Good morning from a slightly more summery London. Last night we had a lovely evening of prayer in honour of St. Joseph.
As you can see he is wearing a purple cloak (the cloak of St. Joseph) and I’m sure this symbolizes his fatherly love for the gay community too!!
As I’ve always said though, love and truth must go hand in hand and here is where the gay issue is so delicate.
Recently with another gay catholic, Eddie, I was praying and chatting about how to reach out in love to the gay community and yet remain faithful to the catholic church teachings.
You see it’s so easy to be on one side or the other rather than be the bridge of hope.
Suddenly Jesus gave me this image….
He likened ‘same sex attraction’ to an apple that has a good half bad a bad half. Then the bad half He showed me symbolised what the catechism means by ‘homosexuality’.
The bad half thus is all the desires that gay men have to have sex with eachother and this of course is ‘intrinsically disordered’.
But then smiling Jesus showed me the good half, the half where gay men are attracted to eachother and love eachother in a deep emotional and physical way which finds its expression in pure love.
The problem then is that most people when they hear the word “homosexuality” automatically think of the entire apple rather than just the bad half and so condemn all of the gay mans attractions and feelings rather than just the sexual ones.
The result of course is homophobia, discrimination, conversion therapies, depression, anxiety, confusion….
Similarly the word “gay” tends to include the two halves and again it’s the same problem. If one says they are pro-gay then then implication is that they believe that the entire apple is good including gay sex and if one says that they are anti-gay then the implication is that the entire apple is bad including the non-sexual love an attraction.
Jesus was showing me that it is more complex than this and that gay men experience an entanglement of the good and the bad …
One of my favourite icecreams as a kid was the ‘tangle twister”, perhaps it was prophetic of what was to come!!
The “healing” thus of a gay man doesn’t mean turning him straight but actually teaching him how to discern between the good and Holy attractions and the unholy and lustful ones and teaching him how to embrace his same sex attraction while rejecting the homosexual dimension.
Obviously this requires a lot of pastoral care, understanding, love and support but it is possible especially with the help of a supportive community.
It requires humility and understanding on both sides and needless to say requires a lot of prayer.
Jesus wants same sex attracted men and women to be happy and Holy! Their attraction is more complicated than people have previously thought and they are not bad apples but on the contrary beautiful and loving children of God called to holiness in a different way!
St. Joseph, pray for us!