How Sinful is Suicide?

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Suicide is the deliberate taking of one’s own life. It is self-murder! It is a great sin against God who is the exclusive judge over life or death. We have no right to interfere with God’s dominion over life. We did not create any human being. Only God did. Our body is not our own; it belongs to God. And since it is given to us by God, we have to take care of it. In doing care to our body, we should not do it in the way we wish it, but in the way God wills it.

By taking our own lives, we sin against ourselves because we are exposing ourselves to the danger of diving into hell. The Church condemns suicide; so much so that those who publicly committed suicide is refused to be given a Christian burial. It does not mean, though, that the Church already judges the soul to end up in hell because only God knows where to put his soul. The Church only wants to show to the public that it condemns the act.

Suicide is the result of lack of religion. Experience teaches that as religion weakens in a land, the number of suicides increases. Suicide is usually committed by one who has gotten into trouble, or committed a grave sin, like Judas for betraying Jesus Christ. Others who lost their fortunes, or are involved in a public controversy that he could not bear anymore the disappointments, resort to suicide as the shortest distance to do away from trouble. But he did not know that he is putting himself into another much heavy trouble because he is placing himself against God. He had solved his problem on earth, but not before God’s court.

We are committing sins every minute of our lives. No one is spared, not even the Holy Father in Vatican. Christ said that while we are standing aground, we are subject to temptations and may submit to them. But let us not forget that God forgives all sins. There is no sin that God will refuse to forgive if the sinner repents. Christ even asked Him to forgive all those who did every unkind act against him while he was dying on the cross on account of their innocence. But it was too late for Judas because he already committed suicide earlier. He lost hope that God will still forgive him.

The remedy for our troubles is not to commit suicide. Even if one has to suffer contempt and disgrace in his life for whatever wrongdoings he might have done, only our preparation to heaven is at stake. But if we commit suicide, we are surely preparing ourselves for the torments of hell.

What about duels, are they also considered suicide?

Duel is not only murder. It is a suicide and murder combined. Although it is a result of an agreement of both parties to fight with deadly weapons, the duelists are guilty of a double murder. Why? Because he intends to kill his foe and also risk his own life in the process. The Church will excommunicate those who challenge or accept to a duel, the seconds and all who sanction a duel by their presence. Dueling could only done on the movies, but never in real life.

What about drunkenness, is this also considered suicide?

Drunkenness is a form of a slow suicide because drunkards do not live long. A person should not submit to this vice because this lowers him in the sight of God and of his fellowmen. And drunkenness is not exclusively caused by liquors; it is also caused by another worse menace—prohibited drugs.

St. Paul in his letter to the Romans (Rom. 13:13) said, “Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness, not in debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and as for the flesh, take no thought for its lusts.”

If you should commit suicide, do it heroically

It is not wrong, but, rather highly meritorious to endanger our health and life in order to gain everlasting life, or to rescue our fellowmen from physical or spiritual death. Christ himself knowingly gave his life to save souls.

Martyrs, priests and missionaries, doctors and nurses who expose their lives, merit an eternal reward. Those who lose their lives rescuing others deserve renown. Christ said in the Bible, “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28). Also in Matthew, Christ continued, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake, will find it.” (Matt. 10:39).

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