April 03, 2016

COMPASSION ON THE JOURNEY

Compassion on the Journey is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.
You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The church banner pictured above displays our Easter Theme symbols. Our journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from “glory to glory” (2Cor.3:18). Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of the Risen Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

Companions-On-The-Journey

The image above is of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem. (For a clear view/see website)
Our focus is on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. Appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion.

St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”

Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Easter Prayer :

Resurrected Glory – guide our hearts to serve
Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace.

REFLECTION

O The Bliss of Perfect Compassion

The following reflection on the fifth beatitude is (freely adapted) from William Barclay’s, The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Matthew, 1975 Volume 1.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:7

As one of the beatitudes this is a great saying. The Greek word for merciful is eleemon. But, as we have repeatedly seen, the Greek of the New Testament as we possess it goes back to the original Hebrew and Aramaic. The Hebrew word for mercy is chesedh, mercy, means the ability to get right inside the other person’s skin until we can see things with his eyes, think things with her mind, and feel things with his feelings.

Clearly this is much more than an emotional wave of pity; clearly this demands a quiet deliberate effort of the mind and of the will. It denotes a sympathy which is not given, as it were, from outside, but which comes from a deliberate identification with the other person, until we see all things as she sees them, and feels things as she feels them. This is sympathy in the literal sense of the word. Sympathy is derived from two Greek words, syn which means together with and paschein which means to experience or to suffer. Sympathy means experiencing things together with the other person, literally going through what she is going through.

Cultivating sympathy, compassion and mercy enables understanding and forgiveness. There is one principal in life we sometimes forget – there is always a reason why a person thinks and acts as one does, and if we knew that reason, it would be so much easier to understand and to sympathize and to forgive. If a person thinks, as we see it, mistakenly, he may have come through experiences; he may have a heritage which has made him think as he does. If a person is irritable and discourteous, she may be worried or she may be in pain. If a person treats us badly, it may be because there is some idea in his mind which is quite mistaken. Truly, as the French proverb has it, “To know all is to forgive all,” but we will never know all until we make a deliberate attempt to get inside the other person’s mind and heart.

In the last analysis, is not that what God did in Jesus Christ? In Jesus Christ, in the most literal sense, God got inside the skin of people. He came as a person; he came seeing things with our eyes, feeling things with our feelings, thinking things with our minds. God knows what life is like, because God came right inside life.

Compassion Fit For A Queen

Queen Victoria was a close friend of Principal and Mrs. Tulloch of St. Andrews. Prince Albert died and Victoria was left alone. Just at the same time, Principal Tulloch died and Mrs. Tulloch was left alone. Unannounced, Queen Victoria came to call on Mrs. Tulloch while she was resting on a couch in her room. When the Queen was announced, Mrs. Tulloch struggled to rise quickly from the couch and to curtsy, as was the custom. The Queen stepped forward: “My dear,” she said, “don’t rise. I am not coming to you today as the Queen to a subject, but as one woman who has lost her husband to another.”

This is just what God did; he came to us, not as the remote, detached, isolated, majestic God; but as a person. The supreme instance of Mercy, chesedh, is the coming of God in Jesus Christ.

So the translation of the fifth beatitude might read:
O the bliss of those  who get right inside other people, until seeing with their eyes, thinking with their thoughts, feeling with their feelings they will find that others do the same, and will come to know that that is what God in Jesus Christ has done!

Activity

What action is God inviting you to take to be an instrument of God’s mercy and compassion for another?

PRAYER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.  Amen.

RCIA

Resurrected Glory , guide our hearts to serve.

God bless our newly baptized, Kim Ellis and Kelly Misol and all our Candidates who received sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Our prayer is with them as they continue their journey with the Lord. The next session of the RCIA is this Monday, April 4th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. Our topic is Social Justice. All are invited.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development supports many anti-poverty education programs and grants, such as DART (Direct Action & Research Training). They work with schools & law enforcement officials to decrease the number of school-based arrests & promote alternative, constructive interventions that give children a second chance at the future. This collection is a primary source of funding for CCHD.’s programs.

To read complete bulletin click here