Suicide – The Inconsolable Sin? 

Editor writes…

A reader – we’ll call him Mark (not his real name) – emailed the following short article for publication.  We’re withholding his real name out of consideration for the young suicide, Shaun (also not his real name).

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Positive and direct suicide perpetrated without God’s consent always constitutes a grave injustice towards Him. To destroy a thing is to dispose of it as an absolute master and to act as one having full and independent dominion over it; but man does not possess this full and independent dominion over his life, since to be an owner one must be superior to his property. God has reserved to himself direct dominion over life; He is the owner of its substance and He has given man only the serviceable dominion, the right of use, with the charge of protecting and preserving the substance, that is, life itself. Consequently suicide is an attempt against the dominion and right of ownership of the Creator. Source

Mark writes…

I found out today that a young man I know, Shaun, had died. Given that he was only in his early twenties, I was shocked and the first thing I asked was, “What on earth happened?” The facial expression of the person who had broken the news to me said it all. He had committed suicide.

Suicide is something that often occupies my thoughts. Not in the sense that I’ve considered it myself, quite the opposite in fact. I’m at a complete loss as to how someone could get to the point where they don’t want to live. My grandfather committed suicide many years ago. Some of the boys I went to school with did too. Now, a boy l have known for many years has chosen to end his life. We don’t know why. How his family feel right now I can’t even imagine. What a waste of a life!

Quite recently, British soap “Coronation Street” was praised for raising awareness of male suicide when it ran a storyline involving the suicide of a popular male character. We are told that more must be done to encourage young men to talk about their feelings. We must remove the stigma of mental ill-health, the experts declare. When talking with a friend about the awful news I received today, they suggested that we should do more to promote a growth mindset. Although I don’t necessarily disagree with any of these suggestions, I also have a different view which I hope to explore in this short reflection.

We all endure difficulties in life. Family troubles, relationship issues, money worries and health problems, to name but a few. Many of us experience bouts of low mood and even depression. However, to contemplate and attempt suicide is different. What could possibly lead someone to that dark precipice where death is the only answer? I don’t know. This is the key question I’m asking myself tonight through my shock and grief.

I can’t help but wonder if rejection of God plays a part. Shaun was Catholic and as a child had a strong devotion to St Joseph. However, in his teenage years, Shaun drifted from the Faith and even promoted the LGBT agenda. I’ve now idea if he was homosexual himself. What’s clear is that although, as far as I’m aware, Shaun never made any declaration that he had rejected God, his actions suggest that he had. Is there a connection here? I think there is.

I often wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t believe in God and didn’t adhere to the Catholic Faith. The thought terrifies me. Although I’m by no means a model Catholic and often neglect my religious duties, faith in God keeps me sane. There’s something to live for! The promise of Heaven and eternal life with God sheds light even on the darkest of days. Without faith, without the Catholic Church, I would have nothing. Would life be worth living? On a purely human level, perhaps. Lying in bed until midday on a Sunday, eating steak and chips on a Friday and never having to worry about Commandments morning might allow me to sink into a pleasure-filled cesspit. However, lying in bed at night and realising how short life is would surely terrify me.

Did Shaun believe in God? Did he believe that God is his loving Father? Did he believe he had a soul? Did he know that his soul was made in the image and likeness of God? How COULD he believe all this and still do what he did?

Right now, I find myself thinking about where Shaun’s soul is now. I know the Church’s teaching on suicide. It’s a mortal sin. Is there any hope for those who commit suicide? If there’s mental illness involved, can the person have full knowledge and/or consent? How can someone commit suicide and NOT be mentally ill? I don’t know if there are definitive answers.

Comment:

How, then, should we  pray for those who have committed suicide?  Gut Catholic instinct suggests entrusting the soul to Our Lady’s motherly love, but please feel free to share your own thoughts, devotions, quotes, videos and prayers to console Shaun’s family and the families of all those who have taken their own lives, unless, that is, you believe it is impossible to console anyone suffering the loss of a friend or family member as a result of suicide – IS suicide “the inconsolable sin”?     

