There is nothing equal to this beautiful trait of pity

WHO is weak and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not?

2 Corinthians 9:29

SHOULDEST not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

Matthew 18:33

Patriarch Kirill and Starets Iliya of Optina

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (r) speaking with Starets (spiritual father) Iliya of Optina

HE was gentle in the spirit of mildness to forgive the penitent, so that he would often shed tears over those who confessed their sins, pitying their weaknesses, and would himself point out by his own righteous example what course the sinner should pursue.

St Bede (+735), writing of St Cuthbert.


LET us have a soul apt to sympathize, let us have a heart that knows how to feel with others in their sorrows: no unmerciful temper, no inhumanity.

LET us show ourselves pitiful, that we may be pitied; there is nothing equal to this beautiful trait: nothing so marks to us the stamp of human nature as the showing pity, as the being kind to our fellow-men.

St John Chrysostom (+407), “Homilies On Acts” XLIII (on Acts 20:1). Translation from CCEL.


WHEN we talk to our fellow men and they tell us about their troubles, we will listen to them carefully if we have love for them. We will have compassion for their suffering and pain, for we are God’s creatures; we are a manifestation of the love of God.

ONE should preach not from one’s rational mind but rather from the heart. Only that which is from the heart can touch another heart. One must never attack or oppose anyone. If he who preaches must tell people to keep away from a certain kind of evil, he must do so meekly and humbly, with fear of God.

THOSE who are strict with others can only reach a certain level in spiritual life. They remain at the stage of physical asceticism.

Elder Thaddaeus of Vitovnica (2003).


AS you, O Merciful, are a divine river of mercy, an abyss of great compassion, show us the divine streams of your mercy, and heal us all; pour out unstintingly the springs of your wonders, and cleanse us all; for ever hastening fervently to you, we implore your grace.

PHYSICIAN and helper of those in pains, deliverer and saviour of those in sickness, Master and Lord, give healing to your sick servants; have pity, have mercy on those who have often stumbled, and deliver them from their falls, O Christ, that they may glorify your divine power.

Service of Holy Oils. Translation from Anastasis.


2 thoughts on “There is nothing equal to this beautiful trait of pity

  1. Pingback: Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica on Preaching | Salt of the Earth

  2. Pingback: FRIDAY BYZANTINE EDITION | Byz Pulpit

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