Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here's something... from Fr. James Martin

I found it on a pro-same-sex marriage blog called Sensus Fidelium.

Of course God loves all persons - God as Father wills us into existence - he wanted, he wants,  each of us as his children.  Thus, I do not believe Fr. Martin is saying anything in opposition to Church teaching in his video, although he may not be teaching perfectly or clearly the dogma of faith.  Indeed Christ loves us - just the way we are - but he calls us, invites us, to reform our lives and believe in the Gospel.  He came to call sinners, to heal the sick... not to affirm a sinful way of life. 

Therefore, Fr. Martin is absolutely correct when he says: "Jesus is always welcoming people. . . . I would say that Jesus, if he were here today, would probably be reaching out specifically to gays and lesbians, and specifically to gay and lesbian teenagers who find themselves being rejected by society and often rejected by their religious communities . . ."

At the end of the tape, Fr. Martin continues:  "God can help you understand your own dignity, in time.  God sees things in an entirely different way than we do.  What may seem impossible for you at the time is possible for God..."

Now, perhaps because I want to start giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I just wonder if Fr. Martin isn't really inviting gay and lesbian youth to be open to change, to be open to God's grace and call?  I wish Fr. Martin would have had more time here so that he could have added that it gets better through conversion and acceptance of Christ's teaching...

I must say I am confused that I found the Fr. Martin video on a Catholics for Marriage Equality site however. 


  1. It *does* get better. Fidelity to the Truth (read: to the Magisterium) does make it easier to live a chaste life. It may take time, but it will happen.

  2. And it seems to me fidelity means remaining faithful in and through the experience of falling and rising, sadness and joy. To persevere is to remain faithful.

  3. Confused, Terry? Lol. Round and round we go. He has go to keep those books on Saints rolling off the presses to counter balance his propoganda. WHEN will people glom on to his modus operandi ?

    Check this out:

    Oh boy.



  5. I have found being faithful is more often than not a very heavy cross. The grace of God is of course sufficient but it is still a difficult road. I think the most difficult part (for me) is being misunderstood by "friends" and family members. I think the idea of being faithful in this context is unfathomable for them. They see it as "God made me this way" which means that I can therefore do what I want with my body. I don't think they can get past that part. I understand where they are coming from been there thought that. I have of late been accused of being judgemental for asking forgiveness from individuals for past sin. I'm reaching out trying to make amends and being seen as judgemental. That too is part of this cross. I was trying to get across to a friend that it is sinful to lust after someone or to view porn or impure images online. The circle went back to "God made me this way". Needless to say I pray for true Metanoia for all the people I know every day.

  6. Servus: You, Mercury and Terry are the ones who deserve notice for the gift of the Holy Spirit conferred upon you: fortitude, real fortitude. They aren't interested. It doesn't feed their poisonous narrative.

  7. Maria - I'm not that great. What keeps me from going back to old ways is not love of God, but fear of hell. I feel like a dog bound by one of those invisible fences. I kind of wish I could run out, but I know what will happen if I do.

    And yes, I am holding out for an annulment (the divorce is final :( ), but I don't know if it will happen. I'm prepared to live life faithful to the vow I made, but it's sure not what I am praying for (which is to have a happy an holy marriage with someone I love deeply). As of now, I just wear my wedding ring and awkwardly explain to everyone who asks why I do so after almost 2 years of being rejected.

  8. And if you are gonna heap praise, don't forget "doughboy" :)

  9. What concerns me very much is the continual insistence that homosexuality in itself, as a condition, is not sinful - which is absolutely correct by the way.

    Nevertheless there continues a preference to emphasize the catechisms differentiation between homosexual acts as sinful - while stressing that the orientation itself - the condition - is not. In other words - the theme presented and or implied is that gay is okay, good, or just a neutral fact of life. In my opinion and experience, this emphasis affects teaching - as one may interpret from Fr. Martin's video, and it is more or less promoted on some 'gay catholic' web sites.

    Pastors and teachers ignore the fact that we are more than just Catechism Catholics - that there are other documents which clearly detail Catholic teaching and affirm Sacred Scripture. One of these is the CDF document On The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Partcularly this paragrah:

    "In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."

