Being faithful in the closet

Hi everyone
This is pretty difficult for me to put down in a public forum, but I am going through a bit of a crisis of faith so to speak. From what I’ve figured I probably fit the definition of being a closeted homosexual and this is the first time I’ve told anyone ever. This has been a very difficult post for me to even consider. I have an extremely loving family who are all very conservative, and as it stands I don’t think I can ever reveal my secret to them because I can’t imagine hurting those who sacrificed so much already for my happiness.

I have always sought a close relationship to God growing up, so as my sexual urges developed they shocked me. I had no desire for them and I prayed for them to go away, but lo and behold 10 years later they remain. I have never been in a relationship whatsoever, to me my urges are simply mechanical but boy howdy are they strong. As it stands I agree with pretty much all church social doctrine from abortion to women’s ordination and I truly want to seek union with God as humanly possible so this conflict pretty taxing. It is tearing my mind apart and occupies way too much of my energy for me to foresee much long term happiness. I’m also entering a field of work that is notoriously difficult, and I am afraid without a soul mate I might fall under pressure. I wouldn’t think it fair for the lady in the relationship if I were enter a heterosexual union.

Outside of that I love the church, there’s very few things that bring me more peace than to kneel down in an empty chapel and adore the Eucharist. But I can’t seem to reconcile these urges with god’s plan for me. This is one aspect in my prayer life in which god has been profoundly silent :shrug: Any thoughts?

thanks and god bless ye :smiley:

Union with God is possible for everyone. There is no person who has ever existed or will ever exist who Jesus did not suffer and die for on the cross, and He loves you more than you can imagine. Your feelings are not sinful. It is acting on those feelings that are sinful. Church documents use the term disordered to describe the homosexual condition but it is often misunderstood among those unfamiliar with Church documents. It doesn’t mean you’re sick or inferior to others. You are a child of God.

As far as praying for those urges to go away, chances are that that is just how you are. Some may recommend conversion therapy but the success rate for such things is very low. Others may recommend Courage, a great group, but it’s not for everyone. They do not require conversion therapy of their members and are a support group for those with homosexual desires seeking to live chastely. I think your best bet is to find an understanding priest you can discuss the issue with, one who is faithful to Church teaching.

God loves you!

My post isn’t going to help you, but I just wanted to let you know that, based on what you have written in this post, I feel almost exactly the same as you. I have homosexual tendencies, probably “deep-seated.” Many of my thoughts throughout the day revolve around this cross/problem of mine, and make it hard for me to foresee happiness for myself. I don’t even have a strong prayer life, so that is the only thing for me that is different from you. Given that fact, I’m amazed that I have been given the grace to continue practicing my faith probably more than the average American Catholic. I guess it helps to go to a good Catholic university, have a strong Catholic family, and to have a sister that is a nun praying for me every day. :wink: In any case, I just wanted to post basically to sympathize with you, and will be interested to see others’ responses. And by the way, I have told no one, either - if I did tell anyone, it would only be a psychiatrist/counselor or a priest - at this point in my life, I don’t see any point in telling anyone.

Please contact the Courage Apostolate:

couragerc.net/

Father Paul Check on Catholic Answers:

catholic.com/search/content/paul%20check

Daniel Mattson on Catholic Answers:

catholic.com/search/content/mattson

I’d like to commend you on your courage. That’s something that’s VERY hard to admit. I’d actually like to congratulate you on risking it all here and for also struggling so hard against same-sex attraction! :):thumbsup::bounce::clapping::yup:

I tend to agree that there ARE people who can be supportive to you in this like Courage. Outside of that, there are Catholic counselors at Catholic Social Services which approach things from a Catholic perspective, as opposed to a secular one.

It’s not actually a sin to experience SSA. It’s just a sin to act on it.
A lot of us have unwelcome sexual urges we struggle with. You are also not the first person to come on the forum with this issue. So, you are also not alone. It can be quite a challenge, but we’ve seen people overcome it. They come back and tell us their stories!

I understand that with SSA, there is a lot of pressure to be gay and out. It’s my understanding people who take any kind of stance aren’t as welcomed. However, though you may not have heard of them, they exist.

