Tag Archives: catholic church

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Repent

I joined the Catholic Church because (among other things) of her witness of marriage and chastity; I die daily as a Catholic because of fellow members who defile that witness by championing ‘gay marriage’ and all things LGBT.

Look no further than talk show host Stephen Colbert who regularly advocates homosexual practice or comedian Jim Gaffigan who led his family in waving rainbow flags at NYC’s recent ‘Gay’ Pride parade. Or the National Catholic Reporter who advocated that Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois be fired because he established guidelines to ensure that the ‘gay married’ and all who participate in sex outside of real marriage must first repent if they are to actively engage in the Church (Decree Regarding Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues’, June 12, 2017 ).

Reporter Michael Sean Winters entitled his scourge ‘Bishop Paprocki’s Unhinged Decree on Same-Sex Marriage’ (June 26th, 2017). The only thing unhinged is a Catholic who claims to take his faith seriously and who advocates that vulnerable persons assume ‘gay’ selves and practices. Wounded people deserve better. Better is Jesus Christ.

The only way a compromised Catholic or any hypocritical Christian comes to know the real Jesus is by following Bishop Paprocki’s simple and merciful call to repent. Repent! We can turn! God gives us grace to come out of demonic shadows where even the faithful are reduced to worldly solutions and platitudes. Instead we can turn into His light and begin to face courageously the mess we have made of our lives, and the mercy that paves marks a whole new Way.

No-one knows better than myself the division of soul, and the spiritual darkness that surrounds, when a soul defies his or her Creator by ‘coming out’ into an alien LGBT self. That power is broken only through admitting one’s error and turning to Jesus. For this we need Church leaders and laity alike to follow Bishop Paprocki’s bold lead. I close with the Bishop’s wisdom:

‘It is not hateful to say that an immoral action is sinful. On the contrary, it is the most compassionate thing we can do to help people to turn away from sin. To ignore another person’s wrongful actions is a sign of apathy or indifference, while fraternal correction is motivated by love for the person’s well-being, as can be seen by the fact that our Lord Jesus himself urged such correction (Matt. 18:15). Indeed, the call to repentance is at the heart of the Gospel, as Jesus proclaimed, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Good News’ (MK 1:15).

The Good News is that God’s mercy and forgiveness extend to those who repent. Mercy does not mean approving of something that is sinful, but does absolve the wrongdoer after a change of heart takes place in the sinner through the gift of God’s grace. It is not the Church that must change to conform its teachings to the views of the world, but it is each individual who is called to be configured to Christ.’ (Homily for Prayers of Reparation for Same-Sex Marriage’ Nov. 20th, ’13)

Please pray that Catholics would align themselves with their truth about marriage, chastity, and the gift of repentance for all sexual sinners.

Please join us in Chicago July 27th-30th at the annual Courage Conference where we will share about our rich life together. As I said, we don’t speak together often so join us for this unusual opportunity. The Courage gathering offers an array of healing persons and gifts. Hope to see you there.

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Home. For Good.

‘The Word became flesh and made His dwelling with us’ (JN 1:14).

In youthful efforts to find ‘home’, a place of belonging where my part of the social equation fit and totaled something valuable, I failed. As ‘gay’ relationships faded, reliance on pills and powders grew. I wondered why I could not deliver on the good I possessed. That depressed me—I wasn’t being true to myself and others.

I had a pretty good home life but that did not make me a good child. I never swallowed the sixties’ rot that we were all God’s children, natively inclined to peace and harmony. I wanted to love but could not, not really. Good intentions capsized under the weight of selfishness. It made more sense to me that I was a child under the devil’s sway, estranged from the Good.

I knew Jesus was real but did not know how He could make me real; how could I align myself with His greater good and so become good? That’s why I love the Catholic Church’s reading this Christmas Day from John 1:1-18. God came into the mess we made of His world ‘and made His dwelling with us’; He draws near to us vagrant ones who become violent in our alienation when we do not recognize Him as our Father.

