Dear Editor, Thank you so much to all at The Irish Catholic for your wonderful photos [IC 2/07/2020] of people returning to Mass. Although I was a bit nervous myself, I could not be separated from the Sacrament any longer, donning my facemask I left the house for Mass for the first time in so many months.
It was a wonderful experience and so very emotional. I realised the humungous extent I had been missing my local church and the Blessed Sacrament – I was almost in tears to be honest.
Seeing so many people doing the same I was overcome with a sense of solidarity and happiness, if even half of those attending Mass for the first time experienced what I did there must certainly be a widespread acknowledgement of the importance of Mass in our lives and how devastating it is when it is taken away.
Perhaps the people of Ireland will have a greater appreciation for the freedom we have in practicing our religion, in availing of the Sacraments that offer so much joy and freedom in themselves. There are so many countries around the world where Christians are forced to practice their Faith in private and are denied the basic liberties that we take so readily for granted.
If there is anything to be learned from this time of lockdown, which has been so hard on so many people, it is that we must cherish the Sacraments and the ability to practice our Faith publicly and never take it for granted.
Looking at familiar with new eyes
Dear Editor, It may be the uncertainty principle highlighted by the pandemic, but people are looking at the familiar with new eyes.
A devout friend of mine decided recently to personalise the Rosary. She imagined meeting Our Lady on the street: “Oh Mary you are so full of grace it’s obvious that God is with you, most blessed of women, and your beloved Son who is our Saviour!” Then with horror she realised that it was her sins that had caused their suffering, and she wept.
Now her prayer request in the Rosary is the gift of loving Jesus more, and who should be able to give this but his Mother? And what other prayer takes in all other prayers?
Newtownards, Co. Down.
Hypocrisy of ‘open-minded’ people on exclusion zones
Dear Editor, The idea that this Government aim to enforce exclusion zones outside places that conduct abortions is ridiculous considering it is clearly against Irish people’s fundamental right to assemble and protest set out in the constitution.
Maria Steen clearly highlights this in an article in late June [IC 25/06/2020].
The idea that those holding vigils outside hospitals are being violent in anyway is ludicrous and is nothing but a public relations exercise conducted by pro-choice groups and supported by Government officials.
We live in a democracy and free speech is enshrined in our constitution, once certain people start choosing what constitutes free speech willy-nilly as well as who has the right to protest or gather in groups, how can we call ourselves a democracy?
I fear Ireland is going down a dangerous road, where increasingly people who dub themselves ‘liberal’ and open-minded are actually becoming some of the most authoritarian and inflexible people.
It seems they don’t even understand their hypocrisy, which is sad because I truly believe the majority of people who think there should be exclusion zones have the best interests of women at heart. Unfortunately, there are too many people that are not open to any thoughtful debate on the subject, blinded by their own ideology.
Thanks for ‘uplifting’ edition
Dear Editor, Thank you for a very uplifting edition of The Irish Catholic [07/02/2020], which was especially appropriate at a time when we are celebrating the fact that most of our churches have reopened.
This past week I had the privilege of being able to return to daily Mass and Eucharist and on each day like others I was welcomed by a smile and a joyful greeting of one of several ushers each dressed in suitable attire.
My fervent prayer is that when Covid-19 has long passed we will continue to have these same cheerful volunteer greeters especially at Sunday Mass. The Ministry of Greeter must become a familiar and vital ministry in all our parishes. This would so well chime with the fervent call of bishop-elect Hayes for greater lay ministry in our parishes.
Killarney, Co Kerry.