GENUINE COMPASSION does not consist of “just doing it,” faking it, or forcing yourself to act the way you have been told you are supposed to act. It does not mean loving your enemy despite what you feel. Instead, true compassion means your actions and interior experiences mirror one another and flow from one another. Spiritual traditions have created practices to help fill your life ever more completely with this compassion.
The process of filling our lives with compassion begins with recognizing our deep longing for this profound human experience. The longing for compassion appears in human beings whether they are part of a spiritual tradition or not. According to the Christian spiritual path, this longing is not our own desire—it is Divine Mystery, God, the eternal Source of Compassion longing through our entire being. We begin to expand compassion in our lives by engaging this Divine longing within us. We may then return repeatedly to taste this longing, allowing it to draw us ever more deeply into the Compassion at the heart of our being.
—Andrew Dreitcer, Living Compassion: Loving Like Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2017)
When do you most feel a tug or a calling to show someone compassion? Share your thoughts.
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
—Philippians 2:1-2 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Reverend Junius B. Dotson was preaching at a funeral when suddenly he realized he wasn’t going to make it through the service. The next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance on the way to the ER, where he was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion. Read more about his Soul Reset.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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