Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

mercy

14 Entries

The mercy of God supports all of us, but if we are proud, God will lift off His grace and we will become worse than the others. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"



'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' Now I know that in many passages of the Divine Scripture holy men call the Divine Power merciful; as does David in the Psalms, Jonas in his prophecy, and the great Moses frequently in the Law. If, therefore, the term 'merciful' is suited to God, what else does the Word invite you to become but God, since you ought to model yourself on the property of the Godhead? For if the Divinely inspired Scripture calls God merciful, and if the Divinity is truly blessed, then it should be clear how the following is to be understood. It means that if a man is merciful, he is deemed worthy of the Divine Beatitude, because he has attained to that which characterized the Divine Nature. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Beatitudes

And what is a merciful heart? It is the heart's burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation.

For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God. St. Isaac The Syrian, Homily 81, from "The River of Fire", Dr. Alexandre Kalomiros



Because the Deity is goodness itself, true mercy and an abyss of loving bounty - or, rather, He is that which embraces and contains this abyss, since He transcends every name that is named (cf. Eph. 1:21) and everything we can conceive - we can receive mercy only by union with Him. St. Gregory Palamas (On Prayer and Purity of Heart no. 1, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 343)

But God said, I require mercy, and not sacrifice; and the acknowledgement of God, and not whole burnt offerings" Hosea 6:6.

What is meant by mercy? and what by sacrifice? By mercy then is signified Justification and grace in Christ; even that which is by faith. For we have been justified, not by the works of the law that we have done, but by His great mercy. And sacrifice means the law of Moses. St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke



Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved. St. John Chrysostom

Ever let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let our compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to the Divine nature and Divine essence. A heart hard and unmerciful will never be pure. St. Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training (Test 85. B #8)

Let no man deceive himself, let none be misled. Only the Lord can grant mercy. Sins committed again Him can be cancelled by Him alone Who bore our sins and suffered for us, by Him whom God delivered up for our sins. Man cannot be above God, nor can the servant by any indulgence of his own remit or condone the graver sort of crime committed against his Lord, for that would make the lapsed liable to this further charge, that he knows not the words of the prophet: "Cursed be the man that putteth his hope in man." It is Our Lord we must pray to, it is Our Lord we must win over by our satisfaction; for He has said He will deny the man that denies Him, and He alone has received all power of judgment from His Father. St. Cyprian, The Lapsed

Should you exercise mercy toward another, you will receive mercy for it. Counsels of the Optina Elder Moses (Putilov)

Those who do not have a conscience assured of purity of heart cannot pray with the words of the Prophet `Give reward unto Thy servant.' If, indeed, the reward is according to the measure of our works, we remain within the chastisement of our sins and our faults. It is already good if one has the means of assurance that permit thanks to God thus: `Not according to our iniquities hath He dealt with us, neither according to our sins hath He rewarded us. For according to the height of heaven from the earth, the Lord hath made His mercy to prevail over them that fear Him...for He knoweth whereof we are made' (Ps. 102: 9,10,12). It is important to recognize such mercy on the part of God for us, to now that we are insulated by the accustomed practice of our faults, and for us to begin to be worthy of the mercy of God. St. Hilary of Poitiers quoted in The Lament of Eve by Johanna Manley

You hear in church more often than anything the voices of the priests, deacons, readers and singers praying God to have mercy upon us.What does this signify? It signifies that all of us who are in God's Temple are deserving, by our sins, of God's punishment, and that before everything - on our coming into the church - we must remember that we are sinners, and have come to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, to our Creator and Benefactor, Whom we have daily and hourly angered by our iniquities, to ask for mercy, each one for himself, and also, in accordance with Christian love, for others. St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1; Holy Trinity Monastery pg. 29)

And what is a merciful heart? It is the heart's burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God. St. Isaac the Syrian

"Even though we, in our supreme ignorance, childishness, and tendency toward evil, turn away from true life and place many impediments along our path because we really do not like to repent, nevertheless, He has great mercy on us. He patiently waits for us until we will be converted and return to Him...that our faces may not be ashamed in the day of judgment." St. Macarius the Great

139. The mercy of God is hidden in sufferings not of our choice; and if we accept such sufferings patiently, they bring us to repentance and deliver us from everlasting punishment. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779





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