All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae

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An old friend of my ex-husband, S—, committed suicide on January 3. I wasn’t particularly close to him, in fact, his friend often argued with me over our differing ideologies of religion. My heart, nevertheless, is saddened.

My first action was to quickly say a prayer, recite a Hail Mary. Then, I quickly emailed a priest-friend and some seminarians to request prayers. Fortunately, they offered condolences and reassured me that he and his family would be lifted in their prayers during a retreat. Father L—, who happens to be abroad in Naples, said he would say a Mass for him at the tomb of St. Januarius (Gennaro), a saint often appealed to for desperate causes.

Then, once I secured help in prayerful support, I could only reflect on the desperation that S— must have felt. My ex admitted that he was at first shocked and then angry with him for doing this. “Sometimes he could just get so stuck,” he stated. “There are always other options.” I don’t know about the circumstances leading up to this act, but I know he leaves behind a wife and a daughter. I know he committed suicide by a gun to the head, in a motel room.

S— was extremely talented and successful. He had gotten himself into criminal trouble when he was barely out of his teens, but he managed to resiliently bounce back from it, owned his own business and supported his family. He was my ex’s childhood friend and I know that saddens my ex more than he probably would care to admit.

In my recent course on Roman Catholic Morality, suicide in and of itself is gravely immoral, but I learned that the circumstances may lighten the gravity of culpability. I know that S— mentally had a troubled past. I know he was sometimes extreme. But even so, I hope, pray, that he finds his peace with the Lord. I also pray that his estranged wife and young daughter make their own peace with this.

I trust in God. I trust in his mercy, for both the living and the dead.

May the Divine assistance remain always with us, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, so that in difficult moments we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen


Written by Written Straw

January 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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