August 5

Reflection

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.

Prayer

May we live in the compassion of Jesus.

Action

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?

Suggested Reading

Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Eph 4:3-5,2

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.
Eph 4:30–5

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
Plato

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.
Tahereh Mafi

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
Milan Kundera

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.
Albert Einstein

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?”
Orhan Pamuk

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
Mahatma Gandhi

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

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Daily Prayer Archives
Advent Candle Lighting

Advent Candle Lighting

Join with Christians around the world in the prayerful ritual of lighting the Advent wreath.

Prayer

A Child came for all of us and because of that Child
We believe that love is stronger than fear,
Peace more enduring than hate
And that darkness will never extinguish the light
We are people of hope.

(Light the first candle)

Today we light the candle of peace.
Let us pray for the peace of Christ
which is the fullness of blessing for all.
For this peace we dare to hope.

(Second candle is lit)

We light the candle of love.
For God so loved the world, that a Child was given;
a Savior in the form of love incarnate.
As we light these candles of hope, peace and love,
Let us give thanks for God’s enduring love.

(Light the third candle)

 

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