Friday, July 18, 2014

Courage members who are willing to give their testimony in a public forum.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
have mercy on us.

A new documentary film:  The Everlasting Hills

The film debuts this weekend at the Courage Conference.  You can view the trailer here.  I look forward to viewing the entire film when it is released.

Fr. Check comments on the film:
I admire the three people whom you will see in this movie—Rilene, Dan and Paul. I admire them because of their humility and courage. I realize—and more important, they realize—that some viewers may be troubled, offended, or even angered by their stories. No one involved in making this film wishes to cause anyone distress. On the contrary. But if we are free to design our lives, then each of us will have a story, and whether or not this story is welcome, it deserves respect. It deserves respect not only for the unique mind and heart the story reveals, but also for what it may contain for others. 
Rilene, Dan and Paul do not claim that their stories are just like the stories of all other people – or even of any other people. Yet do their stories share unifying themes? Yes, they do. So has this film been made for a purpose? Yes, it has. Indeed, it has been made for a dual purpose, because the film takes up not just one of the questions I mentioned, but both of them: What it means to design one’s life well, and how to know when we have really found peace and fulfillment. For in the end, finding peace and fulfillment are what the precious gift of freedom is for. –Fr. Paul N. Check, Executive Director, Courage, Int.

I like how Fr. Check acknowledges that their stories are NOT just like the stories of all other people, or even of any other people.  Indeed, their stories share unifying themes - some people's stories are darker, others more benign - what telling one's story demonstrates however is that one can move beyond 'gay', beyond the limitations imposed by LGBTQ theory and culture.  Unchallenged, the 'identity' tends to block natural joy, peace and that freedom of spirit so essential to authentic spiritual development.  "Blessed are the pure of heart - for they shall see God."  That intention, or disposition, is essential to the interior life and growth in virtue.

One major reason I support Courage Apostolate is that one can be sure one is receiving authentic Catholic teaching, spiritual guidance, support and formation.  It is Catholic spirituality supported by the sacramental life of the Church, it is a means to sanctify one's life.  It is solidly Catholic.

I congratulate all those who have made this film, for their courage and humility.  When we tell our conversion stories - to be of any value at all - it is not so much about ourselves and the things we did - rather it is about what God has done, in Christ:  It is about the mercy of God - his overwhelming love - which is in fact, the very source of our desire for 'the everlasting hills'.  As the famous saints who were once sinners have said - "forever I will sing of the mercies of the Lord!"   That is the big difference in profiting from conversion stories online - there are those who celebrate themselves, yet the authentic stories are those which glorify the mercy of God.

I think the people in this film do that.

I just have to say - the growth of Courage Apostolate is truly edifying and encouraging for the entire Church.  Praise God!  It wasn't always so well supported - believe me.  Even if you are not part of a group, or you don't like groups, whatever - you can benefit from the research and writing generated by those associated with Courage since its founding - Fr. Harvey's works are still available and relevant to our needs today.  Do not be afraid!

And never let anyone tell you that the Church does not care about you.  The Church loves us.

H/T Austin Ruse, Crisis

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