St. Isaac Returns

One of my early posts had a quote from 9th century bishop Isaac of Ninevah. Here is a fuller version of the quote. I think it is the spirit in which Christians ought to strive for.

“Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others.
Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
Be slandered, but do not slander others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
Suffer with the sick.
Be afflicted with sinners.
Exult with those who repent.
Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place,
do not destroy their character.
What is a merciful heart? It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons, and for all that exists. By the recollection of them the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance. By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled and one cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in any in creation. For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy.”

7 thoughts on “St. Isaac Returns

  1. Beautiful post Padre. Beautiful. I’m going to print it off for myself. It judges me of course, since I’m as far as far can be from this ideal, but it does so in a way that convicts not condemns. Beautiful.

  2. Padre,
    I’ve a spiritual formation question. I believe that followers of Christ want this, that we desire this deeply. I believe that, as scripture says, we have a new heart though the body and the mind shall be made new are being renewed.

    So is this something we pursue or is the Spirit “pursuing” it within us?

  3. I love it! Yes! The Anglican Priest returns offering up to us the winsome wisdom of Canterbury of old! See–that Tradition is still alive and well, though underground to be sure, and inspite of itself and others who’d just as soon see it die. Good things die hard. Indeed, Father. Your answer to Jazzy is spot on. It’s both!

  4. “For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy”…so good…

Leave a Reply to olympiada Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.