What Compassion Asks Us: Reflections by Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen was internationally renowned priest and author, respected professor and beloved pastor who wrote 39 books on the spiritual life. In his life he corresponded regularly with hundreds of friends and reached out to thousands through his Eucharistic celebrations, lectures and retreats. He lived by the spiritual values of communion, community and ministry, and his literary legacy continues to inspire well after his death in 1996.
Nouwen believed that what is most personal is most universal. He wrote, “By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.”
‘Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness,fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.’