Dear Editor, The local and global responses to the coronavirus are interesting, in that, here we have an invisible but real threat seen by its effects. Large efforts and vast resources are being deployed to counter this.
I believe Christians and the Church particularly can learn a great deal from this fervour and realisation of danger in our midst. For, we too, face an invisible enemy whose effects are more far reaching than a flu virus. Can anything other than the full message and application of the authority Jesus extended to it, counter and protect humanity from such an enemy?
At a time in history when humanity is being assaulted simultaneously on multiple front lines, there seems to be a muted or bewildered response.
Whereas every diocese is required to have its own exorcist for example, those in need of one might have to travel half way around Europe to find one nowadays, we are no longer equipped for the times.
But it goes beyond this. Wishy-washy preaching turns the good news into the good advice, the demands of holiness and a fierce devotion to a baseline of mediocrity and complacency.
There is a need to look back and see that what worked for the saints in the centuries gone by, it was not sophisticated reasoning but simply telling the truth about God, about our need for him and the salvation he offers, how desperately he is reaching out to us in love to ransom us and shield us from the clutches of the evil that surrounds us. We must take it seriously.
The legions of the enemy camp take their work very seriously, have undivided hearts as they assault the world. Our response cannot be to offer a peace treaty of tolerance and fear but on the contrary to see it for what it is and push back with the full force of the truths of the Gospel, for the healing of souls and the liberation of those who fall into the power of the Devil.
Keep the churches open for prayer
Dear Editor, At times like these when we are facing a worldwide pandemic that will take the lives of so many, its imperative churches are kept open [IC 19/03/2020]. My church is my place of solace, where I feel God’s presence more than anywhere else.
There are risks when it comes to celebrating Mass, and I have reluctantly come around to the necessity of this after I spoke to a few of my friends. As long as there isn’t too many people congregating for private prayer, I couldn’t see why they would need to be closed. We need prayer now, we must pray particularly for those who have contracted the coronavirus, those in mortal fear of it and those who are fighting it. There is no better place, in my opinion, to do this than in a church.
Carrigaline, Co. Cork.
Young people must become Church leaders
Dear Editor, The article on Knock’s new youth leadership programme was wonderful to see [IC 12/03/2020]. Right now, we need to give young people the supports and knowledge not only to lead other young people in their Faith and take part in parish life, but also to defend the faith and grow more confident in what they believe.
I definitely have a few people in mind to whom I will be recommending this programme.
Tallaght, Co. Dublin.
Fresh air in dearth of alternate voices
Dear Editor, I found Michael Kelly’s interview with Jonathan Sacks [IC 12/03/2020] stimulating and interesting.
There is a dearth of ‘alternative voices’ now in a media which is unwilling to question or criticise modern practices. More of the same please!
Rathkeale, Co. Limerick.
Real virtue has become much harder to find
Dear Editor, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Rabbi Sacks in one of your recent editions ]IC 12/03/2020], it was wide-ranging and covered a myriad of interesting topics and Mr Sack’s proves himself to be excellently well-read, thoughtful and a man of great virtue. Although the word virtue is bandied about these days, often used critically in phrases like ‘virtue signalling’ which many of our politicians are certainly guilty of, it is very hard to find in the world today.
One of his messages that stuck with me over the past week was when he said this in the interview: “Do a search and replace operation in your mind, and every time you see the word self, delete it and write other. So instead of self-esteem, other-esteem. Instead of self-respect, other-respect. Just do that, and you’ll find that you will be much happier, your relationships will improve, and you will feel that your life is meaningful in a way that it wasn’t before.”
If people could take this message to heart and break away from the rampant individualism in modern society, the world would be a much better place. There is far too much selfishness in Irish society, we see this trait reflected in the panic buying happening because of the coronavirus. There are people out there that already live virtuous lives, and we see that in the actions of our health service and frontline workers helping Ireland through this crisis. I just hope the virtuous outnumber the selfish.
Longford Town, Co. Longford,
NI abortion overlooked due to virus
Dear Editor, In all the coronavirus panic it seems one of the most brutal abortion regimes that is soon to be brought into Northern Ireland is being overlooked. The new abortion framework is set to be enforced in Northern Ireland at the end of this month and in all the confusion and fear regarding this deadly virus people have forgotten about the lives of the unborn.
Those who value life should be trying to make their voices heard over this crisis. Many more children will die in the North than those who lose their lives due to the coronavirus on this island. Perspective is needed in these matters.
Belfast, Co. Antrim.