ABSTRACT. Regardless of how much we write and talk about God and the multi-faceted revelation of His infinite and unconditional love in our lives, the content would remain inexhaustible. This article is intended to be an assertion of the loving invitations of the All-Merciful God to those who do not know Him and, consequently, do not love Him, to respond to His love with love and to return to the true nature of man by discovering Him and His love. In other words, to return home. Repentance for sin and, implicitly, love for God is man’s response to God’s love for him. Repentance takes place as a break with everything that has gone before, it focuses on the present and leads to a new beginning. There is much joy in heaven over the sinner who repents as our Saviour Himself assured us (Lk. 15:7). God loves all of us not only because we are good, devoted or because we deserve His love; He has loved us since the beginning, unconditionally, commending His love for us “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). He wants us to turn back to Him so that we may become the recipients of His gifts. The author does not intend to exhaust the proposed topic, but merely illustrative. He broaches the foolishness for the divine love and the fact that the multitude of man’s sins does not negate God’s love for him and eventually emphasizes, as much as possible, the unutterable joy of “heaven” over the fervent repentance of sinners, beginning with the parables in the New Testament about the lost sheep, the lost drachma and the prodigal son. pp. 17–40

Keywords: Holy Fathers; joy; heaven; sinners; fervent; repentance

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Dumitru Stăniloae Faculty of Orthodox Theology,
Department of Research,
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University; Iași, Romania

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