A Revolution of Compassion

Heart in Hand

Visualize, dream, envision. . .
a revolution of compassion

A video for the celebration of the
Tenth Anniversary of the
Charter for Compassion
November 12, 2019

With heartfelt compassion
we present this video hoping
that we will help foster a
revolution of compassion for
the sake of our world community.

Click on photo to view video

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Pain So Deep Compassion May Not Be Imaginable

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Interactions with others can sometimes create the awareness that some people experience so much pain from significant people in their lives that compassion doesn’t seem possible.  The hurt is so profound!  Not too long ago an occurrence brought me to an intense experience.

Tears were flowing!  Words seem to be saying, “compassion is impossible for me” referring to a significant person in her life’s experience.  Consoling wasn’t possible.  Time’s passage, also time’s reflecting on its impact, didn’t seem an option for altering its Influence.  Saddened by her tears, I offered some thoughts regarding moving forward with what I felt was self-compassion.  Suddenly, I was saddened because somehow I didn’t realize that words were empty, comfort was the need of the moment.  Then, who really understands the need of each moment of sorrow?  Yet, I think I learned something about myself for future moments of encounter with my sisters and brothers overwhelmed with suffering.  Surely there will always be surprises as I sense the frailty of my human nature.

My reflections also brought me to our whole universe daily penetrated with words and actions filling all of creation with pain.  There is a desire, a call to embrace not only one person with compassion, but the whole world.  An enormous mission held by countless people worldwide.  Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Charter for Compassion is a consolation that love and compassion are universal.  But then we have the daily reminders of a world encompassed by global pain.

At some point, I heard the words of Joanna Macy: “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.”  The heart is present to me in several images, sizes and colors which daily remind me of the pain of Creation.  What could containing the whole universe possibly mean for me, for all of us?  We are presently in Week Three of the ecumenical Season of Creation (September 1 – October 4) which calls us to dwell as sisters and brothers in a common home with a web of life made up of millions of species.  This can give us a sense of the universe, but there is so much more, known and unknown.

We are sisters and brothers entrusted with Creation – all of it!  Do we have the courage to break open our hearts to contain the whole universe?  Its mystery is overwhelming!  We are the ones responsible to fill the world with love and compassion, one moment at a time, one person at a time, and on and on we live with each challenge, with each call.  Remember, the world is depending on you and me.

On November 12, 2019 the Charter for Compassion will celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Join us, the World needs your Love, Compassion and Wisdom.

Visit: http://www.charterforcompassion.org

Still the Voice of Hate

Still the voice of hate
Stir the voice of compassion
Then all shall be well

Summoning compassion, wondering where it is, yet knowing it is always here, there, everywhere waiting to be ignited.  Deep within I know that I need to hold the torch of compassion.  It’s easy to wonder if I have the power.  Daily I hear words of hate coming from many directions and I question if my voice of compassion can penetrate and quell hatred.  However, I have hope that I can help.  But the potency of it is best in collaboration with others.  Our times may be inspiring us to move from I to We!  We can be companions on the journey that help transform hate to love and compassion.  The Charter for Compassion offers us numerous opportunities for this endeavor.

Yet I don’t know how much time I have or the world has; it is a mystery.  All I know is that there is a beginning moment, the now moment.  I am moving from the now moment to be present to the world in its fleeting moments.  I was overwhelmed after researching the meaning of hate.  I came to the conclusion that its meaning and feeling is for the person and/or persons who experience it.  We cannot define it for another, but can grow in awareness of our moments of feeling hate arising.  Do we remember any such moments?  The challenge is to move our attention to sowing seeds of love and compassion.

As I was thinking about moving this reflection along, my inspiration was to begin identifying some of the chaos that is ever present.  Then I recalled that we constantly hear it in many ways, particularly in the news of the world.  We are called to be persons who transform the World Community to a Global Community of Peace!

