Friday, February 5, 2016

Day of Prayer for Temperance

Sunday 7 February 2016 is a Day of Prayer for Temperance, a day which offers us an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with alcohol and a day on which we can take time to pray for those who suffer from addiction.

Writing about temperance in the current issue of Intercom magazine Bishop Éamonn Walsh, Vice-chair of the Irish Bishops’ Drugs Initiative said:
We live in a world where many people wish to march to the beat of their own drum. Where freedom and tolerance means, ‘let me do what I want and you can do what you want, as long as it does not interfere with my freedom’. When a society takes down the protective banks so that everyone can be totally free, we could easily become a lazy lake with people floating around doing their own thing but really going nowhere. Once there is a focus in life, floating aimlessly disappears. A purpose develops with its own safeguards, priorities and balance. It is this balance that we associate with temperance. It may demand sacrifices to attain a goal for self or others. Once the habit of temperance is formed in one area of life, it can be drawn on whenever required.
Temperance has an unpopular image, it is perceived as a restrictive, a sort of kill-joy and spoil sport. Nothing could be further from the reality. Temperance brings balance and prevents excess getting a grip. Bad tempered behaviour or intemperate language is neither accepted in sport nor in social behaviour. Society is all too aware of how drugs, including alcohol, have done such damage to sport, recreation, working and family life. It has become so difficult for people to resist the culture of artificial and chemical enhancement for all kinds of performances and entertainment.
See Intercom February 2106 article on Temperance by Bishop Eamonn Walsh at

Parish Resource for Temperance Sunday
  • Father Mathew’s Prayer
Apostle of Temperance Father Mathew (1790-1856) was a Capuchin friar from Tipperary whose 19thcentury crusade against the abuse of alcohol gained him the title of  “Apostle of Temperance”. Father Mathew’s call to sobriety has relevance to modern Ireland. The cost to the nation by way of, human suffering, abstention from work, criminality and social upheaval is inestimable.

Compassionate Lord and Saviour,
you inspired the Capuchin Friar Theobold Mathew
to show your compassionate face to those addicted
and burdened by the abuse of alcohol or addicted behavior,
and to promote temperance.
May we today, continue to serve our brothers and sisters with love and joy,
And to foster balance, and moderation in our life styles with the help of God.
So, we pray, “here goes in the name of God.”