For ever so long, what I’ve wanted most is to not cry over anything anymore because there’s been enough shed for two lifetimes.
Yet, in the strangest twist of yearning, my heart is asking for more tears.
I have had this yearning before, and two days ago, it whispered by my heart again,
Grant me the grace of remorse, I had asked.
Remorse – because I’ve often wondered why is it that I’ve never been stricken to the core, or cut to the heart – over my sinfulness. I’ve been tossed about and troubled mightily alright over my various wrongdoings, but secretly, there has always been that puzzlement as to why the shadow of callousness is never too far away from my repentance.
If I am truly repentant, why isn’t it more ….full? Why do I keep sensing the element of hardness in me, even as I admit and acknowledge my wrongs? Such questions sometimes beat against my heart like a trapped bird.
And from the Feast of the Assumption this year, those same questions have come by slightly more insistently.
Yesterday, a strange storm stirred up the waves within me. Try as I did, I just could not put my finger on the why of it. I raked through every event and action of the day, and nothing seemed to stick. On and on it progressed, till the churning weighed heavy and deeply within me. With the beginnings of desperation, I fled to the only place I believed held the answer or at least, the appeasement: the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Cracow, Poland – streamed live around the world.
No sooner had I settled my spirit in front of the Miraculous Image, when a vine of small roses was tumbled into my spirit:
Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned.
It was a sunburst out of nowhere. What sin? I am, without doubt, riddled with sin, but what specific sin had tossed my spirit about so forcefully? Again, I went through my day. Again, nothing made sense. Finally, it got too much. I was weary, and it had been a long day. Rather than claw the air for answers, it was oddly far easier to bend my spirit into humility. And so I prayed in obedience the words the angel had misted before me,
Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned.
Over and over. Not understanding anything, not really caring anymore, but unable to resist the strange, powerful force of that simple prayer of supplication. Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned… Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned… Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned.
The minute I wove the prayer through my heart, I felt relief wrap its arms around my spirit. Gone were the wild tempests. Gone was the dead weight of the unseen grief that had come out of nowhere and taken me captive.
I awoke this morning to the petals of the previous day scattered on the ground. Sifting through them, once more, nothing made sense. Yet, I knew I hadn’t imagined it; something powerful had happened.
Nothing became clearer until the night hours, distant rain~dewed breezes weaving quiet paths through our trees. Over at Susan Skinner’s blog, Veil of Veronica, she had a new post up – Harden Not Your Hearts. The fingers of my heart traced the words.
I sensed a movement, and then it was gone.
Reading on, I saw the words, I am Our Lady of Sorrows. My heart is Sorrowful. My son’s heart is Sorrowful…..embrace your cross and truly receive. This is how you console our hearts….Be contrite. Be thankful. Do not be afraid. Receive what My Son gives you. ~ The Immaculata
The words swarmed before me. Suddenly, I knew my questions, my puzzlement, had its answer here, right here, in the words the Mother of God spoke through Susan! But I could not comprehend a single thing. I understood the words, and yet, paradoxically, I understood nothing.
I ran to my prayer nook. Give me my prayer, Lord. May the prayer enlighten me.
I lost my breath a bit the moment the prayer of enlightenment I asked for came ~
Hail Mary, Full of Sorrows
favored by Bl. Pope Pius IX
Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with Thee: tearful art Thou amongst women, and tearful is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of the Crucified, grant tears to us crucifiers of Thy Son, now and at the hour of our death.
(Bl. Pope Pius IX desired this prayer to be said with contrite heart in honour of the most holy Virgin in her desolation.)
Grant tears to us. My mind raced to the vine of prayers that had treaded through my days since the Feast of the Assumption.
Grant me remorse, I had prayed.
And Heaven’s answer had been that odd heaviness in my spirit, and the prayer – Forgive me Lord, I have sinned.
…..this prayer to be said with contrite heart….. in honour of the most holy Virgin …..in Her desolation.
Be contrite…. Do not be afraid. Receive what My Son gives you.
In a searing moment, I saw it all. I saw the storm of yesterday. I saw the heavy despondency. I looked at the memory of strange grief that I had sensed was not mine. Receive what My Son gives you.
That sorrow hadn’t been mine. It had been my Jesus’ and my Holy Mother’s. It had been placed on my soul in response to my plea for the grace of repentance for myself. I had prayed to be able to grieve in fullness over my fallen~ness. But God knew I was asking for a grief I was not capable of mustering.
And so, Son and Mother gave me Their Tears, that I may learn, for the briefest of hours, the depth of Heavenly grief.