Intercession: May those nearing life’s end receive medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: The dying process is a sacred time—a final season to seek closure in this life and prepare for the next. We know earthly death is not the end, but rather the door through which we must pass to gain eternal life. The deadly practice of assisted suicide—now legal in several states—shortens or even eliminates this sacred season, carelessly cutting short the life of the patient. To support the “false compassion” of assisted suicide is to see people as a problem to be eliminated. End-of-life care should instead help eliminate or alleviate the patient’s problems, whether they are physical, spiritual, or emotional.
Those who die in God’s grace and friendship live forever with Christ. Because of our belief and hope in the Resurrection, we can face death not with fear, but with trust. We pray that society might recognize that every day of our lives is a gift and is always worth living, especially our final days. We need not fear. Christ is with us.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
- Sacrifice some of your free time to do a small act of service, such as making breakfast for a family member, writing a note of encouragement for a coworker, or praying for the intentions of a friend.
- Pray a decade of the rosary (www.usccb.org/rosary) for your friends and family who have passed away, as well as the departed who have no one to pray for them.
- Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention
One Step Further: Assisted suicide is in the news and on lawmakers' agendas. Supporters call it “aid in dying” and claim it is just another option for ending intolerable pain as part of end-of-life care. Learn why assisted suicide is radically different from end-of-life care and the practice of palliative care in “Killing the Pain, Not the Patient: Palliative Care vs. Assisted Suicide” (www.usccb.org/killing-the-pain).
When family members or friends approach life's end, we may not know how best to accompany them. For suggestions on authentically compassionate care anchored in unconditional respect for human life, read “Caring for Loved Ones at Life’s End” (www.usccb.org/endoflifecare).
Copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.