wounded lover

I'm a Catholic man who just happens to have a hidden Cross I carry.

Michael O’Brien

This must be one of the most fascinating and challenging passages I have ever come across. Yet the moment I read it I knew it to be true. It is indeed so steeped in Christian mystery that I could not possibly understand it at first glance. To my life, it could apply on so many levels. I wish to spend the rest of my life contemplating this truth.

Posted at 7:23pm and tagged with: Mystery, Burden, Pain, Life, Catholic, Christ,.

You must learn to live with mysteries. There are burdens, even heavy burdens, that ease the weight of a man’s life. And there are burdens that, when they are lifted from a man’s life, will crush him.

I’m very pensive tonight. Often I avoid self-reflection, both out of a fear of what I might find, and a dislike of focusing so much on myself. But you can’t learn what is going on in the depths of the soul unless you look deep, penetrating to the place where God is most at work. I’m sitting outside Starbucks on an increasingly cold evening. The metaphor, I find, is fitting for what I am feeling now. Inside the warm, golden glowing room just on the other side of the glass are people laughing, studying, carrying on conversations. Some are troubled, some are enjoying companionship and it’s comforts. Little separates us, but I cannot help but feel segregated off a bit from them. Out in the cold, as it were. Not without my own comforts, mind you. I have a book dear to my heart, a warm cup of coffee, achingly beautiful music by Yann Tiersen, and most of all, I have a quiet moment to plumb the depths of God’s actions in my life. It is a gift and a cross. I know of no other way to see it.

How I long to be longed for. And yet, how I know no human love will ever completely fulfill the ache left deep in my heart. Only a love from above can fulfill it. What if, what if God asked me to wait a whole lifetime to know his love so fully that I myself felt fulfilled. Would it be fair? Would it be worth it? To abandon, to sacrifice the love of one who feels as I do for a greater love to come? This seems to me to be the ultimate question posed by my homosexuality: will you wait for me? Will you wait throughout the longing and the loneliness, will you sit outside the window and watch the rest of the world move in a warmth greater than the one I will afford you? Will my promise to be waiting for you in eternity, and hidden in every Mass and prayer until that day, will it be enough for you to trust? Will you let this unfulfillment melt away all the pride and lust and anger and despair? Will you walk the long road, if it leads to me? I have only one answer.

I will.

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

Posted at 9:42pm and tagged with: God, Starbucks, Prayer, Homosexuality, Gay, Loneliness, Reflection,.

Rouault

This is for me, at once, a great relief and terrible distress.

There is such a temptation, as man attracted to the same sex yet who seeks after the Church’s wisdom above his own, to despair. To say to myself, that if the Church says I cannot love rightly, then I must not be capable of loving at all. That maybe all my attempts at love are twisted by some disorder I cannot control. In my moments of clarity and honesty before God, a broken sadness is a common emotion.

But this quote is for me also a great relief. For it says that though some force outside of my control may have twisted my love, it is nonetheless still there. The image of love can never be erased. It is truer and more eternal than any disorder parading in attractive costumes. I fear my weakness, but not the strength God has indeed placed in me to love. That icon of himself remains and shall never be displaced. Not as long as there is breath in my lungs and hope in my heart.

For every night of selfish desires, God has given me a morning to begin again on my knees. How patient he is indeed, that he would continue to reveal who I truly am in his light. A gay son of God is every bit as much a son of God as the rest. Maybe I have farther to reach him because of how far that I have fallen. But the goal remains the same. And, my God, the love will always remain.

Posted at 9:49pm and tagged with: God, Catholic Church, Gay, Homosexual, Love, Pain, Fear,.

The man who does not love does not yet know himself. Inside every heart is an image of love - however buried it may be. He must seek it, and find for himself his own language, the words that will unlock the hidden icon.

Joseph Cardinal Ratrzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons


Posted at 1:26pm and tagged with: Homosexuality, Gay, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI,.

But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

An authentic pastoral program will assist homosexual persons at all levels of the spiritual life: through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counsel and individual care. In such a way, the entire Christian community can come to recognize its own call to assist its brothers and sisters, without deluding them or isolating them.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

Posted at 1:16pm and tagged with: Homosexual, Gay, Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger,.

What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian’s suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

I love the beautiful point being made here by Pope Benedict that it is actually demeaning to homosexual persons to assume that simply because there is an innate desire for a person of the opposite sex, that they must compulsively act upon it.  

