of the world for our sake. That is why it is so horrifying when someone refuses the salvation that He gained for them; it's like a slap in the face of Pure Mercy.

Most merciful Jesus, I thank you for everything you suffered for us all. May all souls open their hearts to receive the mercy you long to pour upon them. May your sufferings in Gethsemane obtain the grace of repentance for all souls caught in the grip of mortal sin, for it was here in Gethsemane that mercy was pressed to its limits and it was here in Gethsemane that we learned that this mercy has no limits. Amen. 

 The "cup of staggering" is a term used in various biblical translations of the O.T. and refers to the Lord's wrath. In this post I used it in reference to Isaiah ch. 51 where the Lord speaks about the ransom of His people. See also The Cup of the Lord verses 17-33 . This "cup of staggering" is also mentioned in other books of the Bible. Jesus, Himself, took this cup from our hands and drank it to its bitter dregs.


  1. Mary, thank you for sharing your heart. Happy Easter to you my friend. Blessings.

  2. Thanks for reposting this one, Mary. I don't ever want to become desensitized to Our Lord's suffering (which can happen when we read and hear familiar Scripture passages over again)Your reflections are a good reminder of how much and to what extent he suffered for each of us.
    Have a blessed Triduum.

  3. I both love and hate the passage about the Garden. It hurts so much to read about our Savior in such a state. At the same time, it reinforces the extreme nature of what he did for us. Part of me wishes I was there to keep him company - to be his friend - and the other part knows I would have been just like the rest of the apostles and run.

    I hope you have a Blessed Triduum Mary!

  4. Thank you for this well-written thought-provoking reflection, Mary.

    We sometimes read the Gospels, and especially the passages relating to Hiredominoly Week, and don't somehow take it in.

    Thanx for the reminder.

    May you and your family have a peaceful and blessed Easter.

    God bless.

  5. What's wrong with the computer?

    That meant to say "Holy Week".


  6. Mary,

    I didn't realise that sweating blood or hematohidrosis is an actual recognised medical condition. I thought it was a condition unique to Jesus in His agony. How did I miss that? I shall take that image to the Lord's Passion this afternoon.

    Thank you for your reflection.

    God bless!

  7. Mary, I don't remember ever reading this post before. It moved me deeply. A blessed Good Friday to you.