Comfort in the aftermath of suicide

A Christian Science perspective: The suicide in Athens was a reminder to many of the degree of desperation some people are feeling. How can prayer help?

The desperation felt by Greeks in every corner of their society was sadly made even more evident by the suicide of a desperate pensioner, Dimitris Christoulas, in Syntagma Square in Athens Thursday. Our hearts go out to him and to all who knew him.

The rising rate of suicide within the population has made us more aware of what extreme economic measures and the lack of justice and compassion take on individual lives. This act of desperation must not be allowed to grip any people. We cannot lose sight of the reason we live – to glorify the God who is divine Life and Truth and Love. This is our sole purpose. Each life is needed. Each life must be valued. That’s a divine demand on our human lives. Didn’t Jesus say that even the very hairs of our head are all numbered by the Father (see Luke 12:7)? We must appreciate how specifically and tenderly He knows and cares for us.

But what of the dark thoughts that appear to take hold of our thinking and tempt us to such destructive action? They are the making of the mental pressure to conform to fear and desperation. But through this darkness, the light of Christ shines. The Christ shows us the power of divine Love.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, explained how our human condition, no matter how desperate, is touched by the divine and healed. She wrote, “In the desolation of human understanding, divine Love hears and answers the human call for help; and the voice of Truth utters the divine verities of being which deliver mortals out of the depths of ignorance and vice. This is the Father’s benediction” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 81).

The most active statement we can make, and which carries divine weight to make a difference in all avenues of society, is in the power of prayer. Wherever injustice appears to be in control – whether ignorant or malicious, and whether induced by cold, enforced extremism – there is hope. We find reason for this hope through Christ. Certainly in this Easter season, celebrating Christ Jesus’ supreme victory over all material conditions, is the largest lesson which brings hope. His prayers, knowing what God is and does, were answered fully.

Our prayers appeal to the same Father, the source of all wisdom and grace. How does this prayer affect our lives? Prayer purifies consciousness individually and collectively. It’s the process in which everyone has direct access to divine help. That’s why not one of us is without recourse to the circumstances around us.

We each go directly to “Our Father which art in heaven” where every voice is heard, every fear is calmed, and every heart given courage. Our prayers make us powerful activists, demanding that as children of God we are motivated only by Him. Why? because the Christ works in our prayers and shows us our holy nature from God. It demands us to live His qualities. It brings out the wisdom of God in all things. Christly prayers cause us to embrace all in brotherly and sisterly love. And prayer reveals that we have the divine, infinite resources to help us. Our prayers show us the power of divine Love to lift us out of darkness. They make clear both the willingness and ability of divine intelligence and Love to embrace the human condition.

That God is “a very present help in trouble” has been proven many times over (Psalm 46:1). The 23rd Psalm shows us that our lives are here to bring out the proof that “goodness and mercy shall follow [us] all the days of [our] life.” This is a divine promise. Hope in the divine ways and means of Truth blossoms into faith and understanding. Divine Love calls deep within us. It empowers us to reject the mental coercion that comes with despair.

May each one of us pray to see that we are, as the Bible states, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9). This truth is for every Greek and for everyone around the world.

For a Greek translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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