The Gift of Tears
Weeping mingled with Joy
from various sources
We have all watched a "tear-jerking" movie or read a good book depicting situations that
bring us to Tears of Compassion. We may have found ourselves swelling with
Tears at the Consecration of the Mass as we
think of all the Sacrileges done today, or just in giving thanks for such a
Gift as the Eucharist.
But the Gift of Tears given to some of our
Saints like Saint Francis, Saint Patrick, Saint Anthony,
Saint Paul , and of course Our Lady of Sorrows is so intense and
constant that, as in Saint Francis' case, it helped cause him to lose his sight.
The following paragraph is from the life of Saint Ignatius:
"He sometimes Cried so much at Mass that he could not go on, nor even talk for some time, and he was
afraid that his Gift of Tears might cause him the lose of his eyesight. Gonclaves de Camara said, 'When he did not Weep three times
during Mass, he considered himself deprived of consolation'".
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)
(A Unity (1) of Body
Natural Body -
Natural Soul -
Supernatural Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit
|The Supernatural Order is the
Ensemble of Effects exceeding the Powers of the Created Universe and Gratuitously produced directly by
God for the purpose of raising the Rational Creature above its Natural Sphere
to a God-like Life and Destiny.
In The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Saint John Climacus discussed
Three (3) Levels of Tears:
ContraNatural Tears (Crocodile Tears) which arise
when our Will is thwarted, for example Tears
of Anger, Jealousy, or
Natural Tears which arise in response to
Emotional and Physical Suffering,
whether such Suffering is experienced by Ourselves or by Others with whom we feel
Sympathy. Examples are Tears of
Grief, Pain, or
Compassion. These Tears seem to contribute
to our Healing.
SupraNatural Tears are conferred by God as a
Gift of Grace and are what Mystics are referring to when they speak of the
Gift of Tears. They may be both Joyful and
Sorrowful at the same time.
In addition Saint John Climacus, following after the Apostle Paul, says in the
The Ladder of Divine Ascent:
"Mourning according to God is Sadness of Soul and the disposition of a Sorrowing Heart, which ever
madly seeks that for which it thirsts . . . Mourning is a Golden Spur in a Soul which is stripped of all Attachment and of all
Ties . . . Keep a firm hold of the Blessed Gladdening Sorrow of Holy Compunction, and do not stop working at it until it raises you high
above the Things of this World, and presents you Pure to Christ . . . The Fruit of Spurious Compunction is Self-Esteem, and the
Fruit of Praiseworthy Compunction is Consolation . . . When I consider the actual Nature of Compunction, I am amazed at how that which
is called Mourning and Grief should contain Joy and Gladness interwoven within it, like Honey in the Comb".
The Holy Fathers of the Church teach us to ask of the
Lord the Gift of Tears, because without
Tears there can be no real Repentance and
Cleansing of the Soul. Penitential
Tears are a kind of Second
Baptism that Washes-Away every Sin from a Man's
Soul. For much as after a Violent Burst of Rain,
says Saint John Chrysostom, there is a clear open sky; so likewise when Tears are pouring down,
a Calm arises, and Serenity, and the Darkness that ensues on our Sins quite disappears (Homily 6 on the Gospel according to
Matthew). Mourning over Sins, writes Saint Demetrius of Rostov,
Washes the Soul, Whitens every Darkening, Cleanses the Conscience, Enlightens the Mind, Loosens Sinful Bonds, and
Expiates the Handwriting of Iniquities.
Those who Sorrow over their Fallen Condition
and the Sinful World will Rejoice in the
Future Age, according to the Savior's Word: Verily, verily, I say
unto you, that ye shall Weep and Lament, but the World shall Rejoice: and ye shall be Sorrowful, but your Sorrow shall be turned into
Joy (John 16:20). Those who Mourn in this life will rejoice in Eternal Life, for
genuine, Blessed Joy -- Consolation is given only in the Eternal Abodes in God's Kingdom, for there, as it is said in the
Revelation of John the Theologian, God shall wipe away all Tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more Death, neither Sorrow, nor Crying, neither shall there be any more Pain: for the former things are passed away.
