Wednesday, January 27, 2016

QUOTATION: Various Kinds of Tears

St. Catherine of Siena

First of all, there are the tears of damnation, the tears of this world’s evil ones.

Second are the tears of fear, of those who weep for fear because they have risen up from the sin out of fear of punishment.

Third are those who have risen up from sin and are beginning to taste me. These weep tenderly and begin to serve me. But because their love is imperfect, so is their weeping.

The fourth stage is that of souls who have attained perfection in loving their neighbors and love me without any self-interest. These weep and their weeping is perfect.

The fifth stage (which is joined to the fourth) is that of sweet tears shed with great tenderness.

I will tell you, too, about tears of fire, shed without physical weeping, which often satisfy those who want to weep but cannot. And I want you to know that a soul can experience all of these different stages as she rises from fear and imperfect love to attain perfect love and the state of union.

--God to St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, quoted in Catherine of Siena, Passion for the Truth, Compassion for Humanity: selected spiritual writings, Mary O’Driscoll, Ed. 2005.