The Merciful Heart

Written by
St. Isaac The Syrian
Jan 28, 2020
St. Isaac The Syrian

What is a merciful heart?

a heart on fire

for the whole of creation,


the birds,

for the animals,

the 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 see

any injury or slight sorrow

in any of 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 him,

that they be protected and receive mercy…

because of the great compassion

that burns without measure

in a heart that is in ..the likeness of God.

– St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 81

Isaac of Nineveh, also remembered as Saint Isaac the Syrian, Abba Isaac, Isaac Syrus and Isaac of Qatar, was a 7th-century Church of the East Syriac Christian bishop and theologian best remembered for his written works on Christian asceticism