The pandemic and its challenges exposed a raw edge of the uncertainty of life, inviting us to look more clearly at how our life is shared with others.
The ongoing tragedy of racism also calls us to examine the deep brokenness of the humanity we share with others.
In our faith, we are called to be the caretakers and guardians of one another. As individuals we each need to recognize our shortcomings to begin working on the change that’s needed by all. As a community, we need to draw insight and courage to heal the broken; we need strength to hold and cherish what cannot be healed. We need to incorporate compassion so completely that we are transformed and the whole fabric of humanity is touched.
“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
“Compassion allows us to use our own pain and the pain of others as a vehicle for connection.” Sharon Salzberg
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” Pema Chödrön
The June Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning and possibilities of “compassion” – to reflect on how we can experience it in our lives and how it is a part of sharing in community. We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles. The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here. For now there are no printed copies to hand out but if you are receiving this online, we’re hoping you can read or download the packet from the link….or maybe print out at home.
May we all be sheltered in the heart of community,
M. E. Tanabe