Jesus knew that the greatest suffering
he would experience was not physical.

From “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)

It wasn’t the physical pain of the crucifixion
that Jesus feared the most–
or the torture leading up to it.

It wasn’t even the emotional pain–
the desertion by his disciples, or the mockery
and humiliationn in public.
No doubt our Lord suffered greatly
because of all that, too.

The deepest pain for Jesus–
the one that he dreaded the most
and was his greatest fear–
was the spiritual pain–
the pain that would be caused by
the Father distancing from him.

It happened in Gethsemane
after his painstaking prayer,
when he finally said,
“Your Will be done”:
The distancing of the Father
and the resulting experience of God’s absence.

It was the last thing he needed:
More than anything, he would have wanted
to rely on the Father’s consoling presence
these last painful days of his life.

Instead he would find himself alone,
separated from the source of his life and joy.

If the Lord Jesus was going to redeem us,
he would need to identify totally with us sinners
and to put himself completely in our place.
And what are we sinners, after all,
if not distant and separated from God?

Of course the Father remained intimately united
with Jesus until his very last breath;
but for Jesus in all those long hours
after Gethsemane
until his death on the cross,
he felt alone, pried away from his Father.

From “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)

It was this sense of separation
of the Son from the Father
that Jesus feared the most.
This experience of a distant God
was completely alien to him, the Son of God,
who from all eternity has constantly enjoyed
a unique proximity and intimacy
with the Father.

But our Lord accepted his Father’s distancing
and embraced their separation–
for our sake.

For our redemption,
the Father and the Son allowed
this incomprehensible distance
to form between them–
a distance that began in Gethsemane
and that would culminate in Calvary.

Spend a few moments
just reflecting and
wrapping your mind around our Lord’s sacrifice.
How do you feel about this?

You may play this instrumental piece
to pace your reflection.

“Marble Halls” from Unexpected Songs by Julian Lloyd Webber/Catrin Finch. Released: 2006. Track 3 of 20. Genre: Classical.



There’s a saying: You may be alone, but never lonely.

Obviously that did not apply in this situation, where Jesus was BOTH alone and lonely.

I don’t understand why He ultimately wanted to experience both in one go, but let it not be said that Jesus did not fully immerse Himself in the experience of being human, that He did not complete ticking off the boxes of human living by avoiding pain, isolation, and loneliness.

Why did the Father keep His distance from Jesus? Why now? What do the Father and the Son want to teach us? The possibilities are hard to understand and accept.

I cannot and will not be able to fathom Jesus’ feeling at Gethsemane. He must have felt TOTALLY alone. Sad, afraid, lost, and yet totally obedient to the Father’s will.

Thank you, Lord for being obedient, for saving me and for loving me.

When a friend keeps his/her distance from someone, I think it doesn’t hurt much (I can tell).

But when a father or a dad makes his distance from his siblings, the result is devastating, much worse, if he abandons a child.

The eternal bond between the Holy Father and Jesus is an assurance of LOVE for His begotten Son.

Jesus, I felt your humanity when you said “Thy will be done”. You knew that with these words you let go of your divine power. You felt so alone, abandoned by God. But no, all along the Father was with you. In the busyness of my day, I am distanced from you. I go through the craziness of the day, falling into the pits, getting knocked down in the obstacles laid down by Satan. You did not abandon me. You are always there. I was the one who didn’t call out for your help. Lord, lead me, guide me and control me. Help me always focus on you as the center of my life so whatever obstacle Satan throws at me, I will not falter because You are there with me. Thank you, Father, that you are the King of all and that I am your daughter, the daughter of a Kung!

This goes to show that Jesus’ love for all of humankind is much greater than the entire love shown by humankind at all combined in all of history.

Imagine an all-powerful and almighty God. Someone who can do such wonderful things and speak with the wisdom given from the Father Almighty, chose to live the kind of life we have in all things but sin. He chose to feel physical pain, temptations, hardships, struggles, and emotional pain. Because he wanted to show how much God loves us by empathising and wanting to help us out of our circumstances by showing us the right yet loving way of God.

And his acceptance of his passion and death to take the painful punishment meant for us was the seal on the deal that proved how immense Jesus’ love for us was. He chose to feel every imaginable form of pain possible as he hung on the cross, knowing that this will save mankind and mend the bridge between us and God. He did it for us and he loves us all too much to not do this act of salvation. Sure, he asked God if it was possible to take the cup from him, but he remained obedient to Him and let his will be done, ultimately paying the price for our sins and we are born anew in the promises of God once again.

