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Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
Orthodox dogmatic theology

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Compassionate and merciful is the Lord, long suffering and plenteous in mercy(Psalm

102:8). God is love(1 John 4:16). The Goodness of God extends not to some limited region in

the world, which is characteristic of love in limited beings, but to the whole world and all the beings

that exist in it. He is lovingly concerned over the life and needs of each creature, no matter

how small and, it might seem to us, insignificant. St. Gregory the Theologian writes: “If someone

were to ask us what it is that we honor, and what we worship, we have a ready reply: we honor

love” (Homily 23).

God gives to His creatures as many good things as each of them can receive according to its

nature and condition, and as much as corresponds with the general harmony of the world, but it is

to man that God reveals a particular goodness. “God is like a mother bird who, having seen her

baby fall out of the nest, flies down herself to raise it up, and when she sees it in danger of being

devoured by a serpent, with a pitiful cry she flies around it and all the other baby birds, not capable

of being indifferent to the loss of a single one of them” (Clement of Alexandria, “Exhortation

to the Pagans,” Chapter 10). “God loves us more than a father or a mother or a friend, or anyone

else can love, and even more than we can love ourselves, because He is concerned more for our

salvation than even for His own glory. A testimony of this is the fact that He sent into the world

for suffering and death (in human flesh) His Only-begotten Son, solely in order to reveal to us the

path of salvation and eternal life” (St. Chrysostom, Commentary on Psalm 113). If man often

does not understand the whole power of God's Goodness, this occurs because man concentrates

his thoughts and desires too much on his earthly well being. Nevertheless, God's Providence

unites the giving to us of temporal, earthly goods together with the call to acquire for oneself, for

one's soul, eternal good things.

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