Tag Archives: compassion

Temptation

This is my temptation: to let the violence, tragedies, and selfishness in the world frighten me so that I forget my birthright as a beloved child of God and become distracted from participating in God’s work of reconciliation, forgiveness, and compassion. I am tempted to believe my small efforts to pray, be kind, and comfort the suffering are not a part of the solution to the world’s problems.

Along with the wild beasts and demons in my desert today, there are also angels to care for me. I need not make an idol of fear. I am reassured that I have a part to play in making God’s vision of love and unity a reality.

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:12

Clean and whole

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
Jesus heals a leper
Pen and ink drawing, c. 1650-1655
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet

So much conspires to tell me I am an outcast in this society: unemployment, chronic headaches, overwhelming fatigue, and the ever-accelerating pace and stress of modern life when what I crave is time—time to go slowly, to rest, listen, and discern God’s will for me.

When I become aware that I am feeling ashamed of who I am, I pray to be reunited with the unconditional love and compassion that is my birthright. The Lord is always willing to touch me and make me whole again.

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

Kindness will not be forgotten

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Prophetess Anna in the Temple, 1646 or 1650

May I welcome the new year in holy stillness, with the hope and intention each day to be God’s messenger of love, peace, and kindness.

Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13a

 

The will to love

We have the power to give birth to love in every moment with our words, actions, attitudes, and behavior. This is God’s will for us. This is God’s vision for our world. This is God’s most precious gift: Love incarnate.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

Healing comfort

Faith in God’s love, compassion, and constant, kindly presence empowers me to comfort those who are frightened, ill, lost, homeless, hungry, at risk, angry,  depressed, or in mourning.

Comfort calms and renews hope. It is a gift that heals.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1

When did I see you

Photograph of a Soup Kitchen during the Depression
June 1936
National Archives and Records Administration.
Office of Presidential Libraries.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

There are no subtexts or hidden agendas with Jesus. He spells out exactly how we are to serve him: by taking care of each other, especially those who are poor or in need.

Who can I help today?

[Jesus said to his disciples,] ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Matthew 25:34b-35

Wisdom’s Way

I perceive the resplendence of wisdom when I stay aware of and act on opportunities to love my neighbor, forgive those who have hurt me, take responsibility for my words and actions, give food to the hungry, visit the sick and lonely, seek peaceful resolutions to conflict.

I find wisdom in my own loneliness, in my realization of my need for God’s guidance, comfort, and boundless love as I continue to make mistakes on the Way to perfection.

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her. Wisdom 6:12