November 14

  Reflection

“The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the center of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”

From The Charter for Compassion

Prayer

Help me, O God, to see through the eyes of One who is loving, compassionate, and caring

Action

 What does it mean in your life to live compassionately? Expand the circle of your compassion to include other creatures, nature, and the inanimate world.

Suggested Reading

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd
Matthew 9:36

Remember that even Jesus’ most scathing denunciation – a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem Matthew 23 – ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did.-
John MacArthur

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all God’s demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity”
Rom 12:1-2

Some people find the experience and practice of compassion as a spiritual discipline to be a more direct route to the transformation of the heart than prayer. It is not that prayer does not or should not play a role in their lives, but their way to the opening of the heart lies through deeds of compassion. “Just do it” summarizes this path of transformation.
Marcus J. Borg in The God We Never Knew

Compassion literally means to feel with, to suffer with. Everyone is capable of compassion, and yet everyone tends to avoid it because it’s uncomfortable. And the avoidance produces psychic numbing — resistance to experiencing our pain for the world and other beings.
Joanna Macy

True compassion does not come from wanting to help those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.
Pema Chodron

 Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
Dalai Lama

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.
Nelson Mandela

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
Albert Schweitzer

You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.
Meister Eckhart

 

 

 

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