Compassion Casts Out Fear

To begin our reflection series we offer you an Invitation to Prayer by Alice Feeley, RDC and a watercolor by Patricia Sheridan, RDC

 

Compassion! Human Compassion! Divine Compassion!

MOTHER MARY VERONICA STARR

 

At the best, doing the best we can, we have to depend on God’s compassion.

MONSIGNOR THOMAS S. PRESTON

 

I have nothing to give but what I have received.

MOTHER MARY VERONICA STARR

 

When the first Sister of the Divine Compassion was received 125 years ago, the Founder, Mary Caroline Dannat Starr (Mother Mary Veronica) had already known for many years the abiding presence of God as Compassion in the deep suffering of her life’s journey. Both she and Monsignor Thomas Preston, her spiritual director and co-founder of the religious community, saw the broken and aching world around them with eyes of compassion. They heard the cries of need which called them to compassionate action for others. They and the sisters who have followed them for over a century have known that the gift of compassion is a gift to be shared, that a life of compassion, like that of Jesus Christ, involves harmonizing prayer and labor in loving union with God who suffers and rejoices with us.

We all know what it is to be afraid. Massive immigration and violence against the most vulnerable contributed to atmospheres of fear one hundred twenty-five years ago. Wars, economic failure, abuses of power, organized terror have continued to contribute to fearful conditions right up to the present when violent divisions, high anxiety and concerns about security, illness, loss are pervasive among us today.

Yet God’s voice in the Gospel is constant, “Do not be afraid,” “Fear not.” It is our hope that these reflections will help each of us hear and believe those words urging us to replace fear with an acknowledgment of God’s loving presence and will expand our capacity for compassion.

 

We invite all who use these reflections to turn your full attention to God, compassionate and present to you at this moment and to listen.

     Do not be afraid . . .

          We pray to wake up to God within and around us.

 

     Do not be afraid . . .

          We open ourselves to God’s love transforming us, knowing that nothing really dies and nothing remains as it is.

 

     Do not be afraid . . .

          We pray for grace and courage to close the distance we keep from our true selves. May we be at home with ourselves in order that we may meet others with authentic love.

 

     Do not be afraid . . .

          We pray to embrace the mystery of suffering so that we may live the questions raised by our suffering and that of others into acts of compassion.