In the Gospels, “compassion” is used in a way which is restricted and instructive. Compassion is used only of Jesus himself or of God in some of the parables. The word itself means something like mercy, arising from deep within, a kind of spontaneous empathy and understanding, the kind of reaction a woman has for the child of her womb. When people are compassionate to us, it is because we need it and usually we are deeply touched and grateful. Such is our God! If we receive such compassion, we are obliged to give it in return, of course. This is the charter of Christian living.
God, all merciful and all compassionate, help us to be like you that we may console others with the same consolation with which we ourselves has been consoled.
K O’Mahony OSA