Fostering Christian discipleship in the late modern milieu in the diakonia of koinonia and in the recognition that "the Eucharist is the only place of resistance to annihilation of the human subject."
Paradoxically, doesn’t the “search” for authenticity consist precisely in ceasing to search and just being yourself? Maybe the authentic you that you envision is the most pernicious false self imaginable.
As Pater Tom (Merton) averred: “It is often more perfect to do what is simply normal and human than to try to act like an angel when God does not will it. That is, when there is no need for it, except in the stubborn passion of our own impatience with ourselves.”
When preaching on the universal salvation offered by God through Christ, who breaks down barriers, as exhibited by today’s Gospel, you must be careful not to veer off into universalism, even by implication, or just plain sloppiness. Preaching on certain things requires the preacher “to do” theology. When you choose to preach on a theme, like the universal salvation offered in Christ, please do your homework.
Not everyone who has died is in heaven. As Catholics, in addition to heaven and hell, we dogmatically believe in Purgatory. Also, the Church is the ordinary and normative means of salvation. Hence, the Church, baptism, the Eucharist, are not incidental to anyone’s salvation, even those who might be saved extraordinarily.
Frankly, I fail to see the efficacy of pointing people away from Christ’s Body, the Church.
I always wait a day or two after an event like Robin Williams’ suicide, not with anticipation or excitement, but with fear loathing, because that’s when those who dabble in moral theology come out to play.
Let me be up-front: suicide is gravely and objectively wrong. Circumstances and intention cannot change something gravely and objectively wrong into something good, or even neutralize it. However, circumstances and intention can render committing such an act wrong- doing instead of a sin. In other words, circumstances and intention can mitigate a person’s culpability in committing a gravely wrong act.
When it comes to something as serious and grievous as suicide, let’s turn to the Catechism for what the Church teaches:
"Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
"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 2282b-2283)
Bottom line: Don’t pretend for one minute, one nano-second, that you can judge the interior disposition and psychological state of another human being who has, tragically, taken his/her own life and then pretend to determine that person’s culpability. Only God is qualified to make that judgment.
As followers of Jesus Christ, it seems to me, that our task in the wake of someone committing suicide is to comfort those who grieve and fervently pray for the person who committed suicide, commending them to Divine Mercy.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.