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Friday, January 31, 2014

The New Evangelists: Bringing Christ, A Light to All People Who Experience Same Sex Attraction

by Susan Fox
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.” (Isaiah 9:2-4)


 “Woman, why are you weeping?” Jesus tenderly asked Mary Magdalene as she stood outside His empty tomb. She had just answered His question, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

It was the morning of the Resurrection, and it was no accident that the Magdalene, the “sinner” out of whom Jesus cast seven demons, became the first person to encounter Jesus after the Resurrection.
For God had a great plan for the “sinner” from Bethany.
There she was  -- at the foot of the cross with the Beloved Disciple John and Jesus’ Mother Mary. It was not reported whether she cried at the cross. Maybe she held back her tears for the sake of His mother.
But she sure as shootin’ wept at the Resurrection! Perhaps it was not surprising either, because St. John identifies Mary as the “sinner” who entered the house of Simon the Pharisee and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed His feet and anointed them with an expensive ointment.

About her, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9)
And so, Jesus Christ made it very clear that the repentant sinner will always be welcome in the Catholic Church, and they will be given a starring role in salvation history.
History repeats itself. We live in the land of gloom.
In our time, an unprecedented rejection of the virtue of chastity and the resulting reverence for the homosexual lifestyle has darkened secular society. Pornography – once reserved to seedy adult bookstores – now is as close as one’s computer or television. Junior High Schools are teaching that anal sex is an “act of love,” while it is really a health hazard. Seventeen U.S. states have legalized pseudo marriage between two persons of the same sex. The state of Oregon found a bakery guilty of discrimination for refusing to put a same-sex couple on a wedding cake. New Mexico put two photographers out of business for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment service.
Even more disturbing, author Linda Harvey (Maybe He’s Not Gay) estimates that as much as 40 percent of our population may soon have same-sex experience because the schools are teaching it is a normal expression of sexuality and the government is labeling it a benevolent association equal to marriage. In 1990, American grunge band Nivana prophetically sang, “What else could I say? Everyone is gay.”  Who could have imagined Kurt Cobain’s lyrics would have foretold the transformation of our culture?

The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attractions, while not a committed sin in themselves, are unequivocally a disorder. They draw some people to pursue same-sex relationships, which are intrinsically non-complimentary to one another according to structural design. 

Our experience of prior relationships will affect the formation of intimate bonds with others throughout our lives. A child’s first sexual experiment undertaken with a friend of the same sex will impress itself on the child, making it difficult for him to develop a normal relationship and marry a person of the opposite sex. A difficult relationship with a parent of the same sex, an early introduction to pornography carelessly left around the house by siblings or father, sexual molestation  – all of these experiences can leave a child wounded in his sexual identity and vulnerable to seeking love in same-sex relationships. Peter Pan attracts his boys.

Many regret that first step into the world of pornography, homosexuality and yes, the occult.
“San Francisco is a huge Pleasure Island attracting all the lost boys of the world. With a hopeless yearning for love, they are deprived of what innocence they have left, many die, but the pornography, which lures a future generation with the promise of paradise on Earth, continues to churn itself out,” said former gay porn star Joseph Sciambra, who now spends his days on the streets of San Francisco evangelizing the crowd outside an adult book store. He is trying to bring the  “lost boys” home to the Catholic Church.

“Sometimes, I can’t stop crying,” he wrote in his book, Swallowed by Satan. From the Malibu Cliffs, He stares broodingly towards the cities of Los Angeles and  San Francisco: “Souls are extinguished everywhere, as if they were hot embers escaping a raging inferno. I furiously stretch my arms to catch them, but I cannot. They are falling. I pray to Jesus. I ask Our Lady, please help them.”
In front of the Holy Eucharist in a Catholic Church in Canada, another man, who had lived a similar life, laid down curled up in a fetal position, weeping: “I wept for the spikes I drove through His Hands. I wept for the crown of thorns I pressed into His Flesh. And I wept for the souls of those I led astray. I wept with the hope that God could love a sinner like me.”

