I read about the priest in Ivory Coast that committed suicide this last Wednesday the 24th of April. I felt really hurt.
Friends, you see this whole thing about suicide, just pray for God’s grace to be strong if ever you find yourself in a deeply heartbreaking and emotional situation.
If you have never gone through emotional issues before, you may probably not understand. It is easier to say to people that no matter the situation, suicide is never an option. Truth. But when the reality hits you, without the Grace of God, you may not remember those words.
I have seen a man, a man known by many, whom at the eve of his wedding, the bride to be changed her mind without any concrete reason. She said she don’t feel like marrying him. That night, the man felt useless. He felt shame. He felt like he is not man enough. He imagined how he has brought disgrace to himself before his family and friends. This is not to talk about the heartbreak from the woman he had loved with all his heart.
I have seen a young girl of 18 who was impregnated by a man that denied ever knowing her. Her family did not even help matters. For one full month she felt nothing but confusion. The more the stomach kept coming out, the more she hated herself. The emotional torture was much.
I have seen a seminarian who was sent out of the seminary a week to his ordination with reason that one could possibly consider as no reason. He imagined all those he had invited for the ordination. He imagined how society will look at him as a failure.
In those cases and many more, you need the Grace of God and at least one person that listens and understands.
About the priest that committed suicide. From the stories, the priest was accused of sexually assaulting a young under-aged- girl. We were told that he hanged himself in his residence after he was made to testify in the case of paedophilia. We equally heard that the day before his death, the church council had already notified him of their decision to temporarily suspend him.
Now you can begin to understand what was possibly going on in his mind.
He might have felt being condemned. But that is not even the issue.
He might have felt ashamed, and if you like, useless. . . But that is hardly the issue.
The issue is, when people judge or condemn you for an act that you are probably guilty of, learn to forgive yourself first.
We often preach about God’s forgiveness and God’s mercy like most of us did in our sermons today, but one thing we hardly talk about is self forgiveness.
Some ladies have not forgiven themselves for an abortion they did 20 years ago. Some still go to confession every week even when God had already forgiven them.
Many still could not forgive themselves for a mistake they did, either at work, while growing up, or while in college.
You may have done something terrible, you may not have control of who forgives you or not, but you certainly have control of forgiving yourself especially knowing that when you run to God with a repentant heart, he will forgive you.
By Kelvin Ugwu MSP
28th April, 2019