To Save a Single Life: World Suicide Prevention Day

Why, to borrow the language of my Jewish brothers and sisters, is today different from all other days? Why is this day festive yet funereal, as it starts with a celebration of life and ends with the inscription of the names of who shall live and who shall die?

You will forgive me, I hope, for shortening the highest of holy weeks into the most serious day of any week; because as Jewish law says—and as natural law dictates—whoever saves a single life saves the whole world.

Today is our chance to do just that: to do God’s will by honoring the godliness of World Suicide Prevention Day.

It is a day as important to the faithful as it is determinative of the fates of thousands, whose names need not rest among the departed while their bodies rest in peace; whose departure will never be a source of peace to their friends and loved ones; whose deaths are quiet but far from peaceful.

The quiet comes after the rage of a final battle and the ravages of an invisible war.

It is a preventable war, provided we comfort the afflicted and come to know the afflictions that discomfort so many.

Whatever we do, let us not cast judgment against a person whose pain we cannot imagine and whose despair we cannot even begin to describe.

Let us act to save a life, rather than say a prayer for a life we could have saved.

Let us be true to God by making his work our own.

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