Sunday 3 May 2020: Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that the Coronavirus is fast becoming a great personal reflection for people on how we want to live our lives.
In his weekly address after midday Sunday Mass at St. John’s Cathedral, which is streamed live, Bishop Leahy said that as we tip-toe forward on the Coronavirus journey, we are getting plenty of time to reflect and plenty of lessons about how to live.
“Perhaps one of the lessons we’ve learned through the Coronavirus is that time is something to be valued. We so often complain that time has disappeared in our modern world when everything has got so frantic and frenetic.
“Suddenly, with the virus, it was as if someone dramatically slammed on the brakes. And yet, in these past weeks many have said they discovered the beauty of more time with their family, time for personal reflection and thinking about things, and time to send a greeting to others, time to be creative, time for exercise, time for learning how to work better with social media. And from all this, time to think about how we really should live our lives.
“We’ve also learned how time is something we can’t control. Time is a gift. Sadly, for some hit by the virus, their time on earth came to an end. So, it is time to remember and pray for them. But it is good for us all to value time. It offers the chance to hope, to love, to begin again.”
However, in acknowledging the difficulties, how we deal with the Coronavirus stop watch is critical for all of us. And he invoked a great career moment from legendary Irish athlete Sonia O’Sullivan as an example as to how we need to deal with what’s immediately ahead and not any perceived long-hauls.
“Just like a line is made up of many dots, so the time allotted to each of us is made up of many moments to be lived, one by one, one day at a time. What I want to suggest is that instead of focussing on how am I going to get through the next two weeks or months, or face the personal or family challenges ahead, let’s try to keep our eye on doing well what we can in each moment, day by day.
“I recall a story of the great athlete Sonia O’Sullivan, who after running and winning her first 10,000m, in a European final, was asked how did she do it. Her response was of the order that she ran four 2,500 metres. Broke it down into chunks, concentrated on the 2,500m ahead, did her best for each one of the four of them and it all added up into something glorious.
“It was her debut 10,000; never there before, just like we are now, but she did not dwell on the longer haul, just what was in front of her. So, perhaps it’s time to look at just what is in front of us.”
Recommending trying to achieve calm in our days, Bishop Leahy urged, in this United World Week, that people adopt a proposal that midday is set aside as a time for peace, that is, a time to stop, pause and pray for peace.