My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
"Grant me tears, O God, tears of repentance"
The holy desert Fathers, during the most solemn moment of prayer, did not ask the Almighty and Merciful God for greater strength, clairvoyance, wonders, nor piety. With profound humility and a sense of unworthiness, they would plead with Him and say, "GRANT ME TEARS, O GOD, TEARS OF REPENTANCE."
How often do we actually stop to think about the importance of tears? Practically all of us take tears for granted and give them not even a second thought. We simply explain them as a natural reaction to pain, to fear, to sorrow, to joy, of love, or even to guilt of a wrong that we have done. From a spiritual perspective, we shed tears of contrition, repentance, reconciliation, fear, shame, or indignation.
Our Divine Creator created everything with wisdom and a specific purpose. Nothing about His creation happened without a good reason and benefit, including tears. There is hardly any person, unless there is a health or medical problem, that has not shed tears. However, the ascetics are not asking for natural tears, but a special kind of tears. "Grant me tears, O God, tears of repentance." This is called the "gift of tears."
God’s love for us is boundless and infinite. The gift of tears is one of His great gifts to mankind. True or genuine tears flowing from love for Him, possess such power, according to Saint John of the Ladder, that "greater than Baptism itself is THE FOUNTAIN OF TEARS after Baptism." Another great holy Father of the Church, Saint Gregory Nazianzus, states, "I know a fifth baptism, which is born of tears, from tearful repentance, and such strength this baptism has, that it is greater than the first Baptism, because the first Baptism washes our sins, but it does not impart to us THE STRENGTH TO SIN NO MORE." Tears after Baptism ERASE THE SINS WE HAVE COMMITTED AFTER BAPTISM AND MAKE US CLEAN.
"Good tears flow from love for God. They nourish man, bringing great joy to his soul. Whether a man eats or does not eat, if he weeps, he is satisfied. These tears curb hunger and thirst, and man does not become angry at anyone. His soul ever rejoices, because he has a love for God." There are, of course, different kinds of tears, i.e., tears from the fear of God, tears of the fear of death and of Judgment, tears of sorrow of committing grave sins, tears of losing a loved one, tears caused by a painful divorce, tears of great anger and of hatred, tears of losing one’s wealth or job, tears od a mother crying for her child, tears of a child crying for his/her mother, tears of vainglory, hypocritical tears, etc. Even the Evil One takes advantage of tears by convincing a person to cry when others will see him and seek sympathy.
As you can see that there is a great variety of tears, not all are good. Good tears come from the love of God, tears that bring the believer closer to His Savior God. Good tears are the tears that express love for one another, love between friends, love between husband and wife, between two enemies that reconciled after many years of separation, between brothers and sisters, etc. Good tears bring healing to an injury whether spiritual or physical. Good and genuine tears bring us inner peace and relief from anxiety, stress, disappointments in life, and give us a time to regroup.
Undoubtedly tears, my good people, are an important part of our lives which we do not ever think about. We read in the psalms how God sees and collects each of the tears that come from our eyes. Each tear shed has a story. There is a personal story behind it. Each tear is an individual and personal statement, a revelation about what is in the heart of the human being. Each tear is unique and there is beauty in every good tear.
Thanks be to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the Gift of Tears. Where would we be without the gift of tears? Next time you shed tears, thank God for the privilege and blessing. I know that through tears my life is richer and happier. I can never forget the time that I broke down in tears when I had to conduct a funeral for a little child, my first son’s age, in my first parish of Assumption in Chicago. Even now after four decades later, just thinking about it fills my eyes with tears.
There are many wonderful stories of how tears have made a difference in someone’s life. How incredible this gift of tears is? They are truly a sign of love that flows from the heart. We should truly appreciate and acknowledge the importance of tears in our lives. One of the most inspiring and moving examples, is when our Lord Jesus Christ stood before the tomb of his good friend Lazarus, who had died four days before He arrived, "Jesus wept." That historic event of tears reveals clearly how great His love is for each and every one of us.
Glory Be To GOD!
"Glory Be To GOD
_ Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George