The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Doing God’s Will.

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Sometimes, we read or hear of a really outstanding and selfless person who stands out from the rest.

Such a person was Gladys Aylward who described herself as a simple woman who did what she did, because she firmly believed that was God called her to do.

In 1920 she left her home and sailed to China, where she opened a home for orphaned children, who had been left starve or wander the streets until the government placed them in some wretched accommodation out of everyone’s sight. When during the Second World War, the Japanese invaded China, Gladys was forced to flee to safety taking her children with her. She finished up on the island of Formosa with over one hundred children in her care and faced extreme difficulty and danger whilst caring for them. She devoted her life to loving and becoming a mother to all those needy children.

Little was heard of her outstanding work in the West until years later when this unassuming woman was made world famous by an epic Hollywood film which starred Ingrid Bergman as Gladys Awlward and was called “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.” Since the release of the film she had several well deserved honours bestowed on her for her devoted and unselfish work with children. When interviewed, Gladys very modestly explained her amazing work like this: “I did not choose to do this work; I was led into it by God and If I’m honest, I’m not really any more interested in children than I am of my love of other people, but God gave me to understand what he wanted me to do – so I did it.”

Jesus told us, “As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you.” The mission Jesus had whilst on earth, is now our mission. Just like Gladys Awlward the best use of our lives, is to spend our time trying to build something good that will outlast us. Remember, that only the Kingdom of Heaven is going to last forever, everything else will eventually perish.

“If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy
the needs of the oppressed... the Lord will guide you always.”
Isaiah 58:10


Last Modified on Sun 6th Mar 2016 09:01:08

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