She weeps bitterly in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she has none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.
All Commentaries on Lamentations 1:2 Go To Lamentations 1
WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT: the fourth topic of complaint, in which shameful, mean and ignoble acts are recounted before the suffering, which is very often the case here.
ALL HER FRIENDS HAVE DESPISED HER: similarly the Church is sometimes afflicted for her sins and spurned by interior as well as exterior enemies.
ALL HER FRIENDS &c: the thirteenth topic of complaint, by which we complain with indignation, when we are badly treated by those by whom it would be least becoming.
Historical interpretation. WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT IN THE NIGHT: what it is she bewails, the letter BETH makes clear through its interpretation, ‘house’, that house, namely, that entered into Egypt with Jacob and went out by the mercy of the Lord, according to this: When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob. But on the other hand, because of her sins, she is taken captive in Babylon, and therefore WEEPING she weeps IN THE NIGHT, because in the day, rest is not given to them, that they at least may be consoled by their own tears and, at a late hour, cleanse their eyes, which they previously used to raise to idols and, which is worse, THERE IS NONE TO COMFORT HER of all her friends previously flattering her.
HER TEARS ARE ON HER CHEEKS, so that they may be more confused among the enemies and be content with their own disgrace. By means of idolatry, however, the people, brought into captivity, was harshly shattered by its enemies, but even harsher by Titus and Vespasian; the people, who for long have been upheld by God’s patience, but, being impenitent, have treasured up anger towards themselves in the day of wrath.
Allegorical interpretation. WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT IN THE NIGHT: the Church of Christ weeps IN THE NIGHT, that is to say among the adversities of this life, since she, although predestined to glory, nevertheless abides in the obscurity of ignorance and the hazards of blindness. She weeps what she endures without; within she weeps the hardships of her infirmity; but she weeps WEEPING, because she is previously punctured on the inside and thus baptized on the outside with her own tears, which are produced from the spring of her heart, and of whose abundance the prophet makes allusion when he says: WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT. In this fashion the outward man needing to be reshaped is cleansed no less than the inward, whence it follows:
HER TEARS ARE ON HER CHEEKS: those who know to mourn and not conceal their own faults nor those of others, of whom it is spoken in the Canticles: Thy cheeks are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lies hid within. Indeed, in these the beauty of the Church is shown and through their proclamation we are drawn to the body of the Church. Just as those who labor more than others in the body of Christ, they mourn more and lament those whom they see abide in the night of wrongs and in the blindness of error. The Church weeps IN THE NIGHT and does not ignore the shadows of her sins. She carries her tears ON HER CHEEKS, with which she every day renews her beauty. To be sure, Mary is of benefit to Martha being troubled, when she weeps WEEPING at the Lord’s feet. The bride weeps far away from her spouse’s embrace, and she weeps in the valley, that is to say IN THE NIGHT of this ignorance. WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT, namely of desire for the heavenly fatherland and for her own sins and the sins of others in this world. She weeps for those who are dead to the world, she weeps for virgins, for widows, she weeps for all who confess themselves
pilgrims and visitors to this earth.
THERE IS NONE TO COMFORT HER AMONG ALL THEM THAT WERE DEAR TO HER: that is to say the saints or the angels, unless she receives the comfort of her spouse. Hence ALL HER FRIENDS HAVE DESPISED HER, since God scorns her, AND HAVE BECOME HER ENEMIES, to whom God is an enemy, with whose justice they cannot be at variance.
Moral interpretation. WEEPING SHE HAS WEPT IN THE NIGHT: that is to say the soul, in the blindness of sin, of which it is said: Let that night be solitary, and not worthy of praise. But she does not weep on her own decision, but due to the Lord’s compassion, whence the prophet, wailing in the person of the Lord, says: How doth the city sit solitary &c. For lest the Lord, moved by pity, had seen her sit solitary, she had hardly lamented herself. The Lord looked on Peter, and he wept bitterly.
HER TEARS ARE ON HER CHEEKS: the cheek is the conscience of the soul. The face is formed by the cheeks; the character of everyone is shown in the conscience. The conscience, however, that is aware of its sins, should always let itself be watered from the spring of tears, whence David: My sin is always before me. Alternatively THERE IS NONE TO COMFORT HER, the true Paraclete being dismissed, that is the Holy Ghost, especially as ALL HER FRIENDS, i. e. the desires for perverted pleasure, BECOME HER ENEMIES, when, according to the Apostle, on Judgement Day thoughts will rise, accusing or defending the poor conscience, and demons, most wicked persuaders, who now flatter by deceiving.