“He comforted me. In the presence of the Lord of all Creation, the Author of Love, I gave myself to Him, and desired His encompassing embrace.”  (www.PursuitofTruth.ca)
Courage website:
You don't have to make
 this journey alone

Both these men are members of Courage, a worldwide apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons experiencing same-sex attractions and their loved ones. In 1980, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York asked Fr. John Harvey to form a spiritual support system so that men and women who experience same sex attraction can find the freedom of interior chastity and live a fully Christian life. Today, they have more than 100 chapters and assist countless people worldwide. They have the endorsement of Pope John Paul II:  “Courage is doing the work of God.”
Both men, having experienced the forgiveness of God, have dedicated their lives to helping other people caught in sexual bondage within the context of the authentic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. As the world sinks into a new “dark” age, these men are on the front lines of the “New Evangelization” of which Pope John Paul II spoke.
Men of Courage, why are you weeping? Do you weep for your brothers still caught in the bonds of sexual addiction? Do you weep for Our Loving God so cruelly offended? These men exemplify and make manifest love of God and love of neighbor in the Roman Catholic Church. The cornerstone of their apostolate is the virtue of joyful chastity. There is hope.
Maybe such an apostolate seems unnecessary to you. Isn’t homosexuality a fuzzy warm little relationship growing into something called a family?
No, it’s not. Read Swallowed by Satan. It is adult men and women living a complete fantasy in a desperate bid to be loved. A woman cuts her hair like a man and tries to act like what she imagines a man would act. She can’t do it. It makes her behavior almost aberrant. It’s the same for a man. He is trying to mimic the male/female sex act in the role of the woman. He is not made for that.
And as they fall deeper and deeper into a sadomasochistic life style in which they are increasingly abused, many actually desire to take their own lives. It was just reported that 52 percent of youth self-identifying by their homosexuality in the United Kingdom have tried to harm themselves, according to a survey conducted by Metro, a pro-homosexual advocacy group. Joseph himself recounts an experience where one of his “dates” held a knife to his throat and announced he was going to kill him. His response? “Go ahead.”
“Consistently, while walking about and stumbling in the world of pornography, a strange numbness overcame me. Instead of sexual freedom making me feel liberated or empowered, I was completely drained, lifeless and imprisoned. The unforgiving corrosive effect of pornography left my body denuded,” Sciambra wrote. He remained in the lifestyle almost to the point of death. When he felt the hot breath of hell, he cried out for God. And he lived.
His Catholic faith -- abandoned for a time -- offered Joseph a haven of safety. And so it was for another Courage member: “The safest place I’ve ever found in the whole world is in the Catholic Church. The Church hasn’t judged me. The Church does not condemn me on account of the attractions I experience. The Church does not single me out as though I must live chaste while “straight” people don’t have to. I’m welcomed at every turn to walk into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and to grow in His virtues. I’m welcome to serve charitably and to give of myself along side everybody else in that family.”
This is contrary to the world’s view of the Catholic Church. When a Catholic insists that homosexual acts are sinful, but the degree of culpability depends on the person’s freedom, he is met with cries of “homophobic!”
