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Friday, January 30, 2015

A Profound Testimony from Daniel Mattson

St. Agnes, virgin & martyr
The Strange Notion of "Gay Celibacy"

Now here is a same-sex attracted man who has his head on straight. He recognizes himself as a man. He realizes that homosexuality is NOT his identity. Several paragraphs from his article struck me as particularly profound:
What points us to our true sexual identity is the beautiful differentiation of the body. It is for this reason that I am grateful for the wise words written by then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986, when he said that “today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a ‘heterosexual’ or a ‘homosexual’ and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”...
The notion of “gay celibacy” is an idea stemming from an impoverished and confused view of what chastity is all about. Chastity isn’t the same thing as sexual continence, nor is it marked by celibacy. It is about living in accordance with the truth of things, and how God made us as sexual creatures. It is about lives lived with the right relationship with reality, where we view our sexuality through the “inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.” My body is a more reliable compass than my feelings are, and it always points to my true sexual identity. As my dad wisely told me when I was a child, “feelings are important, but they don’t always tell us the truth.”
Mattson has a strong sense of what the virtue of chastity really is. Here's a quote worth memorizing, "Above all else, chastity is about the real nature of things." Everyone on the planet is called to live a chaste life, regardless of our feelings, inclinations, or state in life; so Mattson's article isn't just for those afflicted with the cross of same-sex attraction. I recommend it to everyone.

2 comments:

susan said...

Yes! I read this a couple of days ago and found it truly profound and BEAUTIFULLY written....thanks for drawing more attention to it Mary Ann. Men (and women) like Daniel need to be applauded...they are living inspirations of the Church's beautiful teaching on this subject.

Violet said...

Thanks to Daniel for clarifying an issue that is confusing Christians who wish to follow biblical teaching yet be compassionate to those who label themselves "gay" and Christian.

The clarifying point is that if we choose to call ourselves Christian then there is no identity except in Christ. Any other label is just that - a label.