Passio Domini Thursday Meditations

The Agony of Jesus ³

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.


Most Divine Spirit, enlighten and inflame me in meditating on the Passion of Jesus, help me to penetrate this mystery of love and suffering of a God, Who, clothed with our humanity, suffers, agonizes and dies for the love of the creature! … The Eternal, the Immortal Who debases Himself to undergo an immense martyrdom, the ignominious death of the Cross, amidst insults, contempt and abuse, to save the creature which offended Him, and which wallows in the slime of sin. Man rejoices in his sin and his God is sad because of sin, suffers, sweats blood, amidst terrible agony of spirit. No, I cannot enter this wide ocean of love and pain unless You with Your grace sustain me. Oh that I could penetrate to the innermost recesses of the Heart of Jesus to read there the essence of His bitterness, which brought Him to the point of death in the Garden; that I could comfort Him in the abandonment by His Father and His own. Oh that I could unite myself with Him in order to expiate with Him.

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, may I unite myself with you to follow Jesus and share His pains and your sufferings.

My Guardian Angel, guard my faculties and keep them recollected on Jesus suffering, so that they will not stray far from Him.

Beginning of the prayers of the Rosary: Creed, Our Father, three Hail Mary’s …

1. Gethsemane is the place where Jesus came to pray.

He deprived his most sacred humanity of the strength bestowed on it by His Divine Person, submitting it to indefinable sadness, extreme weakness, to dejection and abandonment, to mortal anguish. His spirit swims in these as a limitless ocean, and every moment seems about to be submerged. It brings before His spirit the entire sufferings of His imminent Passion, which, like a torrent that has overflowed its banks, pours into His Heart, torments, oppresses and submerges it in a sea of grief.

He sees first Judas, His disciple, loved so much by Him who sells Him for just a few coins; who is about to approach the Garden to betray Him and give Him over into the hands of His enemies. He! The friend, the disciple whom a little while before He had nourished with His Body and Blood … prostrate before him He had washed his feet and pressed them to His Heart. He had kissed those feet with brotherly affection, as if by sheer force of love He wanted to hold him back from his impious, sacrilegious design, or at least, having committed the insane deed, he might enter into himself, recalling so many proofs of love, and perhaps would repent and be saved. But no, he goes to his ruin and Jesus weeps over his voluntary perdition.

He sees Himself bound and dragged by His enemies through the streets of Jerusalem, through those very streets through which only a few days before He passed triumphantly acclaimed as the Messiah … He sees Himself before the High Priest beaten, declared guilty of death.

Everything, passes before Him, torments Him, terrifies Him, and this terror takes possession of Him, overwhelms Him. He trembles as if shaken by a violent fever. Fear also seizes Him, and His spirit languishes in mortal sadness.


Decade of the Rosary

In addition or in place of a decade of the Rosary there may be inserted a prayer from the Chalice of Strength booklet after each meditation.

2. Jesus rises and turns His sad and suppliant glance to Heaven.

He raises His arms and prays. My God, with what deadly pallor that face is suffused! He prays to that Father Who seems to have turned away His glance and Who appears ready to strike Him with His sword of vengeance. He prays with, all the confidence of a Son, but He fully understands the position He holds. He realizes that it is He alone, as a victim for the human race, Who bears the odium of having outraged the Divine Majesty. He realizes that He alone through the sacrifice of His life can satisfy divine justice and reconcile the creature with the Creator. He wants it, and wants it efficaciously. But nature is crushed at the sight of His bitter Passion. Nature revolts against the sacrifice. But His spirit is ready for the immolation, and He continues the battle with all His strength. He feels Himself cast down but He perseveres in the oblation of Himself.

My Jesus, how can we obtain strength from You, if we see You so weak and crushed?

Yes, I understand. You have taken all our weakness upon Yourself. And to give us Your strength You have become the scape-goat. It is to teach us that we must place our trust only in You in the struggles of life, even when it seems as if Heaven were closed to us.

Jesus, in agony cries to His Father: ‘If it is possible, take this chalice from Me!” It is the cry of nature which, weighted down, confidently has recourse to Heaven for assistance. Although He knows that He will not be heard, because He wants it thus, He prays. My Jesus, why do You ask that which You know will not be granted? SUFFERING AND LOVE.

Behold the great secret. The pain which oppresses You urges You to seek help and comfort, but the love to satisfy divine justice and give us back to God makes You cry out: “Not Mine, but Your Will be done!” To this prayer Divine Justice exacts the sacrifice necessary to repair injury to God.


Decade of the Rosary

3. And all this does not make Him retreat.

As a raging sea this mass inundates Him, enfolds Him, oppresses Him. Behold Him before His Father the God of Justice, facing the full penalty of divine justice. He, the essence of purity, sanctity by nature, in contact with sin! … Indeed, as if He Himself had become a. sinner, Who can fathom the disgust that He feels in His innermost spirit? The horror He feels? The nausea, the contempt He senses so vividly? And having taken all upon Himself, nothing excepted, He is crushed by this immense weight, oppressed, thrown down, prostrated. Exhausted he groans beneath the weight of divine justice, before His Father, Who has permitted His Son to offer Himself as a Victim for sin, as one accursed.

He would fain shake off this immense burden that crushes Him-He would fain free Himself of this horrible load which makes Him shudder-His own purity rejects it-the very glance of the avenging Father, Who abandons Him in these muddy, putrid waters of guilt with which He sees Himself covered-All this rushes to His Spirit urging Him to draw back from the bitter Passion. The revulsion of His Divinity against sin adds to the conflict within His human soul All instinct counsels that He unburden Himself of these infamies, rejecting the very thought of them. But the consideration of unvindicated justice and the unreconciled sinner predominates in His heart full of love.


Decade of the Rosary

4. Again Jesus returns to His place of prayer, afflicted, weakened.

He falls rather than prostrates Himself. A mortal anguish overwhelms Him and He prays more intensely. The Father turns away His glance as if He were the most abject of men.

I seem to hear all the laments of the Savior: Oh if at least man, for whom I am in anguish and for whom I am ready to embrace all, could only be grateful, would respond to the graces I obtain for him by My great suffering for him! If he would only esteem the value of the price I pay to ransom him from the death of sin, to bestow on him the true life of the sons of God. Ah, that love which grieves My Heart more cruelly than the executioners will tear my flesh! … Oh no! He sees man who does not know because he does not want to draw profit from it. He will even blaspheme this Divine Blood, and more irreparable and inexcusable still, will turn It to his damnation. Only a few will profit by It, the greater number run the way of perdition.

And in the great distress of His Heart He continues to repeat: “Quae utilitas in sanguine meo!” What profit is there in My Blood!” But even the thought of these few urges His Heart to continue to endure the conflict, to face all the sufferings of His Passion and Death to obtain for them the palm of victory.


Decade of the Rosary

5. Jesus, it is for You to drink the chalice to the dregs, You are now vowed to the most terrible death.

Jesus, may nothing be able to separate me from You, neither life nor death. Following You in life, affectionately bound to Your suffering may it be granted to me to expire with You on Calvary in order to ascend, with You to glory; to follow You in tribulations and persecutions, to be made worthy one day to come to love You in the unveiled glory of Heaven; to sing to You the hymn of thanksgiving for Your great suffering.

But look! Jesus raises Himself from the ground, strong, invincible as a lion in battle; behold now that Jesus, Who longingly had desired this banquet of blood, “with desire have I desired,” He shakes the disarray from His noble head, wipes the Bloody Sweat from His face, and resolutely goes towards the entrance of the Garden.

Where are You going, Jesus? Are You not that Jesus I saw languishing in Your soul, a prey to terror, fatigue, fear, discouragement, desolation? Whom I saw trembling, crushed under the immense weight of the evils which were about to overcome You? Where are You going now so ready, so resolute, so full of courage? To whom are You exposing Yourself?

Oh! I hear it! The weapon of prayer has helped Me conquer, and the spirit has subjected the weakness of nature to itself. In prayer have I obtained strength and now I can face everything. Follow My example and deal with Heaven with the same confidence as I have done.


Decade of the Rosary

Concluding Prayer

O Jesus, impart to me also that same strength, when my weak nature foreseeing future evils rebels, so that like Y au, I may accept with serene peace and tranquility all the pains and distress which I may meet on this earth of exile. I unite all to Your merits, to Your pains, Your expiations, Your tears, that I may cooperate with You for my salvation and flee from sin, which was the sale cause of making You sweat blood and which led You to death. Destroy in me everything that does not please You, and with the sacred fire of Your love write Your sufferings into my heart. Hold me so closely to You, with a bond so tight and so sweet, that I shall never again abandon You in Your sufferings.

May I be able to rest on Your Heart to obtain comfort in the sufferings of life. May my spirit have no other desire but to live at Your side in the Garden and unite itself to the pains of Your Heart. May my soul be inebriated with Your Blood and feed itself with the bread of Your sufferings. Amen.

If time permits, the leader (or each one Silently) can pray:

Jesus, I beg You for a drop of Your most Precious Blood in this hour of Your most bitter agony for [insert intention]
-for the Holy Church
-for our Holy Father
-for our bishops
-for the sanctification of priests
-for vocations to the priesthood and religious life
-for the conversion of sinners
-for our country
-for an end of abortion and contraception
-for an end of divorce
-for sanctification of family life
-for all who are dying
-for the Poor Souls in purgatory
( … for personal intentions)
Prayers for the intention of the Holy Father

Holy, holy, holy …

*Meditations taken from
The Agony of Jesus, by St. Padre Pio, Tan Books.

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