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Isaac the Syrian

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  • Isaac the Syrian

    I just bought a little book of this man's writings. It's really beautiful stuff. He was Bishop of Nineveh in what's now northern Iraq in the 7th century.

    I was looking at the news today. Eighteen women have just been murdered in Nigeria by Boku Haram. In the U.S. you have the shooting of a singer and before the ink's dry on the page someone shooting up a nightclub with an assault rifle. In Britain we've just had the murder of an MP. It's not clear why she was killed, but she had apparently worked for Oxfam and leaves small children motherless.

    Man's inhumanity to man.

    Isaac might be something of an antidote to anyone who feels a sense of despondency and hopelessness thinking of all this. He reminds me a little of Lady Julian of Norwich, separated greatly in place and time from him but having, I think some of the same spirit. Julian was, and still is, greatly revered among High Church Anglicans "Anglo-Catholics" like Charles Williams and is quoted by T. S. Eliot in his masterpiece "Four Quartets".

    Anyway, here are some quotes from Isaac. And there is an Ancestral Health angle to this, too. Look for the quote starting "What is a merciful heart ...?"

    Well, this dear old man says that it is a "heart on fire" for the "whole of creation". All the animals and birds are mentioned specifically -- and even reptiles. Would that those who are too ready to reach for the pesticide could think and feel like this!