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TradCatKnight; The Heroism of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane

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The Heroism of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane

The Heroism of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane


Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira



What is Catholic heroism? 

The supreme example of Catholic heroism is Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is not only the model of every form of virtue and holiness, He is their source, because from Him emanates the graces to attain holiness.

The Catholic should continue to fight moved by convictions, not consolations

The most perfect example He gave of His own heroism was, in my view, the Agony in the Garden, which Nietzsche despised. Nietzsche said that Our Lord Jesus Christ had not shown himself to be a real man in this instance. Further, with His doctrine of forgiveness and His goodness, He showed He was just a soft sweet being. This statement is blasphemous, and had Nietzsche been ordered to carry the Cross, he would have handed it over 200 times. He would have abandoned that Cross, apostatized, done a hundred other things, but he would not have had the courage to carry the Cross. 

The Garden of Olives is the heroic episode par excellence, not only because it involves Our Lord Jesus Christ, but because of the very essence of that episode. In fact, He was the God-Man. Considered in His humanity, He was absolutely perfect, conceived without original sin and, as man, the most perfect being that God created, possessing in the highest degree all the qualities of a human creature. For this reason, He had an extremely keen and harmoniously developed instinct for preservation, a consequence of His perfection. 

He also had a perfect understanding of affection, fidelity and, the solidarity of friendship; therefore, He possessed a far more perfect comprehension than any of us of all the moral torments that awaited Him. This perfect instinct of preservation would cause Him to have a natural fear of the enormous physical tortures He was going to suffer. There has never been and never will be a man who can suffer the physical torments that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered. 

On the other hand, there has never been and never will be a man who can suffer the moral torments that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered during the Passion, not only from seeing the Apostles abandoning Him, but also for all the injuries He suffered from each one of those souls He wanted to save. It is unfathomable what He suffered on that occasion.

The agony of Christ is the model of all heroisms

When the hour arrived for His Agony – for His prayer in the Garden of Olives. He placed – so to speak – the final period to His earthly existence. Everything behind Him – all His work – was finished and ready. That night He had something else to do: to prepare for His martyrdom. To prepare His physical and spiritual sensibilities, to prepare His Person to carry His Cross, to suffer all that He would have to foresee, to measure everything, adjust Himself and resolve to do all He had to do. This was the Agony of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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