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a passionate repentance



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may God stand
An elder was once asked, "What is a compassionate heart?" He
replied: "It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for
humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for all that exists. At the
recollection and at the sight of them such a person's eyes overflow with
tears owing to the vehemence of the compassion which grips his heart.
As a result of his deep mercy his heart shrinks and cannot bear to hear
or look on any injury or the slightest suffering of anything in creation.
That is why he constantly offers up prayer full of tears, even for
the irrational animals and for the enemies of truth, even for those who
harm him, so that they may be protected and find mercy. He even prays
for the reptiles as a result of the great compassion which is poured out
beyond measure -- after the likeness of God -- in his heart."

St. Isaac of Nineveh ("The Syrian"), 7th century
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