+IHS Of The Passion Of Our Lord: The Second Meditation Of His Entry Into The Garden
The Second Meditation of His Entry Into The Garden
Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. Mt.xxvi.
And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. Mk.xiv.
When Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples. Jn.xviii.
Behold the place where Christ began his passion:
First: Near unto a village or farm.
Secondly: In Gethsemane, which signifies a fat valley.
Thirdly: In the Garden.
For through sin we got an unclean village, that is, worldly and frail things, which by their own instinct and nature slide down to earth again, and Christ would begin our redemption from thence, whence we were fallen through sin.
Gethsemane or the fat valley as it doth rightly signify the valley of mercy, so it doth plainly declare that the passion of Christ had need of great mercy and clemency, which changed this world being full of miseries, into a place flowing with mercy.
Consider then that this world is like unto a dirty valley, in which is much dirt and filth, with which men being polluted do forsake God, but to such men as follow Christ, this same world is like a shop of the mercies of God, & of our merits, in which so long as we live mercy id offered abundantly, and such rewards gotten by good works as never shall have end.
But it was a garden wherein Christ prayed:
Adam sinned in a garden, & in a garden we have all offended. For what is the world but a little garden, pleasant to behold, wherein divers herbs and fair flowers do delight the eyes, but not the mind. All things which the world admireth are buds and flowers, which, as they take their beginning from the earth, so in a short time they wither away.
To be brief, Christ carried his Disciples forth to the place of his passion, being the last place to which he lead his Apostles, that thou mayest know thereby that Christ doth earnestly require of the that with great diligence and study thou shouldest meditate and imitate his passion.
Pray unto thy Lord that thou mayest despise this world, which was all the cause of the passion of Christ.
IIAnd he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. Mt.xx.vi.
And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. Mk.xiv
And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Lx.xxii
Consider, that if thou wilt not enter into temptation, that is, if thou wilt not be overcome and swallowed up by temptation, thou must sit down and pray; but if we sit when we enjoy quietness of mind, and that inward peace which true humility bringeth, (for he which sitteth humbleth his body that he may rest in quiet) we must pray, because by prayer victory is obtained against the Devil, and we must pray as long as Christ prayeth for us.
Here again consider thine own sloth and sluggishness, which art not touched in conscience when as Christ is careful for thee how thou mayest be saved, and sitting at the right hand of his Father prayeth still for thee.
To enter into temptation is, to be occupied and drowned in wickedness both inwardly& outwardly; for he which is overcome by temptation hath neither inward peace, nor can enjoy any true outward comfort, where every thing oppresseth the mind, but nothing can satisfy it; whereupon also in this world entereth into temptation, shall in the next enter into Hell, even as he which in this world is in God's favour shall afterwards enter into the joy of God.
And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; Mk.xiv.
Consider with what great grief our sorrowful Disciples, he took these three for his companions with him, that he might open his heaviness unto them, who only amongst all his disciples saw his glory in the Mt Thabor, and who were present at the wonderful miracle of the daughter Jairus of the ruler of the synagogue being raised unto life, for by how much a man is more perfect, and nearer joined unto God, so much the more he feeleth the force of the passion of our Lord in himself.
Consider therefore what manner of men those were whom Christ chose for his companions:
Peter: The Pastor of the Church
John: A Virgin, who afterwards should be the keeper of the Virgin his Mother.
James: The first Martyr of the Apostles.
That hereby thou mayest understand that nothing doth so much lighten our cares, ease the labors of any office, encourage us to chastity and to other virtues, to be brief, nothing helpeth man so much in all his labors undertaken for Christ's sake as the memory of the passion of Christ.
He took his two cousins, that thou mayest see, to what dignities our Saviour exalteth his best friends, to wit, to suffer innumerable calamities in this life that hereafter they may have the greater rewards in the life, to come.
Do thou desire rather to be afflicted in this world for thy sins, then after thy death to be separated from Christ with everlasting punishment.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616