So there we have it!!
In truth and in love, we are going to unpack what the Church teaches about same sex attraction or homosexuality
The context for all of this is CHASTITY
Every single one of us is made in God’s image and likeness
Every single one of us has dignity
Every single one of us is made for love
Love is willing the good of the other, becoming a self-gift that is ordered and oriented towards life
Every single one of us is good, but broken
Every single one of us has desires that are ordered towards the good
Every single one of us has desires that are ordered towards sin aka concupiscence
Let’s not disengage our brains or disengage our faith when it comes to these topics
We sometimes have a tendency to say that if a person experiences this kind of desire, that is how God made them
God made you and sometimes you want something that is not good for you
For example, maybe you desire to look at pornography
Does that mean that God wants you to look at pornography?
It means you are made good, but broken
WE ARE ALL BROKEN!!
We ALL have concupiscence
You might be married and sexually desire someone other than your spouse
Does that mean that God made you that way?
It means you are made good, but broken
We all have things that we desire that we have to say NO to if we are going to actually become the people God wants us to be
Paragraphs 2357 to 2359 are not about “others”
IT IS ABOUT ALL OF US!!
What the Church teaches about people who experience same sex attraction is what the Church teaches about ALL OF US
This is not an exclusive teaching
This is a teaching for ALL OF US
Every one of our sexual acts must be oriented towards procreation and unity, or else it is a distortion
Even before we look at theology, let’s look at philosophy
What is the nature of a thing?
You can tell the nature of a thing if you know what it is for
What is the nature of eating?
What is eating for?
Eating is for nourishment and pleasure
If I know what a thing is for then I know that I can actually violate the nature of a thing
If a person were to eat and then make themselves throw up, they are violating the nature of eating because it is for nourishment and they are preventing themselves from nourishing themselves
Eating is also for pleasure
There are some times when you might get done with a great meal and the waiter comes along and asks if you would like some dessert
You answer yes not because you need nourishment but you want the pleasure of the baklava
If you eat that baklava for pleasure, you are still taking in whatever nourishment the baklava is giving you
You are not working against the nature of nourishment of eating baklava just by simply eating the baklava for the pleasure of it
Same thing with the sexual act
If you were a scientist and merely observing what the sexual act is oriented towards, you recognize that the nature of the sexual act is oriented towards the unity of the spouses
There are chemicals and hormones released when the couple enters into the sexual embrace that are bonding and pairing chemicals
It is remarkable that actual monogamy is written into your very biology
What is that for?
It is for the unity of the spouses
What else is it for?
It is clearly oriented towards procreation
Are there times where a couple may enter into the sexual embrace simply for the joy and the pleasure of the sexual embrace?
Paragraph 2362 says, “‘The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.’ Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure: The Creator himself…established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.”
As long as they are not violating the procreative aspect, they can seek that pleasure and enjoyment of the unity of the spouses in the sexual embrace
Everybody entering the sexual embrace must be oriented towards unity in the sense that it can never be forced or manipulated
Everybody entering the sexual embrace must be oriented towards procreation
Every sexual act that is not ordered towards both of those is disordered
Because it violates the very NATURE of sex
Every single one of us is created good, but broken
Every single one of us is made in God’s image and likeness
Every single one of us wants things that are not good for us
Paragraph 2357 says, “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction towards persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
This paragraph is not saying that any one person or any group of people is more intrinsically disordered than the rest of us
We ALL have a broken sexuality
We ALL have sexual desires that have to be said NO to
This is ALL of us
The Church’s teaching on same sex attraction is part of a seamless garment, it is part of a whole
It is not exclusive
We all know where every one of our desires come from
We also know where every one of our broken desires come from
We are made for love and we are made for good
We are made for truth and beauty
THAT comes from God
When we want a distorted version of truth, beauty, or love, THAT comes from our brokenness
Fr. Mike is talking now about Bible scholars and the Bible and homosexuality and he is speaking so fast that I don’t want to misinterpret what he is saying so I’m going to skip this part…sorry!!
