Hope may be alive

Mysterious home

Darkness covers, a light beams

Hope may be alive.

henrita blog pic

The hope I hope for, is for the power of love and compassion that
unites us as a Nation and a Global Community.

As I reflect on the present atmosphere of our nation and the suffering that it is bringing to more than 800,000 of our sisters and brothers who are unable to do their work, my sadness paralyzes me. As a grandchild of immigrants from Sweden, I experience pain as I hear the insults that are being heaped upon the migrants, considering the majority of them as criminals. Lastly, I am powerless for words to describe my feelings that our government leaders seem unable to move forward to bring us together and end the Government Shutdown. I know people are trying, so I am counting on whoever you are to pull off a miracle.

Finally, I close calling upon our Good and Gracious God
to strengthen us to embrace each other and all migrants
with the power of love and compassion.

Tear Gas Afflicting Our Sisters and Brothers Heartbreaking trauma

heart

Recently at the Tijuana, Mexico/ U.S. Border, chaos erupted as U.S. officers fired tear gas at migrants. There are reports indicating that rocks were thrown by migrants at the border agents before the tea gas was fired. It is hard to know where the truth rests – both groups were distressed and responded. The challenge is how could the interaction have been a compassionate one between wearied refugees fleeing in hopes of finding a life free of fear, violence and poverty, and members of the border patrol facing thousands of refugees.

First my heart wants to know: Why Tear Gas? Tear gas is a chemical agent banned in warfare per the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, which set forth agreements signed by nearly every nation in the world — including the United States. The shock is that while it’s illegal in war, it’s legal in domestic riot control. Why such a decision, for there is risk of serious permanent injury or death when it is used. This includes risks from being hit by tear gas cartridges, which include severe bruising, loss of eyesight, skull fracture, and even death. The question continues to plague me – Why Tear Gas?

Is there a compassionate approach that can resolve this situation and calm the refugees and border agents? Who holds the key to the mystery of presuming the good will of each group, enabling them to work together, or is it hopeless? Is it possible for significant members of both groups to come together to plan a peace process? I don’t have the answers, but know deep in my heart that love and compassion are the change agents available to us.

The Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus on the horizon reminds me that Jesus was a refugee. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read the story of the “Flight into Egypt” in which, after the birth of Jesus and the visit from the Magi, an “angel of the Lord” comes to Joseph in a dream and warns him to leave Bethlehem for Egypt (Mt 2:12-15). Why? Because King Herod was planning to “seek out the child to destroy him.” Mary and Joseph leave, along with Jesus, and made their way into Egypt. The Holy Family flees their homeland for fear of persecution. Isn’t this the modern-day definition of a refugee?

Everywhere we look, we see overwhelming reminders of Christmas. If we look towards the US Borders, they remind us of thousands of refugees who will celebrate Christmas homeless in uncertainty about their lives. May the refugee, Jesus, inspire our nation to pour love and compassion on all refugees worldwide.

“Treat others and the planet as you would like to be treated.”
Visit: https://charterforcompassion.org/

On the 9th anniversary of the Charter for Compassion

compassion logoDuring the early days of November, I began some special time dedicated to reflecting about my relationship with compassion and wisdom, about the Charter for Compassion. My longing is to be ever mindful of compassion as a grace to myself and a gift to share with others.

Knowing that as I live in the waning years of life, my desire is to live compassion to its fullest. To offer love, compassion and wisdom to all without exception, means to be open to suffering. Without a doubt, compassion has its highs and lows: some moments my heart readily opens, and then there are moments when I have to nudge it — sometimes gently, sometimes intensely, sometimes my heart fails to open.

Suddenly on November 8, my heart and soul went into anguish as I heard of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California — 12 of our sisters and brothers were killed, about 21 others were injured. This was the 307 mass shooting in 311 days during 2018. A previous mass shooting occurred on October 27 in Pittsburgh, killing 12 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Sorrow upon sorrow engulfs us.

What has happened to the Golden Rule? “Treat others and the planet as you would like to be treated.” Other questions come: who is really safe from violence? Thinking about our world: is anyone safe in our global community? Uncertainty seems to be the norm of our lives. How do we live together in these uncertain times? Can we be free enough to allow our hearts of compassion to freely flow without fear, to embrace ourselves and all living creatures near and far? Let’s help each other be free!

As I began this time of reflecting on my relationship with the Charter for Compassion, I was aware that its ninth anniversary was approaching: November 12 2009 – November 12, 2018. I wondered about how many people belong to the Charter? The best estimate given is over two million.

