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
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)
Mark in Forty Days
This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina format.
O gracious and Holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In his heart a man plans his course …..
THE COURSE OUR LIVES TAKE WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE CONDITION OF OUR HEARTS !
IT’S IN OUR HEARTS THAT WE DETERMINE …..
- WHO WE WILL LIVE FOR ?
- WHO WE WILL SERVE ?
- WHO WE WILL LOVE ?
- WILL IT BE THE GOD OF HEAVEN OR THE GOD OF THIS WORLD ?
……….being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.
Choices – they seem unending, especially at Christmas. The Scriptures can be our guide as we observe the way God chooses and the way he challenged others to choose. From the very beginning when Adam and Eve chose their own way over God’s provision, each person who has ever lived has faced that decision.
Martha, out of self-righteous frustration, reprimanded Jesus because he would not condemn her sister, Mary, for not helping her with chores. Jesus simply tried to help her understand that Mary, in choosing to simply sit in His Presence and internalize his every word ,had indeed chosen “the good part.” Mary chose the part that never goes away, never gets old – the part that is eternal.
The rich young man expected a quick, easy answer from Jesus. He needed to know how to inherit eternal life. He could not imagine that inheriting eternal life could be any more challenging than inheriting his father’s wealth. But Jesus told him he would have to make a choice between what the world could give and what God could give. The rich young man chose the part that goes away – the part that is temporary.
The Christmas narratives portray God’s nature by the choices He made.
- God chose a teenage peasant girl, not a daughter of a ruling Pharisee.
- God chose a carpenter, not a king.
- God chose Nazareth, not Jerusalem.
- God chose a stable, not a palace.
- God chose a feeding trough, not an ornate cradle.
- God chose shepherds, not rabbis.
- God chose to show his star to Gentiles, not Jewish royalty.
- God chose poverty, not wealth.
- God chose humility, not position.
- God chose service, not recognition
- God chose earth, not heaven.
This Advent, this season of endless options, is a perfect time to evaluate our decisions, to align our choices with the eternal and holy and divine. Jesus told us that a good person with a heart full of good treasure makes good choices, lives a good life, recognizes holiness, and lives in the Kingdom of God. He told us that choices reveal our souls, our decisions come from what dominates our hearts, and our lives mirror the Master that controls them.
- Reflection – Consider each decision you make this season in light of God’s decisions in the Scripture.