"'Father, if possible, take this cup from me.' Many cling to this text in order to use the sadness of the Savior as proof that he had weakness from the beginning rather than taking it on for a time. In this way they distort the natural meaning of the sentence. I, however, consider it not only as something that does not need to be excused, but nowhere else do i admire more his tender love and majesty. He would have given me less, had he not taken on my emotions. Thus he suffered affliction for me, he who did not have anything to suffer for himself. Setting aside the enjoyment of his divinity, he is afflicted with the annoyance of my weakness. He took on my sadness so that he might bestow on me his joy. He descended into the anguish of death by following in our footsteps so that he might call us back to life by following in his footsteps. I do not hesitate to speak of sadness since I am preaching the cross; he took on not the appearance but the reality of the incarnation. Thus, instead of avoiding it, he had to take on the pain in order to overcome the sadness."
So...i wrote a face book note about this last year. Actually, i didn't really write about it. I put the quote in a note, and then followed it up by saying something along the lines of..."WHAT?!". Tonight i decided to revisit this again, because kriss and i just had a talk tonight about emotion, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I stumbled across this quote from St. Ambrose while i was reading for my Christ and the Trinity homework. Those were the days-when i actually read for my homework instead of skimming to find answers to my homework questions. kidding...sort of. I actually do remember finding this quote. It was one of those moments, when even though i wasn't fully paying attention, there was no way that i could drag my eyes and heart away from the message that St. Ambrose was relaying.
"He would have given me less, had he not taken on my emotions. Thus he suffered affliction for me, he who did not have anything to suffer for himself. Setting aside the enjoyment of his divinity, he is afflicted with the annoyance of my weakness. He took on my sadness so that he might bestow on me his joy."
People say all the time- Trust God...He KNOWS. I am familiar (very familiar) with the fact that God knows every inch of my heart, the depths of all of my thoughts, every failure and joy, and every little tiny thing that i feel. He does KNOW. I've learned in so many of my classes that our emotions, because of concupiscence, are unruly. This is something so intrinsically human. Our emotions are quite literally out of control. I know that Christ was fully God and fully man. He took on our humanity so that we could share in his divinity. But for some reason, something held me back from making the connection that Christ took on our emotions as well. He felt everything-He KNOWS. Tonight i was just talking to kriss about how even though my intellect was telling me one thing, my emotions had totally taken over in a moment(s) of weaknesses, and that i had really lost sight of what the right course of action was. When i feel pain, i can look to the cross, to His agony and know that He experienced more pain than i can possibly fathom. When i experience sadness, i can think of the way that so many of His followers betrayed Him. When i know deep joy, i know it is His gift to me. But it is rare that i remember that when i am overtaken by my emotions in a destructive way, that He knew what it was to feel in the exact same way that we do. I know that this post is a rambling mess, but i just really needed to remember tonight that not only does he KNOW what i am feeling, he FEELS it with me. Knowing that he is in each moment with me is such a consolation, because instead of being ashamed of feeling the way that i feel, i can simply turn and gaze into the eyes of the ONE who KNOWS, without defense, and without explanation.