By Carlos X.
Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion is poignant because of its devastating description of the agony of the Lord as He was about to make His ultimate sacrifice. His fleeting fancy, “If it is possible, let this cup pass” and subsequent, solemn affirmation, “If this cup cannot pass by me, but I must drink it, your will be done” (St. Matthew 26:42), is a powerful testament to Christ’s love for humanity and obedience to the will of God. It is also an important illustration of the value of the spiritual retreat as a source of fortitude in Christian life.
Archbishop Óscar A. Romero of El Salvador is said to have had his moment in the Garden during a spiritual retreat just weeks before his March 1980 assassination. “I want this retreat to join me more closely to His will,” Romero wrote in his notes for that retreat. Romero was an enthusiastic advocate of spiritual retreats. “In everyone’s heart there is, as it were, a small intimate cell where God is able to speak with everyone individually,” he had preached to his flock upon taking up his ministry three years before. “If every one of us who are so concerned about so many different problems and situations were to enter this ‘small cell’ and from there listen to the voice of the Lord who speaks to us in our conscience, how much more would we be able to do to better our situation and the situation of our society and family,” he said.
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