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Bishop Leahy to Legion of Mary pilgrims: Teach young people to say “no”.

By Cian Molloy - 30 September, 2019

Bishop Brendan Leahy

Learning to say “no” to life’s temptations is part of growing up, said Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick in his homily at the Legion of Mary Mass in Knock yesterday.

Bishop Leahy said society should be creating a culture where it is OK to say “no” for the good of our young people and for the good of our environment.

“‘No’ to drugs. ‘No’ to sexual openness. ‘No’ to excess alcohol. ‘No’ to excess. ‘No’ to abandon and social freedom. And ‘No’ to those who bully, online or offline.

“‘No’ to just, without thinking, going along with whatever others are saying is the right way of thinking. If we do that, we will help reduce the anxiety factor for young people.

“Saying ‘No’ at the right time is empowering. It strengthens resolve, builds character, defies wrong. But today, it seems so hard for young people to say ‘No’ – and we must help build that resolve.”

The bishop said that life was tough for many young people today, with some enveloped by crisis.

“We have people of all ages and social classes suffering from addictions of all sorts, so many young people with anxiety issues,” he said.

“It’s not as if we can’t notice them. They are there. We see them in our streets. We see and hear about them in media outlets. We come across them in our workplace, schools and social clubs.

“But we can somehow become indifferent, letting the scraps that fall from the tables of our prosperity do for them. We forget to meet them, see them, hear them, act for them.

“We hear all about statistics: homelessness, anxiety, suicide, self-harm. Yet our efforts at dealing with them are falling so short that they are exacerbating the crisis week by week, month by month, year by year.

“It’s not a crisis of economy, that we don’t have the capacity to deal with it. It’s a crisis of humanity. It’s a crisis of priority. Our priorities, from a purely human perspective, moral perspective, social perspective, are too easily blind towards the crisis that exists in far too many places in our society,” Bishop Leahy said.

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