Hello world from London where Rayne and I are celebrating our first anniversary, one year together!!

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year and what a year it has been!

Sticking on the subject of relationships today might be a bit of an education for some of you as I write about a type of relationship in the gay world called “open relationships”.

Some of you might be uncomfortable, others shocked but listen, it is what it is and this is the reality of the world in which we live in and the need for understanding and love rather than judgement.

Open relationships are those where the couple in the relationship agree that they can both meet other people and have sex with them if they wish…

Now to some of you this may sound awful and like and yet this is very common and believe it or not I have met and know some very nice people in such arrangements.

So how do they come about you may ask?

Here’s how! Most gay people come from pretty difficult backgrounds where they had very little love and support from family and the church. This pain mixed with their natural sensitivity led them into a gay community with a lot of sex.

After some time this became their normal way of relating and so years later when they did meet that “special someone” somr find themselves madly in love after yet unable to commit.

Rather than dump eachother for cheating they come to a place of openness and understanding and they agree that while they remain committed to eachother that they may have some ‘fun’ with others!

Every relationship is different and every couple in these type of relationships have to work through the boundaries.

While far from ideal, in light of the very great emotional brokenness and sensitivity of many gay people, these relationships are very common and quite easy to understand.

Of course to the traditional catholic ear this sounds horrific after yet many people in these relationships came from very traditional families who rejected them when they were young and left them to find their own way.

My experience of evangelisation in the gay scene is of meeting people where they are at and trying to understand it rather than trying to impose rules and judging people.

Sadly many are unwilling to listen and to understand and tend to launch in with condemnation which just further wound these people.

When dealing with these pastoral realities we must never underestimate the mercy and compassion of Jesus and Mary and we must be very patient and humble.

God has immense mercy on the gay community because He knows the immense sufferings and injustices that they have suffered.

I know this first hand myself. Life has put me through pain beyond what I thought any human being could bare and while I too have made many mistakes and have had lots of sex, God’s mercy has never left me as He knows the excruciating battle that I had just to stay alive time and time again.

And so today as I continue to pray and build bridges between my gay friends and my church friends, once again the most important thing is mercy.

Before judging people for what they afraid doing we must first ask the question ‘why’?

Why are they doing it?

And we must listen through a heart of love, mercy and compassion.

Only from this place will we be able to meet people where they are at and to gently love and bring them to the heart of Jesus without judging and without shaming them.

“Jesus, help us to love through your merciful heart and free us from all judgement and pride”.

Thanks for reading

Michael