“When we think about the people who have given us hope   and have  increased our strength of our soul, we might discover that they were not the advice givers, warners or moralists, but the few who were able to articulate in words and actions the human conditions in which we participate and who encouraged us to face the realities of life.”

“A compassionate man can no longer look at these manifestations of evil and death as disturbing interruptions of his life plan but rather has to confront them as an opportunity for the conversion of himself and his fellow human beings. Every time in history that men and women have been able to respond to the events of their world as an occasion to change their hearts, and inexhaustible source of generosity and new life has been opened, offering hope far beyond the limits of human prediction.”

“Those who do not run away from our pain but touches them with compassion bring healing and new strength. The paradox indeed is that the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with pain. In our solution-oriented society it is more important than ever to realise that wanted to alleviate pain without sharing it is like wanting to save a child from a burning house without the risk of being hurt. It is in solitude that this compassionate solidarity takes it’s shape.”

– from Reaching Out: Henri J.M. Nouwen