Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How To Become a Saint Among Sodomites

For many today, as homosexuality is being promoted so clearly as a “dogma” of those who sit on proverbial “golden thrones” in entertainment and media, it is becoming more clear that it is harder to say “yes” to God than it was just a few years ago. Persecution is already occurring and we are being called to white martyrdom which is to suffer as a Christian for being Christian, but not to the point of bloodshed. The good news is that Jesus is with us in all of this, and it is through Him that we may become the saints God calls us to be.
Did you know that God wants everyone to be a saint? Only a few among all people who have lived are known by the Church to be saints, but it is God’s will that each and every one of us will become a saint. If you are not seeking to become a saint, you need to begin now, particularly given this time of trial for the Church.
I have entitled this article “How to Become a Saint Among Sodomites” not because I am a saint (not yet), but because I know that I can eventually become one because that is God’s will for me. I want everyone else to know that they not only can become saints, with the help of God and with the (bonus) help of His holy saints, that it is God’s will for you.
The Holy Spirit will teach us how, through the Church. Though there are those who would disagree, I have found that our priests are quite well equipped to instruct us. An example dropped in my lap today as I was listening to a homily at Audio Sancto about fixing our intentions at the offertory. In it, Father spoke at length about something that is of utmost importance for one to become a saint. That is to not be absorbed spiritually in the things of the world. He mentioned the Precautions of St. John of the Cross, who was a Doctor of the Church. More specifically, he mentioned what St. John of the Cross wrote about Lot’s wife.
Take Lot’s wife as an example: Because she was troubled at the destruction of the Sodomites and turned her head to watch what was happening, God punished her by converting her into a pillar of salt [Gn. 19:26]. You are thus to understand God’s will: that even were you to live among devils you should not turn the head of your thoughts to their affairs, but forget these things entirely and strive to keep your soul occupied purely and entirely in God, and not let the thought of this thing or that hinder you from so doing.
If we fret too much over other people and what they may think of us if we do not accept their “dogma” on homosexuality, we will lose sight of God’s will. Not only that, if we are afraid to hurt people’s feelings, then it means that we are afraid to be used by God to pierce people’s hearts. It is through the pierced heart that we become saints, so to avoid hurting feelings is to avoid becoming a saint and also to avoid helping others to find God. Without pierced hearts, there would be no saints.
What St. John of the Cross said about Lot’s wife reminds me very much of St. Perpetua’s ladder.
From the Passion of St. Perpetua:
I saw a golden ladder of marvellous height, reaching up even to heaven, and very narrow, so that persons could only ascend it one by one; and on the sides of the ladder was fixed every kind of iron weapon. There were there swords, lances, hooks, daggers; so that if any one went up carelessly, or not looking upwards, he would be torn to pieces and his flesh would cleave to the iron weapons. And under the ladder itself was crouching a dragon of wonderful size, who lay in wait for those who ascended, and frightened them from the ascent.
I sometimes think that people without Asperger, which I have, are the ones with an impediment to sainthood, for with Asperger, I have very little capability of “seeing” the feelings of others, and so I have very little sense of hurting people’s feelings. I often think about our duty to meet people where they are, and one way that we do this is to accept things within a culture that are okay and reject the things that are not okay because they are not of God. It occurs to me that sometimes people confuse the teaching on culture with the idea that we’re not ever supposed to hurt anyone’s feelings. That is a mistake. If their hearts are not broken, their hearts cannot be healed with His love. If we are not piercing hearts by speaking the truth, then we are not allowing them to come to know God. If we don’t show God to them, they will never know Him, and that would be a tragedy. They need to know that God’s will exists, and what His will is, because otherwise, they will not be able to see that there is a “ladder” — and the ladder is simply keeping our eyes fixed on God and His will for us. If we fail in this, then they will never become saints…and neither will we.
One final note. I hesitated to use the word “Sodomites” but I figure if it’s good enough for St. John of the Cross, it’s good enough for you and me. If your feelings are hurt, then think of our Blessed Mother and consider her Sorrows.
Read here about the Seven Swords…and listen to this homily from her Feast Day. It will help…I hope…because I love you.

Our Lady of Sorrows,
Pray for us.

In truth, people on the path to sainthood can enter in and out of these three stages at various times, while continuing up the proverbial ladder. Another thing that many people do not realize is what is the most important thing in climbing the ladder. That is, keeping our eyes ever heavenward, and not allowing anything that is of the world, of temptation, or even of disorder, to distract us from the goal of union with Our Lord Jesus Christ. When we are distracted by these concerns, though we may not be in sin, we are held back from this union with Christ. This is just as true for same-sex attraction as it is for any other thing that takes our focus off the Lord.
Call to mind the Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity who were martyred at the hands of the Roman government for refusing to offer “Sacrifice” for the Emperor. Saint Perpetua’s First Vision was of the ladder to union with Jesus. The ladder is the Passion we all have a share in, and at the top of the ladder is union with Jesus in Heaven. The milk curd in St. Perpetua’s vision represents the Eucharist, in Heaven, and complete union with Christ. Along the way up the ladder, we meet with various things of the world which will tear at us as we try to ascend the ladder to closer and closer union with Jesus. The only way to ascend the ladder is to remain focused on Jesus and what He is calling us to — complete unity with Him. Walk with me, now, through this vision below, which was penned by St. Perpetua herself, and so it is written from her perspective.
The first part is concerning her state of spiritual openness to being able to receive a vision from Christ. St. Perpetua’s brother said to her that her state of “dignity” was such that she might ask for one.
“Then my brother said to me, ‘My dear sister, you are already in a position of great dignity, and are such that you may ask for a vision, and that it may be made known to you whether this is to result in a passion or an escape.’ And I, who knew that I was privileged to converse with the Lord, whose kindnesses I had found to be so great, boldly promised him, and said, ‘To-morrow I will tell you.’ And I asked, and this was what was shown me.
Here, now, St. Perpetua relates the vision that she asked for and was given.
I saw a golden ladder of marvellous height, reaching up even to heaven, and very narrow, so that persons could only ascend it one by one; and on the sides of the ladder was fixed every kind of iron weapon. There were there swords, lances, hooks, daggers; so that if any one went up carelessly, or not looking upwards, he would be torn to pieces and his flesh would cleave to the iron weapons. And under the ladder itself was crouching a dragon of wonderful size, who lay in wait for those who ascended, and frightened them from the ascent.
This applies to every Christian’s journey toward greater union with Jesus Christ. Many things there are that may tug at our flesh and impede us from ascending the ladder. Same-sex attraction is one of those things. In my case, the thing that tugs at me, personally, is my own impatience. Along with that failure, I have Bipolar Disorder, and as I read what the Church is saying on people with mental illness, I see that there is a place for me in heaven despite my issues with this disorder, provided that with every ounce of free will that I have, I remain focused on Jesus and on God’s will for me. I consider that it is similar for people with other issues that they are born with and that are disordered, including same-sex attraction.
Because the Church is aware that things like Bipolar Disorder and same-sex attraction constitute a continual trial for those who deal with them, both Bipolar Disorder and same-sex attraction, as well as other such issues in one’s life, are impediments to a religious vocation.
Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter[8].
People with Bipolar Disorder and with same-sex attraction, bearing a continual “trial” are bearing the Passion within themselves. In this, they are virtually guaranteed to become saints, provided that they bear these trials with their eyes ever heavenward, as St. Perpetua described with the ladder. But because it is such a great trial — because it is such a heavy burden — it is not good for the sheep to suffer because their shepherd is so heavily burdened by such a cross. Also, the religious life itself is a cross of sacrifice to bear, and it is not good for the person who is dealing with such a heavy cross already, in the form of disorder, to have the added burdens of religious life to deal with on the path to sainthood.
We need priests who are not being tugged from the ladder by disorders such as Bipolar Disorder and same-sex attraction. We also need priests who can truly be fathers to us. Uncles and brothers and cousins are all wonderful, and there will be many uncles, brothers and cousins in Heaven, but what the Church requires for the priesthood is spiritual fathers. Only those capable of manifesting spiritual fatherhood should be admitted to seminary.
See also: The Ladder of Divine Ascent at Costing Everything.
Union with Jesus is worth every cross one may be called to bear. He is all, He is my beloved, and at the same time, He is the Beloved for everyone, no matter their station in life. Come to Him. You will never regret it. You will only regret not coming to Him sooner.

***"Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic." - Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

La Salette Journey: The myth of "homosexual love"

La Salette Journey: The myth of "homosexual love":

The myth of "homosexual love"

Dutch psychologist Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, Ph.D., a specialist on homosexuality, writes:

"The term neurotic describes such relationships [same-sex] well. It suggests the ego-centeredness of the relationship; the attention-seeking instead of loving...Neurotic, in short, suggests all kinds of dramas and childish conflicts as well as the basic disinterestedness of in the partner, notwithstanding the shallow pretensions of 'love.'Nowhere is there more self-deception in the homosexual than in his representation of himself as a lover. One partner is important to the other only insofar as he satisfies that other's needs. Real, unselfish love for a desired partner would, in fact, end up destroying homosexual 'love'!" (Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, The Battle for Normality, Ignatius Press, 1997, pp. 62-63).

"Van den Aardweg says that the claim that homosexuality is normal is one of those statements that are "so foolish that only intellectuals could believe them." It is like saying that anorexia nervosa is healthy. And he denies that homesexuality is caused by the genes, or the structure of the brain; the evidence shows that it is acquired. Nor is it a necessary result of effeminacy; it is the child's "self-perception as masculine or feminine" that makes the difference. It is caused by pressure to develop an opposite-sex role. Often mothers do not view or treat their sons as "real men," and fathers do not view or treat their daughters as "real girls." (From the Catholic Insight book review of "The Battle for Normality." Read the entire book review here.

Related reading here.

"The first novelty of biblical faith consists, as we have seen, in its image of God. The second, essentially connected to this, is found in the image of man. The biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam, the first man, and God's decision to give him a helper. Of all other creatures, not one is capable of being the helper that man needs, even though he has assigned a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life. So God forms woman from the rib of man. Now Adam finds the helper that he needed: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). Here one might detect hints of ideas that are also found, for example, in the myth mentioned by Plato, according to which man was originally spherical, because he was complete in himself and self-sufficient. But as a punishment for pride, he was split in two by Zeus, so that now he longs for his other half, striving with all his being to possess it and thus regain his integrity. While the biblical narrative does not speak of punishment, the idea is certainly present that man is somehow incomplete, driven by nature to seek in another the part that can make him whole, the idea that only in communion with the opposite sex can he become “complete”. The biblical account thus concludes with a prophecy about Adam: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

Two aspects of this are important. First, eros is somehow rooted in man's very nature;Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”.The second aspect is equally important. From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love. This close connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically no equivalent in extra-biblical literature." Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est, No. 11).