“The light came through the window, straight from the sun above, and so inside my little room there plunged the rays of love. In streams of light I clearly saw the dust you seldom see, out of which the Nameless makes a name for one like me.”
“There is only one being who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“What does it mean to live in the world with a truly compassionate heart, a heart that remains open to all people at all times? It is very important to realize that compassion is more than sympathy or empathy. When we are asked to listen to the pains of people and empathise with their suffering, we soon reach our emotional limits. We can listen only for a short time to only a few people. In our society we are bombarded with so much ‘news’ about human misery that our hearts easily get numbed simply because of overload. But God’s compassionate heart does not have limits. God’s heart is greater, infinitely greater, than the human heart. It is that divine heart that God wants to give us so that we can love all people without burning out or becoming numb… The Holy Spirit of God is given to us so that we can become participants in God’s compassion and so reach out to all people at all times with God’s heart.”
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. For his compassions never fails, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
MY PRAYER today is for compassion, for others, most importantly for ourselves. I have recalled this weekend how compassion can restore relationships, renew resilience, refresh our vision, and revive our strength. A compassionate approach, engenders new hope. To know that we are loved, not just because of ourselves but despite ourselves is something we all need to believe. We all need each other’s compassion. Somehow we measure our value by how much compassion and attention we receive, especially when the chips are down. While we do this, we are aware also of the futility of this thinking. For each of us, in the end, must enter and exit our own battles. Others compassion is fortifying and necessary and comforting, but it doesn’t always reach the deepest corners of our hearts, where our needs, our fears, and at times our shame is known only fully to God. His compassion for us as Henri Nouwen reminds us, is never spent, is infinitely greater than we can receive or give ourselves. Today I pray for us, the Holy Spirit’s presence in our hearts to bring the balm of peace, and the deep joy of knowing our needs are met, our longings met, and our lives complete in his hands.
These are drawn from prayers and reflections I write for my Chaplaincy colleagues.