Maybe God knew that the ‘father’ bit was too much for our foolish hearts, how we project our fears of masculine power on Him. So God came as a child in order to free us to become children again, kids who know some good and long to become good. As we by grace see Him as He is—Almighty in a manger, Lord of all living yet lowly, we can get low and worship the child king. This Christmas, hold nothing back—let us offer Him the whole of our divided lives! Therein lays His power to make us His own, to make us good.

Get real. Become good. Forsake the lie that your good intentions suffice. Only God in Christ can give you a home—the Father’s embrace which transforms children of darkness into children of Light.

‘He came to His own but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God—children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God’ (JN 1: 11-13).

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His Body Broken, Bursting with Life

What the world needs today is the credible witness of people capable of opening hearts and minds to the desire for God and true life.’ Pope Emeritus Benedict

The seed of God’s Life in us must be crushed in us and offered to Him in order for it to become fruitful (JN 12:24). Then we, like grain threshed and grapes stomped, become a meal for hungry ones.

I ate like a king at the Courage Conference in Chicago last week (Courage is the only recognized ministry in the Catholic Church for persons with SSA and their loved ones.)

I noticed Jill from a distance and remarked to myself how lovely she was: tender eyes as inclined to joy as sorrow, beautiful coloring, fragrant. I remarked to her that her womanhood was a gift to us at the conference. After years of walking with Jesus she could now receive that. ‘I marvel at how He keeps restoring me. I hated being a woman most of my life but now can accept the gift that I am.’

Riding the wave of a gay-affirming age, twenty-something Kevin recounted a series of ‘dating’ relationships with other men and the disintegrating effect they had on him and his family who looked on helplessly. His parting words were simple and epic: ‘Only Jesus can satisfy my longings. I will no longer look to mere men for what only God can give me.’

I sat down at table with a brawny man who alongside his wife looked uneasy. ‘I guess I‘d rather be somewhere else. But I am also glad. Our lives have changed since we discovered our son’s SSA. And I want to keep changing for the good so I can love him better.’ Another person at table, a mother, said this: ‘My daughter no longer practices her faith. But I have rediscovered mine. I now do all I can to help make my Church a merciful, truthful place for persons impacted by SSA.’

Courage helps us know Him more and serve His house better. Please pray for myself and other Courage delegates as we offer ourselves as witnesses of Jesus’ transforming love in preparation for the Catholic Synod on Family this fall.

Our goal is to influence powers-that-be who will make recommendations for pastoral care of persons impacted by SSA for the worldwide church.

Conference dates: August 10th-12th, Detroit Michigan; October 2nd, Rome Italy.

Suggested prayer: ‘Father, we thank you for the truth of how You made us and how You redeem us. Grant courage to the Catholic Church in her truth-bearing. May she not falter but carve a clear path of gender clarity and true chastity.’

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Papa Do Preach

‘All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to say nothing.’

For a Pope quick to quip about any number of thorny issues, Frances was strangely silent about the 62% of Ireland who legalized ‘gay marriage’ last month.

OK, OK, a Vatican official did declare the redefinition a ‘defeat for humanity.’ But for a Pope who insists on a merciful tone when addressing ‘gay’ issues, his omission here is nothing short of cruel.

Papa, preach on the beauty of man for woman and woman for man, and the dead-end of trying to make same-gender friends sexual complements.

Papa, preach on why the Catholic Church upholds marriage as a sacrament—a wellspring of grace to all every person who encounters a man and woman committed to lifelong unity.

Preach on why ‘gay marriage’ messes with kids by omitting 50% of what they need to become whole men and women themselves.

Papa, preach for the ones who have no voice.

Papa, on behalf of Christian families being torn apart by ‘gay’-identified members, preach on the beauty of repentance to chastity, and the thousands of faithful ministers who will walk with repentant ones to wholeness. Highlight Courage and the huge strides this most courageous apostolate has made in extending mercy to all persons impacted by SSA.

Papa, preach against the lie that ‘gays’ are an oppressed minority. Papa, preach the truth that the Irish were hoodwinked by a billion dollar gay organization from America that poured millions into Ireland and fueled a campaign based not on truth but emotional myths like all who are against ‘gay marriage’ decry human rights, economic recovery, and most of all, ‘love.’

