Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Times: Letter to gay and lesbian friends
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 00:01 by Fr Paul Chetcuti SJ

Dear friends, this is all about pain and healing love. There is nothing more private and holy than pain. There is nothing more personal and holy than love. I feel both when I pray for you.

I am sharing this publicly and openly because I believe that, however private and personal love and pain can be, they are also what makes us all one body and one spirit. Forgive me then if I’m being too inclusive in sharing so openly my and your own painful thirst for love.

I know you because I have loved you since your young days. I’ve seen you growing into mature men and women. I’ve walked with you, wept and laughed with you. I know you because you have loved me too. It pains me to see you in so much pain. For me, you remain the loveable and special people with whom I have shared so much.

I want to tell you how much I pray that your pain will not damage your goodness. If our pain is hijacked by anger and bitterness this will turn us into a source of pain for others, instead of loving healers to them, as you have always wanted to be.

You know that shifting our pain on to others will only make it worse. To heal our own pain there is only one way to go: loving the truth, however painful it may be, and sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others.

Fighting for our own rights can only bear lasting peace if it is done in utter respect for the sacredness of others. We’re all together in this and there is no winner if even a little child ends up a loser. Sacrificing others to advance our own cause is simply not our way.

Being human means facing tough challenges. Allow me just to mention a few.

We are sexual beings. How can we not reduce ourselves to our sexual activity or orientation?

We are born to be free to love but can love and freedom survive pain?

Life has meaning if we beget new life. How can we accept our own bodies and sexuality when they render us sterile? How can we be truly fertile if we cannot actually give birth to babies?

We are created different. How can we rejoice in our differences and yet not lose out on our equal value and dignity?

These challenges can all be life-giving if we do not resort to power politics to resolve them. At present, power seems to be on your side and we know how irresistible a temptation power could be.

I know how dear and important Jesus has always been to you and me. I won’t preach to you but I’ve always found myself much more at peace when I allowed Him to preach to me.

He always equated power with service rather than supremacy. He never spoke of any struggle against others but only of the struggle against self-centredness. He never used anyone to satisfy His own needs, which always came second to the needs of the vulnerable.

Most of all, He always chose to be on the side of the little ones. He faced the powerful ones of this world with the sole weapon of humble and free submission to a love that is truth.

All I pray is that you come out of all this without the illusion of having won some battle to get what you want but with the joy of having discovered better the beauty of the gift within you.

May you have the courage to accept this truth, however painful or demanding it can be.

It takes great love and courage to call things by their own name.

Let marriage remain marriage. Let children remain gifts and not rightful possessions. Let parenting remain putting the richness of diverse genders at the service of the child. Let your own generous goodness remain just that, generous goodness.

May you too discover yourselves as beautiful gifts thanks to what makes you different and unique and not in spite of it. Ultimately, it is God’s infinite beauty that is reflected in human diversity. That is why He remains the deepest source of life and His love for us the source of real equality.

If only we accepted this truth, the pain of love would be easier to bear and the burden of truth lighter to carry.

No comments:

Post a Comment