Fiat Voluntas Dei (mar1tim.htm)

Tuesday
March 1, 2005
vol 16, no. 60

Holy Tears

Part One

        We know of the salvific nature of blood and water, but there is another liquid that receives little notice: it is that saline solution emotionally emitted from one's eyes, originating in the heart which prompts us to amend our ways.

    "How profitable it would be for each of us to spend some time each Saturday meditating on the tears the sorrowful Mother shed on Holy Saturday. Of course, if possible, the best meditation would be to attend Mass with the intention of comforting Our Lady of Sorrows, recalling her desolation on Holy Saturday. One meditation is this: 'I, by my sins, not only crucified her Son on Good Friday, but I buried Him, hiding Him from her. What agony, what desolation I caused her by hiding her Son from her! By receiving Holy Communion on Saturday, I can offer her Son to her to console her, to make reparation for hiding her Jesus from her on Holy Saturday.'"

    Tears are a language all their own. From the most helpless child to the exalted Mother of God tears express desires and touch hearts in a way words cannot. What we may not obtain through ordinary means may often be obtained through tears.

Holy Tears of Jesus and Mary

    Our Lord wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41; Gospel, Pentecost IX), giving testimony by His tears to the sincerity of His love and the gravity of the dire prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem He then uttered. He wept over Lazarus (John 11:35), and this was seen as a proof of love. In the “days of His flesh” He “offered a strong cry, and tears" (Hebrews 5:7; Epistle, Mass of the Eternal High Priest). [1] A few examples of references to tears in Holy Scriptures are the following: Lam. 2:18; Tob. 3:22, 7:13, 12:12; Ps. 38:13, 41:4, 68:4, 94:6, 101:10; 136:1; Ecclus. 22:10, 38:16; Is. 38:5; Jer. 9:1; II Mach. 13:12; Mt. 5:5; Lk. 23:28; Jn. 16:20; Rom. 9:1-2; Philip. 3:18; II Tim. 1:4; Apoc. 5:4; 7:17; 21:4.

    Why did He weep? Were His perfect doctrine, holy works, and powerful miracles not enough? Did He weep for Himself? It was for us He wept. Do we see these tears as so many proofs of His infinite love for each of us? It is a pious thought to believe He wept some tears for each one of us individually. He wept for me. Can we think of this and remain unmoved?

    The Blessed Virgin Mary, in imitation of her Son, certainly wept. Tears are a language all their own. As if to show the primary importance of this language in moving hearts, at La Salette she first wept, then spoke. It was as if she was saying, “My children, before I speak to you words, I speak to you tears, as proof of my love and pity and the consequences of sin. These tears of my maternal heart always move the Heart of my Son; will they move your hearts? If ye despise my tears, the hand of my Son must fall.” And fall it has! The spoliation of the Church…world wars…the Novus Ordo…what next?

    One of the great devotions of these latter days is devotion to the Sorrowful Mother. “Stood the mournful Mother weeping” says the Stabat Mater. One of the great fruits of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion is that many people have gotten a glimpse, and have begun to realize, what not only Our Lord suffered, but also His sorrowful Mother.

    We pray in the Hail Holy Queen, “mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.” Is this earth to us a valley of tears? Do we act as ones banished, exiled from our homeland? “Where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.” (Matthew 6:21; Gospel, Ash Wednesday)

    How profitable it would be for each of us to spend some time each Saturday meditating on the tears the sorrowful Mother shed on Holy Saturday. Of course, if possible, the best meditation would be to attend Mass with the intention of comforting Our Lady of Sorrows, recalling her desolation on Holy Saturday. One meditation is this: "I, by my sins, not only crucified her Son on Good Friday, but I buried Him, hiding Him from her. What agony, what desolation I caused her by hiding her Son from her! By receiving Holy Communion on Saturday, I can offer her Son to her to console her, to make reparation for hiding her Jesus from her on Holy Saturday."

    Manifold are the references to the tears of Our Lord and Our Lady in the Mystical City of God [2] by Venerable Mary of Agreda (Washington, NJ: Ave Maria Institute, 1971, 1991) , a magnificent book of private revelation approved by the Catholic Church and used even by Popes for spiritual reading and meditation. For example, it is there recorded that one of the very first acts of our Infant Queen in the womb of St. Anne was to weep over the fall of man manifested to her:

    “[The Lord] ordained by the power of His right hand that in perceiving the fall of man she shed tears of sorrow in the womb of her mother at the gravity of the offense against the highest Good.” (Conception, p. 189)

    At the Circumcision were seen Holy Tears of Jesus and Mary shed outwardly (Incarnation, p. 449):

    “True to His human nature, the divine Infant shed tears as other children. Although the pains caused by the wounding were most severe…yet His tears were caused not so much by the sensible pain as by the supernatural sorrow caused by His knowledge of the hard-heartedness of mortals. For this was more rude and unyielding than the flint, resisting His sweetest love and the divine fire He had come to enkindle in the world and in the hearts of the faithful (Luke 12:49). Also the tender and affectionate Mother wept, like the guileless sheep, which raises its voice in unison with the innocent lamb.”

    Over and over our Immaculate Queen urges, yea commands, Ven. Mary to weep over her sins, over the sins of humanity, over the state of the Catholic Church. Here is but one of dozens of examples (Transfixion, p. 469):

    “[S]ince without thy merit the Almighty has ordained that thou receive Holy Communion daily, seek by all possible means to preserve thyself in the good dispositions from one Communion to the other. It is the will of the Lord and my own, that with this sword thou fight the battles of the Almighty in the name of the holy Church against the invisible enemies. For in our days [3] N.B. The Mystical City of God was written around 1650. What would Our Lady say today? they are heaping affliction and sorrow upon the mistress of nations [Ed. she means here the Catholic Church], while there is none to console Her or to take it to heart (Lam. 1:1). Do thou thyself weep for the same reason and let thy heart be torn in sorrow.”
Can it be said of us, “my eye hath run down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people”? (Lamentations 3:48).

Tears of the faithful

    But could our tears actually be efficacious? Could they actually move Jesus and Mary to grant that which They would not grant otherwise? Witness how Ezechias added 15 years to his life via weeping (Isias 38:1-6; Epistle, Thursday after Ash Wednesday). The tears of Martha and Mary, and those around them, wrenched tears from the Son of God and moved Him to perform the stupendous miracle of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45; Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent). If St. Paul was mindful of the tears of St. Timothy (2 Timothy 1: 4), how much more will our Heavenly Father be mindful of ours? And notice the efficacy of the tears of the faithful facing the impending loss of our Blessed Mother as recorded in the City of God (Coronation, p. 598, my emphasis):

    “It was a great mercy and providence of the Lord that many faithful of the primitive Church were thus timely forewarned of the death of their Queen; for He does not send labors to His people without first manifesting them to His servants, as is said by the prophet Amos (Amos 3:7). Although this loss could not be spared to the faithful of that age, the divine clemency ordained, that in as far as was possible the primitive Church should find a compensation for the loss of its Mother, and that its tears and sorrow should be the means of obliging her, during the space of time which still remained of her life, to favor and enrich them with the treasures of divine grace, which as the Mistress of them all she could confer upon them in her departure, as for their consolation she really did. For the maternal bosom of the blessed Lady in this extremity was moved by the tears of the faithful, and during those last days of her life, she obtained from her divine Son for them and for all the Church new mercies and blessings of the Divinity.” Here it states clearly that is was the tears of the faithful which so moved Our Mother, being so many proofs of love.

She wept for me

    It is also recorded in the City of God that while yet on earth she was shown each of us individually. Here is an example (Coronation, p. 108):

    “[I]n the heavenly knowledge and charity of this most loving Mother we were all present to her…for she saw and knew us all in the order and succession in which we were to be born in the Church; and she prayed and interceded for us no less than for those who lived in her times.”

    Knowing the gravity of our dangerous pilgrimage through life, would it not be a pious thought to believe that she also wept for each of us individually? In fact, the Memorare to Our Lady of La Salette begins:

    “Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows, the tears which thou didst shed for me on Calvary…”. (S.P. Ap., Dec. 12, 1933)
And if our Blessed Mother wept for each of us, surely our crucified Saviour also wept some tears for each one of us in the Garden of Gesthemane, during the horrendous scourging and crowning of thorns, on the cross.

    There seems little doubt that if souls knew that Jesus and Mary loved them so much as to weep for them individually, remaining ungrateful and indifferent would be much more difficult. The tears of Jesus and Mary certainly have power to melt the iciest and soften the stoniest of hearts.

    It is a very pious wish to desire our own salvation, and that of others, not so much for any personal motive, but so the pains, labors, and Holy Tears of Jesus and Mary be not in vain for any of us.

Tim Duff


For the second installment of "Holy Tears," see Part Two


    For past articles in Fiat Voluntas Dei, see 2005tim.htm Archives
    March 1, 2005
    vol 16, no. 60
    Fiat Voluntas Dei