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Gift of Tears

February 18, 2008

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When we are baptized we often find ourselves crying tears of joy. And we can also look at the baptismal water as immersion in tears. But these tears only cover the moment of baptism backward. Back towards the past that we just left. They do nothing for the future. But our present day tears offer us a new and perhaps daily baptism. When we repent and cry tears of repentence we wash ourselves anew. St Symeon the New Theologian links tears to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

St John Chrysostom  writes “The fire of sin is intense, but it is put out by only a small amount of tears, for the tear puts out a furnace of faults, and cleans our soul of sin.”

Isaiah 38:5 “Thus says the Lord… I have seen your tears, behold, I will add fifteen year to your life.”

St Symeon the New Theologian writes a strong reply on tears. “No one will ever prove from the divine Scriptures that any person was ever cleansed without tears and constant compunction. No one ever became holy  or recieved the Holy Spirit, or had the vision of God experienced His dwelling within himself, or ever had Him dwelling in his heart, without previous repentance and compunction and constant tears ever flowing as from a fountain. Such tears flood and wash out the house of the soul: they moisten and refresh the soul that has been possesed and inflamed by the unapproachable fire.”

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