Monday, November 3, 2014

Terminally Ill 29 Yr Old, Brittany Maynard, Kills Herself

Readers of the blog (and people who have been following the news at all) will be well familiar with Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill young woman who vowed to kill herself this weekend past to have, what some call "death with dignity" (I suppose that implies that those who take the heroic route of living out their natural lives, despite great suffering, are dying without dignity). We've been following her story for awhile here at Adoro, first asking What Will Become of Her Soul after her Suicide,  then noting Archbishop Gomez's Sorrow Over her Suicidal Decision, and finally rejoicing when Brittany Decided Not to Commit Suicide (surely a moment of grace brought about through the constant prayers offered on her behalf).

Of course such prayers, while providing grace, do not rob us of our most precious gift - free will. We can always choose to cooperate with God's plan for our lives, to work with His grace, or to reject that grace and those plans and go our own direction. Such is why (and how) sin entered the world. No amount of prayers can ever, in principle, force anyone to do anything (or stop anyone either). Mrs. Maynard seemed to have a grace given moment where she recoiled with horror from the fretful path she had staked out for herself, but finally succumbed to despair or weakness or pressure or fear or all of these and did the unthinkable - she killed herself. Let's not sugar coat it, there is nothing dignified with killing yourself. It is nothing to be praised, nothing to be celebrated, nothing to be cheered on, only something so horribly evil as to fill all right thinking minds with sadness, horror, and lamentations.

It would seem, from so far away, that all the conditions of mortal sin were met in this case. It is hard to see how they were not. Killing anyone, including oneself, is a violation of the Fifth Commandment and thus is grave matter. Has anyone been more publicly deliberate in making a decision than Mrs. Maynard was here? And, of course, "no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man" (CCC 1860).  However, ultimately, while we can and must judge acts to be evil, we can never search the deepest hearts of our brothers and sisters and never truly know what state anyone dies in, "we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God" (CCC 1861). Thus, we need not despair (nor presume) about her ultimate fate. Instead, we must persevere in having hope for her salvation and we must offer up prayers that she might yet rest in peace.

Please join me in prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, king of glory,deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of Hell and the bottomless pit.Deliver them from the jaws of the lion, lest hell engulf them, lest they be plunged into darkness; but let the holy standard-bearer Michael lead them into the holy light,as once you promised to Abraham and his seed. 
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine:et lux perpetua luceat ei.Requiescat in pace. 
May the immortal soul of Brittany Maynard rest in perpetual piece. May she see that land where every tear shall be wiped away and where there shall be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (cf. Rev 21:4). May alright God have mercy upon her and upon all those who failed her in her most desperate hour. 
And may no other poor souls follow her most unfortunate example. 
Truly, a sad end to a sad story.

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