2. How great this loss is, and how great a grief arises from this loss, those who have experienced the loss know.
Mary Magdalene saw her beloved Jesus fall seven times beneath the great weight of the cross, she beheld Him hang for three hours upon the cross, she saw Him taken down from the tree and laid in a sepulchre, and yet not one Evangelist says that she shed a single tear. But on the most festive day of the Resurrection, when the angels sang their paschal hallelujah in full choir, when mourning was laid aside for garments white and clean, when the dead themselves rose for joy from their graves, and the dawn blushed a fairer pink than heretofore, and the sun, rejoicing as a giant to run his course, scattered brighter than wonted beams, then Magdalene wept inconsolably, nor deigned to look at the angels who asked, Woman, why weepest thou? for, says the Evangelist, she had bowed down her face to the earth, as though beaten down and crushed beneath the burden of her sorrow.
But why this strange paradox! that she should not weep at the time for tears, and now not laugh at the time for laughter? Magdalene’s answer explains all: They have taken away my Lord. This was her sole and worthy cause of tears—the absence of her Lord. “She wept more,” says Augustine, “because He was removed from the sepulchre, than because He was slain upon the tree.” When He was on the cross, she stood by; when He was entombed, she sat over against the sepulchre; dying she was near Him, risen she was parted from Him—therefore flowed her tears. Truly may St. Ber-