Yesterday Toni had a wonderful opportunity to go to a London catholic secondary school with Fr. Keith and to share his testimony, experience and knowledge of being transgender with the entire staff.
Good job Toni and well done to this school for being so open minded and willing to learn from a transgender person themselves.
Sadly in this catholic LGBT area, there is often much talk about us and little to us! Or put another way, because we are the problem, very often our opinions and experiences are ignored and not asked for because as we are deemed to be “disordered” so too must our experiences be!!!
And so this made me all the happier to see Toni getting this opportunity and I did also feel a certain sense of healthy pride as when I met him I remember tell him that his ministry would be to talk openly and publicly about loving Jesus and being transgender and at the time this notion horrified him so great was the hurt and shame that he’d experienced.
Anyway, the one place we can all go where we know that we won’t be rejected or misunderstood or criticized is to Jesus and that’s exactly where I went about 10.30 last night.
At times I too get sick of the ongoing criticism and rejection of my testimony and spiritual experiences just because I don’t fit into people’s boxes.
People can use everything against you to justify their stance! Look at him, he’s not fully healed or another one is to say I’ve got demons in my eyes when they see their own ugly reflections and their prejudices and homophobia.
The onslaught never stops and at times it can be wearing and all of us that follow Jesus will get this….
So what to do? Well Jesus has the answer:
My desire my children to make you saints is insatiable. I desire to give myself fully to each one of you, for my love to burn like a fire on your hearts, for your hearts to be aflame of the things of heaven.
Look now my children to the trees during this time of year. See the leaves on the ground, the trees looking all but dead and yet come springtime there will be new leaves and life.
Such is how I work also in your hearts. Many of you carry many burdens and worries which way you down, many of you are attached to the things of this world and where your minds are your hearts will be too.
I desire to draw your minds and hearts to me and for you to let go off all attachments that hinder you.
This process is very painful. Your broken hearts resist my grace and must be purified through prayer and fasting.
Suffering is inevitable and yet after the purification process comes immense joy as your hearts and minds rejoice with me.
How I ardently desire for you to go on this path of holiness with me so that by cooperating with my ways you may be full of my grace and be like strong vibrant lights of love to the world.
Please my children I implore you, do not waste your short time on earth on things that are passing but rather set your hearts and minds on the eternal rewards of heaven and teach others by your words and example to do the same.“
And so you see when we get discouraged and knocked down and criticised we must think of it as an opportunity for even further pruning and further spiritual growth and we must keep running to Jesus and trusting in his goodness and mercy despite how painful this can be!
And then we must pick ourselves up again continue to live and preach the gospel on our lives through both word and example just like Toni did yesterday in that school!
Well done Toni and may there be bucket loads of new opportunities for us to share and inspire the world about the love and mercy of Jesus for LGBT people.