No words can ever describe how it feels; how I feel – all sorts of emotion. Praise You Lord, Thank You, Sorry, Help me. Agony in the Garden speaks of so much love and endurance. Lord, let me remember Your gifts of love – inspiration, redemption, healing and hope. As You endured, help me endure and offer all works for You. Revitalize and awaken the fire within me so I may Glorify You until I die. Make me live faith in my life and let others see You through me.

It’s so hurting to imagine what He did to save us. I want to scream crying beacause I felt it in my heart! Really I did! Oh My Lord!

Nagpapasalamat ako na inisip Niya na karapat-dapat tayong sagipin… Ang tunay na pagmamahal.. Salamat po, Sa’yo.

Thank you Lord for the gift of salvation thru your death on the cross. The pains & suffering you endured on the way to Calvary & eventually death on the cross is insurmountable & unconditional love for humanity. Yet we still offend you at times because of our stubbornness & pride. For all these, we ask your mercy & pardon. Amen

Up to now, I don’t understand why Jesus sacrificed so much when we are not worthy of such a sacrifice. Sometimes, I think, why did the Father allow such a horrible thing to happen? Why did the Father allow Jesus to suffer so much? I have no answers to that. If it’s truly love, it’s unbelievable, it’s crazy. It’s horrible, it’s unfair.

Gratitude. He was God but His humanity required of Him to embrace us so we experience redemption. For a Son who never knew distance, I can only imagine how painful, frightening, hurtful this might have been. But He had to endure—not for Himself, but for us. Thank You, Lord. Thank you for closing the distance between us.

The Lord Jesus gave up his will and God’s will be done. He suffered when he shouldn’t, he was accused of what he had not done, he endured four our sake.

This makes me think never to question what God gives me but …however hard it is… to accept is as part of the mystery of suffering, the sharing of one’s self in the pains of the Lord.

Though like Jesus, there is fear and anxiety….the will of the Lord before ours.
Trust believe and surrender.

Perhaps in this era of social distancing, the suffering I have experienced most acutely has come from spiritual distancing.

Jesus’ pain was beyond imagination. I could only approximate how dreadful He had felt being away from the Father, only to save us mortal sinners. Nevertheless, even if we didn’t deserve such act of love, I feel thankful for what Jesus had to sacrifice through the cross. He had to endure such distance so that He could make us closer to God. And the least we could do as Christians is to make greater efforts to know God more and to respond to God’s will in our lives, whatever it takes.

When I migrated to another country, I left my family back home, my then boyfriend was in another country. I started a new life only with God by my side. I only had courage and hope to do so because I knew it was His will. Ive been amiss several times but I always come back because I simply just can not live without God.

It takes a lot of courage to leave ones family. God was my refuge when I decided to migrate to another country. He was my strength and Savior.

Thank you father for sending your only son , Jesus to identify with us sinners and to save us from our sins. Only great love can ever accomplish that kind of selfless , painful act of sending your only son. You are truly selfless in all that you do. Fully doing everything for our betterment. May we always trust in the bigger picture, even if we don’t see it today and anxieties Start to creep in. May we hold on to your plan and stand strong during these confusing times.
I love you with all my heart. I’m sorry for my ways , and for my way of thinking that distance me from you. Pls give me the grace to always believe and have faith. I don’t want to be far away from you. I want to align myself to your will. Help me get there. Give me the gift of trust and faith. In Jesus name, Amen.

The distance of being away from those we love, those we identify the most! The distance between families and their frontliners! Now the distance that the Lord has accepted in order to identify with us. How great a sacrifice it is! May we have the same courage and strength when such time comes.

I also keep on asking the same question, “Why did Jesus believe He was abandoned?” “Why did God let Jesus suffer?” However, these are questions that were all ready answered beforehand. I may not have the exact words to these questions but I understood its message. Spiritually, I am aware of the answers. Spiritually, they have been answered.

I have been preparing myself to meet head-on adversity, challenges and uncertainty once the lockdown is lifted. Yet, I know I do it with fear and apprehension. You went through your suffering, Lord, seperated from the love of The Father. No wonder you cried out to him for having forsaken you. Now I understand the pain you must feel for me suffering through my trials and tribulations without you. My arrogance and fears have caused this distance. Let me be with you always to face my tests with your courage.

Lord Jesus, having accepted your fate at the hands of your enemies is a great sacrifice and the distance between you and our Father, Your Father must have been so hurtful but Father God was always there it is just that you had to go theu this for humanity. Thank you for saving us, I pray and I know you will come to our aid once more and stop this virus once and for all. Amen

I have to think of this another way and on the contrary, Jesus was more close to God at this moment than ever before. As mere sinning mortals we are not worthy to fathom God’s plan. But Jesus, he not only knew but understood what was God’s plan. Though he prayed that this cup may pass him, he never defied God by wanting it, that it should be God’s will that it should happen and not by his own will. Knowing what he was about to face, knowing what he was going to endure, he did so willingly as he played his role in God’s plan. Thus proclaiming God’s will be done.