“Here I understand completely from where the rage in the gay community originates. In their cloistered world of gay sex, they have created a completely separate reality with its own set of guidelines. When the realm of the heterosexual, especially the Christian, attempts to curtail their self-imagined freedoms, it is immediately perceived as an attack on the whole of gay society. Without their towers of sex, the gay substructure collapses and their unstable universe disappears. Once again you are left alone and afraid,” Joseph said describing how Christian efforts to “help” are perceived as threats.
That’s the problem with fantasy. It disintegrates when reality tarnishes the charm of the fake. It was like that when I followed my husband into a restaurant run by men, who self-identify as “gay.” They were delighted to see my husband, but their smiles faded when I walked through the door a little while later. “Yes,” I said, flirtatiously waving my wedding ring, “I am his wife.”  It was the truth.
Dedicated to helping people embrace a greater degree of truth is the Pursuit of Truth website, which contains writings from a number of faithful chaste Catholics who have been permitted the experience of same-sex attractions. I interviewed “Andrew,” one of the contributors, for this story. His life is full of hope.  Coming Home to the Catholic Church: My Testimony
“2014 already feels like a big year. The rejection of an unchaste life is becoming more commonplace,” Andrew said. Pursuit of Truth believes hearts can be won over to chastity if the falsehoods embedded in our language are exposed.
 “People are seeing how living unchastely is more unfulfilling than ever. And they are starting to realize because of connectivity through groups like Courage that the Church upholds the virtue of chastity as something to strive toward -- not as a means of fixing ourselves, but as a form of growing in self-mastery.”
Pursuit of Truth slowly leads you to the realization that to call oneself “gay” is a grave deception. Neither am I “straight.” My sexuality is only one facet of who I am. It is very important part, but it is still less than the fullness of who I am. 
I also have a great capacity for laughter, the ability to see good in others regardless of their actions, and I practice the virtue of Talk (Tell the Good News). But I don’t call myself “Laughter.” Nor do I call myself “Big Mouth” -- even if other people do!
Instead of identifying ourselves by our sexual attractions or inclinations, the Pursuit of Truth website invites us to either anchor our embraced identity in our personhood (in the case of atheists) or in our relationship to God. The later is what the Catholic Church invites us all to do, and it’s very healing. Many things can be overcome when we come to deeply understand that we are Beloved of God.  
The website invites people to distinguish between attractions that are not specifically chosen and our embraced identity, which is the manner in which we define ourselves. The latter – our self-concept -- is specifically chosen by us.
For whatever reason, a person may realize that he is attracted to persons of his own sex instead of the opposite sex. These inclinations are not specifically chosen. Rather, they simply "are".
But it’s critically important how he sees himself after he recognizes his attractions to be distinct from his identity, or who he truly "is." The world wants you to believe you are “gay” and to fully and wholeheartedly embrace that identity. That is the message of despair.  The Church does not see you that way. We are made in the image and likeness of God, Who is Love. You are a person, a child of God. There is freedom in that relationship.
Nobody specifically choses their attractions. But we still have the abiltity to define who we are however we want. Everyone will agree with that. Don’t you think it would make sense if we considered those to be distinct -- one is specifically chosen and one is not? That’s the first truth that a person needs to come to embrace on their own terms ...because everything that is anti-church is founded on that truth not becoming known.” Andrew said. “Embracing this identity (“gay”) is the biggest lie in the modern world.”


