This Week’s Ask Alice: Suicide. Dreams, Visions. What To Do About An Adulterous Relative.

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She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Walt Asks: I’ve heard in so many ways that, “God never gives us more (burdens)than we can handle” That he is always with us and He gives us grace to continue. Well then, what about those who commit suicide?

Alice Answers: God gifts everyone with grace. God doesn’t give anyone more burdens than he/she can handle. “My grace is enough for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Suicide is a heart wrenching tragedy that claims as its victims both the deceased, and the survivors who love them. Suicide is a self-centered act, and suicidal wounds are self-inflicted. The person who commits suicide has not been abandoned by God, but has refused to accept and cooperate with God’s grace.

In many cases people who commit suicide are suffering from mental illness. Sometimes they are victims of extreme physical or mental abuse. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit, He saves.”(Psalm 34:19)

People who commit suicide do not rely on the Lord to heal their pain, but choose instead, to end their own life.

For all of these reasons and more, we must be careful to avoid harshly judging a person who commits suicide, since only God is in a position to know the whole, complete story. A true God of love, he extends his infinite grace and mercy to every soul, even at the very moment of death.

We have Jesus Christ’s blessed and personal assurance that his Divine Mercy is available to anyone who repents and asks God’s forgiveness, so there is always hope.

****

Moniq asks: For a couple of months I have been experiencing things related to my Christian faith, in dreams and prayers. Please help if you know the meaning of what I experienced: 1. While I was praying a week ago, I had a vision of a rose. One single, big rose, in the darkness. 2. I saw a bright golden cross, sitting on a white book shelf, in my dream last night. It looks like it’s an old, precious cross — glowing. I thought I was in a room. Bright. All in white. Thank you, and God be with you!

Alice Answers: Your spiritual experiences show your close relationship with God, since you are attentive to His signs in your life.

These are my first impressions of your vision and dream:

While praying, you saw an image of a big rose, in the darkness. The rose is a symbol through which God expresses His love for you. The rose is a sign of God’s consolation and comfort in your present circumstance, and the assurance that He has heard your prayer.

In your dream, a bright, golden cross, sitting on a white bookshelf represent God’s word in the Bible. “I am the way, and the truth and the life.”(John 14:6) Virtually all of the answers you seek are contained in Scripture.

The cross is old and glowing, as God’s words are timeless and enduring. Also, the cross means that Jesus wants to draw you closer to Himself. “Anyone who loves me will be true to my word…” (John 14:21)

The white room, Heaven, is attained by faithfully living the Gospel, thus fully embracing your very own “precious” cross. St. John of the Cross so loved his cross that he carried it with him always, enduring his personal sufferings in Jesus’ holy name, without complaint.

Moniq, how much it pleases God to speak to a heart that hears His voice!

****

Joseph Asks: I have a relative who is living an adulterous life, which I know is very sinful. I’ve tried to get him some counseling, but that did not work out. Now I don’t know what to do. Because of this, I’m not even comfortable socializing with him anymore. What is your advice?

Alice replies: Please don’t abandon your relative. He has stumbled and he needs you to guide him on the path back to God. “We who are strong in faith should be patient with the scruples of those who are weak.” (Romans 15:1)

If his other friends are comfortable with his adulterous situation, you might be the only one who can still touch his heart.

If you have not already done so, speak the truth to your relative about his adulterous affair. Encourage him to change his ways, and get to Confession.

You cannot force him to do this, but you can certainly lead by example. Offer to go to Confession with him. If he resists (as he probably will) don’t argue or push. Instead, continue to gently (and diplomatically) coax and cajole.

Your good work, along with God and his abundant grace, typically need a bit of time in order to obtain the desired results, with such wayward souls.

“Christ has no body but yours,

No hands no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks with

Compassion on this world.” (St. Teresa of Avila)

You certainly don’t have to party with your relative and his mistress, but it’s OK to meet with him for coffee, or talk with him on the phone. Don’t shun him. Continue to acknowledge him at family gatherings. And most importantly … continue to pray for him … without ceasing.

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