flight or fight?
“LORD JESUS CHRIST, Good Shepherd and gentle Master, i bless and thank You for Your utter desertion and abandonment, when, at the moment of your greatest need, all Your disciples and acquaintances forsook You and left You alone among your cruel enemies. Your chosen brethren and friends had promised to give their lives and to die for You, but when the time came to prove themselves, they chose flight and deserted You.
How useful it would be for me to reflect on this scene at greater length and not to presume that anything great can come from me. Though the grace of new fervor sometimes fills me during prayer, i know not how long it will last, nor what will happen to me in time of temptation. If the very pillars of heaven, the apostles of Christ, quaked in the hour of trial, how then will a frail weakling react when even a slight temptation comes his way?
There are those, Lord, who use harsh terms in admonishing the holy apostles for having so shamefully deserted You. The apostles fled because they had been so overwhelmed by fear. But these faultfinders do not see how every day they themselves quickly turn away from the truth-it all depends on how love or hate moves them.
i beg You, dear Lord, to keep me from falling into such madness of heart that i should depart from the holy purpose i have set for myself, but that i should follow You wherever You go, whether it be to life or death. may i never desert You in time of adversity nor yield to the concupiscence of the flesh and content to sin, but, in my pursuit of virtue and for the love of You, may i prove myself by manfully facing a variety of trials. if i were to give in to my slothfulness, i should lose You, my Supreme Good.
let not the foot of the proud overtake me because of some good work i have done. let me not speak presumptuously as did Peter, preferring myself over another or considering myself everyone’s equal, rather by humbly acknowledging my own weakness, may i always act with fear of You.
May St. Peter’s fall and the apostles flight serve me as a warning against sin rather than be obstacles in my path. let their return to repentance instill in me the great hope that i, too, may seek after mercy after my own failings; for there is no one so holy that does not sometime fall into venial sin. if it should happen that i am deserted by friends and acquaintances or am looked upon, by those whom i love, as a stranger and as one who is worthless, then grant me, as a special remedy, to recall your complete desertion and abandonment, that i may readily forego all human consolation, and in some small measure be conformed to You as You undergo Your trials.
Gentle Jesus, forgive me for having so often offended You, for so easily turning to vanities, and for not setting my heart on that which i have proposed to do. how often i look back on the amount of time i spent on so many things, all far from important, while i paid no attention to Your Passion. You have proceeded me along the narrow road, and with eyes dry i pass by as if Your sorrows have no effect on me.
remember my foolish heart and instill in it a loving remembrance of YOUR most bitter Passion.”