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“Visiting a botanical nursery Garden, one is amazed by the variety of plants and flowers, and often one is drawn to think of the imagination of the creator who has given the earth a wonderful garden.
It seems to be so much easier to be compassionate when we read of sad or horrific events in the lives of others – many “out there” not within our sphere of contact. It is a little harder, at times, to be compassionate with those around us. What are the blocks to being compassionate? It seems to me that the biggest blocks to allowing ourselves to have a compassionate heart are being intolerant and judgmental. Not having the inner capacity to be objective rather than seeing the person, who really needs compassion rather than condemnation.
Reflecting on my conversation with one of my sisters today I realized the power of affirmation in our lives. These times of personal sharing are so enriching. Heart speaks to heart in truth and trust and one can feel your presence, Jesus, even when we speak. I had let slip from my consciousness the gift affirmation can be to others. Personal experience of affirmation in my own life, and in the lives of others, has shown me without doubt what a tremendous gift one has if we can have a heart free enough to affirm others.
At Compline, which is the final prayer of the day as a community, as dusk turns into night, I contemplate the image of our beautiful earth turning gently as day turns into dusk, dusk into night, night into dawn, dawn into day, and so the cycle continues day after day, year after year, century after century and in this rotating cycle of day, year and century, as the various time zones unfold from one country to another, there will always be Cistercian hearts praising God from country to country. The recent General Chapter in Assisi renewed my awareness of this great truth in our lives.