Daily Reflection
March 12th, 2001
John Horn, S.J.
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Daniel 9:4-10
Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
Luke 6:36-38

“Jesus said to his disciples, be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” 

Luke 6:36

To be compassionate is to share in another’s sorrow and suffering with love.  It is to suffer with and for another out of a passionate desire to carry and ease burdens.

I remember as a little boy how hysterical I would become as unrelated fears within me spiraled, anticipating the pain of the needle being injected into my arm when I was sick, needing a shot of penicillin from the family doctor.  The actual physical pain that was suffered paled when compared to the emotional pain that was caused by listening to the trajectory of my unrelated fears.  My sister and I still laugh about some of the hysteria that we put ourselves through in the doctor’s office as children.

In our suffering whenever we relate our fears by crying out “Abba, Father” we open our hearts and entrust ourselves to receive the glory, the affectionate regard, that the Father has for us.  Amid any pain, he will strengthen us if only we cry out and relate our fears to him.  He is always with us in the love that is his Spirit.  We are never alone.

If we turn inward amid sufferings and do not relate our fears, they so easily seize us and terrify us.  We need to relate any and all pain at the cross with Jesus to the Father.  Jesus, after all, is the compassion of God!  If we cry out with Jesus at the cross then we will experience an easing of burdens and a peace that passes all human understanding.  Friends who suffer chronic pain each day have evangelized my heart around this reality, this truth. They tell me that, as long as they remain in the present moment, relating fears and sufferings in prayer, a Godly strength and peace is experienced.  But, whenever they pull out of being with God in powerlessness, they experience being swept into tornado-like spirals of fear.

I am amazed at the desire of the Father to share in our sufferings so as to ease and resurrect them.  May we taste more of Abba’s glory alive for us in any sufferings endured at the cross with Jesus.  May we also laugh at ourselves as we recall the lessons learned from childhood whenever we paid attention to the tricks our unrelated fears played on our minds and hearts. 

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