"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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Tuesday of the Third week of Lent
Commentary of the day
Isaac the Syrian (7th century), monk near Mosul
Spiritual Discourses, 1st Series, no. 58

“Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?”

On the one hand, compassion, and on the other the judgment of simple equity; if they dwell in one and the same soul, they are like a person who adores God and idols in one and the same house. Compassion is the contrary to the judgment of simple justice. Judgment that is simply equitable implies the equal sharing out of a similar measure for everyone. It gives to each what he deserves, no more; it does not lean towards one side or the other, exercises no discernment in its distribution. But compassion arises because of grace: it leans towards all beings with the same affection - not accepting to give simple retribution to those who are worthy of punishment - and it fills beyond all measure those who are worthy of good.

Thus compassion is on the side of justice; judgment that is simply equitable is on the side of evil… Just as a grain of sand does not weigh so much as a heap of gold does, God’s equitable justice does not weigh as much as his compassion. The sins of all flesh are like a handful of sand falling into the great ocean compared to God’s providence and mercy. Just as an abundantly flowing spring cannot be stopped up by a handful of dust, so the Creator’s compassion cannot be overcome by the malice of creatures. The person who remains resentful while praying is like a person who sows in the sea and hopes to gather in a harvest!

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