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Empathy


“Christ's empathy with sinners rests on His being tempted in every way we are…In the case of men it is impossible that one should know the ill-treatment of the ill-treated who has not had experience, and gone through the actual sensations. Our High Priest endured all things. Therefore He endured first and then ascended, that He might be able to sympathize with us.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Hebrews 4:15, St. John Chrysostom)

“Compassion differs from empathy. The critical element in compassion that differentiates it from empathy is its behavioral component. Empathy is thinking and feeling what others are thinking and feeling. Compassion combines the deep awareness of the sufferings of others with a desire that leads, eventually, to an action to relieve the suffering…Only the God of Love understands the full depth of human anguish and ecstasy. Christ was able to identify with us in our confusion and longing; He was able to enter into our suffering with the utmost empathy and compassion, precisely because His heart was filled with incomprehensible Light.” (Father George Morelli, Jonathan Jackson)

"The alienated experience of life seems to arise from a failure of imagination and from an impoverishment of our capacity to envisage properly the potential richness of our experience. In human relationships such a failure of imagination might be called a lack of empathy.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

“The word “empathy” is often defined as placing ourselves in the shoes of another. Empathy makes us more compassionate toward other people. It is interesting that the etymology of “empathy” comes from two Greek words, “em” and “pathos.” “Em” means “in.” “Pathos” can be translated “feeling.” It can also be translated as “passion,” meaning the things we struggle with, and “suffering.” We call the sufferings of Christ His “Passion,” which comes from the same word. So, the word “empathy” can correctly be translated as “sharing in sufferings.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Empathy is that journey of love where we are secure enough to leave our frame of reference and travel to the others' frame of reference in order to understand them and be present with them, resulting in connection and love.” (George Papageorge, M.A., LMFT)

“Let us consider Christ and how He welcomed all people, all circumstances, and everything that may have been unexpected. He engaged each person; He never turned anyone away regardless of how He was treated…He trusted God in all things… we see Christ’s empathy for the people, how He looked beyond Himself and His own needs. In His mercy He healed the sick among them, and He fed them with the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. So did Christ willingly accept the unexpected? Did He put His wishes aside for the sake of others? Yes, of course He did. This may have seemed easy to do, a nice little story, but His whole life was truly an act of love, of selflessness, and of surrendering His will.” (Presvytera Ourania Chatzis)

“The cutting edge is empathy, the ability to get out of the “self” and understand the feelings of another, and the ability to accept and articulate feelings.” (Albert Rossi & Fr. John Schimchik)

#RevDrEmmanuelClapsis #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #GeorgePapageorgeMALMFT #PresvyteraOuraniaChatzis #AlbertRossi #FrJohnSchimchik #OrthodoxStudyBible #StJohnChrysostom #FatherGeorgeMorelli #JonathanJackson

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