Compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
The Bible on Compassion
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Lord allow me to catch a glimpse of what life would be if we truly had compassion upon one another, Open our minds to the new concept of being a truly compassion. Let us take the advice of the master and engage in compassionate actions this and every day as
Our Life and death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our neighbor, we have sinned against Christ.
— Abba Anthony
When Jesus was questioned by the religious leaders of his day about the first commandment he said, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This dispute of the true and best path to God is ever going. There is no other commandment greater than these.’ This lesson from Jesus and the monk is one in the same. The sacred is in the ordinary which is found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, family, in one’s backyard. We have never quite gotten that idea down. Men desperately search in so many places for peace with God while in continual battle with their neighbors. Our world is mired in war, violence, crime, racism and hopelessness.
I recently read a story about some neighbors who were in a dispute about the location of some trees and shrubs. John Vilkin shot and killed his neighbor over this landscaping dispute. These proximity neighbors fought over turf and it ended most tragically. Most conflicts are over one turf or another. We are urged by scripture and wisdom teaching to regard our relationship with our neighbor as a relationship with God. By viewing it through that lens, we truly see the importance of getting along. Pray that God will give you the wisdom to see others through His eyes. With that wisdom comes the keys to the kingdom – spiritual wholeness.
- Live in Oneness (billtonnismusic.wordpress.com)
A Brother said to Abba Mateos, ‘Give me a word.’ He said to him, ‘ restrain the spirit of controversy in yourself, in everything, and weep, have compunction, for the time is drawing near.’
—-Abba Mateos of the Desert
The wise Abba tells us to refrain from controversy. Our world is wrought with controversy, because it appears as though we thrive on our divisions. Governments, families, and churches all seem to have a great need to live in a state of conflict. Many people think that this postmodern world is the cause of this state of affairs, but here we see this man of the desert approaching this subject fourteen hundred years ago. He describes controversy as a “spirit,” which says to me that it is a real driving force that wraps itself around us and produces negative results.
Abba Mateos’ advice to his fellow monks, and to us, is for us to have compunction. That is to allow our moral compasses to guide us in the situations that are given to us. Ultimately, it is our choice how we react to any event, statement or accusation. The challenge is to act as though the time to face our God was near. Mateos calls us to be in peace with those that disagree and hold to other beliefs. The compunction, moral code, of the Christian is to have a spirit of harmony. Just as Christ reconciled the world by suffering the cross we, as His followers, are called to stay away from controversy and to embrace His love. Let us strive to develop a spirit of compunction instead of a spirit of controversy.
- Light of Christ (franciscanflowers.wordpress.com)
Every Monday I do “chapel” for our church preschool. In all honesty it is not my strong suit to tell a story, no matter how brief, to a group of three and four year olds. I have, however, begun to truly enjoy my time with them. Recently something very special happened, and it really taught me a great lesson.
Our preschool director told me one of the children reported to his mother that God had come to see them last week. What the child said was both adorable and profound. I am definitely not God, but God did come to see him. God was there because the little child was looking for Him. What a marvelous thought – we see God when we look for Him. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Children see God because they have not yet become their own God. Children do not see themselves as masters of their own destiny but rather as those that are dependent on others. They are vulnerable in so many ways. They need help, they need to believe in something and someone greater than themselves.
I learned from that child that God can be seen in the strangest places and faces. Perhaps it is well advised that we always be on our best behavior lest we shatter the faith of someone who is searching for God.