Showing posts with label suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suicide. Show all posts

18 Jun 2017

Respecting Everyone



Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Apr 2017

Grief and Gratitude on Good Friday

Great griefs are like great joys: they bend time. My sister died twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems so long ago that mercifully, I can barely remember the details. Other times, those details rush back at me so sharply I have to steel myself for impact.

Suicide does that.

I can smile now at the memory of my sister. I felt disloyal the first time I did that, as though permanent grief could be the only fitting monument to her memory. Time, mercy, and God’s grace have done their work, bit by bit.

For the first time since her death, I am writing about her and about losing her. This is an anniversary, and the time is right. For years, I thought she had taken Easter away with her and left nothing behind but wreckage. Gradually I found that she left me other things: a greater appreciation for the gift of my family, and how to live with gratitude despite wounds that are bone-deep. Those aren’t compensations. They don’t cancel out anything. They are gifts nonetheless.

I extend my hand to anyone who’s facing a loss, or anniversary of a loss, this Good Friday. I can’t make the pain go away. I can only say that you’re not alone. All I have is compassion, “suffering with,” in whatever way I can manage. The time and mercy and grace I mentioned were not my doing, and I couldn’t rush them.

Read the rest of the post at ellenkolb.com.

24 Feb 2017

Face Transplant at Mayo

Andy Sandness wasn't born looking like that. He's lived with the consequences of a "wrong choice" for more than a decade.

Agreeing to get Mayo Clinic's first face transplant won't undo his decision. But now he has a second chance for a normal life.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Mar 2016

'But Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us.' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday 2016.



The Resurrection of Christ, Rembrandt, c.1639
Alte Pinakothek, Munich [Web Gallery of Art

At the Mass during the Day

Gospel John 20:1-9 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Dear brothers and sisters! The risen Christ is journeying ahead of us towards the new heavens and the new earth (cf. Rev 21:1), in which we shall all finally live as one family, as sons and daughters of the same Father. He is with us until the end of time. Let us walk behind him, in this wounded world, singing Alleluia. In our hearts there is joy and sorrow, on our faces there are smiles and tears. Such is our earthly reality. But Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us. For this reason we sing and we walk, faithfully carrying out our task in this world with our gaze fixed on heaven.


Happy Easter to all of you! (Pope Benedict, Easter Sunday 2011).

I have told the following story before here and on many other occasions, especially giving retreats. Each time I share it or recall it I experience the truth of Pope Benedict's words, Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us. I have also learned that persons with a deep, committed faith can sometimes be very fragile.
More than 30 years ago I spent part of a summer working in a suburban parish in the USA. One night at around 11 I did something I rarely did: make a late night phone call, and for no other reason than to say 'Hi'. I phoned a friend who was a teacher whom I had first met eleven years earlier when I was a young priest and she a generous, idealistic but confused 16-year-old. Over the years I saw 'Lily' - I'll call her that since that flower is often associated with Easter in northern climes and this is an Easter story – very rarely as I was here in the Philippines.


Full post here.

25 Oct 2015

Suicidal Man.

There is a young man who just sent me an email that says he is ready to commit suicide.  I don't know him where he is, all I have is an email address.   What he described in email could be from a demonic influence.



PLEASE PRAY YOUR ROSARIES FOR HIM!!

Matthew C.

22 Aug 2015

Suicide: No Future in It

Socrates was a troublemaker, and asked too many questions — which got him killed. I talked about that Friday. (August 21, 2015)

What he said at his trial probably didn't help...

...Nobody forced poison down Socrates' throat: but I'm not sure whether his death was quite "suicide." He'd been told to kill himself, after a trial which apparently followed Athenian judicial standards.

About suicide: I think it's a bad idea. I've had the impulse occasionally, but decided that there's no future in it. Depression, and an autism spectrum disorder, made — makes — my life interesting. (December 14, 2014)

It's also treatable, and there's help available for those of us with suicidal thoughts: like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) / 800-273-8255 — a free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline / www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

Where was I? Socrates, hemlock, bad ideas. Right....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Feb 2015

"Months of Misery" and Job's Friends

My wife and a friend are making bread, about 15 feet from my desk. They're having a great time, and I'm trying to not get distracted while writing this post. The results may be interesting. Or confusing. I'll let you decide which.

Thanks to some very powerful prescriptions, my ADD-inattentive and major depression isn't nearly as hard to handle as it was: which reminds me of this morning's first reading.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Dec 2014

Suicide, Sin, and Dealing with Depression

Like I said last week, 'tiz the season to be frazzled. It's also a time of year when folks get together with family, including folks like Yogi Yorgesson's "goofy relations:"
"...After dinner my Aunt and my wife's Uncle Louie
Get into an argument; they're both awful screwy
Then all my wife's family say Louie is right
And my goofy relations, they yoin in the fight.
Back in the corner the radio is playing
And over the racket Gabriel Heater is saying
'Peace on earth everybody and good will toward men'
And yust at that moment someone slugs Uncle Ben....
"
("I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas," via eLyrics.net)
Oddly enough, December is generally a month with the fewest suicides each year in America. ("Holiday Suicides: Fact or Myth?," Injury Prevention & Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (December 31, 2013))

Digging a little deeper, I noticed that those 'December suicides' statistics may or may not include murder-suicides: the sort of thing I talked about in "Psycho Santa's Slaying Spree - The Catholic Connection," back in 2008. That's not quite another topic.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

25 Oct 2014

The Devil's Heartbeat



One day a new demon was asking questions of his demonic mentor, the elder demon assigned to show him the ropes so to speak. 

