Pope Benedict on the Agony in the Garden … Friday, July 12

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

Pope Benedict XVI.

A Rosary Meditation … The First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden.

“Having reached the grove on the Mount of Olives, that night too Jesus prepares for personal prayer. However, this time something new happens: it seems that he does not want to be left alone. Jesus would often withdraw from the crowd and from the disciples themselves “to a lonely place” (Mk 1:35) or he would go up “into the hills”, St Mark says (cf. Mk 6:46). Instead at Gethsemane he invites Peter, James and John to stay closer to him. They are the disciples he called upon to be with him on the Mount of the Transfiguration (cf. Mk 9:2-13). This closeness of the three during his prayer in Gethsemane is important. On that night too Jesus was going to pray to the Father “apart”, for his relationship with the Father is quite unique: It is the relationship of the Only-Begotten Son. Indeed, one might say that especially on that night no one could really have come close to the Son, who presented himself to the Father with his absolutely unique and exclusive identity.

Yet, although Jesus arrives “alone” at the place in which he was to stop and pray, he wants at least three disciples to be near him, to be in a closer relationship with him. This is a spacial closeness, a plea for solidarity at the moment in which he feels death approaching, but above all it is closeness in prayer, in a certain way to express harmony with him at the moment when he is preparing to do the Father’s will to the very end; and it is an invitation to every disciple to follow him on the Way of Cross.” Pope Benedict XVI.

“Jesus goes forth into the night. Night signifies lack of communication, a situation where people do not see one another. It is a symbol of incomprehension, of the obscuring of truth. It is the place where evil, which has to hide before the light, can grow. Jesus himself is light and truth, communication, purity and goodness. He enters into the night. Night is ultimately a symbol of death, the definitive loss of fellowship and life. Jesus enters into the night in order to overcome it and to inaugurate the new Day of God in the history of humanity.” Pope Benedict XVI.

Today …

St. John Gaulbert, Abbot

St. John Gaulbert, Abbot

Saint John Gaulbert, Abbot. The city of Florence gave to the world Saint John Gaulbert. Although he enjoyed the benefits of an early Christian education, his youthful heart was soon attracted to the vanities of the world. A painful incident was the means God made use of, to open his eyes. Hugo, his only brother, had been murdered and St. John had resolved to avenge his death. On a certain Good Friday he met his enemy in a place where there was no escape for the latter. St. John drew his sword and would have killed his adversary on the spot, but the latter threw himself on his knees begging him by the passion of Jesus Christ to spare his life. St. John was touched at the words, embraced his enemy, entered a church and prayed with many tears for the pardon of his sins.

He now entered the Order of St. Benedict, in which he made such great progress in virtue that after the death of the Abbot, the monks wished to impose this dignity upon him, but the Saint absolutely refused to accept it. Sometime later, he left the monastery with one companion in quest of greater solitude.

Having visited the hermitage of Camaldoli, he finally settled at Valle Ombrosa in Tuscany. Together with two hermits whom he found there, he and his companions built a small monastery, observing the primitive rule of St. Benedict. Thus was laid the foundation of the Order of Vallombrosa. The humility of the saint was such that he would never be promoted, even to Minor Orders. His charity for the poor caused him to make a rule that no indigent person should be sent away without an alms. He founded several monasteries, reformed others, and succeeded in eradicating the vice of simony from the part of the country where he lived. He died on July 12, 1073, at about 80 years of age.

And lastly …

 Quote

Be gentle to all and stern with yourself.

Saint Teresa of Avila

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