Mission & Vision
Our mission is to spread the message of compassion through education and training, provision of resources, and access to online-based compassion cultivation practices.
Our vision is to create hospitable, caring, and compassionate individuals and communities empowered to take on and sustain a life of compassion as a radical response to human suffering.
What is Compassion?
Compassion is an innate human disposition that is evoked within us when confronted with suffering and fuels our desire to alleviate and transform it. For the Christian, such commitment to “suffer with” is deeply grounded in Jesus Christ, who serves as its paradigm and source of motive power. It is a visible expression of God’s solidarity with and intimate regard for the welfare of humanity, which is punctuated by the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The root of compassion runs deep. It emerges from a soil that is nourished by a profound awareness of the connection and interdependence of all creation. It bursts forth and makes room for the other. It spreads inward and produces a sense of well being and personal satisfaction.
Why Practice Compassion?
The sight and sound of individuals in excruciating pain is all around us. Witnessing their suffering breaks through the armour of illusory separation and breaks open an intense desire to help, to intervene, and to make a difference. Compassion is its name and it is triggered when we bear witness to the suffering of another. This response is at the heart of Christianity. It is rooted in the incarnation of Christ, which made visible the depth of God’s love, solidarity, and intimate regard for humanity. It is also part of who we are as beings created in the image of God who is full of compassion and love.
What is Compassionate Presence?
As human beings we all have been pierced by the rough edges of our own doing and the fallen world we inhabit. Yet in the midst of all that the presence of a compassionate God remains constant—sustaining, healing, transforming, and reassuring. Though this presence sometimes eludes our conscious awareness and is difficult to discern the fact remains—God’s faithful companionship never fails.
In a lavish display of the grace and companionship of God, this compassionate presence often takes on the face of ordinary people whose accompaniment during these dark times is marked by MINDFUL ATTENTION, EMPATHIC ATTUNEMENT, and a LOVING DESIRE to relieve such suffering without imposition or intrusion. This commitment to “suffer with another” through concrete acts of mercy and human solidarity incarnates God’s compassionate heart in a profoundly personal and compelling manner.
Dr. Rolf Nolasco is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Contemplative Counselor and Compassionate Presence: A Radical Response to Human Suffering. He is also a psychotherapist, retreat facilitator, spiritual mentor, and guide.
He is currently working on two book projects, namely, God's Beloved Queer (Wipf & Stock, 2019) and Depression, Dark Night of the Soul, and Joy (Cascade Books, 2021).
More importantly, Rolf is a life-long student of contemplation and compassion.
Compassionate Presence: A Radical Response to Human Suffering
Compassion plays a central role in the teachings of all world religions. Christianity in particular demonstrates its vitality through compassionate engagement with those suffering with Christ serving as a paradigm and source of motive power. These concrete acts of mercy and solidarity disclose God's intimate regard for the welfare of humanity. The purpose of this book is to affirm compassion as the pulsating heartbeat of Christian theology and praxis through the hermeneutical perspectives of brain science, psychology, and practical theology. More importantly, it offers readers specific compassion cultivation practices that will nurture the trait of compassion as a way of incarnating God's compassionate presence and response to a world marked with suffering of all kinds.