Catholic Public Speaker and Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

Entering the Season of Compassion

Season of Compassion

It’s that time of year, when the leaves fall from the trees, signaling winter is on the way. The smell of pumpkin pies waft through the air. The flag football game ends with a round of beers and good cheer. It’s also the time of year that we tend to open our hearts and our pocketbooks and look to ease the strain of those less fortunate. We enter the season of compassion.

The holidays can be a difficult time for some people; especially if someone we love has recently passed away. Or, perhaps someone we love has lost a job. Loss and holiday cheer are at opposite ends of the celebration spectrum.

Enter the Season of Compassion

Those of us Continue reading

Comfort the Sorrowful: Spiritual Work of Mercy

Comfort the Sorrowful As with every month, during this Year of Mercy, we choose a different corporal or spiritual work of mercy and dive into the details. This month we discuss the spiritual work of mercy to comfort the sorrowful.

It seems like every time I attend a wake for someone’s passing, I never know what to say to the bereft family members. Does that happen to you as well? How does one truly comfort the sorrowful at such a time of great loss? Words seem so inadequate; well, at least my words seem inadequate. At such times, I try to remember what it was like when I was on the receiving end, at the wakes of both of my parents. For me, Continue reading

Spending April God’s Way; Not Necessarily My Way!

Thomas Aquinas quote - AprilI spent most of this past month of April caring for a friend, who underwent her second hip replacement. Throughout the month, I was repeatedly reminded of God’s presence in the midst of all that went on; from the day of her surgery, until she departed to return to her own home, with her brand, spanking, new hip.

April is a time of renewal; new beginnings!

It started with the day of her surgery (March 30th). While walking down the hall to my friend’s hospital room, I noticed that each room had signs under the room numbers with unique quotes . For my friend’s room we had a quote from Saint Thomas Aquinas (my virtues mentor!). Continue reading

Compassion, Like Hunger, Has No Shut-Off Valve

Compassion

Compassion seems popular this time of year. We tend to share our abundance with those less fortunate in the form of donations to shelters and food banks. Why is it that we only tend to take this action predominantly in November and December? People are hungry and homeless all year round. I don’t have a definitive answer for this question, but I my cynicism says that it has something to do with obtaining tax deductions. I think we need to think and move beyond tax donations and look to the need of others as our first priority.  We need to enter into the suffering of the marginalized and oppressed, year round, to truly experience the virtue of compassion. Continue reading

Poor and Homeless Need Compassion

poor and homeless

 

Caring for the poor and homeless requires that we first acknowledge that the poor and homeless exist and need assistance from you and me. Leaving the task to someone else means that we lack compassion and have only pity.

Watch this very interesting, short video, from the New York City Rescue Mission. It has received over 5 million views. I hope it has the same affect on you that it had on me: to raise your self-awareness of the plight of the poor and homeless.

http://youtu.be/u6jSKLtmYdM

What impact did this video have on you?

Did it help to make the poor and homeless more visible to you?

Did it help you to see that you must first acknowledge Continue reading

Sick and Elderly Need Our Compassion

sick and elderly How can you support the sick and elderly by alleviating their suffering and pain? There are several ways to accomplish this that are up for discussion today. As with all acts of compassion, there are differing degrees of commitment of your time, talent and treasure that can be spent on the sick and elderly.

Attending to the Sick and Elderly with Compassion

I’ll start with the easy ways, and work my way up to the intense means of acting with compassion.

  1. PrayWe all know someone diagnosed with cancer. To enter into the suffering, pray for the person that God will be by his/her side, giving the person comfort, as well as Christ’s healing graces and His Peace. Prayer Continue reading

Support Local Children – Practice Compassion

support local children

How do you support local children? Where are the opportunities in your neighborhood or state to act with compassion? How can you enter the sphere of suffering to do what you can to alleviate that suffering, without forming judgment? Keep in mind, that at times the call to compassion may take little effort, and then again, sometimes the Lord is calling some of us to do what we think might be daunting. With that in mind, I’ll start with the easy suggestions and work my way up to the daunting ways in which you can support local children:

  1. Donate your money and/or time to your local food bank – In my community, we have a program at our local food Continue reading

Sponsor a Child – Practice Compassion

Unbound

Practicing compassion can take many forms through the use of your time, talent and/or treasure. In this four part series, we’ll dive in and explore several opportunities for practicing compassion. Today let’s discuss the concept of what it means to:

Sponsor a Child

Back in 2005, we had a visiting priest come and speak to our parish about the opportunity to sponsor a child in a third world country, where living conditions were deplorable, yet the faith was ablaze. After Mass, I stopped by the table. I saw this picture of a small little Guatemalan girl, named Heydi, age 7. She was dressed in a simple little dress, yet she had no smile. She stole my heart! I immediately entered Continue reading