If you saw my last thread, you’ll know I’m a little shaky right now in my faith. Maybe a lot… I don’t know. I could never even think about forsaking my belief in God (I would inevitably come back to it anyway; I know myself too well to think otherwise), I don’t know how else love and truth are to be understood except through Christ my Lord, and I have to hold that the intimate, romantic encounters with Christ in the sacraments can be nothing less than expected of such a merciful, benevolent God. These things, then, I believe in: God, Christ, and the holy Catholic Church. Yet only recently have I begun questioning just what this means.
A while back, I started being honest with myself about something… something difficult. I’d been aware of it on some level since as far back as I remember, but it only piqued in fifth grade, I only confessed in sixth, and it’s only been a legit faith crisis since just recently (here in my eighth grade year, ready to go off to high school). Somewhere in the summer of my sixth grade year, after making strong advances on a close male friend, I could no longer deny my sexual orientation. For a while, it was fine and good to live chastely, relationship-free, and “pull the whool over everyone’s eyes,” so to speak. I tried conversion therapy. I tried just pushing it out of my mind. I tried everything.
Right now, I’m sort of infatuated with a close friend. I… fight so hard to keep myself from doing something stupid. So hard. Still, I’ve done pretty decent in this fight, and really until lately, it hasn’t been a huge, huge issue. Then, all of a sudden, I realize how badly I want to be able to be in some kind of relationship with him. How much I think about him. It’s not dirty. It’s not what so many Christians try to make it to be. It’s just knowing that he feels the same. It’s… confusing me. The Church’s position on this makes sense and I agree with it (or at least, I THINK I do). I defend it even in front of my pro-gay friend who tells me to “go for it”. But no matter how rational it is, I can’t treat this whole thing just like a theological matter–it’s something more than that to me. It’s real, it’s something I have to live with! And when I hear Christians (Catholics are better about this, I’m so glad) talking about this, it’s like to them it’s nothing more than some “issue,” not something people actually have to deal with…
I read about David and Jonathan, and I’ll admit, I think it’s romantic. What they had. I may be misinterpreting, but it seems so pure and so beautiful. So does, for that matter, this to me. It’s so hard to understand HOW this can be wrong. I get the whys that the Church gives so eloquently. But when I’m around him, when I think about him, it’s hard to think of how this could be anything less than… right… What am I missing?
There’s some part of me that feels like I was just born at the wrong time. Like someday the Church will gradually move towards acceptance of this. I know it’s not kosher to say, but after all, she HAS gone from affirming things like special creation and literal readings of the Scriptures and negative views on the nature of sex and the salvation of non-Catholics, etc., etc., to more “palatible” teachings. It happened in small, gradual transitions over time, as her understanding of these matters “evolved.”
I’m not yet an official Catholic (long story; short version is that my mother, a Southern Baptist, doesn’t approve) and so participation in the sacraments isn’t YET an issue. But right now, it’s painfully clear that with respect to the Church’s guidelines on reception of the Holy Eucharist, this is an either/or deal. I want Christ–so badly! But I don’t understand why it is I must make this painful choice. Even less do I understand having to confess week after week these desires.
I’m not looking for affirmation; trust me, I know better places to go for that. I’m not looking for theological rationale (necessarily); I’m well-versed in that. I’m looking, most of all, for prayers–and also for people who can talk to me about this in a real way–not as though it is some “issue,” but who can try to relate in some way with similar tough choices. I need some stories about overcoming. I need some encouragement. I need a reminder of the happiness that Christ offers.
Anything even close to such a description…