COMPASSION INCLUDES restorative action. Our cultivation of compassion is not complete when feelings of warm regard are experienced toward either ourselves or others. We must act out our compassion in ways that ease suffering and promote the flourishing of others. Such acts include consoling the grief-stricken, tending the wounded, and befriending those who feel forsaken. Yet actions that are genuinely compassionate often require careful discernment. What does compassion look like, for example, when the wound caused by another is still fresh or when an offender refuses to curb his or her violence and remains unrepentant?
Compassionate action must serve and sustain our own healing and restoration. …. Compassion yearns for the flourishing of all life, including our own. Our capacity for genuine compassion flows out of the strength and fullness of our vitality…
Compassionate action also invites the restoration of others. In the case of an offense against us, such restoration demands accountability. Compassion is not sentimental. Violent actions create wounds, and perpetrators must be held responsible….
Whenever you feel disconnected from your compassionate core: Catch your breath. Take your PULSE. Take the other’s PULSE. Then, and only then, decide what to do.
– Frank Rogers Jr.
From pages 31-33 of Practicing Compassion by Frank Rogers Jr. Copyright © 2015 by Frank Rogers Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
How does the idea of restorative action resonate with your ideas about authentic compassion? Share your thoughts.
The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
Psalm 99:1, NRSV
This Week: pray for educators. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
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This week we remember: Aelred of Rievaulx (February 3).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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