From the “Compassion” chapter in The Lessons of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot:

~ If you truly and sympathetically hear another person, the things being said will travel into your ears, through your brain, and straight to your heart, where your emotions will be touched. As you practice the discipline of listening, you’ll go beyond relating to others on a superficial intellectual level and begin feeling what they feel. In time, laughing with those who laugh and weeping with those who weep will become second nature to you. But feeling what others feel will never be possible if you don’t listen.

~ Forgiveness simply means getting down off the seat of judgment and releasing those who have offended you from your own hostility and anger. And while you’re at it, ask God to forgive you for the ways you’ve let down him and others. Freed by forgiveness and energized by love, you can be a channel of charity, compassion, and grace in a hard and needy world.