Lucky those of us who knows what our roles are in this social distancing context. I constantly pray that what I am doing is what God needs me to do for his kingdom here on earth. For his people. He had already sent his son who gave up his life to save us. Now is our part in his plan. Are we like Jesus who willingly played his part. Or are we going to distance ourselves from God and not listen, not hear his direction.

Lord Jesus, much as I could never imagine how painful it was to be separated from the Father at the time that you needed Him most, still you bore the pain of being alone so that you may be one with us and redeem us from our sins. This brings a deeper meaning of your great love for us. Let this time of the ECQ, reawaken in us our longing to call upon you and to be near you always. May our feeling of being alone drive us to long for you more, listening intently to that little voice calling us to stay by your side, day by day.

Its hurting to be alone especially in this time of Pandemic. I could just imagine how painful it was for our Lord Jesus Christ to be alone and be distanced with the Father but he loved us so much that he surpassed all the pain and hurt from this earthly world of ours. Let us be reminded of his suffering and lets pray for each other that we can get up again and fight this battle as our Lord Jesus has fought for us.

I can’t help but be sad about this. Had I not entered this retreat, I wouldn’t know this fact. I can’t ever imagine how much pain and sadness Jesus felt when this happened. He doesn’t deserve this but chose to do because of His genuine love for all of us 🙁 Jesus, my Lord and my God, I am deeply sorry for my sins. Have mercy on me, a sinner.

This is the first time I’m realizing Jesus’ spiritual pain – the distancing of the Father, God’s absence. I didn’t reflect this way before – to be abandoned by your Father. I praise and thank Jesus that He took this upon Himself so God’s children will never feel abandoned, even if their own earthly fathers/parents would abandon them, He will be there. We will never be alone.

Lord Jesus, I cannot imagine being left behind by the last person you expected to leave you and how much more the one person who made this your mission to begin with. Your love for us made you carry on with this despite reservation but you did. It may have been a whole lot comforting to know Your Father was there every step of the way. He was but it probably didnt feel like it for you.. if You who are one since the beginning of time left the distance how much more us who have been distant due to our own fault and failures. I humbly implore you to please spare us from such a feeling or reality where we would face this pandemic alone. For without You we are nothing but with You anything is possible. Please do not leave our side and allow us to feel Your presence all the more during these trying times.

I wonder if Jesus had questioned himself if accepting His Father’s mission for him was the right thing after all the suffering he went through. He must have loved us so much that he was willing to bear all the pain even he felt abandoned by His Father. The distancing of God the Father from us is a test of our faith in Him as well. The faith that God can do something about the recent pandemic and this is a very spiritual experience for us.

I have known for a long time his sacrifice but it is only now that it has hit me. It must have been so painful for him but his love for us was bigger than that pain. Please help me understand sacrifice and greater love.

Had I been there amongst the people who witnessed His suffering I would have taunted Him saying that if He were the son of God then He should save Himself- I would have added to His pain. I now understand the worst social distancing that could happen-being distanced from the Father. I also now realized how much Jesus endured for us and how much we are loved.

To be alone is one thing. But to be alone without God must be terrifying and traumatic. What could have driven Jesus to push on? It must have been only LOVE. His great love for us.

Part of the Son’s pain must be knowing His Father is also feeling pain; for a father to stay away when he could help his son but must let things happen must be unbearable pain – for the son to know his father is hurting for him must be painful too. Did God choose to be distant or to be silent – a point to reflect on when we feel abandoned…

I am selfish. I do feel abandoned somehow. My life looks good from the outside but is rotten on the inside. My husband and I have no relationship. My children…..non believers. What did I do wrong. Is this punishment by God? Is there a God.

He took it upon himself to die feeling abandoned by the Father so that when it is our turn to die, we will not be abandoned. He redeemed us.

I don’t feel worthy. Even though I don’t think my sins are that terrible, they have caused me to slowly move away from you, bit by bit. And now I feel an emptiness in my soul. In my heart that I am trying to fill. Despite the happy relationships I have, I know that there is avoid, emptiness inside. Please help me, guide, as I struggle to find my way back. I want to be worthy of your sacrifice.

It is scary sometimes Lord when you allow us to believe that you are far or nowhere… when it is too dark and and the pain is too private i feel misunderstood and alone… when nothing makes sense, not even Your Love… but surely You understand… You know what is was like… the grace to stay and wait can only come from You… you’ve been there… help us hang on Lord… Amen.

