Thursday, 3 October 2013

St Thérèse and the victory over assisted suicide

St Thérèse on her sick-bed
This week Catholics have been celebrating the feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux (1st October in the 1970 liturgical calendar, today in the 1962 calendar). One of the lesser-known aspects of her celebrated life is her temptations towards suicide during her fatal battle with tuberculosis - I recommend reading the short essay "Suicide: Insights from St. Thérèse of Lisieux" by Fr. J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm. Fr Ryan writes:
"The thought of suicide comes to most people at some time in their lives. For the majority it may be only a fleeting thought that is fairly quickly dismissed. But for others it can be a real temptation that must be strenuously fought. St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower (d.1897), would seem to belong to the second category. Even though she was an enclosed Carmelite nun in a French provincial town, who died at the age of twenty-four, she has something important to say to people seeking to tackle the problem of suicide."
So I recommend that my Catholic readers pray to St Thérèse for the defeat of legislation for assisted suicide in the UK (such as the bills proposed by Lord Falconer and Margo Macdonald), in St Thérèse's native France, in Europe and worldwide.

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