A few days ago I was very honoured to be invited to someone’s house for a chat. This is something quite rare in London for whatever reason which made it all the more special.
My friend, an older gay man, shared some of his life with me and what he didn’t share was already all over the walls in the form of nude pics which left me knowing him very intimately if you catch my drift.
He told me how he had been extremely promiscuous when he was younger and by the time that he was 30 had probably slept with 30,000 men!
Now in his 70’s I shudder to think what the number might be …
All that aside we had a wonderful conversation about Jesus and spirituality and he was very eager for me to pray with him which I did.
Despite his promiscuous lifestyle he had an amazing love and generosity towards people in him and I couldn’t help but feel God smiling on him as he spoke.
You see he may have banged 100,000 guys in his lifetime but how many people did he help? How many guys did he listen to and help through episodes of anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts?
And while he had no number for this as I spoke with him it was obvious that it far outweighed the sex!!
And so as I walked home I felt God smiling on me and once again confirming that sex isn’t the only sin!
And then this evening a young closeted gay catholic took offense to me and boldly asked me if I think I know better than the church?!
A tricky question to answer! If I say yes then I must be full of pride to think that I know better than 2000 years of saints and doctrines and studying.
And if I say no then I’m back to the catechisms teaching on homosexuality which is often quoted as if it were infallible when actually it’s not!
So what did I reply?
“No I don’t but God does” was my reply and as God has taught me so much on this topic I believe that I do know more than the catechism but the catechism is not the church!
The church has an infinite amount of wisdom and it’s ever evolving. It’d be a terrible pity to limit it to one little book that is only comprehensible to a minority due to the rather elaborate and sophisticated english.
I once was teaching english in India to young seminarians who were also studying the catechism. They couldn’t understand a word of it so I suggested to the teacher that he but the compendium or abbreviated version which was actually fairly straightforward. He did and the seminarians were delighted, brownie points for me for using some common sense!
So anyway, back to my friend asking me if I knew better than the church, I pondered on what he might have said or how he might have reacted if he was with me the other night as I visited that house!!
Would he have started shouting the bible at him or quoting the catechism or would He have been able to listen with a heart of love, mercy and understanding?
After all, isn’t this the greatest teaching of the church, to love?
And so this evening as I prepare for bed I ponder a question. What is the greatest wisdom and knowledge that the church has?
Is it all the books and studies in the libraries or is it to love others with a heart of compassion and mercy just as Jesus has loved us,?
Let the reader decide!!
Goodnight and sleep well,