Category Archives: Isaac the Syrian

The Demonic Void and the Apokatastasis of Satan

St Paisios the Athonite once fasted and prayed for two weeks for the eternal salvation of the devil. While praying he saw a dog’s head sticking his tongue out and mocking him. Paisios con­cluded from this incident that “God is … Continue reading

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The Triumph of the Kingdom Over Gehenna

“Those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love”—these famous words of St Isaac the Syrian have profoundly influenced the Orthodox understanding of hell and damnation. Readers of St Isaac’s writings have for centuries assumed that … Continue reading

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St Isaac of Nineveh and the Scourge of Love

God has created humanity for eternal communion with himself. By love he has created us for love to share in the Trinitarian paradise of love. Hear the inspiring words of St Isaac of Nineveh: Paradise is the love of God, … Continue reading

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St Isaac the Syrian and the Punitive God of the Scriptures

“Do not call God just,” St Isaac the Syrian scandalously declares, “for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you.” But surely God punishes the wicked, we quickly retort. Surely there is divine reprisal, an infliction of deserved … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Injustice of Grace: St Isaac the Syrian and Pope John Paul II

Back in 2008, “60 Minutes” interviewed the Boston button man John Martorano. The inter­view is unsettling. In a quiet, detached, matter-of-fact tone, Martorano describes the twenty confessed murders he committed during his years as an enforcer for the Winter Hill … Continue reading

Posted in Grace, Justification & Theosis, Isaac the Syrian, Preaching | 26 Comments

Preaching the Astonishing Love of God with St Isaac the Syrian

Who among the Eastern Fathers has written more eloquently, more profoundly about the astonishing love of God Almighty than St Isaac the Syrian? “In Isaac’s understanding,” states Met Hilarion Alfeyev, “God is above all immeasurable love. The conviction that God … Continue reading

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“The Kingdom and Gehenna are matters belonging to mercy, which were conceived of in their essence by God as a result of His eternal goodness”

Just because the terms wrath, anger, hatred, and the rest are used of the Creator, we should not imagine that He actually does anything in anger or hatred or zeal. Many figurative terms are em­ployed in the Scriptures of God, … Continue reading

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Preaching Good Good Very Good News: St Isaac the Syrian and Universal Salvation

How do we proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ as good news that liberates and trans­forms? How do we tell the narrative of the Savior in such a way that the kingdom of God is made present?  These are the … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Isaac the Syrian, Preaching | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments