Dear Editor, Having just returned from the youth festival in Medjugorje, which I attended with my 13-year-old daughter, I can honestly say it was a fantastic experience!
Over 60,000 young people from over 80 countries attended a five-day festival and clearly demonstrated how alive the Faith was, and is, in this small village in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina! Seeing all these young people radiating such joy and happiness was truly inspiring and spiritually-uplifting! The international choir sang wonderfully each evening at Mass and individual singers sung in their native language as they stepped forward to the podium. The beautiful, heavenly music resonated throughout the thousands of eagerly attentive, predominantly young, attendees!
The silence was palpable when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and the reverence of so many was deeply touching. True joy was visible and inner peace was felt in this special place where Our Lady is still appearing to a few of the visionaries with her messages of love, peace, prayer, Scripture reading and reconciliation.
To me this village of Medjugorje, 200 metres above sea level, is the closest place to Heaven on Earth. I think I will be returning soon again!
Another perspective on Lifesite News is needed
Dear Editor, As someone who enjoys reading The Irish Catholic and acknowledges the contribution it makes to keeping matters of faith in the public square, I was more than disappointed to read Greg Daly describe Lifesite News as “egregious”.
Mr Daly also went to implicate Lifesite News in displaying “racism” regarding its interpretation of a series of events culminating in the election of Pope Francis.
I logged on to Lifesite immediately after reading Mr Daly’s piece. The main article there highlighted the story of a ‘drag queen’ in the UK who was caught on camera teaching small children at a library story hour how to perform the sexually-suggestive dance move called ‘twerking’.
There were also articles about instances of liturgical abuse and how to ‘porn-proof’ your home to protect your kids.
Admittedly Lifesite has a determinedly traditional stance on a number of matters and it can get things wrong from time to time. No more I would suggest than The Irish Catholic itself or indeed any media platform or medium which promotes a particular view.
So, to describe Lifesite as “egregious”, some of the synonyms of which are shocking, appalling, horrific, horrifying, terrible, awful, dreadful, grievous, gross, ghastly, hideous, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent and outrageous, seems excessive and unwarranted.
Lifesite News remains one of the few forums in which ‘traditionally’ minded Catholics and pro-life people (who are still capable of critical thought) can find news that is of the deepest importance to them.
I suggest Mr Daly adopt a more measured tone in future. By describing Lifesite as “egregious” he, perhaps unwittingly, tars its viewers and readers as supporters of the ‘abominable’. That will not do.
Naas, Co. Kildare.
Our Lord not a man of his time
Dear Editor, Fr Seaver’s letter (IC 08/08/19) in your edition missed a crucial point. He says that Our Lord was bound by the human, positive law, of his day. This is not true and especially not true in the case of laws that disfavoured women (Lk 7:37-50, Mt. 5:31-33). Our Lord is the creator of time, he was by no means a “man of his time”, in the sense that he was bound by the laws of his day.
What is the greatest concern though, in talk of women and Church hierarchy, is the clericalism. The implication that the most perfect way to be a Catholic is by participation in the power structure implicit in ‘hierarchy’.
Liam Ó Foghlú, Limerick.
Better mental health report was no surprise
Dear Editor, I was very happy to read in last week’s edition of your newspaper (08/08/19) that church-goers have better mental health than non-attenders. Often religious people are derided as being deluded or psychologically damaged, but the study at the very least attests to the sound minds that plenty of religious people have.
The findings of the study weren’t much of a surprise to me though; as members of a Church community, there’s a whole wealth of support around you if you’re every feeling lonely or depressed. This is especially the case if you’re elderly, as many of your family may be deceased or live far away. The ability to meet with other people who have the same beliefs as you in a welcoming environment is truly a life-saver.
The other reason why the mental health of church-goers is so strong is because Faith in God gives people hope. Prof. Patricia Casey picked up on this when she said: “This study and ours show that there is something about religious practice over and above social networks. I think it is that church attendance gives hope, meaning and perspective to people. Multiple international studies say the same thing.”
It’s very easy for atheists to reply to studies like these by saying we simply need to find alternative social environments where people feel welcomed and loved. But such places will be empty of any objective meaning – the reason why people gather at church is to celebrate and worship something higher than themselves. They believe that this world isn’t the beginning and the end; that there is much more to life; that there is a just meaning to it all – and these are all grounds for hope. A hopeful people are a happy people.
Portstewart, Co. Derry.