Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and social activist, wrote in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, “Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed.”
Compassion illuminates the sacred within us. When compassion informs our behavior, love and caring flow naturally and it is impossible to run roughshod over the sacred that lies within everything. At those times:
- Touch cannot be inappropriately sexual or harmful;
- Productivity cannot mistreat others or the environment;
- Feelings and behaviors cannot be criticized or repressed;
- Play cannot be a win-lose contest; and
- Learning cannot be blocked.
What would it mean for you to know the depth of beauty in your heart and in the essence of every other person?
Think of times such as in those above when the sacredness of yourself and others was present, and other times when that truth was forgotten.
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Image: ©Carl Studna
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