Boundless Compassion: Creating a Way of Life by Joyce Rupp, a six-week program towards deeper awareness, attitude, and action, has been my companion over the past couple of months. Prayers of Boundless Compassion is a perfect complement and extra resource to this process. Joyce Rupp has for many years been one of my favorite authors, so I was thrilled when given the opportunity to read and review two of her latest books.
Her beautiful prose and prayerful poetry kept the literary side of me content, while the concepts, questions, and reflections on compassion challenged me to keep growing. I have a long ways to go to grow into a person of unconditional love and boundless compassion, but Joyce Rupp presents some basics to jumpstart the journey. For me, the concept of needing to have three things in place for there to be compassion—awareness, the right attitude, and subsequent action—really opened my eyes.
I still have little scraps of paper near where I sit to have my breakfast in the morning to remind me of the four principles that are the foundation of compassion toward self as well as other people: mindfulness, forgiveness, nonviolence, and nonjudgment. If I took nothing else away from this book, I could easily remember three things needed and the four foundational aspects of compassion. With those memorized, I can be quickly drawn back into the lessons I’ve learned.
Each day begins with a quote and ends with reflection questions, a prayer, and a Scripture verse. There are six topics, one for each week of the study. On the seventh day of the week, there is an invitation to reflect and review the material from the previous six days. I moved rather slowly through Boundless Compassion because I wanted to spend time with each of the meditations and prayers. I was often inspired to journal my answers to the reflection questions, as they really provided some food for thought.
As I read the daily reflections, I also chose a prayer or two each day to pray from the Prayers of Boundless Compassion book. I would highly recommend using the two books together. I did the study on my own, but the way it’s set up, it would be perfect for a group as well.
I rarely reread books unless they really speak to me. There were several passages I read more than once, and I plan to hold onto both books as a resource for future prayer on my own and with faith groups of which I am a member.
It is my sincere hope and prayer that one day I will get a chance to meet Joyce Rupp in person and take one of her workshops on Boundless Compassion.