Abba Joseph related that Abba Isaac said, ‘I was sitting with Abba Poemen one day and I saw him in ecstasy and as I was on terms of great freedom of speech with him, I prostrated myself before him and begged him, saying, “Tell me where you were.” He was forced to answer and he said, “My thought was with St Mary, the Mother of God, as she wept by the cross of the Saviour. I wish I could always weep like that.” (The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Abba Poemen 144)
St. Silouan of Mt. Athos 1866-1938
In this wise I reflect in my soul: if I who love God so little am so violently heartsick for the Lord, how exceedingly great must have been the grief of the Mother of God when she was left on earth, after the Ascension of her Lord. She put not in writing the tale of her soul’s affliction, and we know little of her life on earth, but this much we must suppose…the abundance of her love for her Son and her God reaches beyond our understanding… We cannot fathom the depth of the love of the Mother of God, but this we know:
The greater the love, the greater the sufferings of the soul.
The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God.
The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer.
The more perfect the love, the holier the life.
Not one of us is able to attain to the fulness of the Mother of God’s love, and we have need of repentance like Adam. Yet in part, as we are taught of the Holy Spirit in the Church, we may comprehend that love of hers. (St. Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony)