Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Humility gathers the heart together

A few good words from a country against whom we have perpetrated a great harm.....

Saint Isaac the Syrian (7th century), Monk at Nineveh, near Mosul in present-day Iraq
from his Spiritual Discourses, 1st series, no. 21

"It is said that only God’s help saves. When a person knows that there is no other help, he prays a lot. And the more he prays, the more his heart becomes humble, for it is not possible to pray and to request without being humble. “A heart contrite and humble, O God, you will not spurn.” (Ps 51:19) So long as the heart has not become humble, it is impossible for it to escape being scattered; humility gathers the heart together.

When a person has become humble, compassion immediately surrounds him and his heart then feels God’s help. He discovers a strength rising up within him, the strength of trust. When a person thus feels God’s help, when he feels that God is there and that he comes to his aid, immediately his heart is filled with faith and he then understands that prayer is the refuge of help, the source of salvation, trust’s treasure, the port that has been freed of the storm, the light of those who are in darkness, the support of the weak, the shelter in times of trial, help at the height of illness, the shield that saves in combat, the arrow sent out against the enemy.

In one word, a multitude of good enters into him by means of prayer. So from then on, he finds his delight in the prayer of faith. His heart is radiant with trust."

1 comment:

Lily said...

Radiant with trust -- yes!