He likens it to the Japanese practice of growing watermelons in a box so they will come out square. “Square is the new normal. People who choose to embrace the gay identity walk into those square watermelon containers of their own accord.” But somebody creates the box. Somebody creates the identity, which is a deception. Andrew says the world uses people’s desire for a good --- self-honesty – to deceive people into believing that the only way to be honest with themselves is to step into the box.


“Come out, come out wherever you are! See, you are “gay!” That is good! Don’t deny yourself -- celebrate.” That’s the message of the world. It’s an old song: “Little boxes on the hillside.
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one 
and a blue one and a yellow one, and they're all made out of ticky tacky
 and they all look just the same.” (words of 1963 Pete Seeger hit, “Little Boxes”)
Andrew says that in this context self-honesty is a lie: “It is a falsehood to not distinguish attractions from identity.” Ironically, Notre Dame University has fallen into this trap. Last fall, they created Prism ND, an organization for “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.”  These kinds of groups are about having people grow into their “gay” identity. Instead, the university should be directing students to anchor their identity in Jesus Christ. At least, I think that is what a “Catholic” University would do.
“To choose celibacy as a form of fixing oneself is like getting married to run from a porn addiction. It doesn’t work. To merely live a celibate life is not to change the heart condition. True celibacy is the culmination of chastity to the point of desiring to reserve yourself completely for God. Simply not having sex is called “abstinence.” However, not having sex for the purpose of offering your life to God originating from one’s desire to pursue mastery of the virtue of chastity ... is what it means to be celibate,” Andrew said, adding that this form of celibacy is for all single people, not just those who have taken religious vows. But married people are called to live chastely, reserving the gift of their sexuality to one another, with Christ as the bedrock of their marriage.
Sadly, the Pursuit of Truth website has been criticized for not revealing “Andrew’s” identity publicly. There is a group of false evangelists in the Catholic Church, who openly self-identify as celibate “gays.”  They say they live chaste Catholic lives, but they insist that the Church has to “develop” her teaching on homosexuality to make a place for them.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), who probably has done more than any other person on earth to stop the spread of abortion worldwide, courageously exposed this group, which he calls “The New Homophiles.”
“They are the New Homophiles and they accept the Church’s teaching that sexual activity can only occur between married men and women. They oppose a redefinition of marriage to include anyone else. They are fine, if that is the right word, with living celibate lives. They do not want to stop being gay; they don’t believe they can or even should. They believe God made them gay so they want to be known as gay and they want the Church to accept them on those terms. And they believe being gay is part of God’s plan and vocation for them,” Ruse wrote in Crisis Magazine.
One in this group is Eve Tushnet. She writes: My lesbianism is part of why I form the friendships I form. It’s part of why I volunteer at a pregnancy center. Not because I’m attracted to the women I counsel, but because my connection to other women does have an adoring and erotic component, and I wanted to find a way to express that connection through works of mercy. My lesbianism is inextricable from who I am and how I live in the world. Therefore I can’t help but think it’s inextricable from my vocation.”
Pursuit of Truth would say that Eve has planted herself in a square box. What Eve doesn’t understand is that our nature is fallen.  Our nature now is like a faded photograph. It is not a reliable image of how God made us to be. The spiritual life, the pursuit of holiness – if you wish – means being re-made more fully into the Image of God. But that absolutely requires that you anchor your identity in Jesus Christ, not in something so minimizing as your sexual attractions. You are more than that.
So Pursuit of Truth is criticized by this group because “Andrew” is not out and about and visible to the world as a “gay” man.  One commentator said that his choice to “hide” shows the Church as intolerant. My dear man, someday “Andrew” may marry and have 10 children. The lives of these future children could be endangered by his public admission now.
Pro-chastity Catholic bloggers like “Andrew” and Joseph are violently hated by people who have embraced the “gay” identity. I’ve met them online and they have warned me strongly against reading Joseph’s work. While I love these little munchkins dearly I recognize that they can be dangerous.
So “Andrew” is very prudent to remain hidden, and besides he does not see himself as anything but another person, so why come out? He is a child of God like everyone else in the Church. Pursuit of Truth has also taught me not to identify myself by my sexuality. I was arguing with an atheist on Twitter, and he said, “So when did you discover you were straight?” I answered furiously, “I am not straight. I am Beloved of Jesus Christ.” That left them scratching their heads.
But Andrew is only invisible in the eyes of the world: “I am very visible in the eyes of the Church. The Church is keenly aware of the gifts we have to offer. It’s the people outside the Church who don’t think we exist. But they’ll be reached when they are ready.”
And he fully believes that will be soon because the movement toward chastity is growing rapidly.
“What happens with crowd sync is that as soon as something becomes the place to be or the direction to go, the excitement for it grows. The excitement to live a chaste life (is growing.)   It sounds ridiculous to people who never understood chastity or never tasted it before. But people are gaining strength in excitement of their role. We are rising up to take our places in the Church to be that voice to the world. (It is the voice) that says the Church is love, the Church loves us, we belong in the Church and it doesn’t matter what your attractions are. We need to collectively strive to support each other on this journey towards chastity regardless of our state in life whether it be marriage or single life,” Andrew concluded.
He shared the following video with me. It is his idea of what it means to see the love of the virtue of chastity spread around the world: Sasquatch Music Festival 2009 (It's a riot)


