the Spirited Book Club discusses Joyce Rupp’s award-winning book, ‘Boundless Compassion: Creating a way of life’
Transform Yourself and the World Around You
Boundless Compassion. Broken, wounded, violent, damaged, divisive—these are some descriptions given to the current global situation. Our world desperately needs the noble, essential quality of compassion to be activated—and will not heal without it. Depending on how we respond, we can increase or decrease the amount of anguish in the world. Only with compassion at the core of humanity’s lived experience will we be able to approach one another with true respect and dwell in peacefulness.
“Living compassionately is rarely convenient and often downright challenging,” writes Joyce Rupp, bestselling and award-winning author and retreat leader. The definitive Christian guide to compassion, Boundless Compassion (Sorin Books at Ave Maria Press) is the culmination of Rupp’s research and work as codirector of the Servite Center of Compassionate Presence. Through this six-week personal transformation process for developing and deepening compassion, Rupp nudges, encourages, and inspires you to grow in the kind of love that motivated Jesus’ life and mission for his disciples.
With master teacher Joyce Rupp, you will learn to develop compassion as never before. You will discover compassion from science, medicine, theology, spirituality, sociology, and psychology. You will be encouraged to explore personal and professional expressions of compassion, and to re-energize your ability to offer loving kindness to those around you.
Rupp has felt the call to walk with others in their suffering since she was a young member of the Servants of Mary, whose charism is compassion. She eventually cofounded the Boundless Compassion program with Sr. Margaret Stratman, O.S.M.
Based on the format and theme of Rupp’s bestselling books like Open the Door and her popular workshops conducted by the Center of Compassionate Presence, Boundless Compassion has the power to transform your life, giving you wisdom, confidence, understanding, and inspiration to be a more caring presence. It will help you build on relational skills, learn self-care, gain wisdom for incorporating loss and suffering into your active life, and find ways to show compassion at work.
By the book’s end, you will feel prepared to live with a renewed commitment to a compassionate presence for yourself and those who are in the midst of pain, struggle, and transition.
Book Awards for Boundless Compassion
Named one of the Top 50 Spirituality Books of 2018 by Spirituality & Practice. Winner of a 2019 Catholic Press Association Award: Spirituality/Soft Cover Books (First Place) and a 2019 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Spirituality Books (Second Place).
Grow in the Kind of Love that Motivated Jesus’ Life
This book is not about easy answers; nor does it suggest that we can ‘fix’ the world’s suffering or eliminate it entirely from those closest to us. Rather, Boundless Compassion extends an invitation to grow in the kind of love that motivated Jesus to be a compassionate presence.
For those wishing to use this book in a more in-depth and integrated way, there are guides for Individual Study, Group Study, and Circles of Compassion (ideal for use after a retreat).
A question for reflection follows each day’s content. These questions will allow you to spend time with the themes of the book and further your personal transformation.
A brief prayer follows each reflection. Forty additional prayers, blessings, and meditations can be found in the companion book, Prayers for Boundless Compassion.
A scripture verse ends each day and to serve as a reminder to animate a particular aspect of compassion throughout the day.
Discover compassion from:
Reviews for Boundless Compassion
“The Gospels are insistent: be compassionate. But they do not tell us how to get there. We need Joyce Rupp for that. She gives us a program and a process on how to develop a compassionate consciousness and find the behaviors that embody it. My guess is that if you engage these reflections and exercises, a new courage will rise in you and the path of compassion will open before you.” —John Shea, Author of Seeing Haloes
“Beautifully written, Joyce Rupp’s moving and powerful work speaks of compassion as ‘full immersion in the condition of being human.’ Then she shows the way. Her exploration of how the heart might open to ourselves, to one another, to all living beings, and to the earth becomes a master class in love.” —Paula D’Arcy, Author of Winter of the Heart
“Joyce Rupp shares her experience of the incremental deepening of compassion amid an encouraging and inspiring assembly of scholars and sages of various traditions. As I read, I felt my heart relax into sweetness.” —Sylvia Boorstein, Author of It’s Easier Than You Think
“Joyce Rupp’s Boundless Compassion is a subversive book promoting a subversive practice. Compassion shatters the twin idols of nihilism and narcissism in which we take refuge from both the awesome and the awful that is our everyday reality. This book shows you how to live lovingly with both without making a god of either.” —Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent and The World Wisdom Bible
“Transformative. Joyce Rupp presents us with a practical, no-nonsense invitation and challenge to change ourselves and our world by becoming, and living out, compassion. This book will both inspire us and deepen us into God.” —Edwina Gateley, Poet, author, and speaker
CLUB DISCUSSION dates
BOOK CLUB meets Thursdays, September 7 & 21 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm AZ (PDT)
- For September 7: A discussion on the concept of compassion, the process of learning compassion, how compassion enhances mindful meditation and more.
- For September 21: Focus on Chapter 5, A Thousand Unbreakable Links. We’ll read segments aloud, reflect on the question, and enjoy a group mindfulness practice, a mini Circle of Compassion around Climate.
Boundless Compassion Retreat in October
In October 2023, Spirit in the Desert offers a 4-day Boundless Compassion Program & Retreat with facilitator Tammy Devine. Learn about this Desert Sojourn Signature Retreat.
About the author
Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer and spiritual midwife. She serves as a consultant for the Boundless Compassion program. Rupp is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Praying Our Goodbyes, Open the Door, Return to the Root, and Jesus, Friend of My Soul. Her 2018 book, Boundless Compassion, won awards from the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Catholic Media Association. Her books Fly While You Still Have Wings and Anchors for the Soul also have earned CMA awards. She is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community. Read more.