from a Sermon by Martin Copenhaver
Leon Bloy once said, "There are places in our hearts which do not yet exist, and it is necessary for suffering to penetrate there in order that they may come into being." This insight comes close to revealing the blessedness of mourning and sorrow. True sorrow opens our being, pierces the smooth veneer of our lives and exposes our inner selves. In sorrow, the depths of our hearts are touched, carved out... carved out to leave a space for God to be received, for it is in the depths of our hearts that God is found. It is when our hearts are truly emptied out, wounded, made vulnerable, that we are able to receive the true comfort which comes from God's loving presence.
The word "to comfort" in Greek is parakalein. The noun form is Paraklete, that is, "Comforter," which is the word John uses to speak of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send among his disciples when he left them. Only by his leaving, and in their mourning, would they have the Paraklete, the Comforter. But parakalein also means, to summoned to one's side, and it is the word which is used to invite to a banquet. It's a wonderful double meaning. To be comforted is to be invited to life's banquet, and there to partake of all that life has to offer, to partake of both joy and sorrow because both are part of the banquet and both are part of the comfort.