Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

Erasing Lines

Monday, May 27th, 2019

There are two hundred references in Scripture that ask us to take special care of the poor. I’m guessing, then, it’s important. It is this preferential care and love for the poor that sets the stage for the original program. It doesn’t draw lines — it erases them. It rises above the polarizing temperature of our times. It doesn’t shake its finger at anybody but instead helps us all put our finger on it. We could ask ourselves, I suppose, if God is conservative or liberal, but I think that’s the wrong question. Instead we should ask: Is God expansive or tiny? Is God spacious or shallow? Is God inclusive or exclusive? What are the chances that God holds the same tiny point of view as I do? Well, zero.

— Gregory Boyle, Barking to the Choir, p. 164

Photo: Wildeshausen, Germany, May 16, 2004

The Plight of the Dispossessed

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Divine identification with the plight of the dispossessed in the event of the exodus makes understandable the constant return throughout the Bible to themes of God’s special concern for poor, powerless, oppressed, and marginalized persons. Gracious and merciful, God acts to make a new future possible. Such compassionate concern also undergirds the great biblical ethic of hospitality: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Ex 22:21); and more positively, “You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut 10:19). The people liberated from slavery must act in like manner as the Holy One who delivered them.

— Elizabeth A. Johnson, Creation and the Cross, p. 38

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, May 15, 2019

Embracing the Excluded

Monday, May 13th, 2019

In all three stories, the point isn’t just that Jesus healed these people; the point is that Jesus touched these people. He embraced them just as he embraced other disparaged members of society, often regarded as “sinners” by the religious and political elite — prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans, Gentiles, the sick, the blind, and the deaf.

— Rachel Held Evans, Inspired, p. 184

Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012

Empathy

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Empathy is not connecting to an experience, it’s connecting to the emotions that underpin an experience.

— Brené Brown, Dare to Lead, p. 140

Photo:  Mission Bay, California, December 31, 2003

Welcoming Our Own Wounds

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

We are at our healthiest when we are most situated in awe, and at our least healthy when we engage in judgment. Judgment creates the distance that moves us away from each other. Judgment keeps us in the competitive game and is always self-aggrandizing. Standing at the margins with the broken reminds us not of our own superiority but of our own brokenness. Awe is the great leveler. The embrace of our own suffering helps us to land on a spiritual intimacy with ourselves and others. For if we don’t welcome our own wounds, we will be tempted to despise the wounded.

— Gregory Boyle, Barking to the Choir, p. 54

Photo: Rota, Spain, December 18, 2005

The Power of Examples

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Finally, you have the opportunity to use your healed memories to offer compassion and support to those in need. When you forgive you become a model for those still struggling. They benefit from seeing people who have healed. You can serve as an example of what is possible. You show people through your example that forgiveness is possible.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 30, 2018

Loving Yourself More

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Don’t get confused — loving yourself is not about “me, me, me,” it’s not about being conceited or greedy. I am struggling to explain the difference between loving yourself and being completely self-centered. I think, though, that most people deep down know the difference.

When you love yourself more, you have more love and compassion for others around you. I keep saying you cannot love anyone more than you love yourself. If you only love yourself a little, then that is all then you can love anyone else — your child, your husband, your wife. When you love yourself more, it changes everything. It changes the circumstances in your life. It makes you happier and it makes everyone in your life happier. How could that be selfish?

— Lorna Byrne, Love From Heaven, p. 193-194

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 9, 2014

Habits of Connection

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Build habits of connection. Intimate connection is largely a matter of attitude and habit. We choose to regard ourselves as connected and we choose to feel disconnected. In general, you’ll like yourself more when you choose connection and less when you choose disconnection. To love like empowered adults, build habits of brief moments of connection and structure them into your daily routine.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 212

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, August 12, 2018

Value in Relationships

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

You cannot criticize, stonewall, nag, manipulate, coerce, or threaten someone into genuinely valuing you. More important, you cannot feel valuable while exerting power over loved ones.

The secret of Power Love lies not in exerting power but in creating value, through interest, compassion, and care.

The self-empowerment that comes from creating value through interest, compassion, and care is its own reward, yet it comes with a significant bonus. The more value we create, the more cooperation and mutuality of giving we are likely to experience in love relationships.

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Living well is the best revenge.” Living well actually means creating more value in your life. Creating more value in your life in general and in your love relationship in particular is the surest way to become the partner you most want to be.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 176

[Photo: Oregon Coast, August 6, 2014]

No Shortage

Friday, July 13th, 2018

There is no shortage of love; there is an abundance of it. The truth is that the more we reach out to strangers with love, the more love we will have in our own lives.

We each have the potential to love strangers because we are all connected.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 68

[Photo: Black Forest, Germany, September 27, 1997]