The soul, has grown aware of her obligations and observed that life is short (Job 14:5), the path leading to eternal life constricted (Mt. 7:14), the just one scarcely saved (1 Pet. 4:18), the things of the world vain and deceitful (Eccles. 1:2), that all comes to an end and fails like falling water (2 Sam. 14:14), and that the time is uncertain, the accounting strict, perdition very easy, and salvation very difficult. She knows on the other hand of her immense indebtedness to God for having created her solely for Himself, and that for this she owes Him the service of her whole life; and because He redeemed her solely for Himself she owes Him every response of love. She knows, too, of the thousand other benefits by which she has been obligated to God from before the time of her birth, and that a good part of her life has vanished, that she must render an account of everything—of the beginning of her life as well as the later part—unto the last penny (Mt. 5:25) when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles (Zeph. 1:12), and that it is already late—and the day far spent (Lk. 24:29)—to remedy so much evil and harm. She feels on the other hand that God is angry and hidden because she desired to forget Him so in the midst of creatures, Touched with dread and interior sorrow of heart over so much loss and danger, renouncing all things, leaving aside all business, and not delaying a day or an hour, with desires and sighs pouring from her heart, wounded now with the love for God, she begins to call her Beloved. – St. John of the Cross
Msgr. Pope has a beautiful analysis here
St. John of the Cross, pray for us
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” Luke 22:43
In the Gosple account of Mark 14 32:34, we hear “They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”. Father Jerome Murphy-O’Connor is stating that Jesus had a brief nervous breakdown. As much as the faithful would say NO WAY to such a report, after all He is God and how could our Lord have experienced such a thing, I have to agree with Father Jerome. We have to understand Jesus Christ has two natures which cannot be separated, human nature as well as divine nature. The balance of which is crucial. I have to take into account that our Lord, being Creator, to see ANY soul lost in sin, through His human nature must be the most painful experience. To lose one soul that He created, to see just one soul chose not to love Him in return has to be devastating to His human nature. Imagine then to see that compounded by all the souls in eternity in such a way, who choose not to be with Him? Not to mention the persecutions and sufferings of all Gods children through all time? Could you imagine watching just one of your children starve to death through lack of receiving our Lord?
I often see the Angel who strengthened our Lord as all the prayers for all mankind to come. The way in which our Lord was strengthened was through humility. The Angel must have brought our Lord the news that many were calling to Him for help, who had not yet been born. In a moment when He was distraught at seeing His thirst for those He had been preaching to, to understand Him, he was strengthened by the prayers of the future. Meaning, our prayers and faith in Him not only TODAY but through all time after His rising from the dead, because of His suffering then, through humility, pulled Him out of His moment of distress.
How often do we look to our future with Him, especially while suffering and then it sinks in, our suffering is not long in this world because we know we can rest in Him for all eternity? That is where the basis of my strength comes from. In knowing that no matter where I am, when I join my suffering with His, when I place my full faith in Him, my suffering becomes nothing and His peace, joy and comfort becomes everything.