An image has come to me of the Lotus Flower.  It grows in murky, muddy water and becomes a beautiful blooming flower.  We can’t imagine the depth of the muddy water that we are in, but we know that together we can and will emerge.  Mystery is ever present, but together we can enable the mystery to unfold in a positive way.  It is our legacy to help it happen.

hen blog

On November 12, 2019 the Charter will celebrate its tenth anniversary.
Join us, the World needs your love, compassion and wisdom.
Visit: http://www.charterforcompassion.org

 

The Joy Compassion Brings

holding-the-Light

“The joy that compassion brings is one of the best-kept secrets of humanity. It is a secret known only to very few people, a secret that has to be rediscovered over and over again.”

~Henri Nouwen

 Have you ever reflected about “the joy that compassion brings?”   Or is it a surprise to hear the words “the joy that compassion brings.”  Take a moment to reflect about compassion in your life and interactions: compassion for yourself and joy, compassion for others and joy!  Compassion for others has its home in compassion for oneself, knowing the experience and feeling its true joy and compassion.

A crucial hope for our world is the coming of Peace for all of Creation.  Love and Compassion are fundamental to the journey toward Peace.  Imagine the feeling of joy that the coming of World Peace could bring.  When we experience that joy, we understand the joy compassion brings to us.  The challenge of the moment is for each of us to continue the compassionate journey within ourselves and bring it to the needs of the local and global community.  Let’s sprinkle the World with our secret, “the joy that compassion brings”.

  On November 12, 2019 the Charter for Compassion will celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Join the Charter!  The World needs your love, compassion and wisdom.

Visit: http://www.charterforcompassion.org

Compassionate Response

June Comp. Blog

Each day I wonder, do I want to know the news, the latest happenings, in our Global Community? This includes the nation, the United States, where I live. I cannot separate the reflections into them and us. Everything we do individually and/or collectively has the potential to heal or harm our Global Community. We are interconnected and interrelated for we are sisters and brothers, even though the daily news sometimes contradicts that belief.

The Christine Center has chosen to be a member of the Charter for Compassion. Therefore, we are called to be compassionate responders to the suffering of all beings and the earth. Pope Francis reminds us: “Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live and all its people.”

We invite all who come to the Christine Center, to join us as we aspire to be faithful to the call to compassion. Why? Because we are the ones who can make a difference! Yet, we may also know the experience of turning away from the call because of the daily chaos present in the Global Community. Sometimes we need to let go of the global picture and keep our focus on the local picture, remembering the local situations affect the global. The fragile world is always there.

Each day as I pray for the graces that I hope for, I pray for love, compassion and wisdom. I always include wisdom because for me it is the discernment that leads me to compassionate responses. I share this because I believe wisdom will support and enlighten us as we receive compelling calls to compassion. Sometimes we need help to know what our hearts are being called to.

There are many challenges not only to action, but also to reflection within the Charter for Compassion. At this time the embodiment of the Golden Rule in the Charter calls me, for it’s about everyday life, every interaction – “Treat others and the Planet as you would like to be treated.” It is also important to remember that the Golden Rule is integral to all major world religions. Let’s hope that each day we might have the energy to respond to the call to compassion. Remember, particularly on the tired days, to be compassionate to oneself. Also, remembering our Global Community is desperate for a piece of our compassion.

On November 12, 2019 the Charter will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Join us, the World needs your love, compassion and wisdom.

Visit: http://www.charterforcompassion.org

Journey to Transformation

henrita mandalaFrequently I reflect on the above mandala whose message speaks to me about transformation. Recently, I participated in a workshop with my congregation. As the delightful speaker was emphasizing transformation, I realized the “Butterfly Life Cycle” was present within me. She was speaking about the chrysalis stage, the stage when the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Just what I needed! I sat with my butterflies and entered into the journey to becoming a butterfly. My being was drawn into the chrysalis stage. The metamorphosis from a caterpillar into a butterfly occurs during this stage. The caterpillar’s old body dies and a new body forms inside a protective shell known as a chrysalis. During this stage, of ten to fourteen days, the caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly.

Wouldn’t it be delightful, I say to myself, if I could be transformed in just 10 to 14 days. I have come to know every day is a day in the chrysalis stage – a day for working on transformation – a day hoping to be surrounded by hearts and filled with love, compassion and wisdom.

