THE BIRTH OF COMPASSION

Fr Jim Cogley



It’s always useful to search for the defects of another in the depths of my own heart and from there, to acknowledge them. This can even leave me feeling grateful towards that other for revealing what I least wanted to hear but most needed to know about myself. If I truly value self-knowledge, I will be grateful to the one who first appeared as an unwelcome guest. This attitude of gratitude also opens the way for under-standing. My initial judgment allowed me to stand above, but now I see from beneath. I am able to see this person’s life experience and how it has contributed to his or her behavior. I may even see that person as crippled by their past and not in the least blameworthy. This is turn gives rise to compassion, a sense of respect and even to acting in love. More often than not this love gets a reciprocal response and my world suddenly becomes that bit more loving, and the nice thing is that it is I who created it.