3. When her crying was passed, she came before the Archbishop and fell down on her knees, the Archbishop saying very roughly to her, “Why do you weep so, woman?”
She answering said, “Sir, you shall wish some day that you had wept as sorely as I.”
Margery’s retort to the Archbishop of York in Book One, section 52, demonstrates her confidence in the face of aggressive questioning from a powerful figure of authority. Margery’s absolute confidence in God’s blessing on her, in the form of her tears, is enough to give her the courage to stand up to, and even to rebuke, a man as imposing as the Archbishop. The point of Margery’s statement is also important, hinting at the symbolic value of her tears as prayer. Someday, Margery is saying, the Archbishop will wish that he had been as thoroughly attuned to the way Christ suffered for his sake as Margery is. Her tears are not a punishment, but a sign of grace, and those who are not so blessed would do well to pay attention.