Help me to see Your presence through the mirror of my soul, even if darkly because my sight has always been bad anyway.

The anguish. The sorrow. The agony.
You felt how much pain God suffers as you suffer – when we keep us apart from you and God. Mega-million nails driving through your heart.
Your pain likewise knew what comes of us when we separate from you.
It is not easy loving us. We are a constant heart breaker.
Please never tire of pulling us back in when we stray far from you and from our very true self.

I was not with my mother when she returned to you, Lord. I prayed that she died in your embrace. The ECQ prevented me from bidding her goodbye in her burial. Lord, let me be with my loved ones when my time comes. But most of all, allow me to be close to you in my thoughts and actions, that YOUR HOLY WILL be done in my life.

I cannot imagine how Jesus must have felt. The last person many people look to when all else fails is God. If God is not there when You are suffering and need him most, and everyone else rejects you, then you must really be alone, crying out for help. 🙁

Lord for those who died alone in the ICU, i cannot imagine how abandoned they felt. Please be with them Lord. Let them feel your presence and Love. For my poor and hungry brothers and sisters, please give them sustenance during these trying times and show us how we can help them

My soul is full with a deep sense of awe and gratitude for God’s great, immense love for me and humankind. Thank you Lord for loving me so much. Teach me to love you more.

All this time, I am aware that Jesus accepted to be crucified because of His immense love for us and that He wanted us to saved from sin, but now with this thought-provoking discussion about the spiritual distance He endured, I cannot help but fathom the great love He has for mankind. I somehow know now of what Jesus is truly feeling during that night at Gethsemane.

My fear of death, my Lord is really rooted in the uncertainty of what’s in store after this life which somehow I have grown attached to because You have also made this life full of blessings. When my final hours do come and when my fears set in, I pray that You remind me again about Your blessings in this life and grant me the grace to trust in faith that these blessings are really just little hints of what’s in store when I finally come home to You.

I never realised that being separated from His Father was His source of fear and anxiety. In many ways, I, too, have a fear of losing people who have given us security.. but I should always be mindful that God will always find a way to lead me back to Him. Only then will we alleviate all our doubts.

The isolation that all COVID19 patients encountered was like Jesus’s own experience of feeling and Being Alone. Embrace them Lord in these difficult moments as they unite with you in Love and Faith . Amen

Lord, thank you for loving us so much. I hope the way I live my life today and henceforth, will make you happy.

From “take this cup away from me”, “not my will but Thine be done” to “My God, why have You forsaken Me”-


I have learned to raise up my hands to You knowing that amidst the silence is Your answer.

Loving God, I know you would always accompany me in my life journeys. There are times I felt alone because of my own doings or sins. Have mercy on me. I am a sinner in need of your mercy, healing and conversion. Help me to live not only for my own self but for the good of other people and to give glory to your name. Amen.

I unite to You my Lord Jesus Christ my pains and difficulties in my life although how meager it is compared to Yours to somehow merit our Father’s forgiveness and remission of my sins and to make closer my distance with Him and worthy enough for Him to stay in my conscience (heart). Amen.

I wonder if Jesus had questioned himself if accepting His Father’s mission for him was the right thing after all the suffering he went through. He must have loved us so much that he was willing to bear all the pain even he felt abandoned by His Father. The distancing of God the Father from us is a test of our faith in Him as well. The faith that God can do something about the recent pandemic and this is a very spiritual experience for us.

That’s why You asked “ why have You forsaken me”
I’m weeping even more now.
The Covid patients who died alone , like Jesus asking, “why have you left me”. Please, Lord, accept them now, embrace them,
Grant, Lord that y spirit and flesh will remain steadfast and cling to you when my hour comes.

Like a child eager to go out and play, I have oftentimes let go of your clasp. In play, I have let my selfishness be my guide. There were occasions I hid myself from your preying eyes. But then I catch myself having ventured too far away and I cried out loud for your presence. I detest those times of selfish play and desire for pleasure. Never permit me Lord to be totally separated from You.

I can imagine how hard it must have been for Jesus — to be far from his Father. And I am not sure whether I can bear what Jesus chose to bear in order for God’s will to be done. I can identify in the strong will and want to fulfill God’s will in my life but in all honesty, I am not sure I can stay true to this want and “strong” will when this means being away from what matters to me the most. I can only pray that when I am faced with the same difficulty Jesus had, I can also be as courageous and faithful as him so that God’s will be done.

