We recently had an article about the "gift of tears" (whereby the Holy Spirit incites the flow of cleansing tears in the Presence of what is holy), and received quite a few notes from those who have experienced this.
For example, noted Jayno Flores of Portales, New Mexico, "When praying the Hail Mary, at the point when we say, 'Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,' I always get very choked up and sometimes cry. This only happens if I'm praying with a group of people, not when I pray alone."
"Whenever I prayed with all my heart I experienced the gift of tears, I felt, as a confirmation that Jesus was hearing my prayer," said Rocio Aguayo of St. Louis.
As Julia Buerck, of Milford, Ohio, added:
"For years now, it is impossible to receive my Lord in the Eucharist without resulting tears. Holy Communion, for me, is like a warm hug, a joy in my heart, a coming home. It is love, safety, acceptance and promise all rolled into one. Jesus is my very best friend in the whole wide world, and even when I've been bad or thoughtless... amazingly... He still welcomes me. It's as though He were saying 'There You Are' with a big happy smile."
A viewer named Christine Dunn Barela of San Francisco informs us that "I seem to weep through a compassionate heart that Jesus created for me. Whenever there is a tragedy or being thankful to Jesus or even singing in church, I shed tears. I tear up when Jesus answers me through shooting stars, doves singing on my fence, or His Presence in the clouds." Beautiful.
Noted another, "I tend to think of the gift of tears as its manifestation in what I believe to be its purest form. This occurred to me some thirty plus years ago, during a Mass, while I was studying as an aspirant with an Italian missionary order. I had had a hint of such tears attending Mass at a cathedral, while on leave from the army, but there had been an aspect of conscious sorrow about them, if I remember correctly.
"They did take me by surprise, but nowhere nearly as much as the purest ones I experienced at the residential seminary Mass, which did occur at a time of extraordinary Grace for me. There are various kinds of tears, as I suspect many of us know. This was as smooth as it was sweet, which is to say that I was not wracked by emotion, nor my face contorted by sobbing. They were silent tears. Also, they stopped as suddenly as they had started."
So many experience this gift during Mass and other Catholic devotions -- affirming the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Not crying so much as lachrymation.
"I think I had this gift about a year ago," says viewer Gina Herzog. "It started during Lent. While in church during Mass tears would flow during consecration of the Eucharist. They would flow until the end of Mass. I couldn't explain it or stop it. It lasted until around Easter."
"I just want to tell you that I weep many times after I have received the Holy Eucharist at Mass," wrote Constance J. Beraducci of the Philadelphia area, confirming the frequency during the liturgy.
"When I return to my pew and bow my head to say thank you to Jesus, the tears flow. For me I feel the closest to the Lord then. I tell Him thank you, and I'm sorry for anytime I hurt Him, and I also tell Him how much I miss my mother and father. I ask the Lord to give them a hug and kiss for me, and also forgive me for any hurt I may have caused when they were alive. This is the time I most cherish with God."
"I was so excited to read your article on
the 'gift of tears'!" wrote a view named Teresa from Long Island, New
York. "After reading your article, I believe I have experienced the gift of
tears. I know I have always been an emotional woman. However, sometimes
I am astonished at how the tears come so strong and quick.
I usually experience an amazing feeling of love while the tears flow.
Like I read in your article, my face doesn't contort. The tears just
flow out heavily and steadily out of my eyes while my heart feels like it
just grew a size (or two)!
"I experience these tears the following ways:
"During Confession while feeling deep contrition for my sins and also feeling deeply how loved I am at that moment by Jesus. I feel like a little child at the lap of my Father.
"When I witness someone demonstrating profound humility. I know this will sound strange, but I feel a sense of love for them at that moment (even if they are a stranger) like I think Jesus would.
"When I see or know someone who is suffering.
"Sometimes the moment
I sit down in front of the monstrance during
"Sometimes while praying the Rosary and deeply contemplating the mysteries or praying for souls in purgatory, by name.
"Sometimes after Communion, while praying the Anima Christi. I feel the closest to Jesus at this moment. The tears flow at the part of the prayer, when I say, 'Oh Good Jesus hear me, never let me be separated from Thee...' I feel the pleading deep in my soul for how much I need Jesus.
"I always experience a deep sense of peace while and after the tears flow. I do not feel self-conscious while it is happening. When it's over, it's over. I do find I am soaking wet afterwards!"
[resources: Secrets of the Eucharist]