“Grown Men Don’t Cry” has been a witticism around for a long time ... popular enough
to have been a TV show and a song. In truth, however, it is regularly called into question.
Loving husbands and fathers about to be separated for a time from their families do cry.
Sons and grandsons cry at funerals. To be honest, I shed more than a few tears over the
past three months, especially during Holy Week and Easter when I couldn’t commemorate /
celebrate those events with all of you. And then there was Mother’s Day when I tried
visiting my mother’s grave in the cemetery and was turned away because the cemetery
was “closed” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe men cry because they experience
a loss of the nearness of those they love deeply. When we love, we choose to be near the
beloved. And even when separation occurs, steps are usually taken to assure some modem
of nearness is continued. I remember when my Dad was away on a business trip. He called
home frequently. (Today, he probably would have texted.) While I’ve never used them
myself, Skype or Facetime can bring a sense of nearness to loved ones. Pictures and
other mementos of a deceased person can keep that person near in spirit. Similarly,
we seek the experience of God’s nearness and God’s abiding and overwhelming love
for us. To the extent that we love God, we attend church and seek the divine Presence
and communion with Him through the Sacraments. Kind of hard these past three
months with closed churches and live-streaming, huh?