Wednesday, July 7, 2010

what we have in common

"Compassion - which means, literally, "to suffer with" - is the way to the truth
that we are most ourselves, not when we differ from others,
but when we are the same. Indeed, the main spiritual question is not,
"What difference do you make?" but
"What do you have in common?"
It is not "excelling" but "serving" that makes us most human.
It is not proving ourselves to be better than others
but confessing to be just like others
that is the way to healing and reconciliation.
Compassion, to be with others when and where they suffer
and to willingly enter into a fellowship of the weak,
is God's way to justice and peace among people.
Is this possible? Yes, it is,
but only when we dare to live the radical faith
that we do not have to compete for love,
but that love is freely given to us
by the One who calls us to compassion."
- Henri Nouwen

quoted in the wonderful book
'Befriending Death: Henri Nouwen and a Spirituality of Dying'
by Michelle O'Rourke
p. 112

Artwork from here:
Flow of Compassion
2006 Finalist
Jessica Escobedo, Age 13
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Cathy said...

Oh, I do like this - and would like to place it on our church blog. Thank you.

ROBERTA said...

Cathy, i do love henri nouwen! he had such a way with words...feel free to post it on your church blog:)