The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Is There A Better Way?

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Not long ago, when I was a lad technology was something to be looked for in the future. Very few people had house phones and in an emergency you had to go looking for a phone box that worked. Now virtually everyone has a mobile phone and most people have computers and are able to access the world wide web for a vast amount of information. So we must never stop asking ourselves, "Is there a better way of doing things." You can't expect progress in our modern world, if we always fight the changes that take place in it.

In 1829, Martin Van Buren, the Governor of New York, wrote to President Andrew Jackson cautioning him about the future, he wrote, "President Jackson, the canal system in this country is being threatened by the spread of railroads. We must preserve our canals at all costs for the following reasons."

If canal boats are supplanted by railroads, serious unemployment will result. Captains, cooks, repairmen and lock keepers will all be left without jobs, not to mention the farmers now employed in growing hay for the horses.

Boat builders would suffer, whip and harness makers would be left destitute. Canal boats are absolutely essential to the defence of the United States. In the event of the expected trouble with England, the Erie Canal would be the only means by which we could move supplies, to wage a modern war. As you may well know, Mr President, railway carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15mph by engines belching smoke, endangering life and limb, setting fire to crops, scaring livestock and frightening women and children. Surely Mr President, the Almighty never intended that people should ever travel at such a breakneck speed.

Poor Martin, what would he think if he knew that today we travel at 500mph, in aircraft flying at 33,000 feet, whilst sipping coffee and watching films. God is the author of all true progress, but we must never stop asking ourselves, "Is there a better way of doing things."

"The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing."

Published Sat 11th May 2019 00:37:34
Last Modified on Sat 11th May 2019 00:37:34

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