Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, Sit here while I go over there and pray. He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me. He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will. (Mt. 26:36-39)
We come now to the Agony in the Garden.
Earlier in the Gospel, Jesus had bravely said to James and John: Can you drink from the cup that I am going to drink? He was referring to the cup as a symbol of suffering. Later, at the supper table, he took a cup and said that this was his own blood to be shed for the forgiveness of sins.
We can bring this same attitude to our own sufferings. Were not out looking for suffering. But if we have to cross the bridge of suffering to get where we need to go, or if it simply comes upon us and weve really no choice, then we need to accept it, not with bitterness, but with a willing heart. We place ourselves in the good hands of the Lord, and join with him in his Gethsemane prayer.
What is the biggest cup of suffering in my life right now? Place yourself in Gethsemane with the Lord and talk to him about it.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Almsgiving, Fasting, Prayer
Over the years, Christians and Catholics have developed customs and traditions that try to help people turn toward prayer. Here are some that developed!
When we hear a siren (fire engine, ambulance, police) we say a pray for the people who are in trouble as well as the fire fighters, officers or medical emergency crew involved.)
Before a meal, we pray grace.
When passing by a church, we make the Sign of the Cross, men tip their hats.
When passing by an abortion clinic or euthanasia location, we say a Hail Mary.
When we see a funeral procession or pass a cemetery, we say a prayer or place our hand over our heart and men tip their hats.
During a bad story, we light a candle at home and say a prayer asking for protection.
When we hear a church bell, we say a prayer.
When we lose something, we pray to St. Anthony.
When we pass a hospital, we say a prayer.
In school, we print JMJ (the initials of Jesus, Mary and Joseph) or AMDG (which stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, a Latin phrase meaning, For the greater glory of God) at the top of a class paper, in order to bring God into ones schoolwork.