Like a nursing mother

A brother asked Abba Macarius, “My father, I have fallen into a transgression.”

Abba Macarius said to him, “It is written, my son, ‘I do not desire the death of a sinner as much as his repentance and his life’ [see 1 Tim 2: 4 and 2 Pet 3: 9].

Repent, therefore, my son; you will see him who is gentle, our Lord Jesus Christ, his face full of joy towards you, like a nursing mother whose face is full of joy for her child when he raises his hands and his face up to her. Even if he is full of all kinds of uncleanness, she does not turn away from that bad smell and excrement but takes pity on him and lifts him up and presses him to her breast, her face full of joy, and everything about him is sweet to her. If, then, this created person has pity for her child, how much greater is the love of the creator, our Lord Jesus Christ, for us!

Saint Macarius the Spiritbearer, Coptic Texts Relating to Saint Macarius the Great, Translated, with Introduction, by Tim Vivian.

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