Good afternoon from a rainy London. We had two glorious days of sun and now we are back to the rain. Personally I love it but then again I’m a bit weird!

This morning I was at the gym and attended one of the classes. They are fun and quite intensive with 30 mins of all sorts of exercises and stretches bopping along to loud disco music.

In short, pretty much everything that I would have utterly hated 10 years ago which I now find myself enjoying to the full. Everything in God’s timing I guess.

Anyway onto the subject of today’s blog!

At the gym I met Peter again..

He was so happy to have been invited to our house for dinner the other night and was reassured when I told him that he was well liked and could visit another time.

Peter went onto share with me some profound experiences that he had in his life of Jesus and how when he told others they didn’t believe him!

He was certainly sharing to the right person this time and I was pleasantly surprised at his thirst to talk to me about Jesus and to learn more.

It seemed to me that all I had to do was to listen to him and to acknowledge and believe the stories that he was telling me instead of dismissing them as concoctions of his imagination, something that had hurt him quite a bit before for obvious reasons.

However it was what he said at the end that touched me the most.

With his rogish smile he said “there are 2 things that I envy about you”

One that you are young (everything is relative) and two that you have got Rayne in your life, someone to love, someone to hold, someone to just sit and watch tv with at night. I don’t have that….

And as you can imagine my heart felt such compassion for him because what he was saying wasn’t that he wanted sex or drugs or anything, he just wanted someone to love and someone to love him back in the same way.

Now perhaps it was God’s timing because earlier this morning I’d just watched a YouTube video about ‘holy gays’ where a number of gay Catholics shared their experiences. All of those whom I saw said that they were “single for Jesus” and to be honest they gave the impression that the only way to be gay and to please Jesus was this same singledom.

And of course the single life is no stranger to me which is why more than anybody I could relate.

Yet over the years I’ve never met a single gay catholic (including priests) that haven’t spoken to me about their lonliness at times and guess what they usually say?!

“I wish I had someone to love, someone to hold, someone to just sit and watch tv with at night. I don’t have that….”

Exactly the same thing that Peter said!

And so you see that whether one is gay or catholic or gay and not catholic at all,  we are all human and share a common desire to give and receive love with the body.

The challenge for the catholic isn’t to be single, the challenge is to love even more!

Gay Catholics shouldn’t be afraid of relationships because it’s actually in relationships with prayer and spiritual support where they can perfect their love and come to appreciate the gift of love and of same sex attraction!!

In truth while there is a lot of sex in the gay scene I’ve never once heard someone say “I wish I had someone special in my life to have wild sex every night”.

Even the most sexual and “horny” of guys have shared with me how they long to meet that someone special to settle down with and to just love.

And so you see once again we are faced with the same challenge, to love!

To love beyond lust, to love beyond selfishness, to love beyond fear, to love beyond shame and to love ourselves any love others until we love life and love God.

And so today I thank God for the gift of Rayne in my life and I pray for all lonely gay people out there whether catholic or not…..that all may be touched by the tender, gentle and merciful hand of Jesus’ mercy and that they may also experience the joy of having someone special to love in this life and live life to the full.

I also pray for all lonely gay priests, many who have struggled enormously in their lives between ministry, church teaching and desires to love, that they too will be touched by the merciful hand of Jesus and healed of the years of fear and shame and rejection imposed upon them by the church.

Come Lord Jesus, teach us all to be great lovers!!