DIADEMS OF THE DECADE - Timothy Duff's <I>FIAT VOLUNTAS DEI</I> (031805tdl.htm)


Diadems of the Decade from March 1 and 8, 2005, vol 16, nos. 60, 67

                Holy Tears

                  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. 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.

                  "The righteous will suffer greatly. Their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise up to Heaven and all of God’s people will beg forgiveness and mercy and will plead for my help and intercession. And then Jesus Christ, in an act of His justice and His great mercy, will command His Angels to have all His enemies put to death. Suddenly, the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all those given over to sin will perish and the earth will become desert-like. And then peace will be made, and man will be reconciled with God. Jesus Christ will be served, worshipped and glorified. Charity will flourish everywhere."

    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.

Holy Tears of the Saints

    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.

    Many of the saints have given examples of tears also. Tradition holds that St. Peter’s face was furrowed from tears of repentance for his denials. Charity pressed tears from St. Paul“I now tell you weeping” (Philip. 3:18). St. Mary Magdalene washed Our Lord’s feet with her tears. St. Francis of Assisi says in his Stations of the Cross that there is nothing more profitable for the soul than tears of sorrow wept over its sins.

    Yet not all tears are the same, and not all are profitable. Our Lord revealed to St. Catherine of Sienna five types of tears (A Treatise of Prayer, pp. 187-ff.) grouped into two classes: tears of death (including tears of damnation and sensual tears caused by inordinate love) and tears of life. Whether it be tears of life or tears of death, it seems we shall all weep. “Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice" (John 16:20). “Blessed are ye that weep now: for you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21). We shall either weep fruitful tears of sorrow, penance, and even joy while on earth, and then attain Heaven in which our tears “shall be turned into joy”, or live riotously, carefree and/or lukewarm in this life and wind up weeping for all eternity the fruitless tears of damnation. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:13). “Woe to you that now laugh: for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25).

    Yet how shall “every tear be wiped away” (Apocalypse 21:4) if we have not wept? How shall we “rest from our labors” (Apocalypse 14:13; Epistle, Common Mass for the Dead) if we have not labored? How shall we reap the fruit of tears never sown (Psalms 125:5)? How shall we be raised from the dust if we are not in the dust? (Psalm 112:7).

    Our Lord told us to “weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28). Regarding outward tears in public, it would seem the saying of Our Lord, “When thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret” (Matthew 6:6), is especially important, safeguarding modesty and avoiding singularity. Yet we can always shed them inwardly from the chamber of our heart (the mysterious source of tears), and our “Father Who seeth in secret will repay thee” (ibid.). Our tears of sorrow will infallibly be turned to tears of joy. “Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16: 20). “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5: 5). “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves” (Psalms 125: 5-7).

    And what is more worthy of tears than our sins, and those of the whole world, the sole cause of all our miseries, as well as the catastrophic state of the Church, being crucified by the vicious and multitudinous enemies of happiness who press Her on every side?

    Our Lord wept; our Lady wept; so many of the greatest saints have wept; have we wept? Perhaps we feel we do not need tears. It is certain that the true religion is not a strictly emotional matter, and that faith and love can be proven without tears. But is also certain that tears may obtain graces which otherwise would be denied, and especially in the face of impending, or actual, disaster, certainly upon us today. “He that can take it, let him take it” (Matthew 19:12).

    Nowhere is this more evident for our own time than in the message of Our Lady of La Salette in 1846. She said the Church’s deliverance and resurrection from the current crucifixion are partly dependent upon the tears of Her children.

    “The righteous will suffer greatly. Their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise up to Heaven and all of God’s people will beg forgiveness and mercy and will plead for my help and intercession. And then Jesus Christ, in an act of His justice and His great mercy, will command His Angels to have all His enemies put to death. Suddenly, the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all those given over to sin will perish and the earth will become desert-like. And then peace will be made, and man will be reconciled with God. Jesus Christ will be served, worshipped and glorified. Charity will flourish everywhere.”[1]

    Are our prayers, penances, and tears rising up to Heaven? Are we begging for forgiveness and mercy and pleading for Our Queen’s help and intercession? Are we even praying the daily Rosary?

