Life is not perfect and people are not perfectible. Only understanding, only compassion––the ability to bear life with the rest of humanity perfects us. God is compassionate and gives us what we need. No one can possibly be truly infused with the Spirit of God, who does anything less for the sake of others. Contemplation is the filter through which we discern the scope of our smallness and the potential of our greatness at the same time. The contemplative understands brokenness. And, most of all, the contemplative realizes that it is precisely at the point of personal need that God comes to fill up the emptiness that is us. Not to know what we lack is to become our own gods. When contemplation, that absorption in God that fills a person with the consciousness of the presence of God everywhere, in everyone, is real, we are consumed with love. There is no one for whom we do not care, no one who is beneath us. God, we know, is where we least of all expect God to be, waiting for us to realize that.
Adapted from Joan Chittister
May I have a compassionate heart.
What is your level of compassion for others especially for those who are different from you? What determines your acceptance? Why? Why not?
Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Compassion allows you to see reality; compassion is like the lens of the heart: it allows us to take in and understand the true dimensions. In the Gospels, Jesus is often moved by compassion. And compassion is also the language of God.
God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.
You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.
True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.
Make no judgements where you have no compassion.
Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.
Thich Nhat Hanh
I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.
We live in a time when science is validating what humans have known throughout the ages: that compassion is not a luxury; it is a necessity for our well-being, resilience, and survival.
My own feeling is we need more compassion, we need more empathy, we need more togetherness, in terms of working together.