Compassion is what they do

For most people who have a career or a job, there are always opportunities to care about the people you interact with each day.

Almost everybody has opportunities to act compassionately, to be the hand or the voice of compassion.

In some professions, acting compassionately is just what they do.

I’m not sure we can ever show appropriate gratitude to those in the nursing profession. But today is “their” day and I think that’s a wonderful thing.

If you know a nurse or come in contact with one today–or any day, for that matter–tell them you appreciate their compassionate care.

They do so much for so many; the patients committed to their care know very well how much people in the medical profession channel that spirit of compassion and love as they do what they do each day. Nurses, especially.

I went through repeated hospitalizations and a serious surgery back in 2014 and I was–and still am–in awe of the care nurses provide. It was almost overwhelming at the time and the memories of my time in their care are still fresh in my mind.

Show some gratitude to someone today. Especially if you “catch them” in an act of blatant compassion!

If it is someone in that esteemed profession, all the better!

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Drink the Wine of Violence

There have been times in the last two years when it seemed as though people who make policy or enforce the laws in our country have inverted our cherished and long-held values and ideals.

At times it almost seems as though they value heartlessness, advocate for cruel policies and practices and encourage or condone violent acts.

Because most of us have not seen such a sad spectacle in our lifetimes, it’s hard to imagine that problems like these are–for lack of a better word–normal.

Not normal in the sense that we should accept these terrible things. But in the sense that cruel, heartless people do take hold of the reigns of power from time to time and that when they do, cruelty and heartlessness begin to manifest and metastasize.

Things were no different when the writer of Proverbs recorded this text:

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
   and do not walk in the way of evildoers. 
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
   they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
   and drink the wine of violence. 

from Proverbs, Chapter 4

These are dark days in our shared history. Dark, baleful days for people of faith. Especially those who will not bend the knee to Mammon nor worship a god of cruelty, rage and revenge!

But in spite of all the dark and tragic things going on around us right now, I can tell you this: countering anger and hate with more anger and hate will do nothing to change any of it!

Rather we must recommit ourselves to the values we have learned from our loving parents, our teachers, our Rabbis, Priests, Pastors and Imams.

The values of love, of community and of compassion.

Our hope is to be found in holding fast to these values.

Channeling the rage and hate we see all around us today will only further sicken our country and our kin.

We must choose love. We must choose compassion.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.