Understanding of the “gift of tears” is what would be considered ancient. I did my master’s thesis on Margery Kempe’s “gift of tears” in the 14th century. She prayed for God to give her a “well of tears,” which cost her much after receiving them! And even in the modern world, some have discounted her as a mystic. St. Benedict told his companions to pray for tears, to be concerned if they were not experiencing them. Marie d’Oignies (another 14th century mystic) also was given the “gift of tears.”
To have the Holy Father receptive to the “gift of tears” is wonderful. I have experienced them during a particular time in my life and was blessed to have a pastor understand and tolerate them.
I have seen many others over the years weeping in the chapel and in Mass. I do reach out, if I feel there is a receptivity, to ask, to make sure there is not an immediate need. But in general, I have found that others have had this gift, understand it at some level, and receive it. But having our Holy Father point to it is wonderful.
‘Gift of tears’
Re: “Receiving the ‘gift of tears’” (Faith, Aug. 21).
I often experience this when I pray.
I become so completely overwhelmed with joy, with my awareness of Jesus’ presence and love — and by how much I love him! — and the incredible gifts I have been given by God in my life that I just cannot help it; the tears flow.
— Carol Goodson, via online comment
Humor in everyday life
Re: “A laughing matter” (Faith, Aug. 14).
Recently, while sharing morning coffee and newspaper at our kitchen table, I declared to my husband that Mary needed to be elevated. He quizzically followed my glance through the picture window toward the garden statue of Our Lady.
Without hesitation, he teasingly answered, “She’s already the Mother of God, how much higher do you want her?”
“Two bricks worth,” I assessed.
And so by day’s end, Our Mother stood that much higher in our garden’s ivy patch.
I like to think that Mary enjoys her enhanced plateau in our “kingdom.” I like to believe that in our comfortable humor about her presence, she is with us — a retired senior couple, lifelong Catholics, married more years than we sometimes remember!
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the universal Church, pray for us who love and honor you.”
— Bretta Ribbing, Manchester, Missouri
Re: “Politicians in the pews” (God Lives, Aug. 7).
Just a note of thanks to Msgr. Owen F. Campion for his well-written article!
The culture of the Catholic Church changed after Blessed Pope Paul VI put out his encyclical on love and life and being open to children in marriage [Humanae Vitae].
Many people in the pews went the way of the world and used artificial birth control.
Now we have “cafeteria Catholicism,” with a loss of unity in this great gift of our Catholic faith.
Our Lady of Fatima said more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh.
Let us pray for each other to avoid it.
We have everything going for us — the sacraments, the saints, the Church fathers, the grace of our suffering savior Jesus Christ — let’s use it to save our souls and many others.
— Cathi Boatright, via online comment
In identity politics, it is certain that religious affiliation plays a major — if not dominant — role in the vice presidential selection process.
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo set the standard for Catholic politicians who promote public policies opposite of their stated beliefs.
To the detriment of the Church, this now has become the norm in American politics.
— Robert Bonsignore, Brooklyn, New York
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