"You're a homosexual" - Church Lady on SNL last week
Do we understand the homosexual inclination?
I don't think we do - but Deacon Jim Russell sheds some light on the issue here. It's a good, solid essay as usual, and worth reading - more than once if it seems upsetting at first glance. Online so many of us skim through posts, get an overview, often seen through a very subjective, negative lens, that we fail to see the essence of the article, and we snap-judge the over all work.
So anyway - there is nothing wrong with what Deacon wrote. It's a subject I no longer deal with much, but it seems to me the essay is important for parents and confessors to consider in trying to understand the homosexual condition.
If I was a gay Catholic returning to the Church, it could be off-putting on some levels - a little too much emphasis on rejecting gay identity and friendship. That seems a virtual impossibility for people who consider themselves gay. The Church doesn't really ask that either - the first thing it asks is chastity, pastoral care ministers to the other questions which arise over time. I think Deacon is specifically addressing the gay-Catholic, spiritual friends movement - which is another group I no longer keep track of.
I contend that if a person prays - genuinely prays - frequents the sacrament, especially confession and holy communion, practises mortification and seeks to acquire the virtues, and if so fortunate to find a decent priest as spiritual director, he will mature to the point where much of what mattered in the so-called gay identity fades away and becomes meaningless. Take being a Madonna fan for instance, Vogue is still a fun song, and you might even dance around to it when you're alone - but Madonna as a star has risen and fallen and she's old and ugly without the make-up. In other words, you see through the pretentiousness, the meaningless sex, all the cosmetic and materialistic trappings, and you look for what is true. Healing, wholeness takes place gradually - if one stops and freaks out about something like 'feelings' or 'attractions' as being bad or even sinful - one easily stops trying.
Likewise, Deacon speaks about gay Catholics who think they can abstain from actual sex while cuddling, kissing, even petting your boyfriends chest, and yet remain chaste. When I first read that I thought, "who the hell does that?" Then I realized some of the gay-Catholic spiritual friendship crowd believes that is kosher. It's not.
That's why I say if one really prays, not just says prayers to pray away the gay, but really pray, you come to understand how self indulgence is incompatible with an authentic spiritual life. (That doesn't mean you have to live like a monk either.) Prayer is unsustainable without some degree of self-abnegation, petting your boyfriend may make him feel good - or loved, but for sure, it's selfish self indulgence on your part. You are deriving sensual pleasure from it - pleasure is not wrong - but in this case it would be more akin to foreplay. Besides - if you truly seek God you are neither seeking yourself or your boyfriend, that wouldn't be how to act. Know what I mean?
Anyway - read Deacon Russell's essay closely to understand it better. The gay Catholics aren't breaking commandments in their joy of being gay and Catholic, they are simply deluding themselves and their followers into believing everything is okay, just as long as you don't ejaculate. "Love and do what you will" doesn't work like that.
It's a tired subject - but you really can get over it (the sin) if you persevere ... by patient perseverance we will save our souls - that's Today's Gospel.
Here's a pious thought: Today's Collect asks for 'constancy' to serve God. Remember, repenting each day, even going to confession every day - if need be - is a form of constancy and requires patient perseverance. God is pleased with our efforts - even if it takes a lifetime - which it usually does.
St. Irene attends to the wounded St. Sebastian.
One must be patient, and attentive in removing defects (arrows)...
usually a person can take care of only one wound at a time.
Boy, you gotta carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time
Boy, you gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time...