SUICIDE A MORTAL SIN? THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHINGS

Browsing my newfeeds early this morning ..I come up with several posts from friends captioned " Kate Spade Committed Suicide" i remember asking myself who for heaven sake is Kate Spade?..Is she an actress ?a tv personality ?her name sounds familiar though, upon googling her name I suddenly remember ive seen several of her shops here in Manila the fashion and bag designer lady Yes i remember ..what happened? I googled and the news said she hang herself .. I remember two weeks back I touched the topic of the list of Mortal sins in the Catholic church with the legion of Mary and guest pilgrimage at the Holy Land in ZAMBALES with the theme of the talk "Be Holy Because the Father in Heaven is Holy". Well the pilgrims were laughing and enjoying when I made a jokes about divorce and gave tips to the ladies not to divorced or junk their rotten husbands but send them to our mens group Virgo Fidelis instead so we can recyle their no good husbands for good..of course the husbands although chuckling protested and that's where the fun begun.but when I touched about Suicide everyone was silent and became serious I gave several cases examples of young teens from well to do families who are products of exclusive Catholic schools committing suicides from problems in the family, relationship problems like boyfriends or girlfriends or even the petty reasons like low grades led them to commit suicide and several rich and famous people who killed themselves . But what does the Catholic Church teach about suicide? From the Catechism:
2280 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.
2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise 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 contrary to love for the living God.
2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.
Many people conclude that the Church therefore claims that everyone who commits suicide goes straight to Hell, because their last act before dying is a morTal sin. However, the next paragraph from the Catechism says this:
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
The act itself is always a grave matter; but for an action to be a mortal sin, the person must know that it is a grave matter, and he must do it voluntarily. The modern Church understands that depression and other psychological disturbances that might lead a person to suicide are true illnesses, which can significantly mitigate both a person's understanding and free will.
Moreover, even if a person's death seems quick, with no time to repent before the end, we have no way of knowing what happens between their soul and a merciful God, who wants to bring all of His children home to Himself:
2283 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.
This is not to say that we should assume that everyone who commits suicide becomes reconciled to God. All men and women are free to choose God or to reject Him; so it would be wrong to presume that all souls are saved. On the contrary, our faith in the mercy of God commands that we pray for all the living and for all the dead. We have no right to presume either that someone who has died is in Hell or (if he's not a saint!) that he's in Heaven. Prayer is always appropriate, and it always our duty.
It would also behoove us, as Catholics, to educate ourselves about depression and other mental illnesses. We do not believe in a Mental Prosperity Gospel, where God rewards His faithful ones with a sense of well-being and good cheer. A good many of the saints were as close to God as they could come -- Mother Teresa comes to mind -- and yet they struggled constantly against the darkness. Depression and mental illness are not a sign of personal sin, but one of many signs of the weakness we all inherited when Adam sinned.
Therefore, objectively, suicide is a mortal sin. (Moreover, to help someone commit suicide is also a mortal sin.) Here though we must remember that for a sin to be mortal and cost someone salvation, the objective action (in this case the taking of one's own life) must be grave or serious matter; the person must have an informed intellect (know that this is wrong); and the person must give full consent of the will (intend to commit this action). In the case of suicide, a person may not have given full consent of the will. Fear, force, ignorance, habit, passion, and psychological problems can impede the exercise of the will so that a person may not be fully responsible or even responsible at all for an action. Here again the Catechism states, "Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide" (#2282). This qualification does not make suicide a right action in any circumstance; however, it does make us realize that the person may not be totally culpable for the action because of various circumstances or personal conditions.
Only God can read the depths of our soul. Only He knows how much we love Him and how responsible we are for our actions. We leave the judgment then to Him alone. The Catechism offers words of great hope: "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" (#2283). Therefore, we do offer the Mass for the repose of the soul of a suicide victim, invoking God's tender love and mercy, and His healing grace for the grieving loved ones.
Sources : Catechism of the Catholic church. .national Catholic register 
/ Catholic Education. Org

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