Life On The Outside
Stephen Williams
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“Not unheeded I cry to the Lord in the hour of my distress.” (Ps. 119, 1.) The words are taken from the Gradual of the Mass for the 2nd. Sunday after Pentecost You may ask yourselves why I quote these words and why an Old Salvatorian concerns himself with the “Salvatorian” magazine.

The answer is relatively simple. I have left school, stating the obvious isn't it? But I know that leaving school is one of the biggest steps in a young man's life and has many pitfalls. The biggest of these is without doubt ‘a neglect of one’s religion.’ At school we are taught to attend Mass and go to the Sacraments regularly but who is to remind us of our duties if we perhaps take a job away from home? It is up to us, with our very sound principles which have been instilled into us during our school life. We must never lose sight of God. It is very easy for us to become lax in cur morality which, in its turn, takes its toll on our souls.

Since I left the 6th Form Arts at the College I have had numerous experiences which left me completely and utterly bewildered and I found myself saying, “What kind of people inhabit this world in which we live. People always seem to be trying to get something out of life, giving nothing in return.” It takes all sorts to make a world, as well we know. But why are people like this? The only reason I can give is that they lack the true moral background which we as practicing Christians have. I fell into this way of “I'm all right, Jack.” Then I was struck with the thought that I had neglected to go to Confession and Communion for some time. Therefore I was left with the thought that the only person who could help me over this period of spiritual and moral Stagnation was the one person to whom I should have turned in the first instance namely, God.

It is a known fact that R.C.s working with people of different denominations are open to every kind of criticism and religion is bound to come into the conversation during the lunch hour or in office hours. If a discussion like this should arise do not leave their company, but try and help them understand your beliefs. You must not ‘back down’ otherwise you will feel that you have forsaken your God, as did St. Peter during Christ's trial.

Your religion will be, for the fist six months in ‘civvy street’, virile, merely because of habit. But it starts to wane like the moon until you are left with a mere quarter. De not let it reach this danger level.

Many temptations come our way as young men. We are no longer children and we must fight our problems as they come and we must not weaken. If we show the slightest failing during these temptations we will fall easily into sin.

“Si Deus nibiscum quis contra nos” if you use this quotation and rely on its wealth of meaning during your first few years in this wide world of ours, you will not go far wrong. Keep in mind always that your religion is the biggest asset you have.

Kindly do not think that I am preaching to you and laugh it off. I am speaking from experiences, something I learned the hard way, which I would not like you to come into contact with. For those of you who are leaving, this summer good luck in all you do.

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