Do you ever find yourself crying during Mass? I know I do. Sometimes it is related to my prayers for a child. Other times it might be from missing my family. Sometimes the tears start to fall without me even really knowing why. It seems that each time I am overcome with emotion like this, it is during Communion. Sometimes I feel silly or even guilty for crying, especially if I am not entirely sure what brought on the tears. Here we are at the highest point of Mass and I am crying…what is wrong with me?
For a while I thought maybe it was just me. That I was just some crazy person who couldn’t control her emotions. But as I have talked with some family members and friends, I found that they have similar experiences.
Why? Why do the tears begin to fall and emotions take over? And why does it seem to be during or leading up to Communion? Is it just a coincidence?
I don’t think so. You see, when I find myself crying during Mass, it is generally not out of sorrow. They are not tears of anger or sadness but rather tears of pent up emotions of all sorts. I have come to realize that perhaps it is not my emotions taking control over me, but rather it is the release of these emotions that causes the tears to flow.
As we prepare to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist we pray:
“Lord I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
We are sinners. Time and time again we fail to do the Lord’s will, to trust Him completely, to love as He loved. But the beauty of the grace and love of Christ is that He looks past all of that and still loves us so much that He gave His life for us. Before receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we take time in prayer to acknowledge our failures, welcome His mercy, and prepare our hearts to receive Him.
To make room for Christ to we need to let go of some of the things that may be taking up unnecessary space. Things like worry, doubt, fear, sadness, confusion, anxiety, jealousy, anger, negativity. These things try to take over the spaces that should be filled by God and His love, mercy, and peace. And so in order to receive Jesus fully in the Holy Eucharist, we empty out all of these negative feelings. We empty ourselves before the Lord in the full trust that He will fill us with everything that we need and more.
For me, sometimes that emptying of myself comes out in tears. As I empty the negative feelings and emotions from my heart, the tears flow. And when I receive my Lord in the Eucharist, I am filled with peace. The tears fade away and I feel renewed in mind and spirit. I feel the Lord’s presence within. I feel the Lord healing my soul.
I may not cry every Sunday, but the experience is still there. I believe we all experience it in one way or another, the release of ourselves to be more fully filled with Him. Whether released in tears, in song, or in quiet prayer, it is the healing of our souls as we prepare to receive Christ. For we are not worthy, but by His grace, His love, His word, our souls are healed.