I met a man today who has fallen in love with another man. The feelings he has, he says, are unrequited, so a 'same-sex relationship' is not on the horizon. He gets very lonely. He is long term unemployed, on sickness benefits because of illness. He is another Brightonian who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. I am not suggesting for a moment that mental illness has anything to do with his homosexuality, by the way, just that he carries a weighty, heavy Cross and now it has been made heavier by his painful feelings for someone who doesn't share them. His sexuality, as it is for me, is a part of his personality. He is struggling with his passion for another man. It has become an obsession and it dominates his mental landscape everyday. He is unemployed so has little to do but to dwell on things.
I feel for him very much. He is in a lot of mental pain. He asks me about homosexuality and God (Whoever told him I was an expert?). As Catholics, we talk. He gets confused as to what is sinful and what is not, about what or Who God is and what or Who God is not. The Lord is Compassion and Love. I tell him that it isn't our orientation which is a matter of sin, since love and friendship or even a level of attraction are things which are positive. I tell him it is what we do with our sexuality, either on our own or with another outside of Marriage that puts us out of a State of Grace and requires our repentance through Confession.
I tell him that God loves us no matter what we think, do or say, that God is Compassion and Love and loves us no matter what our sins or to whom we feel sexually attracted. I tell him that we all struggle to master our passions and that our own efforts our feeble, that we need God's Grace through His Sacraments of Mercy. After we chat he says that he wants to offload this stuff onto a Priest who could counsel him, because he hopes the Priest can give him a 'final' answer that will answer all the floods of emotions in his heart, mind and his soul. I tell him that a Priest would most likely just tell him that God loves him, encourage him to frequent the Sacraments and come to Mass. The final answer we are looking for as human beings is very much, "...and I absolve you of your sins...". We crave many things in this World but none so much as God.
From us, His people, the Lord desires mercy, not sacrifice. There is a lot of crap talked about homosexuality outside of the Church. Every now and then there is some crap talked about homosexuality within the Church. I am quite sure Our Blessed Lord has no time for the vociferous political gay lobby, but I am sure He has all the time in the World for men and women struggling, often heroically, with their passions, afflictions and obsessions, desirous of His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and His peace.
We pray the 3 'o' clock prayer together, since he gets up to leave near then and we look at a picture of the Divine Mercy and say, 'Jesus, I trust in You.' The 3 'o' clock prayer is very powerful in terms of interceding for others. I mention people's names after I pray it. I don't have much spiritual advice other than to pray, confess, receive Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist and try to do penance, but most importantly to practise mercy, since I am a poor sinner, but I'd encourage anyone to pray that prayer at 3 'o' clock. For every man and woman, 'Jesus, I trust in You' is, in the absence of a Confessor, the 'final' answer, for Jesus Christ is the Man that every man and woman truly desires. Every man and every woman is loved beyond all measure by Jesus Christ.