    But let's be clear - the Church is not saying the person is disordered, but the condition is - and the condition itself must always be seen and understood as an objective disorder. It is a very important point to keep in mind.

  10. Terry--Critical distinction. And yet, the priests/activists always use language suggesting that we condem the PERSON. Makes me CARAZY.

    Mercury--You are are in good company. Meditation on Hell from the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises-- The point of this exercise is “to ask for interior sense of the pain which the damned suffer, in order that, if, through my faults, should I forget the love of the Eternal Lord, at least the fear of the pains may help me not to come into sin.” Has worked for me ;)

    Sorry I excluded "Doughboy".

  11. Well, actually meditating on Hell may not be the best move for me. I'm already scared shitless to the point of spiritual sloth (no fervor in my prayer) and at times am certain that I'm gonna be damned anyway unless I become absolutely perfect(there's some old sermon that has 5 in 33,000 being saved - that's more than 99.99% damned!).

    I just "know" that if I screw up I'm damned, so that's about it.

    And I go from hating the idea of sin to being afraid to even admit that I do have licit desires that are not evil, or are even good - so I quickly fall into the trap of hating myself for even being attracted to women, or for desiring to have a physical relationship at all. After all, didn't St. Aloysius not even look his own mother in the face? :)

    Thank you, though, and I appreciate what you have to say.

  12. I guess what I mean is, when you fear everything is sinful (and there's no such thing as venial sin or ambiguity for the scrupulous), maybe asking for the grace to always think of hell isn't such a great idea?

  13. Mercutyy--I forgto who I was talking too. Soooooo sorry.

  14. Haha it's okay. I'd actually like to do the Exercises - one day. But I'd need to go in with a level head. As it is, from what I have read, it seems to leave single men with no other option than "be a priest / religious" or go to hell. Someone told me that St Ignatius believed that the counsels were, in fact, precepts, so that if say, one doesn't struggle a lot with chastity, they have *no business* getting married. At times I have almost wished I struggled more just so I can have an "excuse" to prefer marriage!

    St. Alphonsus even advised people in letters never to get married unless they struggled with sins of chastity all tge time.

    So when I feel like I can freely respond to God without fear of "choosing wrong", I will give the Exercises a try. As it is, I wonder why the church says one must freely accept and want the counsels, whereas so many saints seem to say that if there is even a remote possibility one *could* accept them, they'd better, or else.

    Of course, Fr. Hardon seemed to be much much more balanced, and really respected marriage as a vocation. I know you know him well, Maria :)

  15. As I wind down my preparation to renew my total consecration on Sunday the meditations are about the cross and embracing one's cross. An important thing to remember is that we don't have to look for crosses. It wasn't until I began to see my condition as a cross that I was able to embrace it. For years I was always asking the wrong question: why me?! I didn't ask for this! What purpose does this serve in the grand scheme of God's universe?.....

    These things were so important to me. I think it's a major thing to be able to take a great leap (without reservations) into the ocean of the teaching magisterium of the Church for anyone. I mean that's a great act of the will of trust. It's saying, "I won't pretend to understand this particular teaching but I'm going to trust Holy mother church on this one".....and to the world that borders on insane. Not only the world for many Catholics for example those who contracept. It's all unfathomable.

    When i had my reversion I had to be real. I had to be authentic. I understand the fear and reluctant attitudes of many who won't or feel they can't trust the Church. I've been there done that.

    Mercury, I wouldn't belittle your fear of hell as being a motivation for faithfulness and conversion. It motivates me and it serves its purpose. I believe the key is to be faithful whether you feel like it or not.

    I'm sure we all at times misguided as it is "long for the fleshpots of Egypt". It's a temptation sometimes to look back and think, "well, sometimes that life wasn't all THAT bad etc" You just have to tell yourself that there is nothing in this life that is worth forfeiting heaven for nothing. I have enough to answer for as it is with how I have lived my life. I don't need to add insult to injury.

  16. Servus - you offer good advice.

  17. Servus - well said. Maybe I need to be thankful for being delivered for some of my more reprehensible habits of living in the past.

    Still, I don't understand the zeal and the love for God that some people have. It's not something I can just "do," and I know I am setting myself up to not receive it.