Scripture is very clear that homosexual ACTS are sins
Anyone who says this is not the case is distorting Scripture for the sake of their own agenda
Sexual complementarity is a real thing
The human body on its own is completely intact, save for one organ system
The reproductive system needs another complementary body in order to do what it needs to do
There is genuine affective and sexual complementarity that is necessary in the sexual act
Homosexual acts do not have that
There is a big scandal happening in Germany
The German bishops are saying that in some cases, homosexual acts can be approved
The Church says ABSOLUTELY NOT
Here is the Church’s teaching when it comes to the NO
On the other hand…here is the YES
Here is the heart of the Church
Paragraph 2358 says, “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Every person who is listening to this podcast knows someone or is related to someone who experiences same sex attraction
If they are baptized they are sons and daughters of the Father
If they are not baptized, they are made in God’s image and likeness nonetheless
So they have intrinsic dignity
Therefore EVERY PERSON must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity
UNJUST discrimination must be avoided
There is such a thing as JUST discrimination
Parents discriminate when it comes to who they allow their children to play with
If there are kids down the street who are always throwing rocks at cars as they pass by, they wouldn’t want their kids doing that
UNJUST discrimination would be if a parent doesn’t want their kid hanging out with kids of another race or ethnicity
Our brokenness does not disqualify us from becoming the men and women that God made us to be
Same thing with those who experience same sex attraction
One of the things that moves all of our hearts is that when we have children, siblings, aunts, and uncles, or friends who experience same sex attraction
One of the things that breaks our hearts is the loneliness they may experience
Or the feeling that they have to hide a part of themselves
That is a real difficulty
If you are a Christian and experience same sex attraction, the Church is saying to unite to the sacrifice of Jesus’ Cross every one of your difficulties
Paragraph 2359 says, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”
This is for ALL OF US
We all need the apprenticeship in self-mastery in order to experience true freedom
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike talk about Eden Invitation, a group for men and women that experience same sex attraction…
Everyone wants to be “the one” for someone else, right?
If you don’t have that, it is a pain in the heart
So there is good in the support of friendship
Everyone is made for love
The highest form of love, according to the Greeks, is philia aka friendship
In Christianity, we realize an even higher form of love, the self-sacrificial love of agape
Friendship is a real good
There is such a thing as non-romantic friendships
This is true philia, where the Lord is pursued together
They are helping each other in their loneliness by supporting each other
There can sometimes be a stereotype that people have of the Church when it comes to men and women who experience same sex attraction
They think the Church treats them like second class citizens
The Catechism says that by virtue of self-mastery, by the support of friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection
What is that?
THAT IS CALLED BEING A SAINT!!
The Church is saying that this DOES NOT DISQUALIFY YOU FROM BEING A SAINT
Yes, there are many crosses on the way to sainthood
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike talk about the two Catholic men and one of the friends revealed he was gay…
The one who was gay thought he couldn’t be Catholic anymore
His friend said, “Well, what do you mean? If it wasn’t this it would be something else.”
This is true for all of us
There are couples who are married who are still not able to have children
Or they had children but those children have died
Does that mean they can’t continue to be married or that they can’t continue to pursue sainthood?
Does that mean that they can’t continue to allow the Lord to sanctify their grief and their pain?
There is no trial that has come among us that is not common to all of humanity
Every one of us has a cross in our lives
Many of us have multiple crosses
Because that is how life works
Life is good, but broken
This world is good, but broken
Our hearts are good, but broken
Because of that, we all have these crosses
We can say that we wish this cross was gone
But if it wasn’t this cross, it would be something else
Because it is this, we have a choice
We can resent it
We can give into it
We can surrender it to Jesus and unite it to His Cross
Gradually and resolutely, with God’s grace, we can approach Christian perfection
THIS CROSS CAN ACTUALLY BECOME A LADDER!!
THIS CROSS CAN ACTUALLY BE A STEPPING STONE INSTEAD OF A STUMBLING BLOCK THAT GETS US CLOSE AND CLOSER TO JESUS!!
This is true not just about same sex attraction
THIS IS TRUE ABOUT EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU FIND YOURSELF STRUGGLING WITH!!
If you surrender it to Jesus, it can become a ladder to heaven
If you surrender it to Jesus, it can be a stepping stone to sanctity
That is what God wills for you and for me
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT…