DEVOTION TO THE AGONIZING HEART OF JESUS
O Jesus, my Saviour, I adore and love Thee in the mystery of Thine Agony in the Garden of Olives, and I compassionate the sufferings of Thine Agonizing Heart. I entreat Thee, by this Holy Agony, and by all the Dolors of Thy mortal life, to grant the grace of a good death to all the dying, especially to those for whom I now make intercession. For this end, let me offer Thee my most humble homage.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Sacred Heart of my God, my King, and my Saviour;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most holy, most chaste, most innocent of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most humble, most submissive, most obedient of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most afflicted, most injured, most patient of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most sweet, most tender, most devoted of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most generous, most noble, most powerful of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Heart of the Good Shepherd, of the best of Friends, of the tenderest of Brothers;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Joy of the Angels, Bliss of the Saints, Glory of Heaven;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, terror of demons, hope of sinners, strength and consolation of the just;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, inexhaustible source of grace, abyss of mercy, only hope of the agonizing;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Beloved of the Father, Living Temple of the Holy Ghost, delight of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
Agonizing Heart of Jesus, most loving, most worthy of love, most patient of all hearts;—I adore Thee and I love Thee, have pity on the dying.
ACT OF REPARATION
O Jesus, who lovest souls so ardently, and who hast endured the most cruel agony to save them, behold us prostrate at Thy Feet to compassionate Thy griefs, and to make reparation to Thine Heart which is outraged daily by the sins of men! O afflicted Heart of our good Master, who can understand the terrors, the anguish, the mortal sadness which oppressed Thee in the Garden of Olives? O sweet Saviour of our souls, Thou saidst, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death,” and then all our iniquities passed before Thine eyes. O! Jesus, pardon us! Forget our ingratitude and remember only Thine infinite mercy. Let some drops of the Divine Blood which watered the Garden of Olives, fall upon us, and upon all sinners. Let this Adorable Blood flow freely, we entreat Thee, down upon the souls of those who are now in the terrible agony of death, and about to appear at Thy dread Tribunal. O! Jesus, pity them. From the Cross Thou didst pardon the good thief; pardon the dying! Let them also hear from Thy Sacred Lips the consoling assurance, “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
JESUS PRAYS IN THE GARDEN AND SWEATS BLOOD
By St. Alphonsus Liguori
“And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet... Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani”—Mat. xxvi. 30, 36. As soon as they had said grace, Jesus leaves the supper room with his disciples, goes into the garden of Gethsemani, and begins to pray: but alas, at the commencement of his prayer, he is assailed with a great fear, an oppressive tediousness, and an overwhelming sadness. “He began to fear and to be heavy,” says St. Mark (xiv. 35). St. Matthew adds: “He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad”—xxvi. 37. Hence our Redeemer, overwhelmed with sadness, said that his blessed soul was sorrowful even unto death, “Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem”—Marc. xiv. 34. Then was presented before him the melancholy scene of all the torments and ignominies which were prepared for him. In his passion these afflicted him one by one: but in the garden, the buffets, the spittle, the scourges, the thorns, the nails, and the reproaches which he was to suffer, came all together to torment him. He there embraced them all, but in embracing them, he trembled, he agonized, and he prayed, “and being in an agony he prayed the longer”—Luke xxii. 43.
But my Jesus, who compels thee to submit to such torments? The love, he answers, which I bear to men, constrains me to endure them. Ah! how great must have been the astonishment of heaven at the sight of omnipotence become weak, of the joy of paradise oppressed with sadness! A God afflicted! And why? To save men, his own creatures. In the garden he offered the first sacrifice: Jesus was the victim, love was the priest, and the ardour of his affection for men was the blessed fire with which the sacrifice was consummated. “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me”—Mat. xxvi. 39. Thus Jesus prayed. My Father, he says, if it be possible, save me from drinking this bitter chalice. But he prayed thus not so much to be delivered from the torments he was to endure, as to make us understand the pain which he suffered and embraced for the love of us. He prayed thus also, to teach us that in tribulations we may ask God to deliver us from them, but that we should at the same time conform entirely to his divine will, and say with him: “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”—Mat. xxvi. 39. And during the whole time of his prayer, he repeated the same petition. “Thy will be done... and he prayed the third time, saying the self-same word”—ib. 42, 44. Yes, my Lord, for thy sake, I embrace all the crosses which thou wilt send me. Thou, an innocent, hast suffered for my sake, and shall I a sinner, after having so often deserved hell, refuse to suffer in order to please thee, and to obtain from thee the pardon of my sins, and thy grace? “Not as I will, but as thou wilt: let not my will, but thine, be always done.”
“He fell flat on the ground”—Mark xiv. 35. In his prayer in the garden, Jesus fell prostrate on the ground, because, seeing himself clothed with the sordid garment of all our sins, he felt, as it were, ashamed to raise his eyes to heaven. My dear Redeemer, I would not dare to ask pardon of so many insults which I have committed against thee, if thy sufferings did not give me confidence. Eternal Father, look on the face of thy Christ: look not on my iniquities, behold this, thy beloved Son, trembling, agonizing, and sweating blood in order to obtain thy pardon for me. “And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground'”—Luke xxii. 44. Behold me, and have pity on me.
But, my Jesus, in this garden there are not executioners to scourge thee, nor thorns, nor nails to torture thee; what then extracts so much blood from thee? Ah! I understand thee; it was not the foresight of thy approaching sufferings that then afflicted thee so grievously; for to these pains thou didst spontaneously offer thyself. “He was offered because it was his own will”—Isa. liii. 7. It was the sight of my sins; these were the cruel press which forced so much blood from thy sacred veins. Hence, it was not the executioners, nor the nails, nor the thorns, that were cruel and barbarous in thy regard: no, my sins, which made thee so sorrowful in the garden, have been barbarous and cruel to thee, my sweet Redeemer.
Then, in thy great affliction, I too have added to thy sorrows, and have grievously afflicted thee by the weight of my sins. Had I been guilty of fewer sins, thou shouldst have suffered less. Behold, then, the return I have made for thy love in dying for me. I have added to thy great sufferings! My beloved Lord, I repent of having offended thee, I am sorry for my sins, but my sorrow is not great; I would wish for sorrow that would take away my life. Ah! through the bitter agony which thou didst suffer in the garden, give me a portion of that abhorrence which thou didst then feel for my sins. And if my ingratitude was then a cause of affliction to thee, grant that I may now please thee by my love. Yes, my Jesus, I love thee with my whole heart. I love thee more than myself, and for thy love I renounce all the pleasures and goods of this earth. Thou alone art, and shalt always be my only good and my only love.
(From “The Clock of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”)