The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Responsibility

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We seem to be living in a society where no one ever accepts responsibility for their actions. Before I retired as a driving instructor some years ago, my pupil stopped at a very busy road junction, so I told her to apply the hand brake while we were waiting, which was just as well, as seconds later a car ploughed into the back of us. The other driver claimed that my pupil had reversed into his car. I replied, pointing out that I must be an exceptional instructor if I had managed to teach my pupil how to reverse at 25mph in such a short space of time. "If you look at the damage to the rear of my vehicle, it is obvious that this is the sort of speed that was involved in the accident" - I heard no more about it!

Wayne was a young man, who from the moment he left school was at odds with the community in which he lived. He was a violent bully, a petty thief and was in and out of court on a regular basis and thought himself to be very "streetwise." His reign of terror continued, until he made the mistake of buying a gun and committing a robbery. At this point his luck ran out and he was caught and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Behind bars he was the same man, hard and unrepentant and so served the full five years of his sentence. Upon his release, he headed home and knocked on his mother's door, which was opened by a frail, bent woman. Whilst he was inside he had refused to write to his mother or reply to any of her letters, so he didn't know that his mother had suffered a serious stroke. Seeing her, Wayne stood for a second or two just staring at her, and then he flung his arms round her neck, burst into tears and said, "I'm sorry mum, this was all my fault, l have done this to you."

The acceptance of responsibility by this young man showed repentance, that neither punishment nor imprisonment had ever succeeded in wringing from him.



Published Fri 22nd Mar 2019 19:55:40
Last Modified on Fri 22nd Mar 2019 19:55:40

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