by Father Doyle
October 12, 1956

Censor liborium
Archiepiscopus Milwauchiensis

OUR LORD had suffered a terrible ordeal in His initial phase of trial in the Garden of Olives. He had, some thirty-three years earlier, taken on the burden of human nature, Now in this fateful garden, Christ took on the awful burden of man’s sins, and He rightly looked to His closest friends to share His burden in return, if only by compassion. They failed Him. They slept. Oh how the words of the prophet were fulfilled: “I looked for one that would grieve together with me, and there was none; for one that would comfort me, and I found none” (Ps. 68:21).

Note that our Lord goes back a second time to pray. This time He is even more alone then before. He prays to His heavenly Father, and His heavenly Father turns a deaf ear to His petition. His Apostles are sleeping again, and yet he prays alone. He is now in a state of supreme desolation and yet He prays. He is in a state of complete dereliction but He prays on. Learn from this lesson to pray even under the most adverse circumstances.

Consider the fact that Christ persevered in His prayer. Already He prayed to His Father saying: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me” (Mt. 26:30).

The second prayer of our Lord was a repetition of the first, for He said: “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done” (Mt.26:42).

The third prayer was couched in the same words – a prayer more fervent, more earnest then any uttered by any man who ever lived on this earth – yet His Father, it seemed, did not listen to His petition. Christ did not grow impatient, He calmly and resignedly adds: “Not My will but Thine be done” (Lk. 22:42).

What a great lesson in this for all of us! If the son of God must plead three times for the fulfillment of His prayer, and does so without a trace of bitterness, why are we so depressed when our prayers are not immediately answered? St. Monica prayed for eighteen years for her son Augustine’s conversion, but how richly her perseverance was rewarded. “We wait a whole year,” says St. Francis de Sales, “before the seed we sow in the ground bears fruit; and are we more impatient in regard to the fruits of our prayers?”

There is great consolation for all of us in the refusal of the Father to hear the petition of His adorable son. God the Father refused the most perfect, the most precious prayer ever uttered on this earth – but he did so to prove His love for sinful man. For the sake of sinful man He will not answer the prayer of His own Son, because had God acted otherwise, we would have all been lost. See the reason behind God’s refusal to answer our prayers – He always has the greater good in view:

From now on, never complain if your prayers are unanswered. Just keep right on praying. Say your rosary today for the grace of perseverance.


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Comment by Michael on February 2, 2019 at 5:30pm


Comment by Cathleen on February 25, 2013 at 5:48pm

The other thing I have struggled with lately is I feel like I am "pestering" (for lack of better term) Our Dear Lord with all sorts of "everyday" and petty worldly concerns when there is so much more "bigger" things to worry about, esp. this week with the Holy Father formally abdicating on Thursday.  :-(

Comment by Dawn Marie on February 25, 2013 at 8:41am

Oh dear Cathleen, truer words were never spoken!  Perhaps that is the key to all, the acceptance of God's Holy Will in all things, or rather to embrace and love the will of God and detest our own.  It can be reached, we just have to keep working at it, everyday in all things.  Again easier said than done, but we keep on trying :)

Comment by Cathleen on February 25, 2013 at 8:32am

I think sometimes the harder thing to do is learn and accept God's will, when you pray for one thing but then He gives you almost the total opposite of what you asked for.  This has happened several times to me in the past several years.  It is a good thing that Our Dear Lord is so patient with me, as I am a slow learner sometimes!  :-p

Comment by Dawn Marie on February 25, 2013 at 8:24am

Me too Cathleen.  But God always has a greater good in mind.  All we have to do is have faith.  In this case, in these unprecedented times we have to have an unprecedented faith and confidence.  Easy to say but at times so hard to do.

Comment by Cathleen on February 25, 2013 at 8:20am

Thank you for posting this.  I have been feeling like this lately, so it was very timely for me.

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