WITHIN CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS, self-compassion has been underemphasized and sometimes outright subverted. While we laud the Christian mandate of loving our neighbor, some people regard self-love with suspicion. They believe delighting in ourselves to be an offense and tending to our needs before those of others to be outrageously sacrilegious. Still, Jesus invites us to love our neighbor as ourselves, not instead of ourselves. The care, goodwill, and delight we extend to ourselves should be the measure of that which we offer to others.
—Frank Rogers Jr. , Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2016)
What can you do to offer compassion to yourself? Join the conversation.
Jesus answered, “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.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
—Mark 12:29-31 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
A prayer of compassion from Mother Teresa
Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as you love us.
Renew in us your spirit.
Lord, free us and make us one. Amen
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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