29 September 2015

The Rosary: The Garden of Gathsemene

The Passion in the Garden is Jesus' last "alone time" before the climax of his ministry.  He often went aside to pray, but, as it were, those might be considered "training prayers" for this one.  He experienced stress, certainly (as seen by the bloody sweat) and probably fear.  He asked his Father if there was another way - even after he had committed to doing this.  See the verses below from Byzantine Holy Week: as God he was among the plotters agreeing to his own betrayal.

For the Orthodox, it is Jesus' action in his own passion that is important: for us mortals, a "passion" implies (as Kallistos Ware points out) the Latin passio, something that happens to us.  For Jesus, it's something he undertakes willfully.  He allows Judas to sell him to the Jews. He allows the Jews to give him to the Romans. He allows the Romans to nail him to the Cross.  He allows the demons to take him into hell. And then... O, Glorious God of All, what then! Oh, and what more in your love for us!  Glory to Thee!


The First Dolorous Mystery:
The Passion of Christ in the Garden


Let us contemplate, in this Mystery, how our Lord Jesus was so afflicted for us in the Garden of Gethsemane that his body was bathed in a bloody sweat, which rand down in great drops to the ground.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of the feet, Judas the ungodly was darkened with the sickness of avarice; and to lawless judges he delivered the only just judge. O lover of money, look upon him who for its sake hanged himself; flee from the insatiable soul, which dared such things against the Master.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Judas ran, saying to the lawless scribes, ‘What wilt thou give me and I hand him over to thee?’ As they came to their agreement thou, even the object of their agreement, standest among them invisibly agreeing. O thou who knowest the heart, spare our souls.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Because of the raising of Lazarus, O Lord, who lovest mankind, the children of the Hebrews cried out to thee, ‘Hosanna’. But Judas the transgressor did not want to understand.
Hail, Mary, &c.

At thy Supper, O Christ our God, thou foretellest thy Disciples, ‘One of you will betray me’. But Judas the transgressor did not want to understand.
Hail, Mary, &c.

For thirty silver pieces, O Lord, and a deceitful kiss, the Jews sought to slay thee, the only lover of Mankind. But Judas the transgressor did not want to understand.
Hail, Mary, &c.

‘Watch and pray that ye may not be tested’, thou saidst to thy Disciples, O our God. But Judas the transgressor did not want to understand.
Hail, Mary, &c.

At the Supper thou nourished thy Disciples and, knowing the plan of the betrayal, thou exposed Judas during it, wishing all to know that it was by thine own will that thou wast handed over, that you might snatch the world from the Stranger.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Today the Creator of heaven and earth saith his own Disciples: The hour has drawn near and Judas who betrays me is at hand; let none deny me when they see me on the Cross, between two thieves; for as man I suffer, and as lover of mankind I save those who believe in me.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Today the Jews send to the Cross the Lord who parted the sea with a staff and led them through the desert. Today with a lance the Romans pierced the side of the One who scourged Egypt with plagues for their sake, and they gave vinegar as drink to the One who rained down the manna as nourishment.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Lord, as thou went to thy voluntary passion, thous saidst to thy Disciples, ‘If ye did not even have strength to keep vigil with me for one hour, how promised thee to die for me? Seest thou how Judas does not sleep, but hurries to betray me to sinner? Rouse thyselves to pray, let none deny me when they see me on the Cross’.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O Holy Virgin, more than martyr, by that ardent prayer which our beloved Saviour poured forth to his heavenly Father, vouchsafe to intercede for us, that our passions being under the yoke of reason and faith, we may always, and in all things conform and subject ourselves to the holy will of God.  Amen.