During November 2017 preparation for the tenth anniversary began with a campaign to get one million new affirmations to the Charter for Compassion by November 12, 2019, commemorating its tenth year. Since then, we have approximately 3310 new members. Perhaps you would like to join the Charter for Compassion. Visit: https://charterforcompassion.org/

With the approval of its Board of Directors, the Christine Center became a member of the Charter for Compassion on October 24, 2014. As we celebrate our fourth anniversary, we invite you to share your compassionate reflections by visiting Our Circle of Compassion on our website: http://www.christinecenter.org

We close with these words from Karen Armstrong who initiated the Charter for Compassion:

“In compassion, when we feel with the other,
we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world
and we put another person there.”

Ripples of Hope, Courage and Compassion

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Recently, I heard former first lady, Michelle Obama say “I am tired of daily chaos.”  She was in Miami giving a speech at a “WhenWeAllVote” Rally.  Michelle’s words resonated deeply with me.  A desire has been growing within me to transcend CHAOS’s hold on me, to free my soul and spirit.  The world doesn’t need me preoccupied with chaos, but to overcome it with love and compassion.  A new moment, a growing desire within me to move forward with ripples of hope, courage, compassion and so much more.  I wonder what it means and where it will take me.

Continue reading Ripples of Hope, Courage and Compassion

The Mission Awaits…

By Henrita Frost, SSND

The Mission Awaits
Perpetual Peacemakers
Walking Together

Presently we are in the Season of Creation, which began on September 1 with the World Day of Prayer for Creation, and extends through October 4 the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology and the creator of the Canticle of Creation.  The Theme is WALKING TOGETHER.  It invites us to journey together on a pilgrimage to better care for all of creation.  However, we all know the task of the Season of Creation is continuous.

Continue reading The Mission Awaits…

Hope, Hopes Compassion

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Hope, Hopes Compassion

The recent 73rd Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, brought profound sadness as we remembered the hundreds of thousands of deaths of our Japanese sisters and brothers and the devastation of their common home.  The sadness becomes traumatic as we realize that it could possibly happen again in our lifetime.

Recently, we heard about a soul shaking interchange between two world leaders.  One world leader threatened the other with the “mother of all wars” and the second world leader responded: “Never ever threaten us again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”

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Love and Compassion

By Henrita Frost, SSND

For several days I have been reflecting on writing once again about the challenge of a Revolution of Compassion.  Contemplating compassion consumes my thoughts: self- compassion and the call to companion others with compassion.  I asked myself:  What can I write that I haven’t written?  Then I began to hear one of my favorite songs within me, ”Goodbye, Mr. Chips”.

In the morning of my life I shall look to the sunrise. . .
And the blessing I shall ask is that God will grant me,
To be brave and strong and true,
And to fill the world with love my whole life through.

Continue reading Love and Compassion

Fire up Compassion

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Yes, fire up and create an unconditional compassion revolution! We wonder where to begin!  Start with self – transformation, growing a compassionate heart, one by one. It is a challenge that doesn’t go away, though we sometimes try to avoid it.

The call is to stand up before our chaotic world – stand, meet the chaos, feel the chaos, let it touch our hearts, break our hearts – feel the excruciating pain. Cry out in grief at the possible destruction of our planet, our home, and every creature.

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“In God’s House there are many dwelling places”…

By Henrita Frost, SSND

Periodically a window in our Mary of the Angels Chapel holds a message out to me.   Its center calls to me – this window’s center is speaking loud and clear:  “In God’s house there are many dwelling places”. . . (John 14:2).  But, what is the message of our Global Community – In our house there are many dwelling places – room for everyone!?  Instead, we witness borders, and walls instead of room for everyone.

Continue reading “In God’s House there are many dwelling places”…

Brilliant light appears Awakening the souls path Spirit leads, hearts follow

By Henrita Frost, SSND

During the days following the 24-hour Global celebration of the Golden Rule on April 5, the vibrations of it continued to shake the earth – as did the feel of the tens of thousands of our sisters and brothers actively witnessing the significance of the Golden Rule to our global existence.  Yet, as the celebration energized our beings, the awareness of the pain and suffering of millions of our sisters and brothers was also in our consciousness.  The call to be involved in a revolution of compassion is here forever.  The Spirit’s call to awaken our souls, petitions our hearts to follow.

Continue reading Brilliant light appears Awakening the souls path Spirit leads, hearts follow