Compassion urges us to reach out in love to those who are in need. The most significant result of compassion is that it alleviates suffering. It makes life more tolerable. Most people have a natural inner compassion. This is evident in times
of tragedy or catastrophe. Individually and corporately, we respond with an empowering energy of helpfulness whose intent is entirely beneficial. Our compassion is not so evident In the public arena. Often, committed to an ideology, insensitive or uninformed about the plight of innocent people caught in the consequences of war, prejudices, or ethnic hatreds, we lose our sense of compassion. We forget the needs of persons and only react to the threats, real or imagined, that unjust systems perpetuate.
May we live in the compassion of Jesus.
Reflect on your own spirit of compassion. How does it extend to those with whom you do not come in contact or whose lifestyle, religious or political persuasion is different from yours?
Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
Dalai Lama XIV
For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes
Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
Martin Luther King Jr.
How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?”
The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.
Henri J.M. Nouwen