Why do people cry in prayer?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,469
    Jesuit Pastoral Minister Rev. Joe McCloskey explains why some people cry during prayer.

    Host: Why do people cry in prayer?

    Joseph McCloskey: The gift of tears, why do somebody cry when they are praying and it really has to do with someone being so happy. You are touched by something that's so beautiful, the tears flow unbidden, uncalled for. I can't tell you how many people that I worked with, had the gift of tears and it's gift because your heart now is doing the praying for you. So don't go with tears, it's almost like you suddenly are free to love and you are free to love because you know that you are so desperately loved by God, that is never going to be a possibility of equalizing my love. Perfect love always generates the need of a reply and the perfect response to the need to make a reply, a gesture of a reply to God's love, is tears. Tears say, my God you love me in spite of all you know about me, you accept me as who I really am. Altruistic love is when you love the good and the bad of the person, where you are not trying to change the person, but the pain that you feel when somebody is stepping on your toes, the squeal of the pain is the call to repentance, but you are telling a person to change because themselves, this would be good for them, you are asking them to change for this would be good for you. Tears is the heart's answer to a love that's so great that there is nothing I can say about that love, rather than to accept it.

    Psalm 01:16 is very powerful because it has the question for us, what return shall I make to the Lord, for all that He has given to me. Hence it goes on and says I will take up the chalice of salvation and I will be saved. I will call upon the name of the Lord and the beauty of what we are talking about is really this is where the sacraments of life of the church comes in. Because Christ is so loving of us, that he didn't leave us so often, he kept himself with us by Eucharist, by his sacrament of forgiveness, where he is the forgiveness, by the sacrament of matrimony where two couples who have been baptized into his life; by virtue of their baptisms become the ministers of God's love.

    The son Jesus Christ has an expression - one plus one is equal to one. Two people that are willing to give themselves to each other and Christ have the oneness of who they are in their sacrament of matrimony. So that Christ makes them the ministers of the sacrament for each other and the priest, or me, minister, is only a witness to the promise that a couple is making to each other.