I'm sorry to learn from Alex Schadenberg's blog that the summer fever of pro-euthanasia campaigners is raging unabated - http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/08/assisted-suicide-lobby-leader-calls-for.html - referring to a story in today's Daily Telegraph about the doctor who proudly boasts of assisting nine people to commit suicide, Michael Irwin's latest idea: helping elderly people who are simply tired of living top themselves. For some reason he reckons it's rational. I reckon it devalues life and community.
I'm sorry, because it reminds me that we live in a confused and messy world. And I had been enjoying the summer! Well, I still am. But it's easy to be off your guard. As the old saying goes, 'All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.'
"In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles (Williams) is dead, I shall never again see Ronald's (Tolkien's) reaction to a specifically Charles joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him 'to myself' now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald.... In this Friendship exhibits a glorious 'nearness by resemblance' to heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each of us has of God. For every soul, seeing Him in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest. That, says an old author, is why the Seraphim in Isaiah's vision are crying 'Holy, Holy, Holy' to one another (Isaiah 6:3). The more we thus share the Heavenly Bread between us, the more we shall have."
Keller's comment on this ends, "Only if you are part of a community of believers seeking to resemble, serve, and love Jesus will you ever get to know him and grow into his likeness (p.127)". And perhaps it explains too why something like New Wine is more than the sum of its parts.
Going back to where I began, Lewis' comments demonstrate clearly why our death is not solely our business, as assisted suicide proponents maintain. Not only are others the poorer for our absence, but their experience of each other is impoverished. I suspect that may be a reality beyond the grasp of superficial self-styled rationalists.