Zoom Meeting Sermon May 22 2022

 

Topic: Compassion 

Compassion is more like empathy than pity; it is the desire to ease the suffering of others. Treat all people with kindness, especially those who are in pain, even if they lash out at you.

Mantra: “Everything that does evil is in pain.” -Clive Barker

Compassion is required to practice the first Core Tenet of the Path. It requires Self-Control, Patience, and Mindfulness.

True Compassion lies not in how we treat those who are kind to us, but in how we treat those who are unkind. The choice to do harm always comes from a place of suffering. While you should never allow someone to hurt you if you can avoid it, do your best to treat everyone you meet with as much kindness as you can. How you react to unkind words is always your decision. You can allow them to affect you and retaliate, or you can look past the words to the suffering behind them, and either ignore the unkindness altogether or even offer to help ease the suffering, if you can. Hurting somebody back only adds to the suffering, for you and for them.

As a society, the measure of our Compassion lies in how we treat those who have done us harm: our criminals. Our current justice system fails in this respect. What we have isn’t justice, it’s vengeance. Prison does next to nothing to rehabilitate criminals; it just teaches them how to be better at crime. When they get out, they can’t find a decent job or a place to live, so they resort to breaking the law again. Or they violate their probation, which is much easier to do than is strictly necessary. Then they wind up back in prison, and nobody has learned anything. When people break the law, we need to teach them how to live as honest citizens, not just lock them up and forget about them for five or ten years. The American justice system is in dire need of reform.

Any veterinarian will tell you that an animal in pain will try to scratch or bite the person trying to help them, and humans are just animals wearing pants. The trick to Compassion is to dodge the claws and tend the wound, if you can.

Has your Compassion ever been tested? If so, how did you react?

Namaste.

Reverend CJ Carlin

*This line is from the novel Imajica by Clive Barker, 1991

 

 

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