Akita: Mother of God as Co-Redemptrix, Modern Miracles of the Holy Eucharist, by Francis Mutsuo Fukushima. In light of the recent disasters, a fascinating look back at the seer behind the famed Akita revelations and the mysterious life she led -- sufferings as well as phenomena, with spiritual reflections and even medical testimonies that attest to the miraculous (and grant hints)! CLICK HERE
THE MAILBAG: ON A STORMY NIGHT IN CHICAGO, THE MEANING OF ONE WEEPING STATUE SEEMED CLEAR
We have some items in the mailbag, and it may be interesting to explore them.
When it comes to "weeping" statues, the question is often why they weep -- and there seem to be many potential reasons.
There is abortion (look at the news just this week!). There is sexual sin. There is dissension. There is the deterioration of families.
"As to your question on the tears from statues," noted viewer Patty Jansen from Colorado, "they are for the exact times they are noted crying – not for the future. In the future, we will be crying properly for this black and bleak humanity and there will be no need for the statues to do it.
"A week ago, I was able to visit the statue of Our Lady of Fatima – the one that weeps and travels about the U.S.
"She was beautiful and her eyes were twinkling! They held my gaze! I thought to myself, boy the artist sure did well! She and I had a little talk heart-to-heart – like I could almost hear her voice; it was beautiful. When I bought some photo cards and prayer cards for my friends, the photo showed that there was no paint of a twinkle in her eyes! So you see, you could ask if they twinkled for the future – well no! Our Lady’s eyes twinkled for her reception from the people at that church and of course, her biggest adorer of God in Her, me! She blessed me with a most beatific vision for a while that night -- not a usual thing; she is inexplicably beautiful! I keep hoping she will come to Boulder and turn all these people with goodwill and wrong reasoning back to God and Jesus."
"This is a photo I took two weeks ago with my iPhone at the Marian Helpers offices at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge Mass," writes a viewer from Pennsylvania [photo, left]. "It's a full size image of the Divine Mercy that wept oil from the eyes, in the private home of its prior owners in California. It was given to the Shrine and it hangs in a public hallway in the Marian Helpers office building. The Marian Fathers there have not made any public statements about this image. To my knowledge it has not wept since it was received by the Divine Mercy Shrine. If you call the Shrine they can give you more details."
Why tears in some cases; with a number of them, oil; in others, blood; sometimes, even myrrh?
As a viewer named Liz Schurg indicates, there is an interesting passage in Luke (19; 39-41) in which it says, "Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Master, reprove your disciples,' but he answered, 'I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out.'
"As he drew near and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it...”
Adds Liz: "The statues, paintings, icons, and mosaics are all made, in some way, from the stones. Even paint pigments are colored by the stones of the earth. When I was a child, we knelt for Communion, and it didn’t matter if you had no kneeler, you gave our dear Lord honor and knelt on the floor for the Consecration. The world was a different place. People wouldn’t think of removing God, or His commandments from the public view. Our laws, after all, are based on those commandments. The more disrespect we see for God, the more the statues are crying. I believe we must bring back Honor, reverence, praise and thanks and relieve our dear mother and help quell her tears."
We must be careful: many weeping images seem not quite as holy as others.
Do statues or icons or pictures weep also because of Church scandal?
One e-mail comes from a businessman in Texas who for apparent reasons desires anonymity.
"In my junior year while I was a seminarian studying philosophy in Boston I took my Christmas break in Utah – to be with family," he writes. "I had heard of a statue of Our Lady weeping in an Orthodox Church in Chicago, so I scheduled my flight from Boston for a lay over in Chicago with the intention of interviewing the priest of the parish and writing an article in the Intermountain Catholic, the monthly circular for the diocese of Utah. I had a three-hour layover and, with the best of intentions, I set out via taxi to the parish. Unfortunately, a severe weather watch was in effect and snow was anticipated. The drive to the parish from the airport was roughly an hour (as I recall), and it became rather apparent that I would have to make arrangements with the airline to get a flight out of Illinois bound for Utah; especially if the snow began falling – which it did.
"While at the parish, I met the priest who was very willing to answer any questions about the statue. The statue itself was one that had been at the parish for a number of years and had begun weeping only recently. It was quite a sight. The statue was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of small candles all lit by the members of the parish, and even the faithful from other traditions. The small church was rather crowded but warm and aglow with the dim light of the many burning candles.
"I met with the priest. He was a younger man, ten to fifteen years older than I was at the time, who had been at the parish for only four or five years, willing to answer the questions that would eventually become the material I would use to pen the article. Conversation was cordial and friendly. At some point nearing the end of the interview, he inquired what travel plans I had made. I advised him that I had used a layover from a longer flight to visit his parish and see the weeping statue. He insisted that I stay at the church rectory and that he would make certain that I had the proper arrangements in the a.m. for the flight to Utah. It had begun snowing. I accepted his offer.
"Once at the rectory, his demeanor changed quite dramatically – the conversation became uncomfortably personal. He began drinking and asking if I would like to drink with him. I declined. At some point, he inquired whether I would like to have some 'women' come to the rectory for the evening. I reminded him that I was studying for the Catholic priesthood and that it was improper and unwelcome. He then attempted to touch me – I then removed myself from the room. As I retired to the bathroom, I overheard him state that he was also going to go 'get comfortable.' While he was gone, I took my two heavy and cumbersome bags of luggage and stepped out into the blizzard . . . alone . . . and had not the slightest idea where to go.
"In the cold of winter, the wind was blowing and the snow made it impossible to distinguish the street from the sidewalk. It was 1: 30 a.m. I kept walking. After having turned several corners, several blocks away I came upon a small printing company with interior lights on. I sat my luggage down and began rapping on the door – rather insistently. I knew that the priest would be in pursuit and I believed it in my best interest to get as far away and be in as public a context as possible at that hour and under the circumstances.
"From inside I saw a shadow moving toward the door, hesitantly. An older man came into my sight and I begged and pleaded for him to let me in to use the phone (this was before cell phones were pervasive). Through the shop window, I briefly told him my story, in as non-threatening a manner as possible – I was convinced the way he was looking at me it was apparent he thought I was 'crazy.' Nonetheless, he let me in and I was able to contact a taxi cab company to take me to the airport.
"Once at Chicago O’Hare, I checked in – again, only to be warned that there could be 'undesirables' patroling the halls of the terminals looking for an opportunity to rob or steal. Great, I thought, from the frying pan, now into the fire. As a result, I stuffed myself and my belongings into an empty locker and waited it out until morning.
"As it turned out, I was able to get that plane flight out of Chicago – first class – an upgrade given by a thoughtful ticket clerk who sympathized with my plight (I never revealed the information about the priest; I had to give that some time to 'settle'). In the end, I conferred with my spiritual director who advised me not to reveal the details of my plight, but . . .
"I know why the Blessed Virgin Mary was crying in that parish. I know why."
There is also the upside: at another, holy Orthodox church on Long Island, healings -- including of cancer -- have been claimed by the clergy who dispense oil that is anointed before three images that first wept during in the 1960s.
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