My thanks to Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., who welcomed me to “The Catholic Current” on The Station Of the Cross Catholic Radio Network. New Hampshire’s assisted suicide bill was the launching point for an hour of good conversation about public policy and the right to life.
Nothing scripted there: no prepared answers, since I didn’t know what the questions would be. His query about advice I might have to offer set me off on something that may have sounded a bit rehearsed, but wasn’t. Mass and Adoration. That’s my advice, and I didn’t just say that because it was Ash Wednesday. I talked about my reasons for that answer in the last part of the podcast.
It sometimes happens that I’m struck by an online piece, and in looking up information about the author, I find that she or he is a neighbor of mine. So it is today, with this marvelous reflection filled with beauty, grace and challenge, written by someone who lives just a few towns north of me. I hope I’ll meet her in person someday.
In this week when the District of Columbia Council has voted in favor of an assisted suicide measure, Christina Chase makes her case for embracing life and rejecting suicide.
Do you know what it’s like to be weaker than an infant, laboring daily to breathe, ravaged by an incurable disease, completely and utterly dependent on others for every basic need of survival? I do. Although I am not terminally ill, but rather chronically ill, I know that one chest cold can turn into pneumonia and kill me… probably an agonizing death over days… or weeks….And there have been times when I have wondered… is my life worth all of this? … all of this work, sacrifice and heartache?
If you know me, then you know how I answer this wondering. My desire to live is very strong. In fact, I love life…. And, yet, even I feel the guilt and sadness of burdening the people I love… even I wonder if I’m worth it.
So, I can clearly imagine what a person who is terminally ill would face if physician-assisted suicide was made legal in my state.