The Gift of Tears on St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Although I don’t believe I have any Irish ancestry, I sure feel Irish. My childhood parish was “The Fighting Irish” and we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a big way every year. My husband definitely has Irish in him on his mother’s side. What does any of this have to do with the gift of tears?

Let me explain. I seem to have the gift of tears. What this means is that any time a deep truth is being spoken, I cry. Well, I wouldn’t call it crying, I would just say that tears begin to pour out of my eyes. I know this is a “gift” but at times it sure doesn’t feel like it. People generally think I am sad, which I am definitely not. It’s like having a truth-o-meter inside of you. As you can imagine, most people are not used to this and really do not know how to respond when this starts happening. I have no idea how long I will have this gift. I do believe it is from God. I try not to make a big deal about it, but today at Mass, the water works were in full gear. I sometimes wish my tears were invisible so that no one would be upset or worried or focused on me.

Now, what does this have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Well, today in the Magnificat I read a “medieval Irish poem” that I would like to share as my gift to you. I just wonder if the author of this poem (it appears to be anonymous) knew what he or she was really asking for?

A PRAYER TO REMOVE THE WOODEN BEAM

Grant me tears, O Lord, to blot out my sins; may I not cease from them, O God, until I have been purified.

May my heart be burned by the fire of redemption; grant me pure tears for Mary…

When I contemplate my sins, grant me tears always, for great are the claims of tears on cheeks.

Grant me tears when rising, grant me tears when resting, beyond your every gift altogether for love of you, Mary’s Son.

Grant me tears in bed to moisten my pillow, so that his dear ones may help to cure the soul.

Grant me contrition of heart so that I may not be in disgrace; O Lord, protect me and grant me tears…

For my anger, my jealousy, and my pride, a foolish deed, in pools from my inmost parts bring forth tears.

My falsehoods, my lying, and my greed, grievious the three, to banish them all from me, O Mary, grant me tears.

 

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