Compassion is love in action

The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jonathan Letada SVD (Philippines)

Monday 2nd Week of Lent

I heartily admire St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta for her compassion for the poor. In her Book, Total Surrender, she shares a story which has deeply struck my heart: “Very often we pick up sick and dying destitutes from the streets of Calcutta. In twenty five years we have picked up more than thirty six thousand people from the streets, and more than eighteen thousand have died the most beautiful death” One of these sick people was “covered with wounds, her body full of maggots.”  Mother Teresa took care of her: “I really did all that my love could do for her. I put her in bed and then she took my hand. She had a beautiful smile on her face and she said only, Thank You. Then she died.”

Jesus exhorted his disciples with these words: “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” Compassion is a heartfelt identification with a person’s sufferings. Compassion is from com and passion, which means to suffer with. Compassion is not only about feelings of pity or being sorry forthe misfortune and suffering of others. Rather, it is about sharing in their painful and miserable situations. Compassion is love in action.

When we love someone, we become attentive to their needs and are truly concerned about their welfare. This attitude springs from a decision to love others in a special mannerand always seek their good.

Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He hopes that we will stop looking for our personal and communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune.Instead that we enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness.

Source – The WORD in Other Words, Bible Diary 2020

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