Posted on February 1st, 2013
Luther compares Rachel to Hannah and Monica, saintly women whose vocations led them to tears:
Thus Hannah, the mother of Samuel, also despaired of offspring and could not be conscious of her sobbing and of that desire for offspring in the inmost depths of her heart. But God, who searches the heart, understands the ineffable sobbing, which can neither be felt nor expressed with any words. Augustine also tells the story of his mother Monica, who lamented for nine years and deplored the downfall of her son because he had gone over to the sect of the Manichaeans. But her only request from God was that her son might be converted and become a Christian, and for this reason she wanted to betroth a Christian wife to him in order that he might be brought back on the right way by being associated with and admonished by a godly woman. She would have been content if he had only been converted to sound doctrine from the heresy of the Manichaeans. But the Lord seemed to deny her this, as Augustine says. Nevertheless, He heard what was most important and the deep desire of her heart, namely, the ineffable sobbing.
-AE 5, on Genesis 30:24