I don’t think you need to reveal this to your family, especially in a case such as yours. It’s a personal matter.

Anyway, I hope things will work out for you, because you do sound like you truly want to have a close relationship with God. I think you can!

Good luck to you, and may God bless you!

I believe I’ll close with a prayer.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.
:gopray:

Thank you for sharing with us,and you do have my deepest sympathies.SSA is a terrible cross to bear not only because it is disordered and contrary to God’s natural law,but because in the course of daily life you are most likely constantly exposed to very attractive invividuals who probably trigger the response. Dwelling on these attractions and desiring a soul mate in your current state is not wise.

Sexual attraction is a very powerful force yet some of it is learned behavior while some of it is hormonal.Oxytocin plays a role because it is a hormone released during not only breastfeeding but orgasm. It serves as a bonding agent between mother and infant as well as man and woman. I suppose in a disordered relationship the actual release of this hormone during a sexual encounter would cause the same affect. Bonding one to the object of desire and the one that caused the pleasure.

If you are in such great distress do seek counseling from a priest.I also suggest you keep your inclinations to yourself as telling your family would cause them much grief.

I will pray for you.

Dear Brother,

God’s peace be with you :slight_smile:
I’ll say this…I haven’t posted on this forum for a while, but your post really moved me, and so I’ve decided to say something…I generally keep my two cents out of things, especially more serious ones, out of fear that I’ll give bad advice, misinform someone, or lead someone down the wrong way. 'Therefore, I’ll try my best to share my story, and let you take from it whatever you will. I’ll also admit that I’ve not read the comments above me yet, so I’m sorry if I repeat anything.

It hurts me that you think your homosexuality is something that impedes your relationship with our Father in Heaven. If you are truly a homosexual, then that is neither here nor there in God’s eyes. His love and care for you are unconditional. You are his dear, beloved, Son!

For our benefit, Holy Church has given ALL OF US, homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, asexual, whatever the case may be, a way to pursue holiness. For us, it is chaste celibacy. Though our struggles are unique in many ways, at the heart of the matter, we are all called to struggle, sacrifice, suffer, and strive for union with Jesus. He loves us so much and is there to fulfill every need we have. God has wondrously formed and fashioned each of us. We are reflections of Him, and the cleaner we keep our souls, the more clearly we reflect our Father.

My dear friend, strive for holiness. Your internal sexual drives and tendencies can’t define you. Some of us find a great deal of fulfillment in being open and honest to everyone about our sexuality and our choices (and the reasons behind our choices) to live in accordance with Holy Church’s teachings. This is a tremendous witness to the faithful, and those who live by their own rules. Imagine what it must be like for someone who doesn’t know God or the Church to see a man voluntarily accept such a great sacrifice for love of Christ. What a great way to win souls! I personally feel that the degree to which you disclose your sexuality should be determined between you and your spiritual father…hint hint…if you don’t yet have a spiritual father, get one :slight_smile:

Never forget how much God loves and accepts you. He is love. That’s all he knows. Stay pure for Him and for love of His Mother. Pray the Rosary and pray to St. Joseph. Stay close to the sacraments, and the traditional Liturgies of the Church, there is where we can find our strength and sustenance. And never, ever feel like this cross you have been (in some ways blessed) to bear has to stand between you and our Lord. If I have said anything wrong, please forgive me, it’s error on my part. Always stay close to the Church and her Holy Tradition, and check my poor advice against them!

Please p.m. me, brother, if I can be of any help. As soon as I figure out how to reply, I will :wink:

What wonderful advice! Yes our internal desires do not define us especially disordered sexual desires.God loves us all.

This poor man though does seem to be struggling terribly and needs our prayers too.

Lux,

The best way to be faithful in the closet is not to be in the closet. Hear me out. I do not suggest that you tell everyone you know you are gay, nor that you openly act on your attractions. However, I can tell you from my own personal experience that hiding is not doing you any good.

No one knew I was attracted to other men until I was 22. And it was practically forced out of me, then. But I cannot tell you how freeing it was! It’s the devil that wants to keep us from sharing this struggle with each other, because secrecy is a breeding ground for sin. If you talk to trustworthy people you are close to about what you’re going through, you will break the devil’s plan to pieces.