"Why does the illustrious evil one hate humans so?" asked the new demon.

"You don't know?"  

TO HEAR THE REST OF THE CONVERSATION...CLICK HERE!

17 Aug 2014

Robin Williams, Suicide, and Hope

Robin Williams was a few months older than I am when he died. That photo is from 1979, when he was becoming famous for his role in "Mork & Mindy."

I admire Williams' work, regret his addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and am sorry that he is dead. He was a remarkably talented actor and comedian. Sadly, he apparently decided to hang himself.

We can't be sure, but it's likely that suffering from depression had something to do with his death.

Celebrity deaths get heavy media coverage: so when yet another movie star dies from suicide, drug overdose, or some other avoidable cause, it can seem that fame leads to self-destruction.

Although famous folks from Hannibal to Margaux Hemmingway killed themselves, I think it's prudent to remember that many high-profile folks didn't: like Lauren Bacall and Bob Hope.

I'll be writing mostly about life, depression, death, and why I haven't killed myself. You'll find links to articles about Robin Williams near the end of this post.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Aug 2014

Depression and the Average Christian

With the sad and tragic death of Robin Williams, there is now a lot of talk and speculation about depression and suicide. Suicide is always a tragedy. I do not agree with the people that are saying Robin Williams is free now and in a better place. Yes, we can entrust him to a loving and merciful God but I am not going to presume he is in a better place. It is so tragic that he felt there were no other options than to end his life. 

Continue Reading at Beautifulthorns.com>

Be careful little mouths what you say {thoughts on depression}

"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." 



This morning the world is reeling with opinions on depression and suicide. Words are flying onto the page and scrolling in front of us. Words of kindness, compassion, confusion, and even hate fill our mind.

Dear Church, please remember during this time what we believe. It doesn't matter what our emotions are. It doesn't matter what our own experience with depression is or is not. It matters what we believe.

We believe in a kind and compassionate God full of mercy and justice. That God knows that depression is a terrible and ugly thing that whispers lies and hopelessness. Our God knows that when that much despair finds its way into our life, we are very ill, in pain, and under much stress. {Read more here...}

23 May 2014

'Because I live, you also will live.' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday of Easter Year A

The Last Supper, Tintoretto, 1579-81
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice Web Gallery of Art
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

 Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.  This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because 
he abides with you, and he will be in you.
 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”


Gemäldegalerie, Dresden [Web Gallery of Art]

In the summer of 1982 when I worked for a month or so in an American parish after a year's study in Toronto I went to visit a friend who had turned 29 earlier that year. I first met 'Gina', as I'll call my Italian-American friend, when she was a mixed-up 16-year-old with a generous and honest heart. Over the years I was a mentor in the faith to her, mostly by correspondence, as we met only every few years. Gina was a wonderful letter-writer, hence the painting by Vermeer above, though I used to gently tease her on occasion about misspellings - she was a teacher.
Continue  here.

6 Jul 2013

The Creativeness of Death

I rarely dream, but last night I dreamt that I was worried that a room in a house might be on fire. The room belonged to someone I worried about a lot, who had been perplexing me. I was worried he would burn the whole house down. Instead, someone showed me what was really going on inside. There was a large cylinder filled with liquid. Sparks were coming out of it, like electricity, which had only looked like fire. Inside, there was an animated skeleton at a workbench building other skeletons out of bones.

Usually in dreams, it helps to look at a "first feeling" and a "first association" in order to find out how the dream may speak to us. My first feeling was awe and happy surprise in the cleverness and originality. Also, relief that the "fire" was contained and no danger. My first association was of the "culture of death." Seems such a paradox- creative activity as the dead create more dead. Yet, this is what goes on in the majority of society today. That's what's happening in the "mass mind" of American culture.

It was not a "black and white" image, but animated with many facets of human experience. Unlike what Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead," the dead are creating the dead- They are using their creative power, the power of life, to create more death. The sad thing is how very few people see what's really going on.

For those of us on the outside, our first reaction is often alarm. We genuinely fear for the well-being of people because of the self-destructiveness that often results from "life" in the culture of death. We don't want to lose our friends and family members. The truth is that if we can be mindful of the emotion of fear and detach from it, it is possible to see how people are creating beauty from the "bare bones" of life.  Just because someone is a part of the "culture of death" does not mean they don't also have those amazing sparks of life in them. It's on a continuum, not a case of "us and them."

When I wrote Borderline and Beyond, I had the same emotions as the ones I had in the dream. Basically, I backed up from the train wreck of my life and saw the beauty in the worst of circumstances. My ability to write and produce art slowly helped me find my way out of the darkness that threatened to destroy me. We need to hold on to and nurture those strengths. If we are to help those who are struggling and lost, we should show them the light and not only disparage the darkness we see.

I can't forget how intimately I know the culture of death. For those of you who don't know what that means- The culture of death is about despair, self-absorption, apathy and poverty. Some say it is about abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, suicide and so on. I say that that despair and self-absorption often lead to these things, but the "culture of death" is a much wider concept. It permeates our media. And yet, in those creative sparks, so much hope abounds!

I loved the movie, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I have found joy in the Mexican celebration of the "Day of the Dead." As in Ezekiel,  "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." (Ezekiel 37:4-5)

Home Making and Chronic Illness: For when you’re not feeling so INDUSTRIOUS!

I have to admit, the reason it has taken me this long to write this post is because I had to work out some personal issues before I cou...