Just last week, series of prayer intentions for our daily mass reached our Facebook account. Prayer requests especially for the eternal repose of Leonardo Gavino Sr. of Abatan, Buguias, Benguet, Ben Bataclao of La Trinidad, Maria Apapid of Balugan, Sagada, Mountain Province, Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan, Eva Falag-ey and Julia Bete of Bontoc; Favio Atuan, Puliganay Pangket, Maricris Comicho, and her baby, Uriel, of Sadanga.
Praying for the dead is our humble way to participate in the mission of sailing souls.
I am grateful to Brian Galang for his thoughtfulness and generosity to forward prayer requests for the dead to be prayed during the holy mass in Sagada. Brian is indeed selfless. He thinks of the good of others.
We cannot stop death. We cannot escape it. It may come when we least expect it. We must be ready.
On March 24, I was informed that a student in Sagada and another one in Lagawe, Ifugao died by suicide. We pray for their eternal rest.
We condole with the bereaved families but it does not mean that we shut our mouth on the issue. We must deal with it so the young people may know the gravity of the act and to help people discern to prevent themselves from the temptation of ending one’s life.
Suicide is a grave sin, “Thou shall not kill.” We cannot just end our life due to problems. Suicide is not the solution to problems. It is makes problems worse.
Let us review once again the teachings of the church on suicide. The catechism of the Catholic Church says, “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.”
Suicide, aside from being contrary to love for the living God, is an act of selfishness, cowardice, and a grave transgression of charity.
It also contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is contrary to the just love of self while it 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 a public scandal because it causes social turmoil. If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary cooperation in suicide is contrary to moral law.
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 lives.
To those who are planning to end their life make sure you are able to answer God when He asks you, “My child what did you do to the life I gave you?”
To mental health advocates, please don’t fail to mention in your talks and programs about the sinful aspect of suicide. It is not enough to talk about the psychological and emotional aspects of suicide.
Today is Palm Sunday. It is the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel. Hosanna in the highest.”
Jesus was tempted by the devil through Peter to evade his death. But his spirituality boosted by prayer and fasting gave him the courage to face his death.
We must be encouraged and strengthened by Jesus to confront bravely the tests, pains, trials, challenges, and temptations of life. Anxiety and depression are real but the love of God is also real and can overcome all.
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