Mental Health, Well-Being and Religion ( by Bishop Cullinan)
More and more people are realising the importance of mental health. The covid 19 pandemic and the huge disruption of community life put another spotlight on mental well-being. Being confined and isolated affected us all to a degree with some people being very adversely upset. As well as that modern living is sometimes not conducive to the building of good relationships. We are often too busy to talk. Screens and phones take up our time. We all need to take time – for others, for oneself and for God. Religion in fact is good for you. Robust new research published in Jan. of 2022 confirms that religion is clearly linked to well-being. The newest research study invited 120 different analysis teams to answer the same research questions given to 10,535 participants from 24 countries from six continents and it included different ethnic and religious groups. (See- https://psyarxiv.com/pbfye)
The vast majority of those surveyed showed a clear link between religious practice and well-being. Indeed, of late there has been a substantial increase in the volume of scientific research focused on the role of religious beliefs and practises in the areas of mental health and social science. In the words of Dr. Patricia Casey now of the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin “The overwhelming weight of evidence so far is that being actively engaged in religious participation is psychologically beneficial for individuals, and also carries a range of social benefits relating to everything from marital stability to crime and to suicide. This seems to be not simply due to the lifestyle associated with being religious, and seems to accrue from benefits over and above those stemming from diet, sobriety and social supports.”
The benefits of religion on mental health appear to be through its role in buffering against the negative effects of life stressors, thereby increasing resilience and in assisting those with pre-existing mental health problems cope with adversity. The role of medicine and our mental health services is vital and religious practice should never be used as a kind of substitute. But I can personally attest to the healing power of Jesus Christ. As I reported in a previous article in this paper I witnessed the healing of a wheelchair-bound 20 year old young woman in Medjugorje in August of last year who got up and walked in front of our group of about 55 people. I have met her since. She had spent four years in a wheelchair due to Lime’s disease and is now walking around freely.
Christ came to save us, body and soul. So many people long for healing and wholeness. I am convinced that people want to come to Jesus for healing. He wants to heal us. So you are invited to come and experience this for yourself. In the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on Saturday February 11th at 3pm ( and on the Second Saturday of every month) there will be a Healing Ceremony. It will begin with Mass and will include the Anointing of the Sick, Confession beforehand and afterwards, and time for individual prayer and blessing. The invitation is there for you. What have you got to lose?