Lent Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving


Posted : Feb-07-2024

Lent is fast approaching: On Wednesday the holy season of Lent begins our long yearly journey towards Calvary and Easter. We call it a “journey” not only because it takes over seven weeks to complete, but because it begins a long way from its destination. It is a journey well worth living.

A life worth living? The most vulnerable people are those at the beginning and the end of life. Therefore, it is natural, human and Christian to assist with loving care those in these stages of their life.

At the heart of the issue of assisted suicide or euthanasia, in this country referred to euphemistically as M.A.I.D. (medical assistance in dying), is the idea of a life 'not worth living'. Of course, people can come to feel their existence is worthless or fraught with difficulty. But are they right? As Christians, we know that such thinking embodies a tragic mistake.

Since 1972, suicide has been decriminalized in Canada. But decriminalization does not equal endorsement. When someone assists another to commit suicide, even out of 'compassion', he or she unavoidably endorses the suicidal person's conviction of worthlessness. This is what our Faith forbids us to do. In the Church’s catechism the subject of euthanasia is discussed under the category of the fifth commandment in the Divine Law: Thou shalt not kill.

There is a world of difference between dying and being killed. Transgressing this, we have legitimized the murderous doctrine that there really are 'lives not worth living'. Canada is up to its neck in this way of thinking. Babies are aborted because their lives are judged not worth living; and every abortion, for whatever reason, says that a baby's life is not worth saving.

Everywhere, we see the growing exercise of lethal power over the afflicted and dependent. Establishment figures in our own land, sadly, appear to be in the grip of a fanatical death cult and its power. Suicide, tragically, exercises that power over oneself: killing to erase one's own affliction, just as others are killed to erase theirs. A rage against affliction and dependency is at the heart of the culture of death. Let us pray that a Culture of Life, which includes pastoral and palliative care, will take a deeper root in the hearts of all, particularly in Canada.

                                                 ~ FR. PAUL DOBSON