Papa, preach on Jesus’ real love, the love that cleansed Mary Magdalene of her 7 demons and persuaded the Samaritan woman that mercy was better than sexual disorder. Preach on the splendor of mercy to supplant pagan counterfeits.

Papa, preach now on real mercy, and real marriage. Your silence is deadly.

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November 23, 2014: For the Poor

“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, a sick person or a prisoner whom we visited?’ ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of My brothers, you did for Me.’” (Matt. 25:37-40)

Today’s Gospel reading ends the Catholic Church year, and fittingly so. In the end, we are judged on the quality of our love, and in particular, how we loved the lost and the least.

It helps me to remember that beneath ‘gay’ advances, protests and parades lie hurting persons who have struggled most of their lives to feel at home in their own skin as male and female. That is real poverty: to be alienated from the sexual duality which defines us as image-bearers. Shame, loneliness, heightened fears, and a host of options as to how one might best resolve his/her ‘poverty’ adds confusion to the mix.

Not helpful is our indulgent consumer-driven culture; sex sells everything, not unlike Ezekiel’s description of Sodom, a city that was ‘arrogant, overfed, unconcerned for the poor and unwilling to help them, prone to detestable immoralities’ (16:49). Similarly, our young people grow up in a culture that discounts the real fragmentation that underlies same-sex attraction. Instead, most ‘experts’ glibly assert a ‘born this way,’ morally neutral condition.

Affording persons struggling with gender identity very few answers, we urge them instead to sexualize their distress. On the Internet, kids discover a ‘gay superhighway’ where they can conjure and connect with any ‘fantasy lover’ they desire.

We no longer advocate poverty for a wounded generation. We longer seek to understand what is actually going on at the core of same-sex attraction. Why does a growing boy refuse his maleness and yearn for completion in a more apparently realized masculine being? Why is a girl vulnerable to the sensual overtures of an older female friend?

There are answers but we no longer ask the questions. Instead, we cry ‘peace when there is none,’ and generate a host of sexual options for resolving what remains: a frustrated boy or girl working out deep needs and wounds related to his or her gender identity. In the end, (s)he is seeking a source of love that will confirm that identity.   

If we truly seek to be a community that goes after the lost and the least, we can begin by knowing that the ‘new’ answers about homosexuality are not working. No matter the new liberties touted by schools and laws and celebrities: kids that have grown up poor are not fooled. Gay identification and practice has not set them free.

The Church has the answers. We must activate them. Freedom for the gender broken can only come from a community of people who love them as they are while calling them to more—to Jesus’ generous self-giving. By confirming their deep need for love and healing, while helping them to live chastely, these young men and women can discover the gender integration that God wills for them.

I agree with Pope Francis: ‘What should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences is that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the light, strength and consolation born of friendship with Jesus, and without a community of faith to support them.’ (EG) Will we mobilize and become that community?

We at DSM/LW are witnessing a new rise of very young adults turning from ‘gay’ relationships toward Jesus. In His great love, God is freeing them to own their poverty. Let us the Church offer them the wealth of His love by loving them wisely and well. Their integrity as persons, and the integrity of the bride herself, depends upon it.       

‘How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.’
Ps 82: 2-4

Please join us as we pray for:

  1. Ministries of Pastoral Care (ministriesofpastoralcare.com): For wisdom and fortitude for their board members Anjonette Baum, Michelle Keil, Jed Taufer, Cesli Vaccaro, and board president Gino Vaccaro as they strengthen the foundations of MPC to reach this broken world.
  2. COR Project: For financial provision and creative inspiration and fortitude for Christopher West.
  3. Gianna Catholic Center for Women, Dr, Anne Mielnik Nolte- Director: Expansion of these vital Catholic centers for women’s health.

“Courage for Pope Francis, Reverend Justin Welby and Pastor Phil Strout, that they would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BLOGS & PRAYER POINTS FOR NOV. 20, 21, 22, 23

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