Re: Gift of Tears
I've only had this "gift of tears" a handful of times. All except for two occurrences were during a period when I was evangelizing my then-girlfriend, who was raised as a Southern Baptist and was then a member of an evangelical megachurch.
She had no experience of liturgical worship, and during the course of our long dialogue we finally got to issues of the Catholic Liturgy. I'd never been a Catholic who profoundly understood or experienced the Mass, although I knew the basic catechesis.
As we moved into this phase of our discussion, I began having tears after receiving Communion at Mass -- suddenly, and with a deep feeling of joy, gratitude and peace. I'm a man who has almost never cried since boyhood, and I was feeling no particular emotions before receiving the Eucharist -- in fact, a couple of times I was a bit distracted.
I believe that God was granting me that experience in order to help me communicate the mystery and power of the Eucharist to my girlfriend in a more compelling way. After we moved on to other issues -- and her eventual reception into the Church -- the experience of tears stopped.
I think that this gift of tears is what is termed a "consolation." It's not an indicator of personal holiness, as someone mentioned above. It's a gift that's there for a reason -- to help us, in our state of spiritual immaturity, to advance further along the path of holiness. And in my case, it may have been a consolation given to me to benefit another child of God -- my wife -- who was at a pivotal moment of her faith journey.
The other two occurrences were interesting, too, and both happened at Mass, although one was not at the moment of reception of the host. But I'll leave it at that for now ...