(quote) Sean-693950 said:
Anyway, one sometimes hears the metaphor that suicide is often something like leaping to one's death from a burning building, and I think that is the kind of "choice" it is, at least in many or most cases, even when the suicidal ideation has been a long process and become an unstoppable drive, and the person has made the rounds of his/her life saying goodbyes and putting things in order. It's not just a perverse rejection of life, the goodness of life, the love of God, etc. Someone in a diseased or impaired mental state does not make choices in the sense that they would in a normal state.
There may be some cases where the jumping from a burning building analogy is truly accurate; however, I think the reson most people who agree with it do so is because of a completely disordered understanding of the nature of suffering and how it is essential for salvation. Instead of viewing it as something to be embraced, or at least accepted, and offered to God, he vast majority of people today see it as something to be avoided at all costs, and lamented when it cannot be avoided.
God allows suffering to bring us closer to Him. While most people wait fair too long to make that move, some eventually do; unfortunately, in today's world many do not. And so the suffering continues, and may eventually escalate to the point where it is beyond control. So the situation that is not a choice now may well be the result of many previous choices to reject God and His mercy.
In any given case, only God knows all the details, so we must have hope in His mercy and pray for the departed.
At the same time, it can be very dangerous to presume His mercy for those still alive, especially those who won't ask for it themselves. It is modern sentimentality, not the teaching of the Church, that God will hand out His mercy to everyone who is in a bad situation; the teaching of the Church is, and always has been, that they must first ask for it in whatever way they are able.
The link below is to a video recording of a homily by Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, in which he explains the necessity of suffering and how we can use it to our advantage rather than our disadvantage.youtu.be