The Queen of My Self

Once again Sister Joan Chittister has found the perfect words to express  what I have been feeling.

What Do You Weep For?
by Joan Chittister

Evagrius of Ponticus, one of the early desert monastics, counseled young monastics: “First pray for the gift of tears, to soften by compunction the inherent hardness of your soul.”

And fifteen centuries later, George Eliot wrote, too, “The beginning of compunction is the beginning of new life.”

The point is clear: Weeping is a very life-giving thing. It wizens the soul of the individual and it sounds alarms in society.

If we do not weep on the personal level, we shall never understand other human beings.

If we do not weep on the public level at the inhuman conditions that trap those around us: for the part-time employed, for instance who have no cars to get them to the jobs they need; for the innocent in the Middle East who sit in bunkers and basements waiting for the next bombs to fall; for the women of the world who are trapped in unholy religious silence and told it’s God’s will for them. If we do not weep for these and those like them-if we remain dry-eyed and indifferent-we are less than human ourselves.

There are, in other words, some things that simply ought not to be endured.

We must always cope with evil, yes, but we must never, ever adjust to it, either ours or anyone else’s.

What we weep for, you see, measures what we are and determines what we do, as well.

Weeping signals that it is time to change things in life. John Tillotson wrote once: “Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.”

Without our tears, we have no hope of healing because we do not begin to admit the anguish.

Indeed, ironically, of all the expressions of human emotion in the lexicon of life, weeping may be the most life-giving.

The point is that our tears expose us. They lay us bare both to others and to ourselves.

You see, what we cry about is what we care about.

We known ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves.
And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature.
We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature weeping.
Nature speaking of nature to nature.

– Susan Griffin
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


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