I’m pretty new here and I’d like to make a few comments on this topic. Bear with me if I go over some of the things from the beginning of this conversation.
First off, I am a mom too! But I’m also a convert. I wasn’t a Catholic when I gave birth to my daughter, Amy. In fact, I wasn’t really anything at all back then and so didn’t have her Baptised at birth. But after I began my search for God, I had her Baptised. I understood the concept of having Original Sin removed from her soul so that she could be filled with grace. I love my daughter and I want what is best for her. As I saw it back then, I had nothing to lose from having her Baptised and she had much to gain from the action. She was seven when she received the Sacrament and was also being given rudimentary religious instruction. As for your comments about the person or persons receiving this salvivic Sacrament needing an understanding of the responsibilities of those who are Baptised and making a commitment to live the life of Christ in response to this Sacrament, if you understood the reasons behind our Sacrament of Confirmation, then you’d see that this commitment is entered into later in the child’s life. No one expects a baby to understand doctrine, but the unseen properties of the Sacrament, namely the Grace and blessings it imparts are taken on faith. To me, at the point I was in spiritually when my daughter was Baptised, this second reason was far more important to me than the doctrinal stuff. I wanted her to be blessed by God. That’s why I had her Baptised. It was a gift from God that by my consent she would receive. I really couldn’t say no.
The passage from Romans is a real shocker, especially if you are used to a faith that is all about feeling good and being “happy” and “loving.” As anyone of us knows, love doesn’t always feel good nor is it always easy nor does it keep us happy all the time. It involves much sacrifice and care. It means laying aside one’s need and desires for the good of the other, whether that other is a friend, a family member or a stranger. The kind of love that God calls us to live is extraordinary. Those who’ve turned away from God to their own way of living fall further from grace. Their thinking becomes distorted and they lack the ability to think beyond the box that their lifestyle choices place them in. That’s why blind men don’t go to moives!
If you take Paul’s comments and imagine him saying all this to crowd of people, there are going to be those in the crowd who are insulted by his speech, those who will turn away, and those who will accept this and pray for the grace to turn away from the things listed. The point that I believe Paul is making is more important: SIN HAS CONSEQENCES. Look to the Original Sin of Adam and Eve for the ultimate demonstration of this. When I choose to sin, I change how I relate to the world and other people and most of all, how I relate to God Himself, not only at that particular moment I choose to sin, but also later on. My life is different because I chose to sin, whether or not I was aware of the nature and gravity of my sin.
While all folks sin, not all are bound by them. Some of us understand our need of God’s forgiveness and have found our Way to the font of Mercy, namely the Sacraments and their life-giving and life-sustaining graces. We live a Way of life that provides for our fallen human nature. We live by faith not by sight! We take God at His Word and follow Him. In fact, we follow Him right to the Cross itself. As I’m sure you’ve been told, this all seems like so much foolishness to those of the world, but we live in the Kingdom that is not of this world. We live in the world but apart from it. We live out our Baptismal commitment to Christ each and every day, bearing all things for the sake of Love.
What this says to me about homosexual behavoirs is that by choosing them, there is a constriction of outlook and viewpoint. Not only is the final act of homosexual orientation sinful, but so is the mind-set that leads up to it. As Jesus told us, the sin is in the heart and mind before it is acted upon – ” But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already commited adultery with her is his heart.” Each action has consequences that distort the picture that the homosexual person has of things, including their concept of God. This is a type of causation that is inevitable. Point being: you get more than you bargain for.
I don’t beleive that anyone is born homosexual. I don’t believe much about the modern view of sexuality and freedoms. I take God at His Word. I know how I’ve suffered from my own sins. I also know how I’ve effected others with my sinful choices. I had a great deal of repentance to go through to get to my own Baptism. I had to make quite a few changes in my life. The toughest thing to change was my way of thinking and seeing things. I still struggle with thoughts that aren’t right according to God’s will and plan for me. I’ve been eight years a Catholic and still struggle with the consequences of my past sinfulness and I will be the first one to admit my thinking was way off the beam back then. I had to become a new person by the renewal of my mind. What this has taught me is to have compassion for those who just aren’t where I’m at spiritually. I understand the fact that you and I don’t think the same.
Chloe, I’m here to say that this can all change. I’m here to ask you to trust someone else’s concept of God and His Way of Life for us. He said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and I wouldn’t do Him, or you or me any good at all in watering down His message to suit the linguistics of this conversation. If I claim to love you as Jesus would love you and as Paul loved the Romans, then I will tell you the Truth and let you decide to accept it or reject it. Please don’t try to tell me that I’m being intolerant if I state that the sinful way of life that is a “gay” lifestyle is unacceptable in God’s eyes. It isn’t – we have too much evidence to the contrary. Yet, God is Mercy Incarnate and He is all too ready to embrace the sinner and heal them. Telling someone the Truth is sometimes one of the hardest parts of loving them.
You may say “I’m gay and can’t change that!”, but God can if you are willing to let Him. He won’t force Himself on you. He has too much respect for your human dignity and your free will. Your free will is God’s gift to you. It’s how you use it that is your gift back to Him!
Chloe, I would love for you to see God and His Church the way I do, but you aren’t capable of doing so at this point in your journey of faith. Sure you can go and find a church that suits your needs and “embrace” you and your lifestyle choices, but one thing for sure is they don’t really love you because they are failing to tell you all the Truth.
Well, enough out of me. I’d like to address some of the other issues mentioned in this thread but that is perhaps for another day. I have chores to do. Praise the Lord, I know I’m not homeless because I have a home to clean! LOL.