Thursday, March 28, 2013

What Jesus Saw When His Sweat Became Like Drops of Blood Falling on the Ground

Today is Holy Thursday.  The day we remember and commemorate the Last Supper, the Institution of the Eucharist, and our Lord's Agony in the Garden.  For me, it is easy to glide over our Lord's agony in the garden.  It is covered in a single paragraph, and the details are scanty.  What we do know about it offers very little visually, except for "his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground" (Luke 22:44). There is nothing in Scripture that describes what Jesus actually saw or felt during that hour and a half.

We know there are a lot of gaps in Scripture, and often find in the Catholic faith, incredible detail to fill those gaps, made known in personal revelations by Christ Himself.  As a Catholic, it is not required that we believe these accounts, nor is it encouraged to consider them as historical fact.  The Church simply makes a thorough assessment of what has revealed, and offers approval (not to be confused with promotion), if there is nothing that contradicts Church teaching (which began when Christ gave Peter the keys to the kingdom).

With that, there was a woman named Anne Catherine Emmerich who lived from 1774-1824.  She bore the physical wounds of Christ, called stigmata, in her own body.  Many, many details of the spiritual life and the Lord's Passion were revealed to her.  In the Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, she commits 27 pages to what was revealed to her of Christ's agony.  I am going to boil it way down, because I have to communicate something of what she's seen to you.  I am going to summarize where possible, and quote where it is impossible.

The first agony in the garden:  Jesus saw and bore all sins, of all humanity, for all time.  Then, satan tempted Him with all potential (not actual) sin in His life, where human suffering was caused because of His actions:

"satan reproached Jesus with having been the cause of the massacre of the Innocents, as well as of the sufferings of his parents in Egypt, with not having saved John the Baptist from death, with having brought disunion into families, protected men of despicable character, refused to cure sick persons, injured the inhabitants of Gergesa by permitting men possessed by the devil to overturn their vats, and demons to make swine cast themselves into the sea; with having deserted his family, and squandered the property of others; in one word satan, in the hopes of causing Jesus to waver, suggested to him every thought by which he would have tempted at the hour of death an ordinary mortal who might have performed all these actions without a superhuman intention...

The second agony:  Jesus "beheld the enormity of the debt of sin that He was going to pay and the suffering required to satisfy Divine Justice" while harassed and tempted by satan, "Takest thou even this sin upon thyself?  Art thou willing to bear its penalty?  Art thou prepared to satisfy for all these sins?"

The third agony:  "Jesus having victoriously resisted all these assaults by his entire and absolute submission to the will of His Heavenly Father, a succession of new and terrifying visions were presented before his eyes, and that feeling of doubt and anxiety which a man on the point of making some great sacrifice always experiences, arose in the soul of our Lord, as he asked himself the tremendous question:  'And what good will result from this sacrifice?'  Then a most awful picture of the future was displayed before his eyes and overwhelmed his tender heart with anguish...

The frightful visions of the future ingratitude of the men whose debt to Divine Justice he was taking upon himself, continued to become more and more vivid and tremendous.  Several times I heard him exclaim: 'O my Father, can I possibly suffer for so ungrateful a race?  O my Father, if this chalice may not pass from me, but I must drink it, thy will be done!'"

The soul of Jesus beheld all the future sufferings of his Apostles, disciples, and friends; after which he saw the primitive Church, numbering but a few souls in her fold at first, and then in proportion as her numbers increased, disturbed by the heresies and schisms breaking out among her children, who repeated the sin of Adam by pride and disobedience.  He saw the tepidity, malice, and corruption of an infinite number of Christians, the lies and deceptions of proud teachers, all the sacrileges of wicked priests, the fatal consequences of each sin, and the abomination of desolation in the kingdom of God, in the sanctuary of those ungrateful human beings whom he was about to redeem with his blood at the cost of unspeakable sufferings.

The scandals of all ages, down to the present day and even to the end of the world...

It was also revealed why Peter, James, and John were chosen to stay and watch with Him:
After Jesus woke them from their sleep, John saw the condition He was in and said, 'Master, what has befallen thee?  Must I call the other disciples?  Ought we to take flight?'  Jesus answered him: 'Were I to live, teach, and perform miracles for thirty-three years longer, that would not suffice for the accomplishment of what must be fulfilled before this time tomorrow.  Call not the eight; I did not bring them hither, because they could not see me thus agonizing without being scandalized; they would yield to temptation, forget much of the past, and lose their confidence in me.  But you who have seen the Son of Man transfigured, may also see him under a cloud, and in dereliction of spirit; nevertheless, watch and pray, lest ye fall into temptation, for the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak'...

Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my sins.  I am sorry for my ingratitude.  Please help me console Your Sacred Heart.  I will try to live my gratitude for Your sufferings and death in everything I do.  Please give me the grace never to offend You again.  I love You, Jesus.  Remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.  Amen.


  1. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for reading! I am glad to know that it is good for you.

  2. Thanks, Carol. Seeing your comment encouraged me to read it again. It is never too often to be reminded what love looks like and how privileged we are to serve such a Mighty and Victorious King!!