Last week I gave my take on the horribly tragic case of a terminally ill 29 year old who has decided she will soon kill herself. Today, at CNA, the archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, spoke out on this modern tragedy. Read the whole thing over there, here are a few snippets (with my additions).
“Her story makes my heart heavy with sadness. And her public confession had led to an outpouring of prayers, commentary, and debate,” the Los Angeles archbishop reflected.
Archbishop Gomez pointed to the powerful testimony from Maggie Karner, who also has aggressive brain cancer, but says, “there’s no way I’ll kill myself.” He also referred to an appeal from Kara Tippetts, who is suffering from breast cancer (these are the real role models, the real heroes), urging Brittany that there is beauty and meaning in suffering.
“All of this reminds us – that we are born toward death. Our life is a journey that will come to an end some day,” Archbishop Gomez stated.
As Christians, he said that we know that “God is a God of the living and he has shared in our sufferings (God's ultimate answer to suffering is the Cross). He has gone before us, entering into our pain and suffering, so that he can lead us through the valley of death into the land of the living.”
Noting that death is real, and yet, not the end, the archbishop said that to our secular society, death is the one horizon we can never see beyond.
“Our science can discover the inner workings of the tiniest cells in our bodies and probe the depths of outer space. But what lies beyond this life – we will never find out for sure until it happens.”
Archbishop Gomez pointed to the book-made-movie “Heaven is for Real” (as is hell) as a way to approach eternal life. “Heaven is for Real” tells the true story about a young boy who experiences a glimpse of Heaven during a near-death experience.
“We don’t really know what to make of all these kinds of stories,” he stated, “but as Christians, we know that Heaven is for real and forever (as is hell). And the hope for Heaven (and the despair and terror of hell) gives a new horizon to all our tomorrows here on earth.” ...
Urging the faithful to unite in prayer for Brittany, and others in similar situations... (please do. This is only going to get more common in our "culture of death".)Death is a fearsome thing. Once we cross that final threshold our eternal destinies are sealed. Let's pray that we may all meet a happy death, one to which we can join St. Paul in saying, "for me to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phil 1:21).
Again, I beg you, pray for this young woman.