‘Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down on the ground.’ This is the second antiphon from the Benedictine Prayer Book of Pannonhalma, Hungary (Morning Prayer, Holy Thursday).
What strikes us is how our Lord is profoundly rooted in this life. He is so much one with our human existence, he is so much one with who we are − his whole being refuses to be severed from this life.
In his agony we should see Him as part of us; as the centre of our identity (who we are in Him). So his Passion is not simply is about us, it is not an external offering of himself for us. His protest against being cut off from life valuates and blesses our present life. We must appreciate and respond with gratitude that his suffering, at the same time, has created a gate in the walls of our present. This gate will open us soon, in this Three Holy Days of Easter, into life-changing possibilities.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..