Compassion: A Compass for the Soul

by Brother Bob Roddy

A compass is one of many tools that we may use to find our way when we are lost. (I guess that nowadays some of us could use our smartphones or GPS devices, but there are times when even these sophisticated devices fail us.) The magnetized needle of the compass always points north, and knowing that bit of information can make all the difference between moving in the right direction to our destination or moving away from it, or aimlessly moving in circles.

Our inner life also needs tools to help us find our way, and to plot an appropriate course of action in the midst of the many moods of our hearts and the desires of our souls. Today, we are faced with many choices and many good courses of action to follow. Sometimes our options are obvious, but most of the time, we are caught weighing the pros and cons of a decision to the point where there appears to be no clear choice. Often, we are presented with many good choices to make, but what is right choice for me to make? What are some of the principles that assist us in our process of making decisions and how can the words of the Gospel inform those decisions? How can we better dispose ourselves to listen and to consider all of the alternatives? What role does prayer play in leading our actions?

One hallmark of Jesus’ ministry is his compassion; his ability to reach out and connect with those in the various strata of his world from those at the bottom of the social order, e.g., the woman caught in the act of adultery, to those in power, e.g., Nicodemus. Jesus could feel their longing for dignity, for a deeper connection with their community and a deeper connection with their God. Our 2013 Retreat theme will explore the many ways in which the gift of compassion can point us in the direction we deeply desire to move and be moved.

Conference Titles: “God Saw That It Was Good,” “Surveying the Landscape of the Heart,” “Prayer,” and “Lord, What Do You Want Me to Do?”

For more information about the retreat schedule visit