Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“In the present time, a struggling Father went to a bishop of discernment and told him of a spiritual problem. It seems that the Father was so struck by spiritual words and Divine Services that he could not control the flow of tears from his eyes. Embarrassed by this phenomenon when it took place in the presence of others, the monk found it increasingly difficult to participate in public worship.

“The wise bishop advised the Father that he was suffering from hidden pride and that the most efficacious tears spiritually were those hidden within the heart. The Father wrestled endlessly with the secret pride within him, sincerely asking for God’s help, and his tears began to subside.”

Today’s anecdote is a modern one.  It is not from the Sayings of the Desert Christians.  But I don’t know if by “present time” the website means “contemporary” or just that whenever the collection was put together before it made it to the website.

Here’s an old story, really.  How many men have been ashamed to be found crying?  How many men are ashamed to weep even in private?   Entirely too many.

The bishop zeroes right in and tells the monk he is guilty of pride, one of the Seven Deadly sins. The issue is not the tears.  The issue is being ashamed of tears.

Something else, the gift of tears has been seen as a spiritual gift.  The ability to weep because of sin, whether personal or corporate, is a rare gift.


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