The Friday Clive

Once again, a longer quote. 
"Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith.  I don't agree at all.  They are afflictions, not sins.  Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ.  For the beginning of the Passion - the first move, so to speak - is in Gethsemane.  In Gethsemane a very strange and significant thing seems to have happened.

It is clear from many of His sayings that Our Lord had long foreseen His death.  He knew what conduct such as His, in a world such as we have made of this, must inevitably lead to.  But it is clear that this knowledge must somehow have been withdrawn from Him before He prayed in Gethsemane.  He could not, with whatever reservation about the Father's will, have prayed that the cup might pass and simultaneously known that it would not.  That is both a logical and a psychological impossibility.  You see what this involves?  Lest any trail incident to humanity should be lacking, the torments of hope - of suspense, anxiety - were at the last moment loosed upon Him - the supposed possibility that, after all, He might, He just conceivably might, be spared the supreme horror...

But for this last (and erroneous) hope against hope, and the consequent tumult of the soul, the sweat of blood, perhaps He would not have been very Man.  To live in a fully predictable world is not to be a man...

We all try to accept with some sort of submission our afflictions when they arrive.  But the prayer  in Gethsemane shows that the preceding anxiety is equally God's will and equally part of our human destiny.  The perfect Man experienced it.  And the servant is not greater than the Master.  We are Christians, not Stoics."


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