Dear Child of God, I write these words because we all experience sadness, we all come at times to despair, and we all lose hope that the suffering in our lives and in the world will ever end. I want to share with you my faith and my understanding that this suffering can be transformed and redeemed. There is no such thing as a totally hopeless case. Our God is an expert at dealing with chaos, with brokenness, with all the worst that we can imagine. God created order out of disorder, cosmos out of chaos, and God can do so always, can do so now–in our personal lives and in our lives as nations, globally. … Indeed, God is transforming the world now–through us–because God loves us.
― Desmond Tutu from God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time
It is not enough to say, ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. ― Thomas Merton (as quoted in The Boundless Circle: Caring for Creatures and Creation)
Compassion isn’t simply opening a spigot and coating everything in a treacly, all-purpose goo. It requires a gut hunch that whatever I do unto others, I do unto myself. It calls for appreciating not only what comforts us, but what pierces us.
― Marc Ian Barasch from The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.
― Nelson Mandela (speech at the “Healing And Reconciliation Service”. Johannesburg – December 6, 2000)
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.
― Abraham Joshua Heschel from Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays
These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.
― Anthony de Mello from One Minute Wisdom
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
The whole problem of our time is the problem of love. How are we going to recover the ability to love ourselves and to love one another? We cannot be at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we cannot be at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God. There is a distinction between a contrite sense of sin and a feeling of guilt. The former is a true and healthy thing, the latter tends to be false and pathological.
― Thomas Merton from The Living Bread