    I wish I could forget everything I have "learned", filtered through my cynicism, and start over.

    Do you know that I cannot even remember a time when I felt joy in prayer? I just want to once be able to say I fell in love with God.

    What I know is real enough to have allowed my marriage to crumble, yet I never embraced the truth with fervor or zeal. There is not a doubt in my mind that the Magisterium of the Church teaches the Truth.

    Now I am bitter and alone with the faith of a robot who probably doesn't even want to be fixed.

  18. Mercury

    You have to trust God that you are where you should be right now...all your doubts, fears, dashed hopes, anxieties, sadness, dryness...

    I rarely have joy in prayer. There are many days that I say my prayers more out of obligation and duty than of fervor and love.

    The key is to just keep doing it. Keep going through the motions and continue to place all your hope and trust that God will see you through this time.

    Spiritual consolations are rare I think. This difficult time you are going through is part of your cross and we are all called to embrace our crosses however distasteful and heavy they are. In one of the Father Liebitis's meditations in my preparation for total consecration uses St Louis de Montfort's "Friends of the Cross" and he talks about embracing our cross and with the help of Jesus to carry it to finish the race to the end. Each day has sufficient crosses and trials in itself. We are not promised tomorrow only the moment.

    All I have is JESUS which is enough . My past failed relationships have not even given me lasting friendships. My friends seem to avoid me since my reversion. I'm pretty much alone in this world. I have no promise of a relationship of any kind in the future (most likely). I think if I were an extrovert this would be too much for me to bear but I have JESUS and HE is my all.

  19. @Mercury, our priest recently preached from the preface to the 3rd Sunday of Lent, on the Samaritan woman. Excerpt from the Preface: "For when he asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink, he had already created the gift of faith within her and so ardently did he thirst for her faith, that he kindled in her the fire of divine love." He kindled love in her first, before she knew what was going on.

    Please consider that your wish to be and feel closer to God (or just puzzlement that you don't feel said zeal) means that God is not sitting passively, waiting for you to get your stuff together, but rather that He is already working in you, relentlessly but with the greatest courtesy, drawing you to Himself, as he did with the Samaritan woman.

  20. Thanks, both of you. Sorry, I feel like I am fishing for consoling words form people.

  21. This may seem a little corny to some, but I love this song--it gets at the heart of the matter:

    Blessing by Laura Story

  22. That's Blessings, plural.

  23. Mercury,

    There's not much else I can add to what Servus & Jade have already said that are most excellent.

    I don't have much joy in my prayer, either. I'm tempted to feel like I'm a robot, too ... just going through the motions. But I think it's exactly that: a temptation; temptation to believe that if I don't "feel" the grace and love, then my actions don't matter. Aren't real. Aren't fervent. And that's a lie. As soon as I ponder on that, I have a sense of consolation that God is near me. We show our love by being faithful and obedient to our Lord and His precepts & counsels - no matter how we 'feel' about it all.

    And thanks for the inclusion :)

    "Group Hug."

  24. Good points Maria and doughboy. I honestly don't feel like driving 300 miles to a retreat tomorrow nor can I afford it but I REALLY need it. So....hopefully the weather won't be too nasty tomorrow morning.

  25. doughboy - thank you.

    I understand the precepts, but it's tge counsels that give me trouble. I don't want to be professed religious - I want to be married, and I don want to make a vow of utter poverty. I feel like, if I am not ready (or willing) to accept the evangelical counsels, I must be shortchanging God somehow - that if a happy, loving, an holy marriage is what I seek, it's not "good enough", etc.

  26. Good luck on your retreat, servus!

    I'm going to have to talk to my SD about making one.

    Related to my above comment, it's like I'm afraid of putting myself at God's tender Mercy because I am afraid of what He will ask me to do.

    I can imagine myself going on a retreat and coming back with the idea in my head that I have really no choice but to become a priest or religious, as if God's view of marriage is really "well, I'd really rather no one did it, but I guess I'll allow it if you're a spiritual retard." This is, after all the view of numerous Saints :(

    ... modified to fit my standards of reduction ad absurdum, of course :)

  27. mercury said:

    "it's like I'm afraid of putting myself at God's tender Mercy because I am afraid of what He will ask me to do."

