The Merciful Heart

st-isaac-the-syrian1“What is a merciful heart? A heart which burns for all creation, for men and birds and animals and demons, and for every creature. As he calls them to mind and contemplates them, his eyes fill with tears. From the great and powerful compassion that grips the heart and from long endurance his heart diminishes, and cannot bear to hear or see any injury or any tiny sorrow in creation. This is why he constantly offers prayer with tears for dumb beasts, and for the enemies of truth, and for those that hurt him, that they may be protected and shown mercy; likewise he prays for the race of creeping things, through the great compassion which fills his heart, immeasurably, after the likeness of God.”

— St. Isaac of Syria

I hear St. Isaac’s words as a description of God’s heart. In the midst of human tragedy God’s is the first heart to break and the first tear to fall. Imagine how our world would change if we – in the likeness of God – lived with a merciful heart and wept for the pain of the world.


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