Judgment, No. Compassion, Yes.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 6, 2015

BK kindness is an attitude

Judgment, No. Compassion, Yes.

Today’s reading seems—at first glance—to be somewhat disturbing. Why on earth would I want to die to my neighbor? Great question!

Fr. Nouwen explains that the Desert Fathers say that solitude gives birth to compassion because “it makes us die to our neighbor.” [1] In other words, “in order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others.” [2]

This is so profound. Compassion comes through service. And, service is necessarily self-less. Thinking of self less and less, and concentrating on the other more and more. I have a great desire to give service to others. To help, and to be kind to others. I tried to do this, intentionally, each day in the year 2014. (And, I blogged about it, at A Year of Being Kind )

Another way of viewing this is when I judge others and cold-heartedly evaluate and look down on others, I am thinking of myself (and my Self) more and more. If I really want to be with others, to be a companion and a friend to them, I need to hang out with others on a regular basis, and not isolate. Not be all alone.

I really appreciate the Advent Action for today: “A follower of St. Anthony, Abba Moses, gives this instruction: ‘Do not let dislike dominate your heart.’ Make a short list of those whom you dislike, even surreptitiously. Choose one person to expunge from your negative thoughts.”

This is excellent advice. Since I am familiar with the Twelve Steps of Recovery, this action goes hand in glove with a large part of the Recovery program. Dislike is close cousin to resentment. It’s always hurtful and harmful to maintain a resentment and a dislike.

Dear God, help me lose my resentments and dislikes. Please. Help me be more loving, giving and serving to others. So, help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 16.

[2] Ibid.

2 responses to “Judgment, No. Compassion, Yes.

    • Thanks! I really felt that way when I wrote it. And, I still think so today. Resentment and dislike are like acid, eating people up from the inside. Thank God that God will help us deal with those negative feelings.

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