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more tears

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The topic of weeping, particularly in public (see Saturday’s post) yielded a bounty of responses. Thank you all for writing. You opened me to weeping beyond personal fear and sadness — to those of (for lack of better terms) universal grief, spiritual opening, and spontaneous heart connection.*

I can think of two circumstances that invariable bring me to tears — tears I have no wish to suppress or hide; tears whose source or cause is mysterious. Give me a solemn event anytime: anything to do with laying of wreaths at a war memorial, burial at sea, or flag-draped coffins. Another certainty is holy communion (in Roman Catholic but, surprisingly, not in Anglican churches), when tears arise as I approach the altar and turn to weeping as the bread and wine enter my body. What’s that about? 

Working in end-of-life care has opened me to new ways of weeping — not from personal loss but from an opening of the heart in the presence of someone at their most vulnerable. Similarly, when offering support to people tackling personal loss, I’m able to enter their private space with ease, able to share (and even initiate) tears in lieu of words that cannot be spoken.

“The way to peace is to cry a cornucopia of tears.”
Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1981), Indian mystic.

* See article on transformative weeping, described as “signs not of disintegration, but of integration of the psyche and expanded awareness of the deeper and universal realities of human existence.” image: 


7 responses »

  1. There’s a (serious by all accounts) list of “when it’s OK for men to cry … and when not” at

  2. Music – music as the food not of love, as Shakespeare suggests, but – I would suggest – of tears.
    A phenomenon greatly exploited by movie makers, typically with their ‘sobbing’ violins. 😉

    We used to talk about being ‘un-manned’ by tears. I’m glad this stereotyping is less common.
    I remember seeing a trained singer giving full voice and expression to a song even as tears poured down her face – a skill I am still cultivating. And she was only 23 years old. I asked her how she did it. She said, she focuses on the music and lets the tears take care of themselves. Wonderful.

    And often, I can’t find the connection between the music that moves me, and why it moves me.
    It seems sometimes to be ‘just because’.

  3. Prayer of the Heart

    …it is called the Gift of Tears
    a Sign of God’s Love for you
    a Sign of God’s Covenant of Love
    The Cross of Jesus Christ
    indivisible unity
    horizontal vertical
    Wholely Human and Wholely Divine

    Life, Death and Resurrection

    Real Presence in The Eucharist

    …your heart
    weeping in humility
    weeping in reverence


  4. God himself expressing himself through you………………….

  5. Lately a lot of tears have been falling….I am w/o a job for over a year, lost my apartment, and if it wasn’t for my god-daughter I would be homeless.

  6. Joann
    my heart goes out to you
    what i’ve learned during difficult times is that each day is not the same
    may you be well


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