by ~ Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min – Pastor Emeritus, St. James Church
I learned of something very disturbing the other day.
Evidently human euthanasia has taken a fearsome turn, one that truly threatens to take us over the cliff as a society.
This new twist does not simply contemplate artificially and deliberately ending one’s life because of intractable pain, or extreme emotional or situational duress, or any such thing.
No, ending one’s life is now to be entertained as an option simply because one is tired of living.
No particular aches or pains in head or heart or anywhere, no intolerable domestic or financial situations to crawl through, nope, none of that. Just simple “life fatigue”, for want of a better phrase.
But here’s the real kicker, as if it could get worse. The theory or thesis behind such a decision is that one has lived “a Completed Life.” You read correctly. Someone of relatively decent health just ups and decides, as if they were God, that their life’s purpose has now been realized, and there’s no need to gum up the place anymore.
It’s not like the blinded Al Pacino character, Lt. Col Frank Slade (USA, Ret.) in “Scent of a Woman” who says dramatically near the conclusion “I’m living in the dark here!” as he points his service revolver to his temple. Okay – spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen the film.
In the end, even this pitiable if perverse soul finds a reason for living in a very modest detached “hut” close by his near kin.
But today we’re being told we may have this “existential exhaustion” concerning the gift of life and therefore a compelling rationale to pop a needle in our veins and push a button that will deliver a deadly bolus, a poisonous “cocktail” that will quickly end our lives (heck, it doesn’t even come with an olive and pearl onion!).
Folks, we are truly, as Frodo declares at the conclusion of “Lord of the Rings”, at the end of all things. I keep turning that phrase around in my mind – “the Completed Life.” Such arrogance!
Who is to say when our life story is indeed complete? Or are we becoming too selfish as a society to see the desperate need around us and receive the grace from God to do something about it?
At the end of February the penitential Christian season of Lent begins. I say we get on our knees and pray for the guts to speak out against this newest nightmare.
– Father Nick