The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Art of Giving.

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We are told that there is an “Art in living,” but is there also an “Art in giving”? Giving should be an expression of sharing with others, but when we give, it should be done silently and lovingly. The following little story tells a good example of graceful giving.

In the 1930’s there was a man called John Murray, who was a famous escapologist and illusionist at the time, who made a name for himself on the music halls and theatres of the day. Murray first came to this country from Australia in 1926 and as a young man he felt that the world was his oyster and over the next few years he was highly successful and always in great demand by theatre managers. But then his luck changed and things started to turn sour, bookings dried up and soon his name disappeared from posters outside theatres, his finances faded and he was left almost bankrupt.

One day whilst walking along Regent Street in London, he met an old Australian friend, a fellow illusionist called Louise Gautier. Upon hearing that his friend was in financial trouble and knowing that he would refuse any offers of money, he said, “Let’s go and have a drink.” Once they were seated with their drinks, he took out a five pound note, blew on it and suddenly there were two notes. “Bless my soul,” said Louise, “I only had one of these when I came in, so the other must be yours.” With a smile he gave the note to his friend, ordered another round of drinks and ordered some food and they spent a long time in friendly chat. This chance meeting proved to be the turning point in Murray’s career and with the help of his friend Gautier he again found work and went on to be one of the all-time greats of his profession.

“Give to the poor and you will indeed have treasure in heaven.”


Last Modified on Sat 18th Feb 2017 01:34:10

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