The Spirituality of Compassion

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I was deeply awakened to the spirituality of compassion back in high school when we were required to read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Up until then I pretty much believed that the Law is the Law and if broken
one should be punished. But reading the book I realized there are so many circumstances in which desperate people succumb to breaking the law. . . like Jean Valjean . . . stealing a loaf of bread for his hungry family.

And who can forget the first time they ever read the incident of the Bishop’s candlesticks? We are moved by the mercy that shines through
even this blatant crime that initiated a total transformation in Valjean.

When I am truly honest, I see that again and again I flounder and fail and fall short in so many ways. But God, in his great mercy shows compassion, kindness, steadfast love and forgiveness . . . ALWAYS!
And that is the Grace by which I live . . . and that moves me to share that compassion with others. Thanks be to God!
+ Anna Lin
For further reflection, here is a link to a commentary on this story.
(Note that it includes an audio version at the end of the post)

The Bishop with the Candlesticks

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