Friday, April 15, 2016

Desire of the Everlasting Hills ... and The Day of Silence.

Mark Rothko Series 2

I'll keep talking though ...

Last night I happened upon the film-documentary, The Desire of the Everlasting Hills, with Dan, Paul and Rilene.  It was the most I ever watched of it.  I knew it was good - but never took the time to really watch the entire film at one sitting.  (I may have Attention Deficit Disorder.)  I know the stories however - I'm old, remember?

It was really well done however.  I've always admired Dan, and I was happy Paul mentioned he changed, and his 'partner' accepted that, and they continue to live together.  That is important for people to understand - that can happen.  No matter what others may say.  It is very similar to older couples in a second marriage after divorce, living as 'brother and sister'.  Obviously that is a controversial topic these days after Amoris Laetitia, but that's life in the Sanhedrin.

That said, the three people in the program seemed to be rather lonely.  Which accounts for a need for a support group like Courage, I suppose.  People need friends, chaste friendships, close friendships.  There are stages one goes through in conversion, and one needs patience to persevere.  "By your patience, you will save your souls."  With people like Dan and Paul and Rilene speaking publicly, many people will be touched and be encouraged - no doubt about it.  I don't need to add to their stories, although it might be good to get others to tell their stories.  Everybody's stories are unique - as is everyone's conversion experience.  I can remain silent, except to remind people, it takes time to do God's will.

Today is a 'Day of Silence' for LGBTQ youth: National youth-run effort using silence to protest the actual silencing of LGBT people due to harassment, bias and abuse in schools.  They would not like the film, Desire of the Everlasting Hills.  Which is why Spiritual Friendship groups exist with other Christian groups to work and live among those who seek God, although they may be attached to LGBTQ identity.  This now makes sense, especially after the exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

To be honest I have difficulty with LGBTQ youth.  Local news has featured trans-gender youth who want inclusive restroom privileges and so on.  The gender thing is very difficult for me to accept. I also do not like the images gay twits present on prime time television - especially by Disney.  If kids acted like that in my neighborhood when I was growing up, they would have toughened up really fast.  But I digress.

The Holy Father upholds the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality and gay marriage, no doubt about it.  No matter how people spin it or suggest he opened a door for a change in doctrine, he did not.  While emphasizing Church teaching, he also emphasized the need to avoid unjust discrimination:
In paragraph 250, the pope quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that “every sign of unjust discrimination” based upon sexual orientation is to “be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”
Those with a homosexual orientation, he says, “can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.” - Source

What this does is permit a greater 'freedom of spirit' to minister to those attached to LGBTQ identity.  Hence the mission of Catholic men and women such as Eve Tushnet, Ron Belgau and so on.  Though I may not agree with them, I don't see them as 'enemies of the cross' as others do.

Interestingly, the stories in Desire of the Everlasting Hills, though varied and unique to each individual, it demonstrates the limitations in such a documentary.  What is key to each story however, is the conversion experience - the experience of reconciliation in the sacrament of penance.  Their testimony or witness of their experience in confession gets to the heart of what Pope Francis teaches.  The need to bring the sacraments to the 'peripheries' as it were.  Every confession seals the conversion in the Blood of Christ, as it were.  Our sins are washed clean, and the soul is sealed by the Blood of Christ.  You see that when these people discuss their first confessions.

Anyway - I'm just rattling on, but don't listen to those people who condemn the Pope and the exhortation for what it said or left unsaid.  Many bishops have praised the document, Cardinals helped compose and edit it - the same Cardinals some call heretics or 'company men' - although in times past they praised the same.  If these clerics were so bad, how is it they remain part of the Magisterium?  How is it they remain in office?

Avoid those who mock the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.  Avoid the 'prophets of doom' who assume they know how the exhortation will be abused.  Avoid those who condemn everything as "Francis-mercy".  These people reject everything the Pope says or does.

They claim to hate the sin but insist they love the sinner.  Their words betray them every time they open their mouth or write something online.

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


  1. Wow, beautiful paintings, both of them, Terry Nelson. Am reading yr post now. Very glad I decided to 'pass-by'!!...
    P. S. Today's the 5th year anniversary of my Dad's passing-away and would like to ask you for any prayer you may pray for his soul? I dream 'with him' every now and then; especially he is wearing a pair of Bermuda-shorts my sister and I would 'make fun of' when he wore because of his legs being so thin or skinny. Thanks VERY much in advance!!...
    P. P. S. He was an artist/painter too; painted with oils, mostly.

  2. And forgot to add his name, his name being Manuel Roberto Nicasio. Thanks again!...

    1. I will pray for him now and every day.

  3. Wow, very beautiful; thanks very much for your prayers in advance! Once I asked my Dad if he'd paint something for me 'to remember him by', and was hoping for a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then one day he surprised me and handed me his painting, but instead of a painting of our Blessed Mother it was of 'a detail' from a postcard he and my Mom had bought once in their trip to Israel, and the 'detail' was of the ruins of a Church and the steps which our Lord Jesus Christ would walk, either ascending or descending towards a boat awaiting to cross the lake to another town. The painting was mostly blues, grays and very light-brown colors and only a little green for the long grass growing there. I was slightly disappointed inside, but I thanked him very much for the painting and later-on, grew to love it very much!...

  4. Thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful post. I had not heard of this documentary before, but thanks to you I watched it and was very touched. Over 30 years ago I became involved with a gay man who truly loved me. But as hard as he tried, he could not deny who he was and was unable to make a commitment. That taught me that homosexuality is not a choice. It comes from deep inside and we need to have compassion and empathy for those who struggle with this. I liked Paul's comments at the end when he said he still feels attraction for men and he knows he could still fall. Do we condemn him for that or do we support him?

    Thank you also for supporting Pope Francis. I think many of those who condemn him would also condemn Jeus Christ if he walked the earth today. He refuses to call out a woman caught in the act of adultery? He socializes with the worst sinners of society? He breaks the rules of the temple? Heretic! He hates God and is leading people to hell.

    Pope Franics is one of the greatest men walking the earth today and there is no doubt in my mind he will be revered as a great and holy man in the future.

    1. I appreciate your comments - thanks. I agree with you on Pope Francis - I honestly do not understand the contempt other Catholics show for him.

    2. I appreciate your comments - thanks. I agree with you on Pope Francis - I honestly do not understand the contempt other Catholics show for him.

  5. "... it takes time to do God's will" and by patience you will save your souls. I needed this reminder, Terry. Thanks as always.

  6. Thanks for the nice words about the documentary! I wonder why you gathered that we seemed lonely from the film, however. I hear that sometimes from people who watch the film, and I'm honestly at a loss to understand why that's the case. Is it that we're never really seen with anyone else? I just saw the film again at a screening at Catholic University of America--I haven't seen it in quite time, but what I always see in the film is joy. But others see different things. I'd be curious to know what about it gives that impression. God bless you, and thanks for the kind words!

    1. A friend of mine said he thought the life portrayed was lonely.

      I think he felt it mirrored the loneliness of his life. He feels lonely. He sees himself alone. My friend isn't a Catholic.

      I'm not sure the loneliness he picked up is necessarily a negative. I often think of loneliness in the Dorothy Day sense of the 'long loneliness'.

      Christ was lonely. Not sure why it's considered a bad thing. John of the Cross and M. Teresa understood it.

      My whole life has been lonely ...


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