My Lord and my God. How painful it must have been for you to distance yourself from God the Father. I realise how much you must have loved your Father to obey and follow his will. Indeed without doubt you love us so much and gave up so much to love us out of sin. Forgive me for taking your love for granted. Help me remember… always. Remind me constantly of your love that in my small way, I can show my gratitude and love for you in return.

Growing up, God always felt distant to me. Unconsciously, my image of God has always been that of a punisher, unpredictable, and angry God who is quite frequently disappointed with me for all of my imperfections, ugliness, and unworthiness. Still, I kept putting my hope and trust in all that I saw was good, true, and beautiful in my life and the world. From interactions with sincerely good and kind people who cared for me and inspired me, I began to experience and see a little bit more clearly glimpses of a loving and merciful God, although this God is strange and foreign to me. Maturing a little more, my attention shifted to Jesus Christ becoming my Lord, my friend and my Savior. Learning that Jesus once felt that God was distant comforted me knowing that Jesus has experienced and also knows how I constantly felt – alone, afraid, weary, confused, exhausted, far from feeling God’s loving presence – but at the same time, I don’t feel so alone anymore because I know Jesus sees and knows what I am going through and how I feel. Jesus, most important of all, gives me hope that there is a far greater reality in this suffering, and that it is not meaningless. So long as I cling to Jesus, strive to offer myself and seek Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, I will be okay. I trust that Jesus will not let me lose my way and fall into despair, that Jesus will bring me to eternal life, that Jesus will bring me to the Father in God’s perfect time.

In this moment we have our own way of sacrifices, may we discern what or who are we sacrificing for. Pour forth your grace of discernment unto us so that we may be able to define it. For us at the end of this all, in Your time, we may become a renewed disciple.

God’s distance can be a teaching moment–a call for me to move and take action. Like a child learning how to swim or how to ride a bike for the first time, we are let go, released, so that we may learn to build our own strength and stand on our own feet, even as we doubt that we can succeed.

Lord, let this time be an exercise on how we should live our lives. May we use this precious quaratined time to always prioritize you so that when this is over, we may resurrect with you.

Even the thought of being alone ? scares me. Father forgive me for those moments of not trusting You enough.

Many might be asking at this moment (in this pandemic): “Is God here? Why does He allow many people to get sick and die? Why does He allow at let people suffer even more than in the disease, but in their dire situation? (lost job, no income, people being discriminated or judged related to COVID-19)”.

Jesus became human and experienced fear, pain, anxiety, isolation and loneliness, like us, to redeem us. Of all people, He knew and feel what we are experiencing now. He is our model, of how we should face this situation…pray to Our Father in heaven, ask for strength, that may His Will be done in our life.

Sacrifice entails love. When Jesus chooses to love us he able to do it through sacrifice. There is no greater act of love and service that is to sacrifice… It is very difficult to do but as long I love, I will make sacrifice. Keeping distance with the Father so Jesus feels and immerse as a sinner is an ultimate sacrifice. It is when Jesus do that brings me an inspiration to do sacrifices. Jesus keep a distance and separated from God his one and only ultimate source of strength…SACRIFICE…

Lord Jesus, it was not your sins that distanced You from the Father; it was our sins. Your love for us is greater than Your fear. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Help me to be the person that You gave Your life for.

Lord, throughout my journey with depression and anxiety, i know you were never distant. Whenever I felt like ending it all, you always send something or someone to make me realize that once i go through with it, i’d be distancing from you forever. Please please forgive me for my weakness.

Dear Lord, You became human and experienced fear and pain like us, to redeem us. May our lives be of thanksgiving.

Lord, sacrificing Your life to save us has always been of unfathomable value. But, at this time when nearly everything is as silent as it can be and I sit amidst that silence, I see the value of You descending from Heaven to be with us and be one of us. All too often, we think we understand everything around us. Although that might be intellectually true, too often, we belittle the value of immersion…of living through something before saying anything as though we know it all. Please grant us the grace to listen with our mind, heart, and soul, so we can truly discern what Your will is and choose to let it be done.

Lord, I know I sometimes am restless when I feel that you’re far, distant. Help me realize that this is a test of faith, of complete trust. I pray that we will forever deepen our relationship and we find meaningful and creative ways to connect and commune. I pray that your presence would be felt as well by my family and M. I pray for their own healing and transformation. ♥️?

Lord Jesus. I am so so sorry you felt so alone at that time. When things dont go our way, when You seem to be distant – remind me that even YOU went through this. And with faith and with hope, make us know YOU will be there. Please Lord let your face shine upon P. Let her see YOU. She has been waiting for so many years. Let her feel your love and presence. Let her find herself. Let her be happy. Lord, as this quarantine season is happening, let this be a blessing in disguise for her. Let her find YOU and blossom in the process. Amen.

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