This sin hardens people so much that they do not wish to know the image of God nor recognize it in other people because without kindness they lack any kind of mercy and goodness... Hard-heartedness is the worst sin since it shows no mercy. Neither does it think that charity is necessary nor does it do any good works. Hard-heartedness was strong in tyrants.I find it intriguing that this great spiritual light of the 12th century that has shone all the way to the 21st century finds hard-heartedness the greatest of sin. Since my main goals while here on earth are to awaken spiritually as much as I can and to be a beneficial presence wherever I am, I must search my heart to see where there might be a stray hardness.
Examination of oneself requires courage and the willingness to honestly assess and then correct what is found. So I thought where would common instances of hard-heartedness be found. Some concepts that are outside of my way to live and be come to mind - prejudice, violence, greed, untruthfulness, judgmentalness, meanness, all the negatives actually.
Inside of me I do find some focused pockets that I must open with compassion. I find myself hard-hearted to the true believers of any ilk who are closed minded and loud mouthed, often filled with rage and roar. I just don't want to deal with them, I want to turn away. I tell myself that I've had far more than my fair share of this kind of folks, and I'm worn out and have nothing to give there. Yet I do understand that locked inside of them is the Seed of God, and that Light jumps up and down trying to sprout and shine. Perhaps my compassion could create a little crack in that hardness so that their light could begin to shine. Perhaps all of us can make enough cracks so that God's Light is everywhere ablaze bringing glorious vistas.
Let's ask ourselves what hardness in us needs to soften so that we can share Compassion fully, without reservation?
Lord, soften my heart and help me share Your Compassion wherever I am, with whomever comes across my path. Unlock my heart to beat in unison with Your Heart. Lead me do and be what You would have me do and be with all of Your Children.
By the way, Webster's definition of compassion is - sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. And the Webster Thesaurus says, sorrow or the capacity to feel sorrow for another's suffering or misfortuneSynonyms commiseration, sympathy, feeling