Mary Weeps

Mary Weeps December 12, 2023

We are familiar with the phenomenon of weeping statues of Mary. I once heard the reactionary Mother Angelica claim Mary weeps for our sins. She was replying to a good question from a child who called her show. “If everyone in heaven is happy, why does Mary cry?” The girl asked.

It was a good question. The answer was not too bad. It all depends on what the reverend Mother called sin. She included herself. So, I guess that is something.

Mary and Rachel

A post I made a few years ago, discussed the prophetic word concerning the murder of the innocents in Bethlehem. The present situation in Gaza, Ukraine, and the United States causes all peace-desiring people to weep. Why would the mother of Jesus do any different?

She weeps over the sinful attitudes we take toward other people. Human life is nothing to people obsessed with power. This is true of every institution including the Church. Yet, the church, because it should be a place of love, peace, and healing, causes more suffering when it seeks power over other people. Herod’s desire to maintain his place considered the lives of his own family cheap. Which is the worse betrayal?

Devotional Lament

The solstice is next week. “Blue Christmas” services are being offered for those experiencing grief during the “holidays” when everyone is expected to be cheerful. I have never participated in one such service even when I was grieving over loss of family, position, etc. There is a place for devotional lament in our spiritual life.

No parent experiences the death of a child without some sense of anger. Mary cries tears of heartbreak and rage when Jesus is persecuted, tortured and murdered. Simeon warned her of the “sword that will pierce her soul too.” She weeps for all the reasons people would do so. We must make room for anger as well as heartbreak.

Jesus wept. He begged God to find another way. He was angry with his disciples who obviously could try anyone’s patience. Lament becomes part of our devotional life when we consider these moments. Jesus was not always happy giving out the good news.

Mary Don’t You Weep

The spiritual with the above title reminds Mary that “Pharaoh’s army got drowned-ed.” Our grief, anger, and sorrow must be expressed in healthy ways. Yet we live in a time when many believe if something makes them have any of these feelings, it should be destroyed. But what is the difference between actions that are justified and those we only think are justified? Is every threat an existential one? When does wallowing in grief, sorrow, and anger become self-pity?

Lament helps us develop a healthy perspective on the things that injure us. Some think the book of Lamentations sounds like an abused spouse justifying their abuser. It can be taken that way. But, there is no desire to bash the heads of the children of the oppressors against the rocks as Psalm 137 ends. Whatever we suffer, we want to turn out all right in the end.

Grace and Lament

Salvation and grace are partners. So is lament and grace. Mary weeps because she knows this. She accepted the disturbance of her life without knowing the full extent of her future suffering. Perhaps there is grace in that? We do not often think this way. It is a shame we do not. If suffering produces endurance, it also produces empathy. It is this result that allows love to overcome evil. Light shines through the darkness.

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