It is then that our heavenly Mother speaks. Her voice so soft and gentle. She tells me I am in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that I have felt a minute amount of the dreadful torture of Jesus as He prayed and prayed before going to meet his enemies - His betrayer.
I understand much more why Jesus asked Peter, James and John to pray and keep watch with Him. As his hour drew nigh His Father, exacting His infinite justice, withdrew His presence from His Only Begotten Son, allowing in His Divine Will that all of mankindís evils, weaknesses, and frailties should gather as one and belong to Jesus, the Man, who felt in His humanity the full burden of every soul that has been, is now and will be until the end of time. In our finite minds we cannot grasp this, yet we must believe it, for each of us has caused Jesus to sweat bloodósacred blood. Each of us is a drop of that sacred blood, the flail of the scourge, the terrible penetrating pain of the thorns, the humiliation of our Dear Lord, each of us is part of the weight of the Cross, the spittle and beating, each one of us is a pounding of the nail, the terrible dropping of the cross into place, and the slow agonizing death.
Now I see my Jesus as He kneels in prayer, His head resting upon a rock over which an olive tree bends low its branches, as if it wished to give comfort to the Divine Lamb of God, but in obedience remains mute, motionless. And I find that I move forward, closer, until, if I dared to reach out, I could touch my Savior.
But I dare not and I fall to my knees. I pray. Not with words for there are none, but with all my heart, calling upon my Father to have mercy, to forgive me, and, yes, to thank Him for all He has done. Even in this place of dreadful anguish and sorrow, I, the sinner, recognize Godís mercy, and my soul shouts for joy for salvation is close at hand.
Jesus raises His head and now that there has risen the moon and is sheds light into this spot, I see clearly that every pore upon His most sacred body oozes blood. His tunic, so Immaculate at the Last Supper, is damp, stained by His blood. His hair is damp, as is His face, and His eyes have, for the moment, become dulled by the agony of sweating blood.
"Father," Jesus implores, His voice audible to me but reaching no further. "If it be possible, allow this chalice to pass from Me. But, Father, not My will, but Yours be done."
And He remains as a statue, so wrapped is He in prayer, and I see Him shudder as if feverish. But then I am directed to look where Jesus is looking and I behold a nightmare beyond words. Jesus sees the sins of the world. Every soul, in infinite detail which by the free will of man, rejects the Divine Will. From the slightest offense to the most atrocious sins, all parade before Jesus and with each one satan howls in triumph and sneers at Jesus in His Sacred Agony. Then, by Godís Will alone, does satan have the power to show to Jesus, Godís own Son, every soul from all time who will disown Him and freely choose by his own free will to spend eternity in Hell! Jesus must watch as these souls, which I see as dying embers, pass before Him and are lost in a dark abyss. And each soul, which has chosen this path, shouts such blasphemy at our Lord that I, too, shudder and wish the dreadful vision to end. And I understand that for each one of these soulsóthese dying embers falling into Hell, Jesus sweats yet more blood and prays for them with a love we cannot fathom, but which is always there for us.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 6: IN THE GARDEN AT GETHSEMANE