As I reflect on this week I notice that it has been a week full of blessings and battles. Blessings as things move forward with someone unexpectedly offering to pay for my flights to Medjugorje for example and battles with people constantly undermining me and my ministry and stirring up old wounds.
As I reflect this morning I guess what I experience isn’t any different from anyone else really.
We all have old hurts and wounds and at times God allows Satan to stir them up to test us and purify our hearts and sometimes it can happen through people who are quite close to us!
This week for example a prayerful and well meaning lady said “Michael, you are so gifted at technology, you should be working and do evangelisation at the weekend”.
A few weeks back the same person said “you could go back to being an actuary and evangelise there”.
Little did she know that this is exactly what my church hating, crazy aunt used to shout at me for years as she refused to believe in anything spiritual about me except that I was mad!
And so years later when a supposedly spiritual person says this to me it leaves a mark.
I’m sure it I was straight and involved in the healing and evangelisation ministries while receiving inner locutions etc. that I would not have heard such a comment.
There is so little empathy and sympathy out there amongst a lot of catholic people for the gay community that most of them cannot see any value in the tireless hours I spend praying, evangelizing, writing etc.
From what I can see is that gay people are not wanted in conservative circles because they cause people to ask too many questions about sex and their own sexual repression can’t handle it.
Are people really all that obsessed about gay sex or is it just their own sexual repression and sexual frustrations coming to the fore as the gays are getting some and they are not?!
At times I look about the church and I think to myself “what a bunch of frustrated old bats afraid to say boo to a grasshopper and totally uncomfortable in their sexuality and in talking about intimacy”.
I’ll probably get into trouble for saying that but hey, my life is trouble.
Jesus came to give us life and healing and to free us from things like fear and shame but honestly I see so little of this freedom in the church
Endless talks and prayers are all well and good and Jesus does ask us to pray for the world etc.
Yet the first thing that Jesus asks of us isn’t for our wonderful prayers or ministries or blogs or inner locutions or stories. No! The first thing that He wants is our hearts.
Broken and messed up and all as they might be, He desires to love them, free them and transform them and then use us to spread his love from this place of transformation.
To put ministry or anything else before this is not sacrificial, it is selfish because it’s like saying to Jesus “I can help people without your love in my heart” and then people end up doing God’s work in man’s way!
The more we get healed in our own hearts, the more we will also get healed and freed in our sexualities and bodies and will no longer see contact with others as an occasion of sin but as an opportunity to love.
We will no longer feel the need to dress shabbily as if looking well is a sin nor will we feel the need to dress provocatively to seduce others. The Holy Spirit will teach us how to look after ourselves and how to look after our bodies without excess.
We will no longer feel fear and shame around talking about things like intimacy and sexuality nor will we judge others because Jesus will give us the gifts of understanding and as we open up to him about our own struggles we’ll be far slower to judge others.
Of course it’s far easier to live a life of sexual purity if one surrounds themselves with misery and moaning but this is not holiness!
Holiness is not about running away from life and it’s challenges. It’s about embracing life and allowing Jesus transform every moment of it into something special.
Jesus desires us to be transformed by his love and for this light to shine and to attract others.
There is nothing attractive about a bunch of old people piously saying the rosary while looking miserable and thinking that they are better than everyone else!
True prayer of the rosary or anything else should give us humility and joy and then make us reach out to others in the same spirit.
It should give us a greater love for God, a greater understanding of ourselves and a greater love for others.
It should not transform us into a bunch of miserable gabbling old turkeys that scare others away.
So anyway, with all that off my chest let us endeavour to allow Jesus to transform us and to be humble and to reach out to others.
Let us be slow to advise and tell others what to do with their lives less we really know them and instead let us ask Jesus to transform and change us instead!
Let us work on our wounds and ask ourselves questions as to why we are so uncomfortable with certain people such as gays….is it really them that we are uncomfortable with or is it something in us?
And finally if we have sinned by judging, excluding and bullying others in the name of the gospel, let us quickly run to confession because these sins scream to heaven even more than all the sex in the world!
Bless your day and pray for me for patience and humility too as I have to deal with this rubbish every day from people who think they know everything.