Brittany Maynard (29) is dying of inoperable brain cancer. One can only grieve for this young woman's ordeal and the fear that must accompany it. She's scheduled her check-out day for November 1st because she wants to celebrate her husband's birthday on October 26th. And she's made her final days a crusade to promote physician-assisted suicide in every state in the nation. She's working with Compassion and Choices, a group with roots in The Hemlock Society. Rita Marker, an expert on the history of the euthanasia movement often points out that the movement to legalize "mercy killing" isn't about the right to die, but the right to kill. And it grew out of The Hemlock Society whose founder, Derek Humphry smothered his first wife, Jean, when drugs failed to kill her. He then drove his second wife Ann (who participated in the killing) when she developed breast cancer years later. (See here.) Brittany, no doubt, hasn't got a clue about the history of this group making her the poster girl for their deadly agenda. What a coup!
Kara Tippetts is dying as well - of metastasized breast cancer. But she is facing her ordeal with faith. She recently wrote a book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard. She continues to blog her story of life at Mundane Faithfulness. Instead of turning to death, Kara turns her face to life -- to live every minute trusting in God and seeing suffering, not as a curse, but a grace, In a letter to Brittany she wrote, "Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known....Knowing Jesus, knowing that He understands my hard goodbye, He walks with me in my dying." She expresses a deep compassion for Brittany's suffering saying, "My heart longs for you to know Him in your dying. Because in His dying, He protected my living. My living beyond this place."
It's ironic that Brittany plans All Saints Day to commit an act that can only be described as a blasphemy against God. Let's beg all the saints to intercede for her that the grace of God reaches her heart and saves her from walking through the gate with the sign, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here." Even if she goes through with her suicide continue to pray. Remember Jean Vianney telling the grieving widow of a man who jumped from a bridge to his death that her husband repented between the time he jumped and the moment of his death. We cannot know the final end of anyone, even those who commit suicide. I'm praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for Brittany today. Will you join me?