EYES FILLED WITH TEARS
Nothing does so wipe out sins as
tears. Tears show even this bodily countenance beautiful; for they
win the spectator to pity. The eye is the noblest member we have,
and the most beautiful, and the soul's own; therefore, we are so
bowed therewith as though we saw the soul itself lamenting. Nothing,
verily, is sweeter than eyes filled with tears.
Paul saith, "Rejoice in the
Lord always." The joy he is speaking of is what springs from
tears of repentance; for as men's joy for the world's sake hath a
sorrow in the same lot with it, even so godly tears are a germ of
perpetual and unfading joy.
What fountain wilt thou compare to
holy tears? That in Paradise, which is said to water the whole
earth? But thou wilt not even then have mentioned anything to
compare with holy tears.
Hannah's lips moved, it is said,
but her voice was not heard. However, her tears alone uttered a cry
more clear than a trumpet, for God gave her a son and made the hard
rock a fruitful field.
St. Paul, who was gold in the face
of earth and sea, who laughed to scorn the adamantine gates of hell,
whom nothing ever withstood -- when he saw the tears of some whom he
loved, so was that adamant broken and crushed that he did not even
conceal his feeling but asked at once -- "What! Mean ye to weep
and break my heart?" An abyss of water did not crush, but a few
tears were more than enough to subdue and conquer this mighty man.
I seek those tears which are shed
not for display but in compunction; those which trickle down
secretly and in closets and in sight of no man, softly and
noiselessly; those which arise from a certain depth of mind, those
shed in anguish and in sorrow, those which are for God alone.
St. John Chrysostom