Papal Visit To Ireland: Write Your Own Open Letter To Pope Francis…

Open Letter to Pope Francis…

I am shocked beyond words at your silence during the abortion referendum in Ireland. A small group of us, Scots, went over to Dublin in order to help save the lives of the unborn babies at risk of being killed if a YES vote resulted so we remain in shock that the Pope himself remained silent throughout and yet plans to visit Ireland to attend a meeting ostensibly about “family” despite the fact that a keynote speaker is an LGBT-Z activist priest. We were treated appallingly by the majority of the Irish people whom we encountered on our visit – nasty and completely sold to the values of this world. YOU encouraged that by your silence.

You are easily the worst-ever pope in the history of the Church and a future pope and Council will denounce you as it denounced Honorius I. Think of the book titles, the headlines: From Honorius I to Francis I. Roll on!

Used to be that the jibe “is the Pope Catholic” was a joke. No more. Your alleged Catholicity is now the joke. So, enjoy your visit to Ireland, enjoy the World Meeting of Families – just don’t try to pass the event off as “Catholic”.

With no condemnation (however belatedly) of the shocking pro-abortion vote, and your willingness to share a platform with a priest who will present, as a good, one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, your presence at this event can only serve to further attack the teaching of Christ’s Church.

You, Papa Francis, are about as Catholic as the nearest Imam.

Signed… Editor, Catholic Truth

Comment:

Click here to send YOUR open letter, albeit short and to the point, to Pope Francis via the Irish Times, ahead of his visit to Ireland later this month. And then feel free to copy it onto the blog and/or share your thoughts about the forthcoming World Meeting of Families.  

Why Increased Violence In The West?

From The Root of the Violence: Our Culture

There have been too many tragic mass murders in the last century in American history, spurring on lots of talk of gun control. I’m not about to deny there should be gun reform to an extent. Background checks, mental health checks, references attesting to good, non-violent character to get a weapon seems to make sense. However, the problem is not how people are killing, it is the fact they are killing. We cannot put restrictions on everything that kills (even forks would be prohibited then) and arson and cars can, like guns, kill a great mass of people very quickly. What we need to do, though, is get to the root of the problem. Why is there such violence? Why are people killing? The answer is the devaluation of life prevalent in today’s culture.

We have people playing God. In many places around the world, society has legalized abortion and euthanasia, laws which in themselves devalue life, so no surprise life isn’t valued as it should be since society has already “legalized the right to kill” in many ways. Because society is trying to tell its citizens that truth is no longer objective, but subjective, these citizens can now legally choose whether or not the unborn child is a child or not, and whether or not they should live themselves. Society thinks the line is drawn there, but it’s wrong because once somebody can choose who they perceive as worth living in the child and in themselves, who is to stop them from broadening this view to everyone else around them? Mother Teresa once said: “We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?” How true! There is nothing more disturbing and unnatural than a mother abandoning the one human that is most innate in her to protect, proving herself worse than the animals. How then can we be surprised with the amount of violence now if such an atrocious crime is deemed normal?

This message that can stem to violence can also be found in our culture’s music, in its movies, its video games, its books, the advertisements in the mall and on TV, the magazines, and news to name a few. I’m not going to touch base on all of them, but I will touch base on some. Let’s start with video games. I’m not about to say that everybody who plays those types of video games is going to turn out violent themselves. I know plenty of people myself that do all those things and aren’t violent. However, I do think that spending long hours immersed in this form of recreation can help desensitize you to real-world violence. And while it is true, many are able to distinguish reality from these fictional games, it is also true that some who, perhaps, have mental health problems, will not have such an easy time distinguishing, which, of course, can lead to some serious problems.

Dr. Mark Appelbaum (chairman of the American Psychological Association’s [APA] Task Force on Violent Media), said that while there was still not enough evidence to prove video games are linked to actual acts of violence, he did say, “…the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.” And the report stated: “No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently. Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior. The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.” (APA, 2015) So, from this we can draw that, while violent video games may not necessarily lead to violence, if the child is affected by other risk factors such as a broken home, abuse, bad influences, mental health problems, etc. then frequent exposure to violent video games and movies can, potentially, help lead to violence.

Some say a culture is oftentimes portrayed by its music. Well, if that’s the case, no wonder there’s such violence in America when we have artists like Eminem who easily get away with songs like Murder, Murder, in which he spouts out very violent lyrics, talking of shooting a police man, saying things like, ”All I see is blood and murder, my mind state”. How such lyrics could have any type of positive influence on a young, developing brain is beyond me. In studies accumulated by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), they found certain types of music, particularly heavy metal, were connected to an increase of suicide, reckless behavior and stereotyped attitudes toward women. In one study, performed in 1999, they asked 345 mothers whose children attended a public school, if they thought the violent messages in rap music contributed to school violence. 47% answered in the affirmative. (American Academy of Pediatrics, Paragraph 9) If we want our children to grow up valuing life, we need to address this problem in the music industry. We need to make sure our children are surrounded with positive messages, not messages promoting violence, disrespect toward authority and law, and lustful behavior. And we need to make sure our children understand why such violent, impure, and hateful messages they are receiving through such music and other sources is wrong.

What also disconnects people from reality is social media. Facebook, for instance, offers you your own page where you can basically build up your own virtual fan-club. Don’t get me wrong, social media is almost essential for small business owners and staying in contact with friends and family that don’t live nearby.There are a lot of advantages to be sure. However, one of the many disadvantages is the egotistical and addictive nature of it, as well as the disconnect to reality. There was a case of a woman who got stuck inside a burning car in Beaverton, Oregon. (Riverio, KPTV) In response, people got out their phones and recorded it. Why?

Well, probably to post on their Facebook walls, Youtube channel, Instagram, whatever, for more than likely the fame: the likes, the shares, the feeling of popularity, becoming known. Here, a woman is getting seriously injured, and instead of reacting with heroism or even pausing to at least pray, they are getting out their cellphones as if this were the times of the Roman Colosseum and this was just a show and not a life at risk. How utterly corrupt! How shameful! That our generation reacts in such a way as if this weren’t reality at all, but a show on T.V. they’re simply recording to later replay.

There is a great sense of self-entitlement and self-absorption in today’s youth. The problem this self-absorption has is that it makes any life that is outside of the individual and their own circle of friends and family unimportant. Hence, the above story. Maybe if they were connected to this lady in a personal way, they would have responded with more concern, but because she was a stranger, empathy was completely lacking. They probably did not stop to consider that this woman had a family that cared about her, that her life was important. Many probably saw self-fame. Some probably were un-phased, or at least not as phased as they probably should’ve been. I doubt the realism really even hit many of them. Surely, they couldn’t have been too traumatized if they were still able to hit “record” on their phones during the episode. But that isn’t normal. It isn’t normal to be so desensitized to violence and the loss of life that you respond in such a selfish way.

Now let’s look at the lack of a proper family foundation. The lack of a good family foundation, especially, is a huge disadvantage to building a good character. Why? Because this family structure is supposed to implement in the child morals and discipline, something many in today’s world are lacking. In a study on broken families, it was found that neighborhoods with a high-crime rate were also characterized by a lack of father-figures in the home. However, they also found that in neighborhoods where there is a high amount of religious-practicing individuals, the crime rate was lower and that a strong parental bond with the child decreases the chances that the child will commit a crime (Marripedia).

At the root to all of it though is selfishness, pride, and the devil’s response: “I will not serve”. Many people no longer have God at the center of their lives, just themselves. Religion is lacking, or at least the practice of it. The Church is undergoing a serious crisis and even some of the clergy are spewing out this same nonsense our culture is, this nonsense which will only lead to destruction. We will not stop these mass murders if we do not teach our children their Faith, which teaches them to value life, all life, not just the life that matters to them, not just the life they deem important or see as life, all life including their own.  Source

Comment:

So, which is the culprit?  Which of the elements identified by the above author, is the root of today’s widespread violence across western societies? 

