The Orthodox Witness - December 2017

SAINT ISAAC OF SYRIA – GOD’S LOVE AND HIS MERCY
Saint Isaac was a born in Qatar in the first part of the 7th century. He was a profound spiritual teacher and was briefly Bishop of Nineveh (in present-day Iraq).

HIS LOVE AND OUR FREEDOM TO RESPOND
“The sum of all is that God the Lord of all, out of fervent love for his creation, handed over his own Son to death on the cross. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son for its sake.’ This was not because he could not have saved us in some other way, but so that he might thereby the better show us his surpassing love, so that, by the death of his only-begotten son, he might bring us close to himself. Yes, if he had had anything more precious he would have given it to us so that our race might thereby be recovered. Because of his great love, he did not want to use compulsion on our freedom, although he would have been able to do so; but instead he chose that we should draw near to him freely, by our own mind’s love.”

HIS MERCY AND OUR PARTICIPATION IN IT
“As a handful of sand thrown into the ocean, so are the sins of all humankind as compared with the mind of God.

Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked by a handful of earth, so the compassion of the Creator is not overcome by the wickedness of His creatures.

As the flame of fire cannot be prevented from ascending upwards, so the prayers
of the compassionate cannot be held back from ascending to heaven.”