The Catholic Bishop of Limerick hopes Christmas will be an antidote to the “permacrisis” engulfing people today.
In his Advent message, read at Sunday services in congregations across the city and county of Limerick, Bishop Brendan Leahy noted that the Collins Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” for 2022 is “permacrisis.” It refers to the news of constant and numerous crises.
“So many times this year have we heard about the refugee crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the cost of living crisis, the climate crisis, the Covid-19 crisis, the economic crisis, the energy crisis, the A&E crisis, the schools child abuse crisis.
“It’s like we’re reeling from one crisis to the next, with the result that some may feel ‘disturbed and confused.'”
“Thank God for Advent and Christmas. Such is the power of these seasons that most of us can, at least for a while, take a break from “living in crisis” and enjoy the time in the comfort and joy of loved ones and family.”
He said these seasons remind people to lift up their hearts and lift up the hearts of others. “The antidote to confusion is to focus on hope.”
dr Leahy suggested that amid the “permacrisis,” people can keep hope alive by remembering the good things that happen, by paying attention to small details where they can show their love to others, like by being at a neighbor, friend, relationship they may have lost touch with due to Covid-19.
“I’m thinking mostly of those living alone, old people, sick people, people who may have lost a loved one over the course of the year.
“Sometimes just letting her know you’re there, that you’re thinking of her, can do something to ignite that candle of hope.”
A visit, phone call or small gesture could reconnect, he said.
“And we all have to consider that now that hopefully the worst of Covid-19 is over. It’s time to reconnect. It will bring hope.”
He also urged people not to forget the lessons of the pandemic amid the Christmas frenzy.
“I think a lot of us are rushing around again. But let’s not forget what we’ve realized during the Covid-19 lockdown – we’ve had time to slow down, pay attention to relationships, and take time for reflection and prayer. Covid-19 may pass, but let’s hold on to the value of prayer, reflection and meditation.”
He warned people not to let “empty chatter, chat shows, or sensationalist broadcasts” suffocate their souls and urged them to “count the blessings,” and he appealed to those who have lost regular contact with the Church to take care of themselves to reconnect this Christmas.
He paid tribute to those who have remained faithful as the diocese prepares for change “in the face of reduced clergy numbers” and acknowledged the difficulties of being Catholic today.
“It’s not always easy to be Catholic these days. It needs a little more backbone than in the recent past.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/its-not-always-easy-to-be-catholic-these-days-it-takes-a-little-more-backbone-than-in-recent-times-gone-by-says-bishop-brendan-leahy-42228298.html “It’s not always easy to be Catholic these days. It needs a little more backbone than it has in the recent past,” says Bishop Brendan Leahy