22 May 2022

Easter message: Bishop of Limerick asks young people to turn away from negativity of social media

Limerick Bishop asks young people to turn away from negativity of social media

Bishop Brendan Leahy has written an open letter to young people this Easter

LIMERICK’S Bishop is asking young people to say no to negativity this Easter, and to turn away from the toxicity of social media platforms.

In an open letter, Bishop Brendan Leahy said that a “storm has descended on young people.”

He stressed the importance of having the courage to say no to bullying, including online bullying. “It’s also a very courageous move to say no to ‘online’ in its entirety, to social media,” he said.

He referenced a friend of his, who he says doesn’t walk away from anything that’s negative in his life, he sprints.

“So, by that token, if social media is bringing negativity to your life, leave it behind you. If people are true friends, they will have your phone number,” he added.

He described social media as a “double edge sword” that can cut deep.

“If we hear something on radio that we dislike, we switch channel or turn it off. Do the same with social media if it’s causing you problems.”

He stated that young people’s social anxiety has increased further as they face pressures to do with the cost of living and accommodation difficulties.

Then there’s the desperate spectre of the war in Ukraine with refugees arriving in great numbers in Ireland casting a gloomy shadow over us all, he added

"We imagine the plight and trauma of families, mothers and children. Young adults realise young people of their age, men and women, have been called to war.

“We all feel threatened by how war can so easily escalate in a way we’d have never foreseen possible in Europe.”

Bishop Leahy, however, urged young people to look no further than US Masters champion Scottie Scheffler in how he overcame the weight of the pressure he felt on Sunday morning.

“He spoke about being almost overwhelmed the morning of the final round, breaking down in tears, talking about not being ready ‘for this’.

“Like so many of us he turned to an ally for support, his wife Meredith, who asked, ‘who are you to say you are not ready’.

“They then talked about God’s will. ‘God is in control and the Lord is leading me. And if today is my time, then it’s my time’, he said.”

Peace and calm can come in troubled waters if you put your faith in those closest to you and in God, Bishop Leahy concluded.

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