    Was Jesus our Savior speaking of us when He said, “I looked for one to grieve with Me, and found none”? (Psalms 68: 21; Offertory, Feast of the Sacred Heart)

    Do I weep? Alas, not as I ought. If nothing else, the fact that I do not weep should move me to tears. Perhaps I should weep because I do not weep.

Tears of the Innocent

    Though the tears of the guilty certainly move the Sacred Heart of Jesus (for example, St. Peter and St. Mary Magdalene), yet most powerful and certainly most lacking today are the tears of the innocent. Though the innocent of heart are so pleasing to God, “for they shall see God” (Matthew 5: 8), yet how precious few there are who, even though innocent, weep as if they were guilty, weep for the offenses offered to God in these disastrous times.

    Two examples, very similar in their lives, are St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Both entered religion at a young age, both were known to retain their baptismal innocence, and yet both were penetrated with such a love of God and neighbor that they wept incessantly. The Secret for the Mass of St. Aloysius (June 21) reads:

    “Grant, O Lord, that we may sit at the heavenly banquet clothed in the wedding-garment which the godly and continual tears of blessed Aloysius adorned with priceless pearls.”

The Collect for St. Gabriel (February 27):

    “O God, Who didst teach blessed Gabriel diligently to ponder the sorrows of Thy most sweet Mother, and who hast gloriously exalted him as a Saint and worker of wonders: give us, through his intercession and example, so to mourn with Thy Mother, that by her maternal care we may ensure our salvation.”

They wept as if they were the most guilty, and yet their innocence was so great that the Church compares both to Angels:

    “Thou hast made him a little less than the angels” (St. Gabriel, Alleluia verse; St. Aloysius, Introit).

    Though it will be hard to make myself understood here, yet it seems that even innocence is affected by our fallen nature by breeding a certain kind of complaisance which can stymie the selfless, ardent devotion and desire to be a victim soul which is often seen in the guilty. O would that there were “even 10” (Genesis 18: 32) souls in this world who could combine innocence and tears!

    But since we, being guilty, cannot combine innocence and tears, let us at least offer to God the supreme example of the ultimate Tears of the Innocent, those of the Sinless Ones, Jesus and Mary. It cannot be estimated by created intelligence how pleasing, how potent are these Tears to move the Heart of the Eternal Father to mercy.

    Perhaps we could offer the Holy Tears of Jesus and Mary to our Heavenly Father, and join with them our tears of guilt or innocence, to obtain our own sanctification, and in order that the impenitent enemies of happiness may be happily overcome all over the world, and the Holy Roman Catholic Church be restored and exalted once again, resurrected for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, the honor of Our Lady and all the Angels and Saints, and the eternal happiness of the souls redeemed at the price of such love and suffering and Tears.

Holy Tears

      Holy Tears of Jesus and Mary,
      Tears of water and of blood;
      Fall on souls and purify them,
      In the sight of the Sovereign Judge.

      Tears of water, pure and holy,
      Welled up in these Sacred Hearts;
      ‘Til Their LOVE could not contain them,
      Proofs of love which Love imparts.

      But when our thankless hearts were deaf,
      To wat’ry tears so eloquent;
      Great pangs of grief and pity pressed,
      Great Tears of blood from Hearts thus rent.

      O ingrate souls! How cold we are!
      ‘Twas for our love these two Hearts shed,
      Their Tears of water and of blood,
      To raise us from the selfish dead.

      “Tis true our hearts must weep – for joy,
      To see that words did not suffice;
      God’s Son and Mother speak to us
      By Tears! the soul’s mysterious price!

Tim Duff

[1] Pamphlet, Apparition of the Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette the 19th of September, 1846, by Melanie Calvat (the seer), Nov. 15th, 1879; imprimatur of Bishop Zola of Lecce.



DIADEMS OF THE DECADE
Timothy Duff's FIAT VOLUNTAS DEI
from March 1 and 8, 2005, Volume 15, nos. 60, 67