No doubt, everyone knows deep down in their bones, that the sexual appetite is no passing, fleeting emotion.  Yet do we not hold any cheater responsible for their acts?  Liberty - genuine freedom to act one way or another, ordered to truth - is from where the dignity of the human person comes.  It does not come from acting upon every emotion or desire I may feel.  I’m more than that.  And so are you.

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis

Posted at 1:06pm and tagged with: Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic Church, Grace, Homosexuality, Gay,.

Here, the Church’s wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God’s liberating grace.

I have found struggling with same-sex attractions to be much akin to a crown of thorns.  In the moment, on most days, I cannot escape that it feels like more pain, loneliness, and humiliation than I can logically bear.  In my inmost being I do not feel like I ‘fit in’ - that I have been singled out in a way that leaves me empty and reeling.  And yet when I go to God in prayer, I cannot help but feel humble awe that he would use those thorns of pain and loneliness and mold them into a crown of a deeper relationship with him.  When other can find relief and rest in their spouse, my only relief comes from God.  What a beautiful pain.  The thorns never cease to pierce, but I grow stronger in God, not the things of this world.  He must increase, I must decrease.

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

Posted at 10:10am and tagged with: Crown of Thorns, Homosexuality, Catholic Church,.

I have found struggling with same-sex attractions to be much akin to a crown of thorns.  In the moment, on most days, I cannot escape that it feels like more pain, loneliness, and humiliation than I can logically bear.  In my inmost being I do not feel like I ‘fit in’ - that I have been singled out in a way that leaves me empty and reeling.  And yet when I go to God in prayer, I cannot help but feel humble awe that he would use those thorns of pain and loneliness and mold them into a crown of a deeper relationship with him.  When other can find relief and rest in their spouse, my only relief comes from God.  What a beautiful pain.  The thorns never cease to pierce, but I grow stronger in God, not the things of this world.  He must increase, I must decrease.
Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

"A Compassionate God"

Max Lucado, The Applause of Heaven


Posted at 12:20pm and tagged with: Max Lucado, The Applause of Heaven, Compassion, God,.

My child’s feelings are hurt. I tell her she is special.
My child is injured. I do whatever it takes to make her feel better.
My child is afraid. I won’t go to sleep until she is secure.
I’m not a hero… I’m a parent. When a child hurts, a parent does what comes naturally. He helps…
Why don’t I let my Father do for me what I am more than willing to do for my children?
I’m learning… Being a father is teaching me that when I am criticized, injured or afraid, there is a Father who is ready to comfort me. There is a Father who will hold me until I’m better, help me until I can live with the hurt, and who won’t go to sleep when I’m afraid of waking up and seeing the dark.
Ever.
Peter Bradley Adams, Family Name

Posted at 11:34am and tagged with: Peter Bradley Adams, Family Name,.

Well, I raise my glass with the unfortunate ones
We’re broken and tired from the miles we have run
But our hearts, they are open and the healing’s begun
And now our chance has come.

I look around at the ones I adore
Forgive me the chances I’ve wasted before
But I pray for the courage not to miss them anymore
That’s all I’m asking for.

Win or lose it’s a hell of a game
The roads we choose, they don’t end up the same
So rest your hearts on the family name
And we’ll find our way back home.

"God’s Favorite Word"

Max Lucado, And the Angels Were Silent

Posted at 7:40am and tagged with: Max Lucado, Invitation, Christianity, God,.

God is an inviting God. He invited Mary to birth his Son, the disciples to fish for men, the adulteress woman to start over, and Thomas to touch his wounds. God is the King who prepares the palace, sets the table, and invites the subjects to come in.
In fact, it seems his favorite word is COME.
“COME, let us talk about these things, though your sins are like scarlet, they can be white as snow.”
“All you who are thirsty, COME and drink.”
“COME to me all, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”
God is a God who invites. God is a God who calls.
Flogging Molly

Posted at 2:57pm and tagged with: Flogging Molly, Afterlife,.

If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll come back down and sit beside your
feet tonight
Wherever I am you’ll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll take on all the sadness
That I left behind
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside
So in a word don’t shed a tear
I’ll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive

A.A. Hodge

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

Posted at 12:02pm and tagged with: A.A. Hodge, Truth, Catholic Church, Wisdom,.

It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth, than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.
C.S. Lewis

Posted at 7:41am and tagged with: Experience, God, C.S. Lewis,.

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

Posted at 7:23am and tagged with: Friendship, St. Thomas Aquinas, Catholic Church,.

There is nothing on earth more to be prized than friendship.

Anonymous

Holy Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

Posted at 4:51pm and tagged with: Courage, Perseverance,.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’