Friday, March 09, 2007

Seventh Century Monk

Those who know me, probably know that there is one topic I don't talk about. I never understood "meditating" on this subject. Why would we want to meditate on what we don't want? Yes, that topic is hell. Imagine your surprise then, as well as mine, at today's topic. No, I haven't "flipped". I have come across something astounding from a seventh century monk, who validates what I've always thought...that God doesn't angrily "send" people to hell. Everything about God has to do with love. Let me stop talking and let the monk talk. And you can be sure that it will be a cold day in the hottest place on earth before I ever bring up the topic of hell again.

Saint Isaac the Syrian (7th Century), monk at Nineveh Discourse, 1st series, n°84
«I am suffering torment in these flames»

"As for me, I believe that those who are tormented in hell are tormented because of love. Is there anything bitterer or more violent than the torments of love? Those who feel they have sinned against love bear inside them a much bigger condemnation than any other punishment. The suffering caused by sin against love is the most heartbreaking torment.It is absurd to think that sinners in hell are deprived of God's love. Love is the child of truth that is given to everyone. By its own power, love acts in two ways. It torments sinners, as here on earth a friend may torment another friend. And it gives joy to those who have done what they were supposed to. Such is, in my opinion, the torment in hell: regret. But the souls of those who are up high are in the ecstasy of delights."

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