Mary’s Tears

closeup of statue of the Weeping Mother at La Salette Shrine in France

No one can say that La Salette is a colorless, cold apparition. Our Lady did not appear on this high mountain to hand down a few warnings and prescribe prayers and practices. Nothing calm and cold about this event. The children, Maximin and Mélanie, saw her sitting on a stone, her face in her hands, and she was weeping.
 
Tears are always an overflow. They are pressured out of the heart by an excess of pain or joy. This is a case of pure pain.
 
Tears are not a merely physiological reality. They are also, as is the case here, signs of loving concern. Christ wept over Jerusalem because he was concerned. People weep because they care. Tears are the opposite of fish-coldness, indifference, disinterest and apathy. They signal involvement and the intense will to be part of another person's life.
 
These tears are La Salette's most powerful unspoken message. The beautiful Lady weeps but she never refers to her tears, never so much as alludes to them. They are meant to speak for themselves and they do. They are an unspoken message but they add a crucial dimension to her words. When we read the message of La Salette, we must remember that it was spoken by someone in tears. Without the tears, the ‘a capella’ words would take on an icy aloofness, even a kind of muffled ferocity. The words she spoke had to be spoken. The Lady's ‘problem’ was how to communicate this sad news without sowing worldwide panic and the threat of Armaggedon by famine instead of fire…
 
closeup of statue of the Weeping Mother at La Salette Shrine in France
The Lady's sign of affection, the universally accepted sign of a mother's desperate love have always been tears. At La Salette, they are liquid sorrow, molten streams of pain running down the Lady's face and a very obvious show of love. Whoever reads the message or speaks about it must remember to place the tough message in the context of the care and affection made evident by the Lady's persistent weeping. Maximin and Mélanie never forgot to say that the Lady wept all the while she spoke. The “tears flowed and flowed” they said.
 
The tears should be remembered for another reason. They highlight the words and give urgency and crucial importance to the entire message. If someone from heaven, and the Blessed Virgin at that, is provoked to tears over disrespect for the Day of the Lord and the Name of Jesus, then the word is out that these offenses are more evil than people think they are and should be carefully avoided. And then, there is the following point: if the words she speaks are a message from her Son, then why wouldn't the tears themselves communicate something from the very Person of Christ. If her words are a reflection of his will, then why shouldn't the tears mirror God's own care and affection? The Woman speaks the words of Christ. Why wouldn't she weep the tears of God?