"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fr. Voigt, "Jesus Wept"

Fr. Voigt, "Jesus Wept"

Many prayers are uttered by the lips of men and women but the "Prayer of Tears" is most efficacious.  Our Lord wept over a city just as He wept at the tomb of Lazarus.  He gives us the example which gives more emphasis to His words.  St. Augustine spends a great deal of time contemplating the tears of his mother, Monica, which softened his soul and brought him to the Truth of Jesus our Lord.  Then he justifies the tears which he shed at his mother's death.  Together let us contemplate what causes the tears of God and how we must come to tears ourselves in the prayer life that grows.

Why did He cry as He approached the city of Jerusalem?  Unlike any other person, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity knew Israel and foresaw what would happen to those in that city "because they did not recognize the time of their visitation."  Through His tears He saw clearly what devastation would come upon all those who failed to welcome the Son of God into their hearts.  They had the prophets; they had the patriarchs; they had the divine patterns in their feasts but they would not recognize the very Messiah whom they awaited.  If they had known and recognized Him they would have issued in an era of peace and prosperity far greater than anything they had known until this time.  But they refused Him; they judged Him to be too divine; they proceeded to murder Him upon a shameful gibbet.  It was enough to make an all knowing God weep.

Hence the first cause of tears is the reality that we so often fail to recognize the presence of God and we shut Him out of our hearts.  The second cause of the divine weeping comes from the desire of God to give us more than we can ask or imagine.
By His Divine Nature Jesus wished to bring about a kingdom that would far surpass the kingdoms of this world.  He kept telling us that the Kingdom of heaven has arrived but it is known only to those who have suffered and shed tears.  There is a price for us to pay in order to come to the vision of heaven.  Mary paid the price with her seven dolors.  Peter paid the price as he was crucified upside down.  Paul paid the price with his many sufferings and losing his head at Rome.  Each of these not only paid the price with their blood but with their tears.  It is said of Peter that furrows were etched into his cheeks from the tears he shed for betraying his Lord.  To receive what God wishes to give us we must desire with our tears and suffering to be ready.

Finally, the third cause of His tears for the city is simply a love that never gives up on the other.  He cannot stop loving you or me despite our frailty, our insensitivity, our sins.  Love keeps on beckoning us with tears to return to His Sacred Heart.  With such a love the Sacred Heart gave us the Immaculate One as our mother.  His tears and hers are more eloquent than all the words penned by man or woman.  Even St. Thomas Aquinas, who wrote such sublime thoughts of the love of God and composed such a divine liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi, when Our Lord asked him what gift Thomas would want from Him answered and said:  "Only Thee, oh Lord, only Thee."  Through our tears we see more clearly the Divine Love and are capable of responding with sacrificial love. 

Therefore, the Prayer of Tears is a beautiful expression of the depths of our soul.  We must not deny it because it does not seem fitting in this "macho" world of ours.  Shed tears over the death of a father, mother, brother, sister or friend.  Have no shame to shed tears over the love God has shown us and how little gratitude we have shown in return.  Let us not walk passed the Lord in His distressing disguises (i.e. the poor, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned...).  Instead pray for the gift of tears that you might recognize the kingdom of God within your very heart or hearts.  Turn to the examples of Jesus, our Lady, St. Peter, St. Monica and a host of others.  Thank God for some tears in your holy masses; in your prayerful visits; in the prayer of the Stations of the Cross.  Thank God for the tears of remembrance when a deceased mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, friend or foe come to your mind.  Offer those prayers of tears for the souls in Purgatory and know that one day they will be offered for you. 

Keep in mind that as you pray for others; so others will remember to pray for you.  We are the church militant and we can gain merit for those in church suffering.  Let the treasury of prayer overflow with the Prayer of Tears.  As our Lord said on the way to Calvary:  "Weep not for me but for thyselves and thy children."  Let us take this to heart and pray with tears for all our children so attacked by Satan in these days.  Let us today explain and expose the kingdom of God in our midst.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Voigt