Praying in the right direction …

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

“And going forward a little, he fell on the ground, and began to pray.” Mark 14:35.

You know, if there was ever a human being who knew what he was doing it was Jesus. Being perfect, and he is, everything about him gives us an example to follow. Everything.

Many of the worlds religions have much in common. Despite time, geography, and culture people are people. Everyone, for example, laughs and cries. We may laugh or cry about different things but we still laugh and cry. Various things seem to be across the board. And that’s because they are. The worlds monotheistic religions for example. Take Judaism and Islam. If you’re a practicing Jew you turn towards Jerusalem when you pray. If you’re Muslim you face in the direction of Mecca. There are reasons for this. Respect, longing, simple devotion, and more. In Catholicism? Its a little different. If we pray rightly we face in a certain direction as well. Its just not a direction you’ll find laid out by Rand-Mcnally.

Look at what Jesus did. And remember that he’s the example. ” … going forward a little … ” This is a Sorrowful Mystery. Have you ever prayed while consumed with sorrow? Certainly, we all have. When we pray, sorrowfully or otherwise, in what direction do we turn? In what direction did Jesus turn? ” … and GOING FORWARD … ” And this is precisely what we need to do when we pray.

When we pray we need to have a forward view, one of hope and not despair. Jesus prayed in sorrow but I can’t believe he prayed without hope, faith, and confidence. He didn’t look behind, at the past, at the unbelieving crowds. And certainly he saw what was coming. He knew he was about to be crucified and prayed that he might be spared this cup of suffering. But if he saw his crucifixion coming don’t you think he saw Easter morning as well? And we need to learn this lesson in prayer. Things are what they are, and sometimes they’re just bad period. But that doesn’t mean God’s going to leave them that way. Otherwise why bother praying? And there’s the hope, the forward view.

Consider also how far forward Jesus went. ” … and going forward A LITTLE … ” Sometimes baby steps forward are all we can stand. The length of the stride isn’t whats important here. Again, its the direction. Look forward with hope, not backwards with despair or the wrong kind of longing.

“Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Which direction was Lot’s wife looking in after she had been told to look straight ahead? What happened to her? And as we move from this world to the next, and that’s what we’re doing with every breath we take, just like Lot’s wife was moving away from Sodom and Gomorrah to a place of refuge, which way do we look?



  1. I find that a brief look back upon sins and shortcomings is useful. For example, a daily examination of conscience gives rise to contrition for one’s sins, which is necessary for forgiveness. Also, Lent is a good time for a healthy introspection to discover which situations lead to sins and which lead to good acts, thus enabling us to develop strategies to better obey the Commandments and do God’s will. But, as you point out, J-M, we must guard against dwelling upon our sins to the point of despair, which would be to doubt the saving power of God, and we must not allow the mere thought of a former sin give rise to a nostalgic pleasure that inclines us to commit that sin again. God bless!

    • I agree. I suppose that currently I’m so focused on moving forward, after the back surgery and etc., that its my primary purpose. But yes, we need the sincere look at the past as per examination of conscience, repentance and future strategies to avoid our past sins and shortcomings in the future. Right now I’m looking forward to breakfast at a local restaurant. 😉 God bless you, my friend. Have a good day. 🙂

  2. This is so encouraging….To look FORWARD when we pray EXPECTING and BELIEVING.

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