Thought of the day
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday of Easter week

Saint Anselm (1033-1109), monk, bishop, doctor of the Church 74th prayer, PL 158, 1010-1012 (trans. © Benedicta Ward 1973) “Why are you weeping?”

Tuesday of Easter week

Commentary of the day 

Saint Anselm (1033-1109), monk, bishop, doctor of the Church 74th prayer, PL 158, 1010-1012 (trans. © Benedicta Ward 1973)

                        “Why are you weeping?”

“Woman, why are you weeping?” Most loving Lord, why do you ask her why she weeps? Surely you can see her heart, the dear life of her soul is cruelly slain... You hung on the wood, pierced by iron nails, stretched out like a thief for the mockery of wicked men; and yet, “Woman,” you say, “why are you weeping?” She had not been able to prevent them from killing you, but at least she longed to keep your body for a while with ointments lest it decay... And now, besides all this, even the body she was glad, in a way, to have kept, she believes to have gone. And can you ask her: “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” 

But now, good Lord, gentle Master, look upon your faithful servant and disciple so lately redeemed by your blood, and see how she burns with anxiety, desiring you… How long will my Lord leave his beloved to suffer thus? Have you put off compassion now you have put on incorruption? Did you let go of goodness when you laid hold of immortality? Let it not be so, Lord. You will not despise us mortals now you have made yourself immortal. And so it is; for Love’s sake he cannot bear her grief for long or go on hiding himself. For the sweetness of love he shows himself who would not for the bitterness of tears. 

“Mary!” The Lord calls his servant by the name she has often heard and the servant knows the voice of her own Lord. I think, or rather I am sure, that she responded to the gentle tone with which he was accustomed to call “Mary”. What joy filled that voice, so gentle and full of love. He could not have put it more simply and clearly: “I know who you are and what you want; behold me; do not weep, behold me; I am he whom you seek.” At once the tears are changed… Where once they were wrung from a heart broken and self-tormenting they flow now from a heart exulting.