St. John Chrysostom on Weeping and Mourning

James Tissot, Jesus Wept (Jésus pleura)
The Lord says indeed, ‘Blessed are they that mourn [Matthew 5:4]’, speaking of those who mourn for their sins; and no one mourns that kind of mourning, nor cares for a lost soul; but this other we were not bidden to practice, and we practice it. What then? says some one, ‘Is it possible being man not to weep?’ No, neither do I forbid weeping, but I forbid the beating yourselves, the weeping immoderately. I am neither brutal nor cruel. I know that our nature asks and seeks for its friends and daily companions; it cannot but be grieved. As also Christ showed, for He wept over Lazarus. So do thou; weep, but gently, but with decency, but with the fear of God. If so you weep, you do so not as disbelieving the Resurrection, but as not enduring the separation. Since even over those who are leaving us, and departing to foreign lands, we weep, yet we do this not as despairing. And so do thou weep, as if you were sending one on his way to another land.

+ St. John Chrysostom, Homily XXXVII, Homilies on the Gospel of JohnBook Complete Church Father Series

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