Quotations On Suffering, Compassion

and the Heart-Centered Approach


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quotation on love from teresa of avila















quotations about the heart from st. anselm












Enlarge thou me in love, that with the inward palate of my heart I may taste how sweet it is to love, and to be dissolved, and as it were to bathe myself in thy love.

               Thomas a Kempis

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart

               Psalm 24

Let nothing upset you;
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
Who has God lacks nothing:
God alone fills all our needs.

               Saint Teresa of Avila

 Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

  Kahlil Gibran

What is to give light must endure burning.

              Victor Frankl

A fire comes with God and from God, surrounding all that is disagreeable to Him and unlike Him and burning it up.

              Psalm 38:17

I know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong.


Let me seek thee in longing, let me long for thee in seeking; let me find thee in love, and love thee in finding.

              St. Anselm


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Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are subject to greed, fear, and anger.
Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are subject to the pride of name and fame
Or to the vanity of scholarship.
Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are enmeshed in life's duality.

But to all those who pierce this duality,
Whose hearts are given to the Lord of Love,
He gives himself through his infinite grace;
He gives himself through his infinite grace.

               The Tejobindu Upanishad

Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God

                Matthew: Sermon on the Mount


Do what you feel in your heart to be right--for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.  

    Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.  

                The Dalai Lama

It is only with the Heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye.

               Antoine de Saint-Exupery


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When all desires that surge in the heart
Are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal.
When all the knots that strangle the heart
Are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal.
This sums up the teaching of the scriptures.

               The Katha Upanishad

Prayer makes your heart bigger, until it is capable of containing the gift of God Himself.

               Mother Teresa








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quotations about compassion and suffering


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

     Dalai Lama

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


Her heart is full of joy with love,
For in the Lord her mind is stilled.
She has renounced every selfish attachment
And draws abiding joy and strength
From the One within.
She lives not for herself, but lives
To serve the Lord of Love in all,
And swims across the sea of life
Breasting its rough waves joyfully.

               St. Teresa of Avila

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.

   St. Francis of Assisi

Great Spirit of the heavens,
lift me up to you
that my heart may worship you
and come to you in glory.
Hold in my memory that you are my Creator,
greater than I,
eager for my good life.
Let everything that is in the world
lift my mind,
and my heart,
and my life to you
so that we may come always to you
in truth and in heart.

               Native American Tradition

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another

                Thomas Merton

Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world which operates on the basis of necessity. Compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural.

                John Berger

 Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.

                Eric Hoffer

But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

                Luke 15:20















quotation from mother teresa


Let us have compassion for those under chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I and who are you? Whence do we come and is it quite certain that we did nothing before we were born?

   Victor Hugo

In the secret cave of the heart, two are
Seated by life's fountain. The separate ego
Drinks of the sweet and bitter stuff,
Liking the sweet, disliking the bitter,
While the supreme Self drinks sweet and bitter
Neither liking this nor disliking that.
The ego gropes in darkness, while the Self
Lives in light. So declare the illumined sages,
And the householders who worship
The sacred fire in the name of the Lord.

May we light the fire of Nachiketa
That burns out the ego, and enables us
To pass from fearful fragmentation
To fearless fullness in the changeless Whole.

               The Katha Upanishad


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Children, even infants, are capable of sympathy. But only after adolescence are we capable of compassion.

                Louise J. Kaplan

Keep your heart pure. A pure heart is necessary to see God in each other.  If you see God in each other, there is love for each other, then there is peace.

               Mother Teresa

O good Jesu Thou has bound my heart in the thought of Thy Name, and now I can not but sing it; therefore have mercy upon me, making perfect that Thou hast ordained. 

              Richard Rolle

The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God.

               Robert Burns

The king said, -Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other. But the woman whose son was alive said to the king -because compassion for her son burned within her - -Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him! The other said, -It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it. Then the king responded: -Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.

    1 Kings. 3:25-37

I believe that man will not merely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

     William Faulkner



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quotations about compassion and understanding and the heart


Compassion can never coexist with judgement because judgement creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other.

      Henri Nouwen

Let not therefore thy heart be troubled, neither let it fear.
Trust in me, and put thy confidence in my mercy.

