Kevin, you are not alone. That vision deeply troubles me too. And it surely would have troubled St. Isaac the Syrian. The saints are fallible and their visions are to be taken with a grain of salt. You might be interested in this blog post by Fr Aidan and in all his subsequent posts on St. Isaac the Syrian:
I find Fr Aidan's (not St Isaac's) view of God's love very troubling. Consider how he is anthropomorphizing God, a thing that St John Chrysostom in his sermons warns strongly against.
Fr Aidan says, "The love of God is indiscriminate, promiscuous, prodigal." But this is adding to and therefore changing the meaning of the quote of St Isaac that he gives a few lines later. "“There is no hatred or resentment in His nature,” Isaac explains, “no greater or lesser place in His love, no before or after in His knowledge”
In another place Fr Aidan says, "This love is unconquerable and irresistible, not because it coerces—God forbid!—but because of its intrinsic beauty, truth, and goodness: But obviously man has the freedom and ability to reject this love and this beauty. The whole post in trying to overcome a legalistic view of God's punishment goes too far in the other direction, making of God's love something sentimental and without taking into account the seriousness of the consequences of sin.
Also, I would not say that the writings or visions of the saints should be taken with a grain of salt, but to rather admit that if a story doesn't make sense to us, seems to violate our view of God, then to admit that either our view of God is wrong, or that we are not correctly understanding the story in the way that it is meant to be understood, and for myself, when I read something that seems "off" that is written by the saints, as time goes on or I ask my spiritual father about it I find that usually both of these things are true.
Likewise if one reads the beginning of this thread, the story of St Silouan praying his sister who committed suicide out of hell, tells us something about the fact that even though the church does not allow a Christian burial because of the seriousness of the sin, nevertheless our private prayers and sacrifices are not ignored by God. But also sin's healing is not free, if we are not willing to give alms, and pray faithfully for our sinful loved ones, who themselves have no repentance, then is it God's love that is lacking or ours?
Edited by Anna Stickles, 26 May 2013 - 12:20 AM.