Reflection 198: The Mercy of True Empathy


The lack of true heartfelt empathy is a clear sign of a certain psychological, emotional and even spiritual disorder.  This is mentioned because the opposite is true also.  The presence of true heartfelt empathy is a sign that one is psychologically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.  Empathy means that you are aware of the other.  You sense when someone is hurting or when they are joyful.  Furthermore, you feel the pain they feel and experience the joy that they experience. This is an act of mercy in your heart flowing from the Mercy of God.  (See Diary #1039).

Reflect, today, upon your empathy or lack thereof.  What takes place within your mind, heart and emotions when you encounter either the joys or the sufferings of another.  Do you walk right past them, not caring and not engaging them?  Or do you see their humanity, recognize their dignity, and treat them with care, compassion and respect?  Empathy is ultimately all about the dignity of each and every person and our ability to acknowledge that dignity through our thoughts, feelings, words and actions.  Try to honestly look at your own empathy today and if you are surprised at a lacking in this area, look deeper at the reason why.  Do not be afraid to admit to this lacking and do not be afraid to seek its remedy.  But if you see yourself blessed with a heart of compassion, filled with an awareness of the other, then rejoice because your heart is sharing in and dispensing the Mercy of God.

Lord, I pray that my heart will become an instrument of Your own merciful Heart.  In any way that I lack the empathy and compassion flowing from Your Heart, bring me healing.  And in every way that I have been blessed to experience the struggles and joys of others on account of sharing in Your Mercy, I thank You.  Lord, my deep desire is to share in Your life and love so that my heart may become like unto Yours.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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