The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Second Half.

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In the first half of our lives we spend all our time trying to be successful. It all starts at school, where we are told the most important thing in life is studying hard, passing our exams and hopefully going on to a university education which will ensure we will obtain a well-paid job and a secure future. The trouble is that we are never satisfied and when we land the well paid job, we then want a better one with a higher salary and better prospects. We marry and then find we have a wife and children to support and the small house we thought was ideal at the time suddenly becomes unattractive and so we buy a bigger one with a large garden for the children, which comes with an even larger mortgage and we sink deeper into debt. We need a car of course, which soon becomes outdated and in keeping with our successful position we need a more expensive model or even better we push for promotion and a company car. But whether we are being successful or not in our lives, our success is always measured against the accomplishments of others. Unfortunately, we often end up feeling like the man who once said, “I have spent years climbing to the top of the ladder of success, only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall.”

The moment of truth comes in the second half of our lives, when we look back and realise how totally self-seeking we have been. In the first half we have always been seeking success, but in the second half we should be striving for significance and meaning in our lives, we don’t have the opportunity to start all over again – we only have one life and we must make the best of all our God given talents. Moses gave up all the comforts of life to lead God’s chosen people through the harsh wilderness, Why? because you may indeed be very successful, but only the will of God will make your life seem significant. St Paul was considered a wealthy and successful man, but it was only after his conversion on the road to Damascus, when he started preaching the word of God, that he suddenly became a significant man. Jesus lived his short life completely for others, so we must all try to follow his example, even if we fail miserably.


“To me every hour of light and dark is a miracle... Each hour of light offers the possibility of a miracle, that of seeing something for the first time. Experience this in people, places and things.”



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