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“Peter is so overcome with fear that neither Christ's prediction (Luke 22:34) nor the crowing of the rooster calls him to repentance, but only the Lord's gaze causes him to weep bitterly …When Peter went out and wept bitterly it shows he really did not want to fail here and was deeply grieved that he had…Nevertheless, “through tears, what cannot be defended can be purged, for tears wash away the offense which is shameful to confess out loud.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 22:6-12, NET Bible, Luke 22:62, St. Ambrose of Milan)

“ Peter . . . wept so that he could purge his sin with tears. If you want to deserve pardon, you should wash away your guilt with tears. At that same moment and time, Christ looks at you. If you perhaps fall into some sin, because he is a witness to your secrets, He looks at you so that you may recall and confess your error.” (St. Ambrose)

“To wash away the sin of denial, Peter needed the baptism of tears. From where would he get this, unless the Lord gave him this too? That is why the apostle Paul gave this advice to his people concerning deviant opinions and about how they should deal with them. He said they must be “correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth” [2Tm 2:25]. So even repentance is a gift from God. The heart of the proud is hard ground. It is softened for repentance only if it is rained on by God’s grace.” (St. Augustine)

“Tears cleanse and heal the soul. But we should be careful lest the devil drowns us in our sorrow. We should trust that the Lord embraces us in our grief over sin.tears should be ones of joy more than sorrow. Why? Because if we weep only because we have sinned, we have not yet entered into God’s salvation. When we agree to be disciples of Jesus, to be united to Christ, then we experience forgiveness and our tears are turned to joy as we realize the absolutely amazing love and grace of our God for us sinners. And when we acknowledge we have been forgiven, our next response should be a willingness to forgive those who have offended us.” (Fr. Basil, Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Tears and compunction, then, are caused not just by a realization of our own sinfulness, but also and much more fundamentally by a grateful and tender recognition of God’s forgiving love…God is visiting you when tears come during prayer.” (Nikitas Stithatos, Elder Amphilochios Makris of Patmos)

“…as long as distress and anguish stay cramped and compressed in our hearts, they darken our thinking. When they are emptied and evaporate through the words of our supplication and the tears which flow from our eyes as we pray, they bring a great brightness to the soul. Why? Because, like the rays of the sun, God’s help has entered into the soul of the person who is praying.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“To be much for God, we must be much with God. Jesus, that lone figure in the wilderness, knew strong crying, along with tears. Can one be moved with compassion and not know tears? Jeremiah was a sobbing saint. Jesus wept! So did Paul. So did John.” (Billy Graham)

“Sometimes a person prays with his tears, even when words are missing…Your silent prayers uttered on tearstained pillows were heard before they were said.” (Bill Gothard Max Lucado)

“Contrition and compunction are its regular companions. Compunctious prayer is based on an attentive life attentive to the ever-presence of God in our life, to the purity of our heart, to the genuine humility of our spirit, and to the mystery of death which we must ever remember and contemplate…It is important to distinguish true compunction from the tears of superficiality, vanity and sentimentality.” (Monk Moses)

“When I went to my first confession,” a friend told me, “tears took the place of the sins I meant to utter. The priest simply told me that it wasn’t necessary to enumerate everything and that it was just vanity to suppose that our personal sins are worse than everyone else’s. Which, by the way, was something of a relief, since it wasn’t possible for me to remember all the sins of my first thirty-odd years of life. It made me think of the way the father received his prodigal son—he didn’t even let his son finish his carefully rehearsed speech. It’s truly amazing.” (Jim Forest)

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