Listen

09Sep04

“Let us not underestimate how hard it is to listen and to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely and broken. But … our spontaneous response … is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. As busy, active, relevant people we want to [make] a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to be there, to listen and to enter into solidarity with those who suffer.”

– Henri Nouwen

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