Sep 21, 2010

The Christian way to go - freely, obediently, lovingly and with Jesus.

You'll read more and more about dying on your terms or with dignity. It is a sales pitch to take your life yourself and some countries are making that legal. For those with no religious vision or spiritual life, this can be a rational decision. Rather than exhaust one's savings in a prolonged suffering, why no cut one's loses with suicide or assisted suicide?

For those blessed with the knowledge of God through faith, suffering is meaningful and a slow painful death becomes a fruitful sacrifice. This is one of the times when Christian have a leg up on everyone else. For one thing, it is much better to be purified in this world than it is to be later. Now, we have a choice to accept the pain with love and make it an offering for our wrong doing, to commute the sufferings of our loved ones, for the conversion of sinners and a host of other reasons. In the after life, we have to be purified and it won't be on our terms.

But purification is a must unless one is already perfect. Since God is perfect, one needs to be a pure as God to enter into union with Him. St. John of the Cross writes about this in his classic, The Dark Night of the Soul. And while God is with us, then there is no pain or anguish that is unbearable. Recall how the martyrs died while mauled and eaten by lions or burned at stakes.

That is why Christians do not disrespect God by killing themselves. Instead, they join the Son of God to suffer again on the Cross in their own way and surrender their lives when the time comes. It is the last act of love for God - to die in God's terms and in God's time. And when that happens, death has lost it's sting - as St. Paul writes.

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