BELLINI, Giovanni 
Agony in the Garden (detail) 
c. 1469

III. Meditation. 

CONSIDER that our Lord having instituted the Blessed Sacrament, and left us a most convincing demonstration of his love, he retired into the garden to pray, and prepare himself for death, taking with him three of his Disciples, to whom he spoke these mournful words, my Soul is sorrowful unto Death. Then going a little aside from them, he with great recollection and reverence began to pray. He separated himself from his Disciples, and from all that might occasion distraction, for our example; and kneeling on the ground, he prostrated with the greatest humility of body, but much more of soul, to adore his Eternal Father, and giving way to all the pains and sufferings of his passion, that they might seize upon his soul, before they tormented his body; he was overwhelmed with grief and sadness, proceeding from the clear foresight, and natural apprehension of his approaching Passion, which was so great, that his soul endured such an anguish and agony, as none in the world had ever suffered. This appeared by the Blood which gushed out all over his Body; and this strange sort of sweat, never before heard of in the world, was a token of the greatness of the inward Agony of his soul. As there was never such a sweat, so there was never so great a sorrow. The natural horror our Lord had of his Passion, must have been infinitely great to have caused it! There are good Authors of opinion, that our Lord in that sweat lost more than ninety-seven thousand Drops of Blood.



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