The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Mountaineer.

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The story is told of a very brave but foolish mountaineer, who was obsessed with the idea of climbing a notoriously difficult mountain, which although not the highest of mountains it was a severe test of your climbing skills. The achievement would be not only climbing the mountain in a day, but also climbing it alone, as he didn't want to share the glory with anyone else.

Early one morning he set off, hoping to complete the climb in about six hours, but the climb proved more difficult than he had anticipated and after five hours he was only a third of the way up and the going was becoming very difficult. Afraid of being stranded on the mountain in darkness, he decided to abandon the climb and make his way back down the mountain. He was still making his way down the mountain when darkness, accompanied by fog swept up the valley and onto the mountain. On his way down he had reached an overhanging crag, when he slipped and plunged down the mountain towards the ground. Fortunately his long mountaineer’s rope had been secured to the rock face and his descent ended suddenly with a jerk and he found himself suspended in mid-air. No matter how hard he tried, he found he could not swing himself back onto the mountain side and as he could not see anything below him. He started to panic.

Although he had never been a believer in God, He cried out, “Please help me God.” To his surprise a voice answered and asked, “Do you really believe I can help you?” “Yes of course I do,” the man replied. Then the Lord said, “Take out your knife and cut through the rope and you will be saved.”

The next morning the man was found unconscious, his hands still gripping the rope, just ten feet from the ground.

How often do we say that “We are putting our trust in God,” and then fail to do so?

“That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions.”
“The best way to confirm your belief in the value of life, is to experience
the bravery of people who struggle for mere survival.”

Published Fri 30th May 2014 15:12:13

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