Suicide


#1

I recently had a conversation with someone at work. We were talking about some local college students who had committed suicide, and I said I would never consider suicide a viable option, because no matter how bad things get, Hell is worse. She, being an evangelical Christian, told me that she had considered suicide on occassion, because she knows she’s going to Heaven, because she is “saved.” I had never heard this take on suicide before. I know the Catholic Church makes no definite claims on the destination of anyone’s soul (except for Saints), since we cannot know the intentions of the suicidal person (mental illness, for instance), but it clearly states that suicide is mortal sin, and puts you in grave danger of Hell. What motivation is there for OSASers to stick it out to the natural end?


#2

In claiming to “know” she is saved she is claiming to know the mind of God Himself. She doesn’t know the mind of God and does not as a consequence know she is saved whatever the sect to which she belongs tells her.


#3

[quote=MamaGeek]I recently had a conversation with someone at work. We were talking about some local college students who had committed suicide, and I said I would never consider suicide a viable option, because no matter how bad things get, Hell is worse. She, being an evangelical Christian, told me that she had considered suicide on occassion, because she knows she’s going to Heaven, because she is “saved.” I had never heard this take on suicide before. I know the Catholic Church makes no definite claims on the destination of anyone’s soul (except for Saints), since we cannot know the intentions of the suicidal person (mental illness, for instance), but it clearly states that suicide is mortal sin, and puts you in grave danger of Hell. What motivation is there for OSASers to stick it out to the natural end?
[/quote]

This is the danger of the OSAS doctrine. I worked with a woman who was “saved”. She was separated from her husband and had been asked by a guy she knew to go on a weekend boat cruise. For some reason, she asked whether I thought it was okay. I guess the Holy Spirit was tweeking her conscience and she wanted “permission” from another Christian. I told her “Look, I know we don’t agree on the requirements of salvation, but to knowingly place yourself in a clearly sinful situation, in my opinion, would put your soul in mortal danger.” She didn’t want to hear it and never told me what she had done. Sometimes I think the OSAS position is just an excuse to continue to live in sin without the guilt.


#4

As an evengelical Christian, your co-worker doesn’t believe in different degrees of sin - sin is sin - whether it’s telling a lie or murder. But she believes that Jesus’ death on the cross paid her penalty for ALL sin so commiting suicide, even if it is murder would not keep her out of heaven. That belief is, as you pointed out, different from our beief.

Also, I just wanted to add that the question of suicide came up in my RCIA class and the Priest said the Catholic Church no longer says that a person who commits suicide goes to hell. Obviously someone in that state of utter despair is a very sick individual and God is merciful.
But now you’ve got me worried about your co-worker. Any chance that her telling you that she’s thought of suicide is a cry for help?


#5

[quote=carol marie]As an evengelical Christian, your co-worker doesn’t believe in different degrees of sin - sin is sin - whether it’s telling a lie or murder. But she believes that Jesus’ death on the cross paid her penalty for ALL sin so commiting suicide, even if it is murder would not keep her out of heaven. That belief is, as you pointed out, different from our beief.

Also, I just wanted to add that the question of suicide came up in my RCIA class and the Priest said the Catholic Church no longer says that a person who commits suicide goes to hell. Obviously someone in that state of utter despair is a very sick individual and God is merciful.
But now you’ve got me worried about your co-worker. Any chance that her telling you that she’s thought of suicide is a cry for help?
[/quote]

Actually the Church Teaches the same as it always has on suicide.

It is a gravely sinful act.

That being said, there are things that could cause it to not be a mortal sin.

From the Catechism

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.” The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

After reading that you can see the CCC# 1859 would apply to those who are suffering from some sort of mental illness as they would not have complete consent.

So I can see a case were suicide would be a mortal sin. In the case of someone who murders people and kills themself to avoid punishment.


#6

In regards to suicide. 4 years ago my brother Robert committed suicide. He had had an affair and his wife couldn’t forgive him for it and wanted a divorce. The day I was told about it I read the Catechism regarding suicide and it said that in grave instances God can forgive the person who had committed suicide.
I believe that God has forgiven my brother. The reason: an event that happened 1-1/2 years ago on his birthday All Souls Day.
Every year on his birthday we go to the Cemetary and release birthday balloons with messages to heaven (a tradition instituted by my sister-in-law to make their children feel like their dad is still a part of their lives). On this particular All Soul’s day we had had some snow and the sky was completely clouded over. We released the balloons and the went off to the right. All of a sudden a hole opened up in the sky and the balloons changed course to the left. As we watched, we saw the balloons go straight for the hole until they went through the hole and the hole closed up.
Our family and my sister-in-law’s family believe the reason for this is that Robert saw the balloons and gathered them up in heaven. Of course we won’t know for sure until we get heaven, but this is certainly a pretty good sign.

LauraAnn


#7

[quote=ByzCath]Actually the Church Teaches the same as it always has on suicide.

It is a gravely sinful act.

That being said, there are things that could cause it to not be a mortal sin.

From the Catechism

After reading that you can see the CCC# 1859 would apply to those who are suffering from some sort of mental illness as they would not have complete consent.

So I can see a case were suicide would be a mortal sin. In the case of someone who murders people and kills themself to avoid punishment.
[/quote]

In addition to the above, the Catachism has specific teachings on suicide:

**Suicide **

**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.

With Christ,
Subrosa


#8

Laura Ann,
I am so very sorry about your brother. I loved your story about the balloons. What a blessing that must’ve been on what would be a sad anniversary day.

Have hope,
CM


#9

Laura Ann,

I also was sad to read your post on your dear brother…I loved what you said of the baloon at the cemetary. That was a sign.
My best friend committed suicide when he was 21.
He had mental problems from heavy drug use.
I had the honor of being a pallbearer at "Hanks’ funeral at a Monastery in Iowa.
I found out right after the burial that 3-4 weeks before this tragedy occured, that Hank had been going out to the Monastery visiting a certain Monk.

What was discussed no one will know.
I firmly believe in the mercy of God.

Judgment is His alone. I believe Hank knew what he was doing, but his mind was clouded.
We all must be steadfast in our faith.
And every Catholic, everyday, should pray for all who have gone before us.
There are many souls in Purgatory that need our prayers.
As St Paul says…“It is a good and wholesome thing to pray for the dead”.
God’s Peace to you Laura Ann and all those in your heart…


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