The Agony by F.W. Faber
First read Mt. 26:36-46 and Luke 22:39-46
O soul of Jesus! Sick to death!; Thy blood and prayer together plead,
My sins have bowed Thee to the ground; As the storm bows the feeble reed.
Midnight—and still the oppressive load; Upon Thy tortured heart does lie,
Still the abhorred procession winds; Before Thy spirit’s quailing eye.
Deep waters have come in, O Lord!; All darkly on Thy human soul,
And clouds of supernatural gloom; Around Thee are allowed to roll.
The weight of the eternal wrath; Drives over Thee with pressure dread,
And, forced upon the olive roots; In deathlike sadness droops Thy head.
Thy Spirit weighs the sins of men; Thy science fathoms all their guilt,
Thou sickenest heavily at Thy heart; And the pores open, blood is spilt.
And Thou hast struggled with it, Lord!; Even to the limit of Thy strength,
While hours, whose minutes were as years; Slowly fulfilled their weary length.
And Thou hast shuddered at each act; And shrunk with an astonished fear,
As if Thou could not bear to see; The loathsomeness of sin so near.
Sin and the Father’s anger! they; Have made Thy lower nature faint.
All, save the love within Thy heart; Seemed for the moment to be spent.
My God! My God! and can it be; That I should sin so lightly now,
And think no more of evil thoughts; Than of the wind that waves the bough?
I sin—and heaven and earth go round; As if no dreadful deed were done,
As if God’s blood had never flowed; To hinder sin, or to atone.
I walk the earth with lightsome step; Smile at the sunshine, breathe the air,
Do my own will, nor ever heed; Gethsemane and Thy long prayer.
Shall it be always thus, O Lord?; Wilt Thou not work this hour in me,
The grace Thy passion merited; Hatred of self, and love of Thee?
Oh by the pains of Thy pure love; Grant me the gift of holy fear,
And give me of Thy bloody sweat; To wash my guilty conscience clear!
Even when tempted, to make me see; Beneath the olive’s moon-pierced shade,
My God, alone, outstretched, and bruised; And bleeding, on the earth He made.
And make me feel it was my sin; As though no other sin were there;
That was to Him who bears the world; A load that He could scarcely bear.