Latest

01 Oct 2014 Exhortations Comments (1)

Nothing can equal our Heavenly business

Business, work and all other temporal engagement cannot equal our heavenly business. We cannot possibly be wise in risking the loss of our heavenly place becaus…

Read more

02 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (7)

What is Purgatory?

For the Catholic Purgatory is a period of purification after death. When we die, our souls are judged immediately by Christ in what's called the "Particular …

Read more

28 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Why does the Church keep the worst sinners at a distance by denying them Communion?

Full Question For a while I could not receive Communion as a decision had not yet been made regarding the validity of my previous marriage. I have since wo…

Read more

03 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (37)

Is it true that sexual intercourse between a married couple is sinful if the spouses do it with lust for…

Full Question Is it true that sexual intercourse between a married couple is sinful if the spouses do it with lust for each other? Answer I reali…

Read more

05 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (4)

Was Jesus prevented from selecting women as apostles because of the Jewish blood taboo?

Full Question A man in our parish who is pushing for women's ordination says that, because Jesus and the apostles were Jews, they did not ordain women sinc…

Read more

04 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Addresses European Episcopal Conferences on Theme of Family

“Family and future of Europa" is the theme of the plenary assembly underway at the Council of European Episcopal Conferences. This morning Pope Francis received…

Read more

31 Aug 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Francis takes to Twitter in appeal for Iraqi citizens

Vatican City, Aug 11, 2014 / 05:55 am .- Since Friday Pope Francis has been tweeting three times a day asking faithful and parishes to pray and offer material s…

Read more

21 Nov 2016 News Comments (1)

Bishops apologise for Church’s role in Rwandan genocide

The Church acknowledged that members planned and took part in the genocide, in which more than 800,000 people were killed The Catholic Church in Rwanda apologi…

Read more

31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Can God make square circles? If not, does that mean he isn't all-powerful?

Full Question Can God do literally anything? Make square circles? Make 1 + 1 = 72? If he can't do these things, is it safe to say that he cannot do literal…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Do people who commit suicide go to hell?

  • Written by:
  • 1 Reply

No one can appreciate the unimaginable pain that is the ultimate explanation for such a tragic action. No one, therefore, can judge a person whose choice we cannot fathom, whose life we can remember, but cannot restore, and whose pain we cannot understand. This is how the Church tends to look upon suicide today.

The Church teaches that suicide is wrong; it is contrary to the Fifth Commandment. It is an action that runs counter to the proper love of self, as well as love for God, the giver of life. We are stewards of our lives, not owners. The person who takes his or her own life also wrongs others — those who remain experience loss, bewilderment, and grief. You won’t find anything in that teaching about going to hell.

Pity, not condemnation, is the response of the Church. Prayers are offered for the deceased. Mass is celebrated. Burial with dignity, in consecrated ground, is provided for one who dies this way. Not that long ago, Christian burial was denied to those who took their own lives. There may have been another denial at work in those days, too — denial of our inability to understand the pain. We assumed that those who chose to take their own lives were acting freely and under no psychological distress or illness. Or worse, there may have been a denial of responsibility to try to understand the pain. As your son said in the note he left behind, he just didn’t know what else to do.

So for those of us who remain, the Church encourages paying attention to the pain that produced the action. Then, look forward, not back, to pain within ourselves and pain in others, especially when we see no signs and hear no calls for help.

Why do we avoid speaking to one another about inner pain? Why are we not more sensitive to the pain in others’ hearts, or able to read the pain in others’ eyes? Why do we spend millions for “pain relief " over the counter or by prescription, but not spend the time it takes to encourage those who may be hurting to open up? This kind of thinking is all now part of the Church’s pastoral response to the tragedy of suicide.

It seems to me that there has to be some mysterious insulation enveloping those who commit suicide. Tragically, their minds cannot be read by those around them, nor can they reach out and ask for help. Again, the unimaginable pain.

The Church teaches through liturgy, and the liturgy on occasions like these stresses divine mercy. Take a look at Psalm 103, and recall the dimensions of God’s mercy — as far as the east is from the west, as high as the skies are above the earth.

The Church still teaches that there is a hell, but leaves it to God to decide who should go there. And divine decisions, in this regard, are filtered through divine mercy. Tragedy at the end of this life is no sure sign of an eternal tragedy in the next.









wpsd_autopost:
1

1 comment

  1. Lorraine Parker Reply

    This is so true it is an illness and we should all feel Mercy, Forgiveness and pray for them much and have Holy Masses said for them. May all RIP and come to be in the fullness of Heaven and Gods Love and Arms. Amen.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories