Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On Suicide

Perhpas it was a coincidence, perhaps my co-workers read my blog or perhaps it was the dismal weather in this happy little corner of the planet but coworkers were anxious today to hear my take on the "Christian view of suicide."

Well, I have no take, I only have the teaching of the sole legitimate deposit of Christian Faith, that is, the Magesterium of the Roman Catholic Church. That leaves all commentary, interpretation, sentiment out of it. Having a church that definitively teach something and teach it consistently for 2000 years leaves me free to do more important things than develop my own stylized moral theology or practical ethics.

Entry # 2325 in the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church states:
Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.
Q: what is the 5th Commandment?
A: Entry #366 in the older Baltimore Catechism: The fifth Commandment is: Thou shalt not kill.
Q. What is forbidden by the fifth Commandment?

A. Entry #368 The fifth Commandment forbids all willful murder, fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, and bad example.
I always sorta boil this down to simple terms. The bottom line is that nobody is put on earth to be particularly happy. If one is disastisfied with one's lot in life: Tough Crap. Personal misery was no justification for suicide.

In Christian terms, one can join one's suffering to those of Christ. You can get to know Him better that way. That's what I do. Then, as I contemplate getting nailed to a cross, my petty concerns vanish. The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are particularly good for this.

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