Stay Awake to the Presence of God

Image from this week, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the 13,000+ people gathered for a general audience in St. Peter’s Square. He cautioned that there is “a certain callousness of the soul towards the power of evil, an insensitivity to all the evil in the world: we do not want to be disturbed by these things, we want to forget, perhaps, we think, it is not important. It is not only insensitivity to evil, but also insensitivity to God.”

When Christ asked his disciples to stay and keep watch with him at Gethsemane, He also calls all of us to remain alert and aware of the presence of God and guard against the ability of evil to infiltrate our lives. Pope Benedict drew a comparison for the world today, that just as the apostles grew drowsy and fell asleep, “It ‘s our very sleepiness to the presence of God that renders us insensitive to evil: we don’t hear God because we don’t want to be disturbed, and so we remain indifferent to evil”

On this solemn day of our Lord’s crucifixion, we invite all to pray the Rosary between noon and 3 p.m. asking for all Christians to remain alert, live and trust in God’s will guided by His presence, and be strong in the face of pervasive evil threatening our moral values.

Then Jesus came with them to a small estate called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I go over there to pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And sadness came over him, and great distress. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake with me.’ And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed. ‘My Father,’ he said ‘if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.’ He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘So you had not the strength to keep awake with me one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ –Matthew 26:21-26


Shelly Henley Kelly