My kids love Bible movies, and the other night we were watching a show together. The stories are told in a beautiful, simple way that makes me look at a passage that I am very familiar with in a new light. We were viewing the part when Jesus goes to the garden to pray before being arrested, and the disciples fall asleep. Peter says, I’m so tired, I’m going to rest against this tree. He leans his head back on the tree and falls asleep almost immediately.
Watching this part brought back a memory of when my husband and I took turns going to late-night adoration at the church after the kids were in bed. Sitting in the adoration chapel with the tiredness of the day sinking in, I put my head against the back of the pew and closed my eyes. To the people around me, it may have appeared as if I was in deep prayer, but I was falling asleep. One of my favorite songs began to run through my head. Like my children’s show, it, too, is simple and to the point: Stay here and keep watch with me the hour has come. Stay here and keep watch with me, watch and pray.
My moment in the adoration chapel was very similar to Peter’s moment in the garden, both of us putting our heads back and closing our eyes. One can start with good intentions, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to keep your eyes open. There are so many times during the day I have good intentions, but I fall short. Why? Easy answer. Like Peter, I am also human. I cannot keep my eyes open on my own, and thankfully, Jesus does not expect me to do it on my own. He is waiting and longs for me to let him help.
Jesus, help keep my eyes open. Fill in the gaps of weakness in my humanity to help me draw close to you—to watch and pray!
Mary, this post describes beautifully something I just went over with my 8th and 9th grade students: how St. Therese of Lisieux trusted so much in the love of her Father, that she did not worry at all about falling asleep in adoration. You remind us moms (as St. Therese does) that WE ARE LOVED COMPLETELY BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, even when our human limitations and sins make us feel unworthy.