Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Gift of Tears

In this season of Lent we often turn to the wisdom of saints long gone from this earth. Strange as it may seem, many of them saw tears as a gift from God. Here are a few of their studied opinions:

John Climacus (570-649) The Ladder of Divine Ascent:

"Baptism washes off those evils that were previously within us, whereas the sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears. The baptism received by us as children we have all defiled, but we cleanse it anew with our tears. If God in His love for the human race had not given us tears, those being saved would be few indeed and hard to find."

"When the soul grows tearful, weeps, and is filled with tenderness, and all this without having striven for it, then let us run, for the Lord has arrived uninvited and is holding out to us the sponge of loving sorrow, the cool waters of blessed sadness with which to wipe away the record of our sins. Guard those tears like the apple of your eye until they go away, for they have a power greater than anything that comes from our own efforts and our own meditation."

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) The Dialogue:

"I have told you how tears well up from the heart: The heart gathers them up from its burning desire and holds them out to the eyes. Just as green wood, when it is put into the fire, weeps tears of water in the heat because it is still green (if it were dry it would not weep), so does the heart weep when it is made green again by the renewal of grace, after the desiccating dryness of selfishness has been drawn out of the soul. Thus are fire and tears made one in burning desire. And because desire has no end it cannot be satisfied in this life. Rather, the more it loves, the less it seems to itself to love. So love exerts a holy longing and with that longing the eyes weep."

According to The Book of Common Prayer, "Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble." (p.299)

Baptism is the beginning of a wonderful adventure with God.

Pastor Linda

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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