Oh my Father, whatever my circumstances bring,
        I will pray; not my will, but Thine be done.
        Luke 22:42


        Oh, Mary, each time I read the account of that night in the Garden, I am struck by the awesome loneliness of it. I see your Son leaving His best friends and walking on alone, then falling down in an agony of intense prayer.

                Wherever you were that night Mary, did you sense within you your Son's terrible burden somewhere in the shadows of the Garden on that evening?
          Were you aching to go to Him, wrap Him in your arms, and stroke away His pain?
        Did it remind you of some other day in His childhood, when His young friends had rejected Him because he was so different, and you were there to kiss away His tears?

                Did you feel the shudder that must have passed through that body that was flesh of your flesh, as He prayed in Gethsemane and the great, crushing wave of the world's sinfulness descended upon Him?
          Could you have known how in His darkest hour He crumpled forward as He spoke the only prayer that could bring any meaning at all at that black moment,

        "Not my will, but Thine, be done."

        As I ponder all of this, a soft voice whispers out of the past. It's the voice of a young girl, surprised by an angel's announcement.
        It's a quiet voice---shocked, stunned, perplexed, yet strangely steady,

        "Be it done unto me according to thy word."

        Acceptance. Surrender. Obedience. Yours, Mary. And now your Son's. And it must become mine, too.

                On this day of Gethsemane, I am reminded that the great agonizing moments of life are always solitary experiences.
        I cannot take my best friend or even my husband with me into the oil press of some of my most life-wrenching decisions.
        They cannot be with me in the pain of a failure, or fully share my grief at being rejected or at the loss of a loved one, or go with me to my own death.

        There is only one preparation for those moments of agony.  I learned it from your Son. . .and from you, Mary. The daily offering of my will to God's will.

                The moment I voice that prayer, angels come and strengthen me, as they did  your Son that night in the Garden.
        And it seems  that I hear a Voice from beyond the dark, saying,

        "Steady now. Steady. I will hold you up. I will bear your pain. I will see you through to the other side."