Cast Yourselves On The Mercy of God

Icon of Jesus Christ

By: Frederica Mathewes-Green

The Israelites alway knew to turn to God in repentance when disaster struck. When they were defeated and enslaved by Babylon and carried away in captivity, their response, as we see in the Song of Azariah, was to admit that their own sins provoked this chastisement.

We react in the opposite way today. When misfortune strikes we think, “How dare God allow this to happen?” We blame Him for not preventing it; we think that He is cruel and capricious. Some pastors even urge parishioners to express anger at God. But this is wholly contrary to the pattern in the Scripture. There we learn that, if God’s patient forebearance fails to cause His people to return to Him, then He will use misfortune. As Azariah would say, “In truth and judgment hast Thou brought all these things upon us for our sins.”

These tragic events are not simple tit for tat punishments, but disciplines, teaching tools. They aim to strip a person of self-satisfaction and cause him to return to God in humility. However, some tragedies spring from the malice of the evil one, who hates all humankind. (Matthew 13:28) “An enemy has done this.” His power to inflict such evil is supported by human sin, which runs like poisen through the world. When children and the innocent suffer it is especially sweet for the evil one, because he can enjoy both the pain they endure and also the grief and confusion we onlookers feel- we, whose petty lies, gossiping, and anger built up his strength in the first place.

It is not up to us to figure out why tragedy happened. We only have to respond to it- casting ourselves on the mercy of God, searching our hearts in repentance, and abondoning ourselves wholly to Him.

Excerpt taken from the book: First Fruits of Prayer, a forty day journey through the canon of St. Andrew. By: Frederica Mathews-Green

3 Responses to “Cast Yourselves On The Mercy of God”

  1. 1 Andrew March 24, 2010 at 7:46 am

    God bless you with your holly posts, I should tell some of my friends to come over to this awesome site. 🙂

  2. 2 Mary March 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m happy to know that you like my blog. Thanks a lot. 🙂

    God Bless you too!

  3. 3 George March 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Every time I read posts like this I reminds me how profound the Jesus Prayer is.

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St. Mary of Egypt


St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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