Compassion is one of the single most important qualities we can possess as human beings. It is defined as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. Other similar qualities are: empathy, fellow feeling, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, sensitivity, charity, care, concern, and solicitude.
Those who demonstrate the most compassion, are those who have the ability to imagine themselves in another persons’ circumstances or predicament. They are the people who have perhaps never personally experienced something that another human being or animal is experiencing, yet are able to put themselves in that person or animals’ place and imagine...
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence...
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The day passed and the young boy was fin...
Here is a Chinese parable:
One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying on its back with its tiny feet up in the air.
“What are you doing?” asked the elephant. The hummingbird replied, “I heard that the sky might fall today, and so I am ready to help hold it up, should it fall.”
The elephant laughed cruelly. “Do you really think,” he said, “that those tiny feet could help hold up the sky?” The hummingbird kept his feet up in the air, intent on his purpose as he replied, “Not alone. But each must do what he can. And this is what I can do.”
So as Mahatma Gandhi used to say “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
If you change yourself you will change your world. If you...
One in three women suffers violence, global study finds
WHO research reveals shocking extent of attacks on women, the vast majority of which
are carried out by male partners
More than a third of all women worldwide – 35.6% – will experience physical or
sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner, according to the first
comprehensive study of its kind from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report reveals the shocking extent of attacks on women from the men with whom they share
their lives, with 30% of women being attacked by partners. It also finds that a large
proportion of murders of women – 38% – are carried out by intimate partners.
“… In lowliness of mind,
let each esteem the other better than yourself.”
“If disgrace befell over you, be glad,
for if it is unjust, then your reward will be large;
and if it is just, then, having learned from it,
you can avoid the retribution.”
From “Ascetic Directions”
of Nilus of Sinai
“Those of lowly mind are never in a hurry or confusion; they have no hot and superficial thoughts; but they always stay in peace. There is nothing that can make them amazed, confused, terrified… On the contrary, all their joys are in what is pleasing to the Lord.
When they touch the forehead to the ground and direct the sight of the heart to the Holiest of the Holy,… they dare to...
There was a small monastery in a provincial town. An elder called Zosima lived in that monastery.
And the rumor about him reached even the capital. The elder was known because of the Divine miracles that accompanied many of his acts and words, and his advice helped many people to a great extent.
One day the prior of the monastery, archimandrite Ignatius, received information that a minister would visit the elder. That man was not only a minister, but a person close to the monarch!
The prior called Zosima and told him:
“Tomorrow a minister will visit you. You, Zosima, try to do your best! It would be great if he donated money to our monastery, so that we can build a new temple! Do...
Parable about the Good: Accomplished Good and Undone Good
In a provincial town, situated on the bank of a large river, there was a monastery. An elder, who was revered by many people as a saint, lived in that monastery. His name was Zosima. It was said that wonders happened by his words, that people’s lives changed for the better, and the souls became transformed!
One wealthy merchant, whose daughter was miraculously healed by Zosima, built a free hospital in that town. A lot of people came from far-off places to have a conversation with the elder, to ask for his advice. The help of God came to many through the words and actions of the elder and a large number of people, after conversing with him, changed their lives before the Face of God, tryi...
There lived an elder Zosima in the monastery in a small provincial town. He performed many miraculous healings and helped many people to understand their problems and improve their lives before the Face of God.
He had a disciple — a novice Nicholas. Nicholas wanted to learn those things that the elder could do; that is, to understand always the Will of God, to help people to heal their diseases, and to find the right words that would help each soul become aware of its problems.
* * *
When the elder was receiving visitors, Nicholas was often with him. He tried to see and understand how God allowed Zosima to touch so miraculously such depths of the human souls that the words of the el...
Parable about Secret of “Sensible Prayer” and Acquisition of Inner Silence
“There is the highest prayer of the perfects ones — …when
by unsaid aspirations of the soul, they approach God,
Who sees their open hearts."
From the “Ascetic Teachings”
of Nilus of Sinai
“There is the state that consists in the contemplation of one God and in ardent love for Him; in this state, the mind, embraced and imbued with this love, converses with God in the most direct way."
From the “Observation of Spiritual Battle”
by John Cassian
There was a small monastery where an elder by the name Zosima lived. Amazing miracles accompanied his service to God! Many people looked for his advice, help and healing from diseases of bodies and souls.
But only a few w...
An elder called Zosima lived in a monastery. People believed that he was so pure by the soul that God endowed him with the gift of performing miracles. It was said that the miraculous healings happened by his word, people’s lives changed, and the souls became transformed! And a lot of people came to the elder with their requests…
* * *
Once a man entered this small town where the monastery was by the usual for Russia broken and dusty road.
He was not young but yet not old. He had a strong body and a stature much higher than the average one. The remarkable strength can be seen in his body, while in the soul restlessness and brokenness were evident to attentive eyes.
… A beggar was...
Parable about Prayer, Repentance, and Miracles Performed by God
“When someone has stumbled and
is trying to get up —
God certainly holds out a helping Hand.
But if this person keeps lying —
God has to wait.
The help comes when the one
who is looking for the salvation
There lived the elder Zosima in a monastery, and a rumor circulated that miraculous healings happened by his prayers.
A lot of people came from distant places to ask for his help.
Monastic brethren were proud that their monastery had such an elder.
But there were also many of those who envied, thinking: “Why does God not hear our prayers no matter how much we pray? We make so many bows, but all in vain! Yet God somehow accepts t...