In the passage which follows, Saint Isaac of Nineveh likens these Tears to
the Tears wept at-birth. The Mystic who experiences such
Tears is being reborn into the age-to-come, and as such is experiencing a foretaste of
The Fruits of the Inner Man begin only with the Shedding of Tears. When you reach the place of Tears, then
know that your Spirit has come out from the Prison of this World and has set its foot upon the path that leads towards the New Age. Your
Spirit begins at this moment to breathe the wonderful air which is there, and it starts to Shed Tears. The moment for the Birth of the
Spiritual Child is now at hand, and the Travail of Childbirth becomes intense. Grace, the common Mother of us all, makes haste to give
birth Mystically to the Soul, God's image, bringing it forth into the Light of the Age to come. And when the time for the birth has
arrived, the Intellect begins to Sense something of the things of that Other World -- as a Faint Perfume, or as the Breath of Life which
a Newborn Child receives into its bodily frame. But we are not accustomed to such an experience and, finding it hard to endure, our Body
is suddenly overcome by a Weeping mingled with Joy.
Somewhere between Natural and SupraNatural Tears
are the Tears shed in Mourning over one's
Sins. Like Natural Tears, these
Tears bring Healing. However with
Reconciliation, Tears of
Sorrow begin to Mingle with Tears of
Joy and take on a SupraNatural Quality.
From Liturgy of the Hours Book IV page 215 a Sermon by Saint Leo the Great, Pope:
"After preaching the Blessings of Poverty, the Lord went on to say: Blessed are they who Mourn, for
they shall be Comforted, but the Mourning for which He promises Eternal Consolation, dearly beloved, has nothing to do with ordinary
worldly distress; for the Tears which have their Origin in the Sorrow common to all mankind do not make anyone Blessed. There is
another cause for the Sighs of the Saints, another reason for their Blessed Tears. Religious Grief mourns for Sin, ones own or
anothers; it does not Lament because of what happens as a result of Gods Justice, but because of what is done by Human
Malice. Indeed, he who does Wrong is more to be Lamented than he who Suffers it, for his Wickedness plunges the Sinner into Punishment,
whereas endurance can raise the Just Man to Glory".
From Liturgy of the Hours Book IV page. 413 Letter to Proba by Saint Augustine; (just before he
goes into the discourse on the Our Father) :
"Excessive talking should be kept out of Prayer but that does not mean that one should not spend much
time in Prayer so long as a Fervent Attitude continues to accompany his Prayer. To talk at length in Prayer is to perform a necessary
action with an excess of words. To spend much time in Prayer is to knock with a persistent and Holy Fervor at the door to the One Whom
we beseech. This task is generally accomplished more through Sighs then Words, more through Weeping than Speech. He "Places our
Tears in His Sight", and "Our Sighs are not hidden from Him", for He has established all things through His Word and
does not seek Human Words".
Last Judgment Triptych (central) - by MEMLING, Hans - from Muzeum Narodowe, Gdansk
In this painting by Memling, Jesus, the Divine Justice, is handed a Red-Hot Sword by an Angel.
Mary, at the bottom-left, and Saint Joseph, plead for Divine Mercy for their children (us).
Love is the Key to the Gift of Tears,
as it is the Key to everything. So with every Tear that we shed for ourselves and others,
offer them to Our Blessed Mother to help fill the bucket in which
she is collecting the Water (Tears) to quench
the Flames of the Red-Hot Sword of Divine Justice
Mass for the Gift of Tears
Ezekiel 18:21-23, 30-32 -- Turn and be Converted from all your Crimes
John 1:5--2:2 -- The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all Sin
Mark 1:1-8, 14-15 -- Repent and believe in the Gospel
Moses strikes the Rock to bring-forth water in the desert for the People of Israel - Exodus 17/Numbers 20
The Rock is a PreFigurement of Christ, and the Water represents His Copious Graces, Pardon and Mercy.
Almighty and most gentle God, Who from a Rock made flow a Fountain of Living Water
for Your thirsting People,
draw now from the hardness of our Hearts
Tears of Sorrow
that we may Weep for our Sins
and, by Your continued Mercy,
be made ready to accept their Pardon.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ
Prayer Over the Gifts
We ask You to look with favor upon these Gifts, O Lord,
and receive our Offering
to Your Sovereign Majesty on account of our Sins,
that this Sacrifice from which Pardon flows
as from a Fountain
may bestow by Your Holy Spirit
the Gift of Tears for our Offenses.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
O Lord, may the reverent reception of Your Sacrament
wash away the stains of our Sins with Sighings and Tears
and, by Your Bounty,
obtain for us the Pardon we desire.
We ask this through Christ our Lord