Values and pillars
House of Compassion’s main objective is to make an essential aspect of Christianity (i.e. everyone counts) resonate in the metropolitan reality. This objective translates into the general values of compassion and the fight for justice, beauty and joy. The experience of beauty elevates everyone in their dignity. We use the power of beauty in the fight against the disdain that people on the fringes of society are often confronted with.
Our work is inspired by the basic values of the Gospel:
- equality: every human being counts and has the right to a dignified life
- care for creation – inseparable from caring for the poor
- openness and dialogue: being open-minded so that real encounters become possible
- bringing about solidarity, around us and worldwide
- peace as the deepest wish of and for all people.
and is concretely realised by means of 4 pillars:
A group of volunteers takes care of welcoming visitors during the afternoon. Receptionists show visitors their way to what is on show: the exhibitions, the works of art and explanations of the history of the Beguinage. They know the project and the planned activities and can tell more about them to those who are interested. They also have a listening ear for those who have a concern, let them experience compassion and can refer them to specific organisations that offer help.
Groups can get a guided tour, about the history of the Beguinage and how it is continued in House of Compassion. Please contact us for this.
Celebration and action
The long table in the central space of House of Compassion invites everyone to come together and celebrate life and the values of compassion and the fight for justice. This celebration can take many forms: debates on current themes, testimonies of people in precarious situations but also hopeful initiatives, expert talks, people who call and set in motion, a film screening or an art performance. House of Compassion itself organises 2 types of monthly events on current themes, Saturday vigils (testimonies and interventions, followed by a meal when possible) and Monday lectures (where a speaker elaborates on a theme). In addition, events are held by partner organisations that also inform, inspire and call for compassion and action. Often the activities are complemented by informative exhibitions and we reach out possibilities to get involved and support actions.
Art in all its forms encourages reflection, discovery, connection. It leads people to wake up, to experience, to feel, to reflect on existential as well as social issues. Beyond any linguistic or social barrier, art makes it possible to communicate, to bring together, to collaborate on life visions, cultures and beliefs.
Art and church have millennial ties. The artists of the Middle Ages made the works of mercy visible. Paintings in the church bear witness to this. But how are contemporary artists inspired by the suffering and challenges of the world, by the ‘works of mercy’ of today? House of Compassion wants to be a platform for engaged art, where spectators and artists engage in dialogue and give substance to the utopia of solidarity and the protection of our common home”.
By directly involving people in an art project (so-called community art), we help strengthen self-confidence, pride and thus human dignity. House of Compassion organises exhibitions and also provides a space for performances (dance, music, theatre) that express and represent the themes of compassion and fight for justice.
In a house of compassion, there is also a need for silence:
Justice and compassion are the heart of peace.
To avoid fanaticism, House of Compassion seeks a balance between the two.
To confront the suffering of the world and the personal tragedies that take place before our eyes
in Brussels, one path: that of silence.
Silence is a source of peace, of reconciliation within oneself and around oneself.
Silence is the language of all communities and cultures.
It transcends religions and philosophies.
It brings wisdom to persevere.
Without silence, we are alienated from ourselves, from the world and therefore from God.
And we die.
Silence needs a specific and explicit space.
A space of refuge and meditation.
A space to experience the dark and hopeless hours, to wait for the morning.
A space to retreat and remake, to digest what we saw and lived.
To survive too.
To listen and stay in touch with everything, waiting for new words, new encounters.
House of Compassion is working on a silence space (work in progress).
> You can support the refurbishment