SEEING PROPERLY THROUGH TEARS


I have just finished reading Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation to Young People 'Christ Vivit' or 'Christ is Alive'. I was struck by one strong paragraph where Francis challenges us about losing the ability to weep for those other than ourselves. He writes:

'Perhaps “those of us who have a reasonably comfortable life don’t know how to weep. Some realities in life are only seen with eyes cleansed by tears. I would like each of you to ask yourself this question: Can I weep? Can I weep when I see a child who is starving, on drugs or on the street, homeless, abandoned, mistreated or exploited as a slave by society? Or is my weeping only the self-centred whining of those who cry because they want something else?” Try to learn to weep for all those young people less fortunate than yourselves. Weeping is also an expression of mercy and compassion. If tears do not come, ask the Lord to give you the grace to weep for the sufferings of others. Once you can weep, then you will be able to help others from the heart' (chapter 76).

We feature this wonderful paragraph and dedicate it to all those whose lives have been touched by tragedy and sadness in recent times. From the murder of the teenager in Drogheda, to the three children in Dublin and to all have been bereaved or broken in recent times.

The photo you see above is a statue of Christ that is found in a Franciscan chapel in Boston in the US. It is aptly named 'Jesus Wept' and was made after the atrocity of 9/11. It recalls that moment when Jesus was told of the death of his friend Lazarus and in the shortest verse of the Bible, St John tells us that 'Jesus wept' (John 11:35).

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