When thou thinkest thyself farthest off from me, oftentimes I am nearest unto thee.

When thou countest almost all to be lost, then oftentimes the greatest gain of reward is close at hand.

All is not lost, when any thing falleth out contrary.

Thou oughtest not to judge according to present feeling; nor so to take any grief, or give thyself over to it.

               Thomas a Kempis

It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked.
              Haile Selassie

We may make an oratory of our heart wherein to retire from time to time to converse with Him in meekness, humility, and love. Every one is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less. He knows what we can do. Let us begin, then.

               Brother Lawrence


For those who set their hearts on me
And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,
The way of love leads sure and swift to me.

               Bhagavad Gita

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  


The word courage comes from the same stem as the French word coeur, meaning "heart." Thus just as one's heart, by pumping blood to one's arms, legs, and brain enables all the other physical organs to function, so courage makes possible all the psychological virtues. Without courage other values whither away into mere facsimiles of virtue.

               Rollo May

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.

              Erma Bombeck













quotations about love and God








The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.

              Albert Schweitzer

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.


Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

                Carl Jung

They are the real lovers of God
Who feel others’ sorrow as their own.
When they perform selfless service,
They are humble servants of the Lord.
Respecting all, despising none,
They are pure in thought, word, and deed.
Blessed is the mother of such a child;
And in their eyes the Divine Mother
Shines in every woman they see.
They are always truthful, even-minded,
Never coveting others' wealth,
Free from all selfish attachments,
Ever in tune with the Holy Name.
Their bodies are like sacred shrines
In which the Lord of Love is seen.
Free from greed, anger, and fear,
These are the real lovers of God.

               Narsinha Mehta

Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not find peace.

              Albert Schweitzer

Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy.

               Chogyam Trungpa

There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.

               Robert Frost


"And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with the breath of your own spirit..." Kahlil Gibran - from "The Prophet"

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 The root of the matter… the thing I mean… is love, Christian love, or compassion. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide for action, a reason for courage, an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty.

               Bertrand Russell

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.


quotations from karl jung



Forget not the central truth, that God is seated in your own heart.

               Swami Ramdas

Bless me with a loving heart and a peaceful mind,
And draw me into full absorption in you.
I am your child, your wayward child. 


In every veil you see, the Divine Beauty is concealed, making every heart a slave to Him. In love to Him the heart finds its life; in desire for Him, the soul finds its happiness. The heart which loves a fair one here, though it knows it not, is really His lover.  


And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


Thus abide constantly with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the heart swallows the Lord and the Lord the heart, and the two become one.

               Saint John Chrysostom













quotations on heart, love and compassion



If your heart were sincere and upright, every creature would be unto you a looking-glass of life and a book of holy doctrine.  

              Thomas a Kempis


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And you shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart: and you shall teach them always to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you arise.

               The Torah (The Shema)

Everyone sees the Unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more – more Unseen forms become manifest to him.  

              Jalaluddin Rumi

The Self is hidden in the lotus of the heart. Those who see themselves in all creatures go day by day into the world of Brahman hidden in the heart. Established in peace, they rise above body-consciousness to the supreme light of the Self. Immortal, free from fear, this Self is Brahman, called the True. Beyond the mortal and the immortal, he binds both worlds together. Those who know this live day after day in heaven in this very life.

              The Chandogya Upanishad

Let us begin to be devoted to him in good earnest. Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts. He would possess them alone. Beg this favor of him. If we do what we can on our part, we shall soon see that change wrought in us which we aspire after.

              Brother Lawrence

Ah, Lord God, thou holy lover of my soul, when thou comest into my heart, all that is within me shall rejoice.

Thou art my glory and the exultation of my heart: thou art my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble.

               Thomas a Kempis

As butter lies hidden within milk,
The Self is hidden in the hearts of all.
Churn the mind through meditation on it;
Light your fire through meditation on it:
The Self, all whole, all peace, all certitude.

               The Amritabindu Upanishad

None has a place in my heart but thee.
My heart has become thy abode;
It has no place for another.

                Ansari of Hera

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