    Padre Pio said, "My past, O Lord, to your Mercy; my present, to your Love; my future, to your Providence!'

    Our Lady said, "Fiat voluntas tua"

    Our Lord said, "Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done."

    Can any of us expect anything less than giving of ourselves completely and unreservedly?

    I pray this prayer after Holy Communion:

    Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will. All I have and call my own, You have given to me; to you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.

    God wants only the best for us how can we but trust in what HE has for us to do? Why would we wish to cleave to our own aspirations and wishes if we wish true happiness and peace? Believe me I have spent over 20 years of my life trying to do it "MY WAY" and it has led to a past littered with regret and misery...

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  32. Well Whiney :)
    I don't know. You make valid points if I understand you correctly. Everything can/should be offered to God or His greater glory and our sanctification. You don't have to be a religious (and shouldn't) if it's not your calling. Right now though your situation is uncertain and there is a very heavy cross in that uncertainty and not knowing. Having wonderful memories and grieving because things didn't work out in your marriage isn't bad nor does it mean you love God any less. But right now God is calling you to just be faithful to Him in your life now. I know the single life doesn't appear to be so rosy now and who knows what the future will bring? There is nothing that will make your present situation more palatable. Rather than anticipate what might or might not happen regarding your annulment or a future holy marriage be faithful to GOD in the space you are now. I feel I have a call to religious life or priesthood but if the church says No then that's how it has to be. There was a time in my life that I didnt think I could live with that possibility (that something I'd felt drawn toward all my life might not be what God wanted for me). As mother always says, "offer it up". A guy I met in Austria visiting this community told me, "meine Oma hat mir gesagt dass es gibt NICHTS wertvolles im Leben Ohne Opfer hinzubringen"

  33. Servus, I deleted all the stuff I posted, because it was dumb and too much.

    I don't mean I want to do things "MY WAY" - as it is I may be facing a life of celibacy because my wife left me and divorced me. If the marriage proves to be valid, I am ready to live with that cross and embrace it - or so I tell myself.

    But I feel guilt because I even want to be married in the first place is what I mean. In my mind, if religious life is better and more pleasing to God, then I must be shortchanging Him by not choosing it. So how can I "dare" tell God that I will give Him everything, when really, I want to be married, have a family, and a job, and not be a monk or a priest (unless He shows me by some unequivocal sign that's what He wants me to do)?

    And I misunderstand counsels of detachment and so on, to the point where it seems to me that to enjoy anything in the world - even friendship, even family, even marriage, is a "rival" to God, and that I am somehow wrong for wanting these things. That if I enjoy doing anything but praying or spiritual reading to charity work, I am doing wrong. That hobbies and interests are a vice.

    I make no secret of the fact that I also desire the physical side of marriage, I want a wife whom I am drown to both spiritually and bodily - but I cannot see how that is NOT displeasing to God, since we're only "supposed to" want spiritual things, and we're especially not "supposed to" want anything sexual - that's the impression I get from the saints at least - that marriage is only for those who "can't keep it in their pants ... sometimes I almost wish I struggled more with chastity so I'd have an "excuse".

    I hope this makes sense and is less ranting. I need to speak to my SD about all this. Please just pray for me - no need for a long response. I just wanted to let you know this is how my stupid, stupid, mind works. I will keep you in my prayers as well.

  34. Haha I guess you saw my old stuff before I "cleaned" it up. have you felt drawn to the priesthood or religious life your whole life?

    Don't get me wrong - IF my annulement does not go through, I would think that living faithfully to that bond would be a noble calling, and I'd embrace it with zeal (I hope). but in all honesty all I really want is a happy marriage with a wife who loves me, and who will kick me in the butt when I need it (I often do).

    The uncertainty is this: I am not at all drawn to religious life, and I never have been. But, I feel like I HAVE to pretend that's what I want if I REALLY care - do you see where I am going with this?

    I do wear my wedding ring still, to the amazement of some friends and co-workers. But it's really one of the ways I am forced to speak on and stand up for Church teachings, since it inevitably comes up. I'm shy about bringing up religion to people - but that makes it unavoidable sometimes!


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