Mercy Global Action: Compassionate Heart
Julia Morisi (Americas)
1 Kings 19:11-13 reads:
“A great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
Elijah finds that God is there in the gentle whisper.
Amidst the winds, the earthquakes, and the fires of our world, compassion often feels like this gentle whisper. The Dalai Lama, who spends much of his life teaching on the importance of compassion, points out that today the world is inundated with advertisements and our news is centered on money. He says, “no one (is) telling or explaining the importance of warm heartedness.” He has a point. The compassionate heart is not a flashy headline. It speaks softly and walks humbly. It is often hard to hear behind the many distractions, but it is there.
What does the gentle whisper of a compassionate heart sound like in our world?
A compassionate heart is one steeped in Mercy. It means treating others as their highest and best self, even when they may be acting from their lowest. This can mean acting in a way that recognizes and respects the dignity of oneself and others. It can also mean always walking through life with love and respect, regardless of the behavior of others. This might be one of the more difficult feats. It is much easier to react in kind instead of to react in kindness. An example of a compassionate heart can be found in the work of Catherine McAuley...
 “Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness,” YouTube, April 1, 2021, video, 4:00, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUEkDc_LfKQ.
Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator
Julia is a recent member of the Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship. As a member of this fellowship, she completed a project on women’s religious leadership. After graduating from Salve Regina University, Julia completed a year of service with Mercy Volunteer Corps. She then earned a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and a certificate in Religion and Conflict Transformation from Boston University. Currently, Julia teaches religion at Salve Regina University.
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