Prayer Of Dereliction?

Suicide. We don’t talk much about it in AA, and if you are getting uncomfortable reading this much, stop now and go to another posting. If you first thoughts are condemnation, stop now and go to another posting. If you first thoughts are that they deserve to burn in hell, stop now and go to another posting. Please

It doesn’t happen often. Many of us have somehow, someway, managed to come out of the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, The Valley of Total Dispair, the Valley of Utter Hoplessness. I am one of those. I am one of the lucky ones, or perhaps Mother Mary had already decided to sink her hooks into me. Who knows.

And we tell the newcomers and each other that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. But some shattered and broken souls are crushed beneath the weight of circumstances outside their control. You lose a dear friend.

The scars never heal. Never. And every now and then something comes along to rip open those scars all over again, and the pain causes you to cry all over again. You bleed again. You hear that gunshot echo over and over again.

Today the cause was on page 149 of Susan Tassone’s book PRAYING IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD FOR THE HOLY SOULS.

Page 149 has a prayer from Father Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. titled “For One Who Has Taken His Own Life.” I won’t go into any more details or self-pity, just want to quote that last part…

"I am filled with terror for the one I loved and cared for. If only I was certain of salvation for the one who is gone, defeated by this life.

"There is no one I can come to but You — Crucified One. Your prayer of derliction, which alawys puzzled me before, now is the only thing with any meaning at all.

"I put my dear one whose body is destroyed into Your hands. Reach down from the Cross and embrace this wounded and broken soul. You descended into hell. Find our friend on the edge and rescue the one who has gone from us…

“We have no place to go in the world, in the whole universe but here to You., to Your Cross — it is our only hope. Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend this spirit. Amen.”

I wish I knew what was meant by that “prayer of dereliction”.

Sounds like when Christ said ‘my God my God, why have you abandoned me’ :yup:

Andruschak, I think we have all been close to that pit of despair at one time or another, too. Some of us closer than others. No way would I condem someone who fell into that pit. Not that I believe that what they did is right, it’s just that I have had pain in my life that has brought me too close to that edge, and by the grace of God, love of my children, and love of my mother that kept me from falling into that pit.

I have also had family members who have committed suicide, and it pains me to think of the emotional grief they were in when the decided to take their own life. One of the people, a 17 year old girl, I know repented before she acturally died. She had taken an overdose of tylenol pm. She was in the hospital for a few days, and she woke up and told her mom “I don’t want to die!” The damage to her body was just too much, though, and she died the next day.

Andruschak, thank you for your prayes to the victims of suicide, and their families. We need them.

Thank you for the lead. I was able to track it down, and you are quite correct. Thank you.

I have just come across what the catechism has to say…



2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.


This is the first time I have come across this aspect of catholic teaching, and that last paragraph gives me hope. Perhaps for the first time in a long time.

Always glad to help :tiphat:

I must say, the timing of this post in my life is too uncanny to be coincidental. Not going into anymore details, but thank you for this post.

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