The Agony in the Garden: A Mother’s Prayer Guide

The following is a guided meditation on the Mystery of the Agony in the Garden, prepared specifically for wives and mothers. You may wish to use this as a starting point to enter into your own prayer.  The Fruit of the Mystery of the Agony is conformity to God’s will.  How is God inviting you to conform to His plan for your marriage and family?  Are parts of His calling difficult or even painful at times?  How are you being invited to say “yes” to God’s will in all circumstances? 

From the warmth of Your intimacy, from the comforts of the upper room and the last supper, You lead me into the dark night of Your agony.  Having filled me with the bread of Your heavenly body and the chalice of Your salvation, You now offer me a new cup, the cup of Your suffering. 

Your agony calls me to be profoundly still, fully awake, and willing to wait with You.  I look into my heart, and find myself hopelessly lacking.  So much of me is not ready.  I find my soul cluttered with attachments.  My fiat is feeble, and my heart is slow. 

Like Your twelve apostles, I am divided.  Most of me is not yet ready to pray with You through the night of Your agony.  Yet I also find, budding within, an emerging part of myself who longs to drink the cup of suffering with You.  This new “me” – this small but growing self – is invited to stay at Your side, to pray in agony with You, to experience sorrow with You, and to comfort You in some small way.   

Though willing, I often find myself asleep, imperfect in my vigil.  You invite me out, beyond the limitations of my comfort.  Divided, imperfect, and yet so deeply desiring, I answer.  Your Mother lends me Her “yes” when mine waivers.  I find my voice inside of her words, inside of Your words, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” 

So many times I have prayed for Your cup of suffering to pass from my lips, but now Lord, I beg to drink it with You.  Even if my capacity remains small and my resolution wavering, You can work Your miracle of life born through death within me. 

I lay down all that my heart has previously tried to manage, manipulate, or control.  As a mother, I lay down areas where my children struggle, fail, or suffer.  Rather than frantically trying to “fix” them, I release them to You.  I relinquish my desire to control; I still myself at Your side, awake and waiting, trusting You and Your plan. 

As a wife, I lay down the intricacies of my relationship with my husband.  I give You our good times and difficult times.  I release my expectations of my husband from tightly grasped fists.  I entrust him to You; I entrust our relationship to You, the joyful and sorrowful parts together. 

Finally, I lay down my total self.  I give You my preference for comfort over suffering, pleasure over pain, and recognition over a hidden life.  I give You my circumstances – all I have prayed You would change, and all I so desperately try to change myself.  I sit with you here, in the darkness that surrounds us, in the darkness I encounter deep within myself.  I say with You, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” 

Jesus, grant me the grace to remain with You in darkness.  Teach me to be profoundly still, fully awake, and ready to wait at Your side.  Prepare my lips to drink the cup of suffering with You; prepare my heart to trust you in all circumstances. Not my will, but Your will be done.