Once a monk was asked:
`Father, which is the greatest sin ?`
`Suicide is of course the most terrible sin. No one has the right to take his life which God in His kindness gave him. Even if in our life we face great difficulties or despairs God gave us the power to go over them and by prayer and repentance all of them will seem easy.
Judas was the one who tore himself apart of Jesus and His teaching. His heart gradually estranged of God and the place of love and will was taken by recklessness. The confidence given by faith disappeared. First Judas did not agree with Jesus, then he betrayed Him and in the end he committed suicide as a sign of the complete separation of God. He did not suicide out of despair but of hate. That is why suicide is the greatest sin.
Your heart must live with the hope of improvement, of salvation, not to be killed. Even the greatest sinner must not fall into despair, but trust in God`s mercy and kindness. By suicide the man doesn`t get rid of troubles, only condemns himself at helplessness, not deserving salvation. To suicide is not a deed of heroism but of cowardice.
Would you praise that captain who for the fear of the storm would wish to sink his ship, drowning everything is on it? We face storms of sins. Should we give up fighting? Should we give up life? To drown everything is good in us: hope, love, and desire to live? NO way. The greater is the merit of the one who succeeds in life passing over obstacles and difficulties!
`Who doesn`t believe that he will be resurrected and will give account and he think that his being is limited to this life, won`t care much about good deeds. The faith in Resurrection is the true comfort in pains. In the struggle with the toils and difficulties of life no man should despair.`(Saint John Chrysostom)
Excerpt from The most beautiful Christian Orthodox parables and stories- – Leon Magdan Aramis Publishing– Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.