|Posted by Xavier Thelakkatt on February 12, 2016 at 11:35 PM|
A seminarian attempted suicide by swallowing a handful of sleeping pills. The paramedics rushed him to the hospital and saved his life. It was surprising to me that suicide was so rampant in the university campus wherein the seminary was located. Among the student population of about thirteen thousand every year there would be at least one serious attempt. When the seminarian’s parents arrived they were distraught and asked the question, “why?” They provided him with almost everything physically available. Many other students in the university were like that. They possessed every material thing. That, in fact, led them to addictions and consequent frustrations: smoking, alcohol, sex, drugs, porn, computer, video games, etc.
Months later, the same seminarian told me that it was a thirty-day silent retreat which helped to put his life in order again, though some struggles of depression remained. That self-imposed period of deprivation and isolation actually helped. In fact, lent is a time of such self-examination in order to restructure our lives with the aid of fasting, prayer and penance. Jesus was led by the Spirit into such a desert experience with no food, drink, and comforts of home or human companionship (Lk 4:1-13). It helped him overcome temptations. A period of retreat and introspection is essential even for the well-ordered lives.
First Sunday of Lent Dt 26:4-10; Rom 10:8-15; Lk 4:1-13