   

Monday, January 27, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI

(The Eucharist is the re-presentation of Christ’s Passion on the Cross in an un-bloody manner.  Because God is outside time, and time is a creature of God, I like to tell people the Consecration is a time machine that returns you to the original moment of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. To witness daily His ascent at the intersection of time and eternity is to go to daily Mass.)

by Susan Fox

“Lord, here are two swords,”
we cried, as youth will cry
in pity and in ignorance;
Peter draws his sword at the arrest of Jesus

But we divided,
you, weeping with intellectual fervor
for the very stones He tread upon;

And I
in smiling sorrow
dancing to my death
at a bright intersection.

Still
We are guilty of the resurrection:
we have eaten at the wrong table,
letting the spiteful words spill like cancer.

And once we both fell asleep
under the ghastly stare of an empty sky
leaving the Man alone to die.

“Rescue the Corpse,” you said,
but the dawn made us clumsy;
the blind hush of His ascent
drove us back from the murdered tomb.

And now
we lay the crusade aside:
you
weeping with intellectual fervor
and I
in smiling sorrow
witness daily His ascent
at the intersection

of time and eternity.


Did you enjoy this poem? Read another by the same author: THE BELOVED

Thursday, January 23, 2014

VICTORY! The Pro-Life Army of God Marches On

“I have seen the wicked triumphant, towering like a cedar of Lebanon. I passed by again; he was gone. I searched; he was nowhere to be found.” (Psalm 37)

by Susan Fox


I declare victory!

Hundreds of thousands of people marched for life in Washington, D.C., braving cold temperatures on the 41st anniversary of the infamous Roe v Wade, which removed all legal protections for unborn Americans on Jan. 22, 1973.

But in the hidden bowels of the Twitter-verse, people unleashed hundreds of thousands of tweets with the clear message,  “This is why we march and pray -- to end abortion!”


“Unleash the storm! For the love of Christ urges us on!” tweeted Esmeralda Kiczek. She and her husband Dr. Brian Kiczek organized the largest number of pro-life tweets on Jan. 22 with the hashtag #PraytoEndAbortion. You can sign up to join her in praying the Rosary daily to end abortion, contraception and euthanasia at The End of Abortion Movement 

Since 1973, almost 57 million Americans have been swallowed up in a holocaust far greater than any led by the recent movements of atheistic Communism. Only 2.5 million killed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, 1975-79. Only 20 million murdered, including 6 million Jews, in the Nazi holocaust 1933-1945.

But in America, which has been blessed with greater prosperity and freedom than any other nation on earth, almost 57 million American children have suffered a painful death exiting the womb. In New York City itself, it was just reported more black children are killed in the womb than are born alive. To be born alive in the African American community is an incredible miracle thanks to the eugenics work of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who put her clinics in black, not poor, neighborhoods, and then recruited the black minister to promote contraception.  "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said. Since the time of King Herod the line between good and evil has never been so clear. 

Over 309,000 tweets containing pro-life messages were sent since Dec. 23 with more than half occurring on Jan 22, the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn, according to Topsy.com.

The same number of tweets for pro-death hashtags was 21,196 during the same period of time. A hashtag is a phrase prefixed with the symbol # that appears in a tweet.

The results for all the pro-life hashtags were as follows, Dec. 23 to Jan.22 as of 10:30 p.m. MT. Number of tweets containing each hashtag:
#PraytoEndAbortion  82,587
#prolife 77,715
#marchforlife 54,340
#whywemarch 37,569
#abortion 37,562 
#roevwade 7,316
#Mass4life 6,595
#March4life 5,617
I included #abortion and #roevwade in the pro-life category because their tweets were simply pro-life.

