1. During the Agony in the Garden Our Lord anticipated all the coming agony of His Passion. He allowed His human soul to feel in all its intensity each detail of the unspeakable suffering that was now close at hand. Hitherto it had indeed been distinctly present to Him, but now it seemed to take possession of His whole soul. Now it was a mortal fear, resulting from a clear, vivid realization of all that He had to endure. When darkness invades our souls, we should remember that none is like the deep, black darkness that spread over the sacred soul of Jesus.
2. What relief did Jesus seek in this agony of terror that had come over Him? The relief of prayer. He knew that in all desolation and distress the best plan, the only plan, is to throw ourselves upon the mercy of God. There is no imperfection in asking to be delivered from something that we can scarcely endure, whether present agony or the anticipation of it, else Christ would not have prayed: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me!” In our darkest hours we can at least repeat these sacred words that were spoken as a pattern to us.
3. Yet we must remember the conclusion of the prayer, the act of resignation, which leaves all in the hands of God. “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt!” These words spoken from our hearts will always give us strength to bear what seems unbearable, and will take the bitterness out of our pains.
Source: Clarke, R. F. (1889). The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations for Every Day in Lent (p. 16). Benziger Brothers.