Pastor's Corner Jan 28 2017

Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are coming. Euthanasia means "easy death." Animals sometimes need to be euthanized, people never do. Death came into the world by sin. Death, as a violent separation of soul and body, wasn't meant to be 'easy.' We don't create life, we are given it. We are therefore, its caretakers only. The caretakers do not decide when life begins or ends. In addition, when our earthly life comes to an end another life begins. This eternal life, because it is eternal, is more important. It is therefore the case that the most important moment of our earthly life is our last.

Euthanasia is quickly becoming legalized all over the western world. This process cannot be stopped. For, the philosophical justification for euthanasia was already enshrined into law when abortion was legalized. Society will tolerate both or neither.

Abortion and euthanasia are the default position for any pagan (or neo-pagan) society. It is only the law of Christ which can elevate us above this utilitarian position. As Christians, we need protection from the pagan tendencies of our society and from our own temptations. Euthanasia could be forced upon us from the outside, but the temptation to suicide, or physician assisted suicide, is more dangerous still. If St. Therese of Lisieux can be seriously tempted, saying, "It is only my faith that prevents me," so can we be tempted.

For ourselves, our temptation might come from a fear of suffering, or fatigue in suffering. In addition, we might be tempted to aid another in suicide out of a compassion for their suffering. Isn't compassion good? The only compassion which is good compassion is that based on the truth. (Sentimentality leads to false compassion which is nothing short of evil because it is based on a lie.) As mere custodians of our life, we must submit to our master, who is the truth. The creator says that suicide is a sin against the Holy Spirit, which cannot be forgiven. It cannot be forgiven, because it itself removes the opportunity of repentance and forgiveness. There is nothing our loving Father hates more. We all need to be reminded of this hard reality, frequently, so that when we are tempted, we have no doubts. If, on the other hand, we have an evil habit of giving into sentimentality, then we are in danger of falling at a critical time.

Of true compassion, let us seek to have more, but always in harmony with these simple truths: a) we are only the custodians of our life, b) suffering and death are caused by sin, c) all suffering in this world is only temporary, d) suffering has the power to do good, by the cross of Christ, e) great suffering has the power to do great good, f) most of us have sins to repent of and make up for, g) our innocent savior has suffered before us, h) suicide is the greatest of sins, for it destroys repentance, i) God's inviting us to a better life with Him, j) all sufferings together are nothing compared to eternal life, k) our last moment on earth is the most important.

When (not if) euthanasia is legalized in Virginia, pressure will be put on us from family members, doctors, medical insurance companies, friends, etc. Remember the simple truths of the faith! Pray now for the necessary grace to resist. Body of Christ, save me!

As always, grateful for your generous support. Let us continue to pray for each other.

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