We ought to ask what Christ brings to the soul to lighten her task of reparation. Theology gives us the answer, telling us that to this end Christ gives us a complete endowment in the form of a new life of grace and of new spiritual powers, namely those of faith, hope and charity. With the help of this endowment we come not only close to Jesus but, what is more, we are changed into Him in such a way that we can repeat after St. Paul "Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20).
By the new light of faith we learn to appreciate the true meaning of our life as well as the need for devoting ourselves to the salvation of souls. Supernatural love infused in our hearts facilitates our embracing with solicitude souls otherwise unknown to us but, through God's mercy, entrusted to our care. The gift of supernatural hope gives us wings to surmount all the difficulties encountered on the road of our mission of reparation.
The infused moral virtues help us in coordinating our desires with our possibilities whereas the infused gifts of the Holy Spirit encase us in armor against the influences of the world, keeping us entirely for Christ, so that we may be able to repeat with St. Paul: "For to me, to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21).
From Christ we receive this endowment also in order to fulfill our mission of reparation whose model is the agonizing Heart of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
. . . strive for a heart that is pure, a heart that is courageous, a heart that is tender, and a heart that is responsive to every interest of God and of souls.
For the work of reparation, to come close to the sinner putting on his sins is insufficient. We must by the same token, come close to Christ to find in Him the necessary strength.
The soul of reparation to make amends to the Divine Majesty must, therefore, become an instrument in the divine hands, that is, she must become His exclusive possession, living in His spirit, for "if any one has not the Spirit of Christ, she is none of his." She must for this reason live these words of St. Peter: "You are a chosen generation . . . a purchased people." Through these words the Apostle wished to remind us that we are the spoils of war which Our Lord has acquired in His struggle against the devil and the world.
The soul of reparation must be a holy possession of Our Lord; she must be "holy both in body and in spirit" (1 Cor. 7:34), for she is of the number of those who "according to his purpose, are called to be saints" (Rom. 8:28).
The soul of reparation must be a pure possession of Our Lord, cleansed from the influences of the world.
You may make the most complete and absolute offering of yourself to God to bear every pain He may wish to send. Renew this frequently and place yourself in His hands as His willing victim to be immolated on the altar of sacrifice. But it is better not to ask directly for great sufferings; few of the saints did so. Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J.
The scene of the Agony in the Garden shows the soul of reparation the road she must take: it is impossible to atone for sins in any other way except by assuming responsibility for them.
There is, moreover, no redemption without suffering and crosses - this is the second lesson of the Garden. Christ's bloody sweat shows us how costly is our battle with sin whose cosmic power weighing heavily on anyone accepting the sins of another draws down the thunderbolts of God's just wrath.
The Garden of Olives also teaches the soul of reparation the true sense of the guilt which she takes on for the sinner. Gazing upon Mount Olivet and willing to make reparation the chosen soul must identify herself with the sinner and, simultaneously, must feel the full need of Christ the Redeemer. Having donned another's sins she must go to Christ to receive from His hands the chalice of His Most Precious Blood, the only means of their remission and of the restoration of the Eternal Father's glory impaired by them.
Becoming aware in this light of the enormity of the world's evil and of its offenses against the Divine Majesty, our reparation must assume the following characteristics:
it must feel guilt for the sins of others; therefore,
it must put on the sins of others;
it must identify itself with the sinner;
it must in union with Christ's Most Precious Blood accept responsibility of reparation for the sins of others; and so,
it must make reparation to the offended God with the superabundance of sacrificial love.
Our reparation, therefore, having the Agony scene set before us for its imitation should know no barriers, no limits in the intensity of its sacrifices, since the agonizing Heart of Jesus in the Garden of Olives, overflowing with pain the the desire for sacrifice is its model.
I've set up a private forum and have made you all blog authors so that you can share your own posts on the group, things we have been discussing or books you have been reading. I thought this would also allow us to post privately podcasts of the group for those unable to attend. Let me know what you think and any ideas that you might have about how we can use this.