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Fr Jim Cogley

It was the middle of winter and bitterly cold. The Second World War was just beginning in Europe when a Jewish community got word that they were about to be subjected to a pogrom. To protect the children, all of them were moved to a safe house. The first night a boy in the group was so cold and frightened that he couldn’t sleep. The man who was minding them noticed the boy still awake and he took off his own coat and placed it on the boy. The lad survived the war and as an old man he often told the story of what had happened on that bitter night. ‘You know’ he would say, ‘its been over sixty years since that man spread his coat over me, but it still keeps me warm!’ The value of an act of kindness can

never be calculated, and may last a lifetime, especially when the recipient felt vulnerable and in need. Someone once said that, ‘we should always strive to be kinder than we think we need to be, because everyone is wounded enough to need kindness.’ Especially in times of doubt, if we do what appears to be most kind thing, we can always live with ourselves later.


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