In this provocative essay on that least understood virtue, compassion, the authors challenge themselves and us with these questions: Where do we place compassion in our lives? Is it enough to live a life in which we hurt one another as little as possible? Is our guiding ideal a life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain? Compassion answers no. After years of study and discussion among themselves, with other religious, and with men and women at the very center of national politics, the authors look at compassion with a vigorous new perspective. They place compassion at the heart ofa Christian life in a world governed far too long by principles of power and destructive control. Compassion, no longer merely an eraser of human mistakes, is a force of prayer and action -- the expression of God's love for us and our love for God and one another. Compassion isa book that says no to a compassion of guilt and failure and yes to a compassionate love that pervades our spirit and moves us to action. Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill, and Douglas Morrison have written a moving document on what it means to be a Christian in a difficult time.