O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell
and lead all souls to heaven,
especially those who most need thy mercy.
This prayer reminds me of salvation, a rescue and liberation from many negative and damaging aspects of living and being. I personally think it is in harmony with the ‘First Sorrowful Mystery’ (of the Rosary set of prayers).
The First Sorrowful Mystery
(reference: ‘The Rosary: Joy . Light . Sorrow . Glory’, fourth edition 2004;
Aid to the Church in Need, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Reg. charity no. 265582)
‘Father, not my will but Thine be done’
The Agony in the Garden
Scripture reading (cf. Mark 14:32-45; Luke 22:44)
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John to Gethsemane. There he began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” And he fell to the ground and prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” And his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. Three times he came to his disciples and found them sleeping. Then Judas came with a crowd of men, armed with swords. He said, “Hail Rabbi”!” And he kissed Jesus.
On that night on the Mount of Olives he wanted to have his three closest friends with him – the same friends whom he had taken with him onto the Mount of Transfiguration. But they are overcome by sadness and by sleep. Alone, he turns to his Father with the most tender word in his language: “Abba, dear Father”. And the most intensely human of appeals breaks from his lips: “Take this suffering from me… ”. Then, with divine majesty, Jesus declares his total obedience, just as he taught us in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will and not mine be done, Abba”. The traitor delivers him up.
Lord Jesus, look upon all who suffer fear and depression, on those whose souls are in darkness. For you took to yourself the abandonment of all the redeemed. Be with us in our own Gethsemane, so that we too may say with you: “Abba, dear Father”. Amen.
As an aside :
India’s ‘untouchable’ caste
Was just watching the National Geographic Channel’s ‘Taboo’ series and this episode covered the subject of “Death”. NatGeo visited India where the lowest ‘caste’ (otherwise known as ‘class’) of people is the Hindu man who deals with dead bodies all day long, burning them and generally ridding the world of these warped, deceased and decaying human matter.
For them, it is a grindingly relentless
and corrosively punishing daily duty.
They only have one duty.
It is never-ending;
it is thankless;
it is monotonous;
it is bleak;
it is fruitless;
it is isolating.
And it is ceaseless.
There is only ever deterioration, never progress;
there are only ever endings, never beginnings.
And it never ceases.
Closures are continuous.
Closure after closure after closure after closure after closure.
Openings are unheard of.
The end never ceases.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
They are engulfed by the stench of rotting and burning human flesh, as well as being forced to visually and mentally consider such disintegration of existence before their very eyes.
This lowest caste of Indian people are named as ‘the untouchables’. Other people, other castes, avoid the untouchables like the plague. Hinduism values and teaches reincarnation and the cycles of life, and the idea is that to be able to rise to the next level of caste the person must first complete his own life, die, move on and then reincarnate to the next level.
But whether or not the person is successful is dependent on his ‘karma’, his accumulative spirit, being of positive worth. The life of an untouchable is like being a trapped drone-bot, but the person himself is not a drone i.e. the spirit is greater than the human life he has reincarnated into to enable him to understand the paradoxical trappings and complex realities of life-in-progress in order to further his spirit.
The untouchable must relentlessly, substantially and fruitlessly face and physically handle human demise and decay every day of his life, but his life may not be as deprived as the caring may want to believe.
His learning in life is to deal with a very tangible paradox: the only way to be liberated from the dreadfulness of death in life, of being released from having to face and contend with death every minute of every day, he must himself also die.
In more general terms :
It is the very concern that he deals with that is the one that blights him and, more confusingly, this daily concern eventually becomes his salvation, his rescue, his liberation.
:: For all of us, often it is what we need to work at
that breaks us and yet also makes us ::
But unlike the untouchables, many of us have several of these ‘obstacles’ or ‘challenges’ in life. But would they occur in your working life or your personal life? Is it when you work, rest or play? And with whom, what, where and when?
Only by substantially, and maybe even fully, overcoming our own life obstacles can we then seek to more fully enjoy our current lives as we should and deserve to do so.