The journey continues…

henrita butterfly

An openness of heart. . . An abundance of tender compassion. . . Creative chaos

henrita mandala

By Sister Henrita Frost

Compassionate hearts and chaos are companions on the daily journey of our nation as an integral member of the Global Community. For a long time, the one element in our national events that sometimes disturbs me is “truth”.  Who is speaking the truth? Where is truth? How is its lack influencing what is happening to creation – the environment, all beings, everything?

It seems that the lack of truth invades the chaos we experience. Often communications are crammed with an abundance of words and actions. Sometimes I can’t help but search for truth. Can we count on knowing it or must we live in the mystery of what is truth? Truth is often connected with words and actions that either resonates with who I am and what I believe, or it doesn’t. It also calls me to be respectful of the words and actions of others, and be willing to join them in compassionate dialogue, searching for truth.

Sometimes I sit with the word chaos. Recently I received an inspiration from someone when I heard the words “creative chaos.” To me it means being an agent of positive change in my relationships, my work, and my life in the world. May it also mean creatively allowing the poor, hungry and homeless to touch our compassionate hearts.

Just think about what’s happening with immigrants, migrants, hatred, racism, global warming, poverty, hunger, education for all, guns and so much more. This is chaos, how can we find creative possibilities to bring about positive change in the world? My challenge – come to the center, come to the heart, and be a person of transformation. Most importantly, be a vessel of compassion. As sisters and brothers in this global community, our common challenge is:

“Treat others and the planet
as you would like to be treated.”

Visit: http://www.charterforcompassion.org

Compassion embraces suffering

henrita headline
By Sister Henrita Frost

Recently, I watched a service led by Pope Francis at the World Youth Day in Panama. Often when Pope Francis leaves a service he pauses at a statue of the Blessed Mother, which he did do. As he stood there, he seemed immoveable, perhaps frozen in time; it seemed a longer pause than on other occasions. It was a consolation to me, affirming the power of the ever present moment – being in the NOW MOMENT, a gift to be sought and cherished. It is a place to be energized and nourished with graces of wisdom, love and compassion.

Pope Francis’ visit ended January 27th which was Holocaust Memorial Day 2019. This day brings memories of my visits to Auschwitz and Dachau. Since Auschwitz was left the way it was on the day it was liberated, an overwhelming experience of grief arose as I experienced the atmosphere in which children, women and men suffered and died, 1.1 million of our sisters and brothers. A particular sad moment was seeing a carton of children’s shoes, a countless number, who died violently so young.

Dachau was the first concentration camp. Visiting Dachau is a contrast to Auschwitz for it is a memorial site created on the grounds of the former concentration camp. However, the grief comes as the experience of suffering and death made itself felt, 31,951 of our sisters and brothers died in Dachau.

As I reflect on compassion, love, mercy, risking, sacrificing one’s life, and so many other words that describe the loving concern given to Holocaust victims by countless number of people and groups, I mention one person in particular, 20 year old Josefa Mack. Josefa was later known as Sister Mary Imma, a School Sister of Notre Dame in Germany. As a Candidate she spent a year, May 1944 until American soldiers liberated the camp in April 1945, surreptitiously ministering to prisoners, including Catholic Priests.

It was a blessing for me to meet Sister Imma in about 1990 at our Motherhouse in Munich, Germany. Imma shared with me that her experiences made her anxious and she had prayed to forget what she had seen at Dachau. However, in 1985 she became aware that the memory of the Holocaust was being forgotten. This quiet, simple woman began the journey of speaking and raising consciousness about the Holocaust. In 1991, her memoir, Why I Love Azaleas was published. The title honors the prisoners at Dachau’s Plantation Store that gave her beautiful Azalea flowers for her parents.

A Survey by the Conference on “Jewish Material Claims Against Germany”, which involved 1350 American adults was released on the recent Holocaust Memorial Day. The Survey indicated 58% believed the Holocaust could happen again, with half believing it could happen in the United States. However, there is also belief that the Holocaust has happened again: think of Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. A heart-rending awareness! Will our compassion and love for all bring Peace, Joy and Unity to our Global Community?

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/