This is another post I hope to be short so you can see God has given us a lot of help to save our souls. My opinion is salvation is only so complicated because God had to ensure humankind had true and complete free will. By this I mean an exact amount of positive influence to negative influence if we live our lives for the full duration God has planned for it. Suicide is possibly mostly terminal as far as eternal life because had that particular person lived longer, he or she might have had the additional graces needed to succeed in reaching heaven. The strict restriction against it stems from just another assist God gives us to possibly help save our souls. Obviously, it is a mortal sin because it is against the 5th commandment “Thou shalt not kill.”
Whether or not a certain action is actually a mortal sin depends on 3 things: 1) is it a serious matter, 2) does the person involved understand that it is wrong and 3) does the person doing it do it with full assent of his or her will. By a serious matter it is usually covered in someway or another by one of the 10 commandments. To disfigure or maim someone is against the 5th commandment, which is why Christ repaired the guard’s ear (Luke 22:50-51) on the night of his betrayal and basically counseled (Matthew 26:51-53 John 17:8-11) Peter on the spot because it would help him not become despondent and lose hope as Judas did when Peter eventually denied Christ 3 times (Matthew 26:68-75).
In a specific instance, if someone jumps on a grenade in a wartime environment to save a fellow humans life, without regard to who the human is, he is not guilty of suicide. If on the other hand he jumps on the grenade with the purpose of killing himself, even if he saves a saint’s life, is guilty of suicide. The person’s intent is important. If someone drops a weapon by accident and it discharges and kills someone, he or she is not guilty of murder.
Fortunately, I have been blessed to rarely, if ever, impugn God’s motives as revealed by scriptural analysis by the church and as is presented in the catechism. But some may ask why are we left to fight against angelic intellects such Satan and his demons without help? The truth is if you only read the New Testament, you find that God indeed gives each of us our own angelic intellect to protect us and that angel is known as our guardian angel (Matthew 18:10).
The machinations of demons are complex and that is why we must have the humility to pray, ask for guidance from our clergy and read not only holy scripture but also what great saints have said maybe read at least the most basic books on theology and philosophy to help guide us as to the tools most effective in our own defense. We must also trust what holy tradition has passed on as to how we need to act as Catholics and follow customs from our ancestors known to be helpful against evil and our evil inclinations that spring from the wound of original sin.
But our heart, in addition to our intellect, must also be turned toward God. God in his eternal love for us, took care of this through the Incarnation. Whether it was the fact that our God, the Almighty, decided to come to us as a defenseless baby or that he died such a horrific death, once again in essence defenseless, our emotions cannot help but be influenced to gravitate toward him and recognize his love for us.
To insure our own displine and strength Our Lord has told us that through private observation of prayer, almsgiving and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). But to strengthen us is must be done so that it is not used to portray ourselves to be holy, just for show. We must seriously want to help others, want to ask God or praise God sincerely for its own sake, and fast to build our own discipline and to offer our fasting for some worthy purpose other than to “value signal.” Basically, if our aim is to show off and get other people to think well of us then if we achieve that that is all we achieve. If we do it for the help pray gains for ourselves or another, fast for the strengthening of our souls or as a sacrifice to help another or give alms for the welfare of our fellow man, taking care as much as possible that only God knows we are doing it or how much we are doing it will gain us the help which we desire (if God determines it is in our or somebody else’s best interest) from God either directly through actual grace or through angels, people or circumstances.
But God does not only provide supernatural help and biblical historical guidance but also the natural help of the priest as mentioned earlier and of course the natural help of our parents. For the assistance of a priest or, in the case of school children, a nun we can get the perspective of one that has read to the point of being able to help souls God has put in his charge and lived a life open to Gods will.
Jesus Christ has also given us a community of like minded friends, mentors and mediator/helpers (nuns, deacons, priests, bishops) who in the early days immediately after His death as today are ready to die with us in defense of Gods plan to save not only the world spiritually but secondarily physically – the Catholic Church. We have priests to offer God the perfect sacrifice in the mass and obtain for us the forgiveness of our sins and restoring our “friendship” with God through penance and subsequently the Eucharist and the restoration of sanctifying grace.
Our parents who are our first teachers have the most important job of properly forming our consciences. Pope Francis’ exhortation that our consciences is a good guide is only true if we have properly formed Catholic consciences. Any other “conscience” will result in damnation. Truth is truth and immutable like Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to heaven and the Father (John 14:16)!!! Unlike what many very high prelates in the modernist Catholic Church of today say (momento mori – remember you die, and those heterodox prelates will one day die and the good and holy can again return), Scripture has told us the truth and the Truth would never change because Jesus Christ does not change (Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever Hebrews 13:8) and to change the way to heaven would result in the damnation of many from confusion by the negating of 2 millennia of biblical commentary etc. God the perfect and almighty structured Catholicism this way, totally perfect and unchangeable from the start so humans would not need to worry and be confused by charlatans like Arius, Martin Luther or present-day modernist that say basically that dogma and truth can “evolve.” It can’t evolve.
But what about progress? We can use electrical lights in churches, preach on TV and radio as bishop Fulton Sheen did, or even create apps to translate Latin dialogue from a Latin mass to the local vernacular but be cannot say divorced Catholics can remarry (Luke 16:18) and worthily receive communion. St. Paul clarifies in 1 Corinthians 7:9-11. The target of salvation can never change, that target will be the same as the Catholic martyrs dying in the first 4 centuries as in NAZI German concentration camps. Today it is just as hard to attain heaven because it appears pie in the sky and people of our day are more afraid of internet trolls and push back from friends and the public square than the loss of their souls.
Where we preach (at other planets if we become either an interstellar or intergalactic race) and how we update how we get the message out there (radio, TV, Internet etc.) can change. The message, like the mail, cannot be changed, only passed on uncorrupted and possibly clarified from Jesus Christ. We of our generation must deliver the mail, uncensored from Jesus Christ to the future generation to insure they can secure their own salvation.