The Greatest Human Attribute

Just three weeks since the operation. Now I can walk without pain, can manage the stairs
comfortably but slowly and look forward to seeing the surgeon for a reassuring report. I am grateful for all that has happened for me, at the hospital and at home in the parish where Sister Mary and Alison have been my wonderful guardian angels. Around them I see and hear you, the people of the parish, ready to help in any way asked. It has been a blessed time.

Every day I have shared with God the sadness and suffering of our world in the news and in prayer – South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Yemen, South Asia, Kenya – the cruel suffering, the blind hatreds and prejudices. How good are those who are willing to serve and help in such stricken regions.

From the prayer for our world I move to prayer for the homes of the parish on my little prayer walks. I have enjoyed remembering pleasant conversations with you, happy visits, praying for you. I am sorry for not being able to leave messages where I had an old number or if you do not have an answerphone.

I rarely watch TV beyond the news and programmes I have been advised to watch and have watched very little in my time of recuperating. But I did see a programme about Gordon Ramsey and his helping turn a restaurant from failure to success. He was brilliant, heart-warming. He pointed out all the faults but positively, encouraged them to believe in themselves and to be not afraid to start again. To find almost everything wrong and yet encourage them to make everything right was the mark of a gifted understanding teacher. At the end of a very sympathetic programme I felt a great admiration for him: kind, encouraging, understanding. I enjoyed seeing him in action.

How grateful I am for all the kindness and encouragement given me during my lifetime, and I remember someone suggesting that kindness was the greatest human attribute. God bless us to be kind to one another,

Fr John
(20th August 2017)

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