Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Compassion, Like Hunger, Has No Shut-Off Valve


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. We need to meet the need head on, and not from the peripheral comfort of our own homes/checkbook.

Compassion shouldn’t have a shut off valve come January. And guess what – it doesn’t! There is always a need to fill. If we are only willing to consider it for two months out of the year, then we sorely lack in the virtue of compassion. Yet, I think people, in general, have compassionate hearts.

True Compassion is when…

… we keep our eyes always on alert, and our hearts always open, to ease someone else’s suffering. Our minds are always willing to do the Lord’s will, 24/7, 365 days a year. And our hands and feet take action to alleviate the suffering of others.

Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now. – Saint Teresa of Avila

Will you deny Christ, or will you be alert and become Christ’s hands, feet, and eyes for someone who is suffering? Will you take action to alleviate the suffering of another, whenever the situation presents itself?

This post was shared with Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You.

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