Let’s make one thing clear: being homosexual is not sinful. Sexually pursuing people of the same sex is sinful, but simply being homosexual is not. The shame you feel from being attracted to men is not from God. Rebuke it.

You are afraid of being known by someone, because you are afraid of being rejected by them. How much more, then, must you be terrified of being rejected by God? But you need to see that hiding this struggle from your brothers and sisters is hiding from God, since God’s favorite way of loving us is through His people! Please, please, prayerfully consider bringing your struggle into the light in some way.

Oh, wait, you already have: here. :slight_smile: But let this be the beginning, not the end, of openness. And please let me know if there’s anything else I can do. I’ve been there, bro, and I know what you’re going through.

I’ve always found it pretty dark and spooky in a closet. Besides there are spiders in there.:eek:

We each have imperfections… these are crosses for us which we can offer up to God. God loves each of us, so please don’t feel that your particular cross is one which comes between you and God or in any way impedes your love for Him or His love for you.

Thank you all for your responses and advice. I especially really appreciate Charles and the prodigal son for sharing there personal stories with me, it means more to me than one can imagine to know that I am not alone in my struggle.:thumbsup:

I came to peace many moons ago to the fact that my urges were something that probably wasn’t going away. I have enough of a scientific background to acknowledge prenatal hormone levels probably formed me the way I am and I figured this was my cross to bear. It’s just more recently with the passage of time, the cross has grown heavier and the crown grew a couple more thorns to boot. Watching my siblings move on with there personal lives while I stand aside and tell them that I am waiting for someone special whilst gritting my teeth to a future of solitude has been particularly difficult. In addition to that, I am 2nd oldest and from a cultural perspective, I am expected to marry first before my younger siblings can. It feels like I am juggling snakes in a crowded room, one of them is bound to be caught wrong and bite me or my loved ones.:juggle:

I would join a courage chapter, but truthfully I live in a corner of a country where we had to take a forty minute trip down the interstate to the nearest Catholic parish every Sunday for mass, so attending the closest chapter 4 hrs away is not really realistic for me. All you have my sincerest thanks in this regard to this matter, I’m just tired of fighting these demons alone. :knight2:

-Michael

What? Then you must have never played hide-and -seek.because closets can be the most awesome hiding places! When we were little my sis and I used to take blankets into the closet and read books.Never thought there were scary spiders in there but probably they lurked.

lux, you are in my thoughts & prayers…

Well yes, there seems to be something to this, as well. Sometimes, when we hide, repress, an emotion, it only makes it stronger.

Once, I thought I was in love with a boyfriend. I thought he was “the one”, but it turned out to be one-sided. He married someone else, but I became obsessed with him for years. Finally, once, I simply admitted to a very close friend that I felt like I was in love with a married man and did NOT want to be! When I did that, confessed this to my friend, I felt a tremendous release.

Something else happened which was incredibly ironic. After I confessed this disordered desire, it began to DECREASE! It went away on its own. Further, I could begin to see the situation for what it was, more objectively.

It was only when I faced this, head on, that I was able to stop it. Now, perhaps it won’t be like that in your case, but I found that the harder I resisted it…in that fashion… .the worse it got.

The more I obsessed about trying to stop, the worse it got. Do you see? I know. That makes absolutely no sense, but it worked, at least for me.

What I resisted, persisted. When I faced it, it went away.

I stopped trying to deny the truth. I told the truth to one trusted person, and it set me free is all I can tell you. I think that’s just one more reason I believe in the power of confession.

I wouldn’t recommend fleeing from this. Face it (as in…face this issue…rather than running from it).

Well I went to confession today and told my priest about it. I don’t believe I ever cried in confession before, so this was a first. It was a beautiful moment, but it was also very scary. I am still uncertain of what god plans for me and the road still looks frightening. It was a great reminder that all these years I was truly never alone but the good lord was watching over me and will keep on watching through good and bad times. Thank you all for your prayers and support, I am so glad I found a community here.

What’s the difference between facing a difficult issue, and fleeing it?

Any time you wish to return, we’ll leave the light on for you!:cool::thumbsup:

If you flee it you might get fleas?:shrug:

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