Abortion? Video games? Guns? Knives? Music? Movies? Books? Advertisements? News? Family breakdown? Lack of father figure in home? The crisis in the Church? Rejection of God?

And to the above list, we might add working mothers – might the lack of a mother-presence in the home 24/7 be a contributing factor?  Let’s hear it! 

Consecrate Russia Now! Contact Pope Francis – Urgent Action Required! 

Updated | Claiming that some Americans are preparing for a coming war with Moscow, Russian state-owned television explained to the country’s residents how to stock their bunkers with water and basic foodstuffs in case a war breaks out.

Warning that the potential conflict between the two superpowers would be “catastrophic,” an anchor for Russia’s Vesti 24 showed off shelves of food, recommending that people buy salt, oatmeal and other products that can last a long time on the shelves if they plan to hide in a bunker. Powdered milk lasts five years, while sugar and rice can last up to eight years, the newscaster explained before showing videos of pasta cooking in a bomb shelter.

The beginning of the program had a mocking tone about war fears, as pictures of nuclear explosions played in the background. A newscaster said the “real panic isn’t here but across the ocean,” suggesting that Americans are terrified of a war with Russia. Source – Newsweek  – Russian TV Mockingly Prepares for War With U.S., Instructing Citizens to Buy Water and Gas Masks

Comment: 

Time to call out Pope Francis’s disgraceful failure to consecrate Russia as detailed in the Fatima apparitions.  Catholic Truth is urging all our bloggers and readers/visitors to this site to use the means of communication available to contact the Pope today to urge him to obey Our Lady’s exhortation to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.  Below, a template letter for those who would appreciate some help in penning their email or letter.  To contact Pope Francis either email the Vatican’s press office at av@pccs.va [Ed: this doesn’t work  – sorry]  or  write to him via the postal service, as follows:  His Holiness, Pope Francis PP. 00120 Via del Pellegrino. Citta del Vaticano.

Template letter

Your Holiness (or Dear Pope Francis),

In light of the increasingly grave geo-political situation, where the possibility of imminent nuclear war is currently the subject of much open commentary in the secular news outlets, I respectfully write to request that you set out the means by which the Bishops of the world will join with you in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady requested through the Fatima seer, Sister Lucia.  As you will know, following the initial apparitions in 1917,  Our Lady reappeared to Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929 at Tuy, Spain, when in a great and sublime vision representing the Blessed Trinity, she announced that “the moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. By this means, He promises to save Russia.”  Our Lady promised that this Consecration of Russia would result in a period of world peace 

Clearly, the previous consecrations of the world by your predecessors have not satisfied God’s plan of salvation.   Far from enjoying world peace, we are increasingly threatened by the danger of nuclear war.  God wishes Russia – the first nation on earth to publicly disown the very existence of God and to embrace atheistic communism – to be consecrated, by name, to His Blessed Mother, and if we are to avert the danger of all-out nuclear war, this Consecration must be fulfilled. 

I urge you, therefore, Holy Father, to make the necessary practical arrangements to pray this Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with the world’s bishops, as a matter of the utmost urgency.   You alone, out of all the prominent religious and political leaders in the world today, hold the key to world peace in your hands, by virtue of your unique office.    Yours etc.

Finally…

If enough letters/emails are received at the Vatican, it just might make a difference. Certainly, in supernatural terms, it will make a difference because God is never outdone in generosity and He will reward our efforts with grace, that’s for sure. So,  feel free to use, amend or discard the above – but please DO write: we cannot simply lament the Pope’s neglect – we must make sure that we are not guilty of neglect of duty ourselves, and we do have a duty to do everything in our power, by prayer and all the practical means at our disposal, to remind him of the importance of the request from Heaven to consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  Over to you! 

Immaculate Heart of Mary
pray for us!