Tag Archives: pope francis

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Savoring Truth in Superficial Times

Last week, the New York Times featured an article on the uproar provoked by the firing of a Catholic High School VP in Seattle because he married a man. The decision blew apart the school board and fanned student protests. Yet their youthful dissent had more emotion than reason behind it. Said one protester: ‘I have gay friends whom I care for.’ Read more »

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Advent 2: Beauty, Burning

Advent 2: Beauty, Burning

‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’ (Matt. 3: 7, 8, 11)

John the Baptist’s cry against the corruption of human hearts cost him his head; the very leaders he decried killed him and so fulfilled the firebrand’s own prophesy that ‘he must decrease in order for Christ to increase’ (JN 3:30). But what an increase! John’s fiery call to repentance razed mountains of bad morality and religion, and raised high beautiful Jesus. The Baptist blazed the way for us to ‘Behold the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world.’ (JN 1:29) Read more »

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Mercy 19: Merciful Morality

“In that day, declares the Lord, you will call me my husband; you will no longer call me my master…I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.” (Hosea 2: 16, 19, 20) Read more »

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Twenty Days For Mercy

‘O blood and water that flows from the heart of the Savior as a fount of mercy for us, [we] trust in You!’ St. Faustina

MASTER mercy 15 chriscrussell copyWhen the towers fall and our foundations are being destroyed, what can the faithful do? We can prayerfully cry out for mercy. The Lord of mercy will respond by gently ushering His broken, disoriented creation into His rest.

Today we highlight the importance of gender clarity and sexual chastity to a world shrouded in darkness. We at Desert Stream/Living Waters endure only because our feet are solidly planted on the Rock of Christ Jesus and His Church. There a river of mercy flows for all weary ones who struggle deeply with identity and desire but who have come to experience the folly of worldly answers. Surrender to Jesus alone corresponds with their deepest ache for love. What a privilege to do our part in ushering many onto that Rock, where mercy never fails!

We are heading into the joy of Christmas. In preparation for His birth, might you join us in ‘Twenty Days for Mercy’? Through prayer and fasting, we shall implore the Child-King to release those blinded by other masters. From November 6th to the 25th, we shall pray both for the sexually broken and for the Church, that she might reflect His mercy well. Truly the sexually broken are ‘harassed and rendered helpless’ by worldly powers (Matt. 9: 33-35); only mercy can bring them Home.

I shall write a brief daily devotional that will be posted on my blog and sent to you twice weekly. Most importantly, alongside of prayer for our Living Waters leaders, we are partnering with several excellent, like-minded ministries for whom we shall pray daily with specific requests: Courage, the COR Project, Ministries of Pastoral Care (MPC), and the Restored Hope Network (RHN).

Headed by Anne Paulk, RHN is a dynamic network that unites groups around the USA to offer hope and transformation for persons impacted by SSA and other sexual issues. The COR (Latin for ‘heart’) Project, led by Christopher West, heralds the life-transforming work of Theology of the Body, authored by John Paul ll. MPC, formerly Leanne Payne’s pastoral healing course, has a new leader, Gino Vaccaro, who has done a fine job re-launching Payne’s essential teachings through MPC.

Lastly, we will lift up the Courage and Encourage Apostolate, the only officially recognized arm of ministry to those impacted by SSA in the Roman Catholic Church. What a privilege to partner with leader Father Paul Check in supporting this vital global effort.

Daily we at DSM/LW will be lifting up these requests at 3pm in our offices, CST. Join us if you can or pray when it works for you! In the next three weeks leading up to Nov. 6th, Ann Armstrong (our beloved intercessor at DSM/LW) will write more on how we all can prepare to pray and fast effectively for our time together.

Please plan to pray with us. God acts when the faithful cry out for mercy!

Visit andrewcomiskey.com/mercy for daily updates during the fast.

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Pope Francis: Clarity, Please

Pope Francis: Clarity, PleaseAs the new ‘people’s pope’, Francis’ recent statements on homosexuality seem more concerned with shining the light of Jesus on persons with same-gender attraction (be they priests or seekers) rather than on making moral judgments about homosexuality. His good intentions could mislead us.

Take for example, his offhanded use of the English term ‘gay.’ Here he goes beyond affirming the dignity of persons with certain tendencies; he unintentionally affirms an identity which in our age has become the rallying point for an artificial ‘ethnos’, a people group, whose misbegotten activism has redefined marriage throughout the world.

To be fair, Francis decries any kind of ‘lobby’ with which gays bully their way into power and privilege. Here he references the alleged ‘gay’ block in the Vatican administration. The good pope wants to keep homosexuality an individual affair, and thus subject to the will of the person to choose Christ (or not).

Yet such an honorable intention fails to recognize the irrational and demonic corporate power committed to afflicting a generation with gender disintegration. To benignly ‘not judge’ that corporate power could mean a lack of pastoral clarity that subjects those afflicted with SSA to a nauseous blend of worshipping both God and Baal.

Priests with SSA need that pastoral clarity above all else. Francis’ claim to not ‘judge’ gay priests alarms me. Though I agree that the Church should not exclude priestly candidates on the basis of SSA, these ones need special care to ensure that they are sufficiently well-integrated to pastor others with clean hearts and hands. In the last month alone, I have counseled two vulnerable men who were objects of priests with SSA. Instead of wise counsel, they received spiritual abuse.

I wondered as I read the Pope’s comments: Does he know anyone who has actually repented of the ‘gay self’ and behavior, and who has given all to Jesus in order to live a pure life?

I just came from the annual Courage Conference where men and women with SSA gathered to urge one another onward to live chaste, integrated lives. (Courage is the only official ministry of its kind in the Catholic Church.) These men and women know both the afflicting nature of homosexuality and the sweet rigor of walking His way; their families have learned to love them courageously by refusing to name them as ‘gay’ but rather as beloved family members who need to repent unto the pure life Jesus offers. At Courage, I witnessed a renewed dignity born of sacramental grace and repentance.

These are the saints of the Church whom the Pope has a responsibility to shepherd with wise commentary. I fear he did not represent well the faithful in his words. His desire to provide a fresh open face for seekers is welcomed as long as he grounds it in the call of costly grace.

Such grounding is in part the responsibility of those of us who come out of SSA. Instead of slamming the Pope we must seek to inform him and any church leader with the witness of amazing grace. That is not the grace that threatens to become cheap by accommodating deadly mixtures of perverse sensuality and spirituality. That is the grace seasoned with virtue, a grace that is ours at the cost of Jesus’ life. It cost us our old lives too but those losses mean nothing in light of our gain, who is Christ.

‘Shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.’ (Phil. 2: 15)

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