Likening society’s efforts to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic to a sports team, an Irish bishop has urged those in need of support to ask for help.
“No hurler, footballer or rugby player wins if they stop trying. There’s a huge victory for us ahead but it will take sacrifice and team teamwork,” said the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy.
“We all are THE team. If we don’t truly commit throughout the ‘season’, we will lose. And we’re not here talking about a sports title, we are talking life and death.”
Bishop Leahy admitted it is “inevitable” that strains and restlessness will build up during lockdown.
“We see signs of the strain – people risking what they see as small com- promises, home-drinking rising, tensions over whether and how the restrictions might be eased. Worse still, word of a growth in domestic violence,” he said.
But everyone must make sacrifices in an effort for the common good of society, he said, while stressing that help was available to all.
“Now is a time to remember the common good. None of us lives for ourselves only. Each of us has an impact on each other. We are created to be united and to be a gift for each other. What this means is that every gesture, every action, every omission impacts on the common good. When we keep this in mind, we realise we’ve got to keep making sacrifices in this pandemic,” he said.
“It’s about the common good and it is not just about society as a whole. It is also about what is good for us personally,” Bishop Leahy continued. “Heroic sacrifices should not be masochistic neglect of what’s going on inside us.
“For the sake of the common good, as well as being ready to do our part for society, we need to seek help if we are in a situation where we feel we are floundering. Or, worse still, under attack.”
The bishop warned that drinking excessively is a sign that pressures may be getting the better of an individual. “It may be that it is a persistent problem and now is the time to tackle it; to chat to someone about it. There is help available for those with those challenges,” he said.
“Resorting to over indulgence in drink or giving in to addictions damages both yourself and society. In particular, it has a dreadful toll on children. It is not easy to break the stranglehold that the addiction has on you but you must dig deeper than ever. And seek help.
“It doesn’t serve the common good not to. Nor does allowing one to be subjected to domestic abuse, verbal and, most definitely, physical,” he added.
Picture: The Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy. (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference).