Compassion comes from the very heart of God made visible in Jesus, His Beloved Son.
Henri Noumen says,
“When Jesus was moved to compassion, the source of all life trembled, the ground of all love burst open and the abyss of God’s immense, inexhaustible love and unfathomable tenderness revealed itself.”
I experienced this tender mercy of God in a young man, Amara who was sentenced to death because of a drug offence.
Amara, only 19 left his country hoping to make money and agreed to carry drugs. He was caught. He spent three years in Death Row.
When Jimmy and I paid him a first visit, he looked at me and pointing his finger at me said, “And you, you come and pray with us and then you kill us.” It was the truth. It hurt. He refused to have us visit him. Everyday he wrote letters, he only ate and slept and watched TV. However Jimmy would stop at his cell at every visit and just call out to him. No response. We prayed for Amara.
On the day of the hanging, in the early hours of that Friday morning Jimmy and I made our way to prison. We were journeying with the companion of Amara who had been arrested with him.
The officer met us and informed us that things were not calm in the cells and Amara was very disturbed. We felt sad and turned to the Lord for help.
Jimmy and I found a small secluded spot and began praying the Rosary asking Mary to intercede for God’s mercy to touch Amara.
Just as we completed the Rosary, the Officer stood before us relieved and told that all was quiet and Amara was calm. Our Mother Mary never lets us down.
We ministered to another inmate singing and praising God while a prison officer talked to Amara. He was gentle and said to him. “Wouldn’t you like to go peacefully to your death?” Amara listened. Then he quietly called for Jimmy. He said to Jimmy, “I want you all to come and pray with me.”
God touched his heart just five minutes before he was to walk to the gallows. The tenderness of our God seemed to envelope Amara. There was no fear.
He bravely walked out of his cell and as if the Lord was holding him by the hand Amara went to meet Jesus, His Saviour.
In one moment his heart softened and he turned to Jesus. A gentle silence pervaded his soul and he called out to God who tenderly embraced this young man and melted all his fears.
Within minutes Amara was with God. “Death! Where is your victory?” 1 Cor.15:
St. Mary Euphrasia says:
“We will seek out and draw towards God some of the persons so dear to God’s heart.”