On the other side:
#prochoice 18,589
#Roe 2,607
Another hashtag #Roe41 has 11,439 tweets this morning (Jan. 23)  at 6:45 a.m. MT and the content was mixed between pro-life and pro-death. 
(Source: Topsy.com)

Mary’s unborn Son, Jesus Christ, was clapping His little hands in the womb.  The two of them celebrated with a rousing square dance, in which the head of the snake was thoroughly stomped. (Gen 3:15)

U.S. President Barack Obama also celebrated, but for an entirely different reason. He celebrated the death of almost 57 million Americans as an “opportunity to fulfill dreams.”  But I guarantee that this American president will disappear in the bowels of history unless he is remembered ignominiously as another King Herod. 

At the time of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, Herod ordered the murder of all boys age two and younger in that town. He recognized the Messiah, a son of David, had a legitimate and greater claim to Herod's own throne, so he hoped to kill Him of whom the Magi spoke. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted because they were no more.” (Matt 2:17-18) The Word made flesh is born in Bethlehem, and the first attempt on His life is made when He is still an infant. 

“Today the pro-life movements came together on Twitter to proclaim the value of life.  #MarchforLife, #Mass4Life, #WhyWeMarch, and #PraytoEndAbortion all trended throughout the Day giving a tremendous witness to the pro-life generation,” Esmeralda Kiczek said.

The fact that so many different hash tags were used by the pro-life movement meant that none trended very highly on Twitter in the United States. #MarchforLife was number one for a while in the middle of the day, and then disappeared. #PraytoEndAbortion remained steady at #7, and then rose briefly to #4.

Kiczak said that this #PraytoEndAbortion Twitterstorm was assisted by the American Refugee @mericanrefugee, who is involved in the New Evangelization of the Catholic Church. He was actually looking for a place to do pro-life work on Twitter when he saw the #PraytoEndAbortion hashtag trending on Twitter. 

Most of his tweets were very sober, but some were incredibly entertaining for my whole family and myself. One tweeter, asking why he wouldn’t support abortion in certain cases, said, “What about women finding out their child is deeply disabled and that his life will be a nightmare?” Without missing a beat, American Refugee responded, “Hitler agreed with you.”

She thought that argument was ridiculous, so then she used a bad word, and asked, “What do you have to say about people getting raped and having to bear the child of a monster?” And again without missing a beat, he linked to "Raped, Pregnant & Mentally Ill, I Chose Life Against Doctor's Advice." It was a very happy story, although the mother had a difficult time because she had to go off her bi-polar meds while she was pregnant. 
ObamaCare Girl
You won’t want to miss hearing about the American Refugee’s refugee assistant, the ObamaCare Website Girl, who tells the story of how she was abused and used by Obama, and how she finally found peace in the American Refugee’s hidden compound. "I am The ObamaCare Website Girl; This is My Story." Watch the movie on that linked page, “Hitler finds out ObamaCare Girl is working with American Refugees.” It’s extremely, extremely  funny. 
American Refugee brought in some conservative heavy hitters to help with the twitter storm on Wednesday: Patriot Journalist Network #PJNET#WAAR and Mark Prasek @DataGenesis, according to Mrs. Kiczek.

The Kiczeks organized a successful Twitter Storm  on Dec. 12-13, 2013, with pro-life tweets totaling 180,000. They trended #1 in the United States and #5 in the world. The Kiczeks signed up 207 more people to pray the Rosary daily after that storm. In one year, that little group of people will pray about 75,000 Rosaries to end abortion, contraception, and euthanasia. I’m happy to be one of them.

“As our nation marks the anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, 56 million abortions have been performed in America. Babies are our future. God has given a mission to every human being, but now we will never know what were the gifts that these precious children had for us. It is time to end abortion. We must pray and work very hard because human lives are at stake,” Mrs. Kiczek said.

Pope Francis tweeted in solidarity with pro-lifers.  He said, "I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable."

The pro-life army of God keeps marching, praying, tweeting and sacrificing to end the murder of the innocents. Rachel is weeping for her children. She cannot be consoled because they are no more. 
 This is excellent: