Last night I attended a ’40 days for life’ meeting and as I listened and prayed I reflected on how similar their mission is to mine in some ways!

Now wait a second you might say, gays don’t have babies but while they may not have babies, so many are utterly addicted to the thing that makes babies….sex.

If you ever visit Soho and go evangelising in the gay scene you must be 100% comfortable in talking about sex your own journey because otherwise you will run a mile and by doing so reinforce the same old stereotype that Catholics are all boring and prudish and afraid of intimacy and the body.

John Paul 2 understood this and when he wrote about marriage and sex he had absolutely no fear of talking about the beauty of the body and indeed of sex.

As catholics we’re not used to talking about sex and intimacy openly. There is a “if you are thinking about it then you are doing it” attitude and so a lot of shame prevails.

Yet whether gay or straight we are all made be God to love both him and eachother intimately and we can’t learn to do this properly without talking about our bodies, our sexualities and the various struggles thereof.

So many good Catholics that I have known over the years struggle enormously with things like pornography and sexual promiscuity despite praying the rosary and going to mass and confession and many feel like just giving up!

They are often ashamed to talk of their struggle as if somehow they were alone and so the vicious circles of shame, silence and lonliness continues.

Promiscuous sex leads to all sorts of issues whether gay or straight. Abortions, sexual diseases, depression, shame, anxiety….are just some of the issues.

When I lived in Australia we had a ministry to help those struggling in this area and it was very freeing and healing to hear a whole bunch of Christian men of all ages sharing openly and vulnerably about their struggles and helping and supporting eachother without judgement.

Often I think that as catholics we desperately need this type of ministry and vulnerability and yet that we are so very far away from being comfortable talking about our bodies.

It’s often not helped by the fact that most of our priests are totally uncomfortable in talking about intimacy and sexuality in their as if somehow it was unrelated to holiness or not relevant to them….

In reality the opposite is true, holiness and wholeness go together and that’s where sexuality and spirituality need to be integrated so that we learn to love our bodies and learn to love and use our sexualities in a Holy whole way.

This can only happen by talking about it unashamedly and then of course bringing it all to prayer and ironically this is one area where we can actually learn from the gay community because while it goes to the other extreme, they have absolutely no inhibitions or shame in talking about the body, sex, intimacy etc.

If we really want to tackle the problem at the root then it’s not in shutting down gay bars or abortion clinics (although this may be good), it’s in converting our hearts and learning to love and use our sexualities in loving way.

And this is what Our Lady’s call at Medjugorje is all about; conversion of hearts and lives through prayer and community and this is what our Medjugorje LGBT evenings are all about.

Jesus and Mary desire to bring us on a journey of holiness and wholeness and to teach us how to be truly happy, not by hiding away and being prudish or afraid of intimacy but the opposite. They desire us to surrender our entire lives to them and to embrace the gift of life while living it to the full in a holy way as a witness to the glory and love of God

Come Holy Spirit, strip us of all shame and pride and clothe us in the vestments of holiness and wholeness for the glory of God and the healing of humanity.

Have a great day and let us pray expecially for those who have not been taught how to use their sexuality properly and have got omti trouble, that we may be Our Lady’s apostles of love to them!

Please join us on Wednesday evening if you can.

Michael