June 5, 2022 – The Month of June…
In light of the recent acts of senseless violence in the last couple of weeks (in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, Texas), and as we move into this month of June (which has been claimed by the LGBTQ+ community as Gay Pride month), it’s worth remembering our faith’s teaching that we affirm, guard and protect inviolable dignity of every single human person from conception until natural death and everything in between, regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation.
That doesn’t mean that we necessarily condone every person’s action or life choices, but we do affirm that each person’s deepest identity is as a beloved child of God.
Thus we also recall the ways we live into our identity as beloved of God. Those who are not called to a life of marriage as God intends are called to embrace and live a life of celibacy. (This includes people who are gay or have same-sex attractions).
But Christian celibacy, far from being a condemnation of someone to a life of loneliness (as our society, unfortunately, tends to view it as), is actually a call by God to radical love and radical witness. How so?
Here are three reasons:
1) Intimacy with God: Celibacy is an invitation to a unique intimacy with God. While all are called to intimacy with God, for the celibate person the place and space usually taken by cultivating intimacy with a spouse, is now to be a space filled with the love of God. The celibate person is called to a unique, “Divine Romance” if you will to know and live into their identity of beloved of God in a unique way. Thus their whole life, they point to the love that we are made for, which brings me to the second point:
2) Radical Sign of God’s Love: Therefore, the Christian celibacy is also meant to point others to the true love that each human person is made for, the love of God in Jesus Christ, which is (whether we realize it or not), the fulfillment of the all the deepest yearnings, longings, and desires of our hearts.
3) Radical availability for the Kingdom of God: Thirdly, celibacy also allows for a Christian to live a life of radical service for others. While, a married Christian’s service is particularly focused on their family, their spouse, and children (which is, of course, a beautiful call from God) they may be more limited in their time and energy for service to their broader community or the poor. One who is celibate is more available to love and serve others, not only in supporting and encouraging families in raising their children; but also and especially those who feel lonely and unsupported: i.e. the poor, the homebound, single mothers, etc.
Therefore, during this month of June, we will be sharing on our parish social media (Facebook pages) stories of various Christians who are gay and have same-sex attractions, and who have embraced the Church’s teaching on celibacy. They will discuss questions of identity, self-acceptance, love, intimacy, friendship, and ultimately, the love of Christ breaking into all of that.
Lastly, I want to mention that the month of June is the month of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” (Feast day on June 24), a devotion that images the profound love of Jesus Christ: a heart wounded and bleeding with love, bound with thorns (recalling His sacrifice), and on fire with love!
A beautiful image to return to as we reflect on all these things.
PS: Thank you for all the condolences for grandmother. It was a beautiful time at home with my family. Also thank you for all the well wishes, cards, gifts, and gift cards, for both my birthday and priesthood ordination. You all are such a blessing to me! Thank you!!