A WELL-known Co Donegal priest has called on ‘bullies’ responsible for violent Christmas domestic violence attacks to stop.
In a wide-ranging sermon at St Eunan’s Cathedral, Fr Eamonn McLaughlin said the message of Christmas was often forgotten in the run up to December 25.
He said many people were more interested in “loading up on booze” at this time of year.
He said he was all in favour of celebrating at this time of the year but is should be done in moderation.
Fr McLaughlin also told parishioners at noon Mass in Letterkenny that Christmas was often wrecked for many families by domestic violence.
“Let us enjoy Christmas, and not destroy it. We can do that to ourselves or to others. We can see the glass of life half full or half empty. Incidentally, gratitude is always in the glass half full,” he said.
“Christmas can be a time of great tension in families, caused by past hurts, open wounds, and the absence of forgiveness. We can destroy Christmas on others in so many ways. Let us not do that. Please. Why destroy what we can enjoy?
“The great destroyer of family peace however, is the abuse of alcohol, on the one hand, as if it couldn’t be Christmas without stocking up on booze. Drug abuse, on the other hand, is an every growing source of destruction in our communities and in our homes. Don’t allow these drugs to destroy your life or the life of your family members. You were created for happiness not despair. You are looking for happiness but you will never find it in drugs. Christ is the answer.”
Fr McLaughlin went on: “Many also live in fear of domestic violence at this time. The street angel seems to see Christmas as a licence to be an ever greater house devil.
“To the victims of such abuse I say, please don’t suffer in silence. Do not empower the abuser by saying nothing or by making excuses for them. To those who are aware of such abuse, don’t enable the abuser. Be a hero with and for the victim.
“To the house bully, stop it, grow up and seek help. Don’t be a coward. Be brave, deal with your serious issues and beg forgiveness. No one should destroy Christmas for another. Together we can all enjoy Christmas.”
The St Eunan’s curate said Christmas can also be a time where we risk being selfish and ungrateful.
“This form of in-reach is unhealthy and destructive. Instead, let Christmas be a time to reach out and spread the fragrance of God’s love to others. I invite you to take time to perhaps visit a grave, say a prayer for a departed loved one, to make contact with a family member away from home, with someone recently bereaved or with someone lonely; to pay a visit or play a request for someone in care,” he said.
“Is there somebody you could share your Christmas table with? As God reaches out to us, and invites us to reach out to Him, may we in turn reach out to one another this Christmas, for as Christ tells us: what you do to one another, you do it to me.”Tags: