A prophet? Yes, I tell you more than a prophet. Truly I tell you, among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and again and often forever.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or, if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.
...For compassion means to build a bridge to others without knowing whether they want to be reached. Your brother or sister might be so embittered that he or she doesn't expect anything from you. Then your compassion stirs up emnity, and it is difficult not to become sour yourself and say, "You see what I told you, it doesn't work anyhow."
And yet, compassion is possible when it is rooted in prayer. For in prayer, you do not depend upon your own strength or on the good will of another, but only upon your trust in God. That is why prayer makes you free to live a compassionate life even when it does not evoke a grateful response or bring immediate reward.