ASK FATHER: Prayers “for the gift of tears”

In my daily live-stream Mass today I added orations, as I often do, for various needs and purposes.   One of the sets of prayer to which I often turn in the section in the traditional Missale Romanum, the Orationes diversae, are

Ad petendam compunctionem cordis.   This is usually rendered as “for the gift of tears”.

In a comment one of you readers asked:

Father, what do you mean by the gift of tears?

I think I will let the prayers speak for themselves.


Omnipotens et mitissime Deus, qui sitienti populo fontem viventis aquae de petra produxisti: educ de cordis nostri duritia lacrimas compunctionis; ut peccata nostra plangere valeamus, remissionemque eorum, te miserante, mereamur accipere. Per Dominum.

O Almighty and most gentle God, who draw forth living water out of a rock for Thy thirsting people: draw now forth tears of compunction from the hardness of our hearts; so that we may be able to weep for our sins, and that we might merit, as Thou art merciful, their forgiveness.

Note the reference to God bringing forth water from the rock for the people in the wilderness.  See Exodus 17 and 1 Cor 10.


Hanc oblationem, quaesumus, Domine Deus, quam tuae maiestati pro peccatis nostris offerimus, propitius respice: et produc de oculis nostris lacrimarum flumina, quibus debita flammarum incendia valeamus exstinguere. Per Dominum.

Look graciously upon this sacrificial offering, O Lord God, which for our sins we present to Thy Majesty ; and bring forth from our eyes torrent of tears, by which we might be able to extinguish the fire of flames we have deserved.


Gratiam Spiritus Sancti, Domine Deus, cordibus nostris clementer infunde: quae nos gemitibus lacrimarum efficiat maculas nostrorum diluere peccatorum; atque optatae nobis, te largiente, indulgentiae praestet effectum. Per Dominum.

Mercifully pour forth, O Lord God, the grace of the Holy Ghost into our hearts; that it bring us to wash away of the stains of our sins by the sighing of tears; and, Thou bestowing, grant to us the effect of pardon we desire.

I believe that this is an important petition right now… for the Church as a whole.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. PMK says:

    This shall become a daily prayer. Thank you Fr Z

  2. VForr says:

    Beautiful. Thank you, Father Z!

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