by Lynn Jolicoeur
This is a story relating faith and suicide. It was aired this morning on WBUR 90.9FM public radio as part of the series, Suicide: A Crisis in the Shadows. You can read the transcript at the link, and you can also click on the white triangle in the blue box and listen a replay.
|"Kathleen Laplante wrote a book about how her renewed Catholic faith helped her heal |
from her father’s suicide and her own struggle with being suicidal. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)"
I am honored to be included with the other people in this story. I agree with much of what they said, but I do feel the need to clarify that this is a story from different viewpoints. For example, Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, Bishop John Borders, says he does not think suicide is a mortal sin. The Catholic Church still teaches that it is. I also think none of us knows anyone's final judgment, so the door to hope is left open. That means we should pray for all who have taken their lives by suicide, because God's mercy may be present. We just don't know.
Hope is one of the virtues that psychologically and spiritually brought me back to life after I was challenged with suicidal thoughts for years. It is one of the virtues that helped me recover from my own attempt at suicide several years ago. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we know that hope centers on eternity:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." "The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life." - http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm
I am grateful to Lynn Jolicoeur for inviting me to participate in her ongoing series, Suicide: A Crisis in the Shadows. Her perseverance is bringing the different facets of suicide, and the challenges facing survivors who remain behind after a suicide, into new light.
image - http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/10/faith-religion-suicide