Friday, May 3, 2013

"I must have died alone a long, long time ago"

Our Friday traditio is David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" performed by Nirvana. This is my first post of May. Besides I missed Kurt Cobain's birthday, which is 5 April. It's hard to believe that next year marks the twentieth anniversary of his suicide.

I was recently interviewed for an article on suicide for the Salt Lake Tribune. Here is the main quote from the interview that made it into the article: "'What the [Catholic] church tends to recognize now,' Dodge said, 'is that most people who [commit suicide] suffer from probably a grave psychological problem or really deep depression or sometimes, sadly, that happens in the grips of some kind of addiction.'"

Suicide is something I have had more experience with, both personally and pastorally, than I would care to have had. It is impossible to explain the pain involved when someone takes his/her own life. I find it strangely reassuring, however, that survivors of those who commit suicide are very concerned about the eternal status, if you will, of their loved one. I find it reassuring because it is an opportunity for those people to experience firsthand the tenderness, mercy, and goodness of God, which shines very brightly amidst devastation and ruin if we have eyes to see.

The part that did not make the article is that Catholics pray for our dead and otherwise assist them, in the hope that they will ultimately complete their journey home to God. The Catechism reassures survivors of suicide about this: "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" (par. 2283).

I searched for form and land / For years and years I roamed / gazed a gazely stare / At all the millions here

1 comment:

  1. Perfect choice. This song sounds like it belongs in the hands of Nirvana.

    I never thought about it in this context before; sort of fits now.