So I know that today is Easter and, as a Catholic, there is probably some sort legal requirement that obligates me to write about the resurrection. But I’m not gonna.
I hate hurting people, especially my friends, but I hate lying more. Talking about homosexuality seems to always end with someone getting hurt. I never want to hurt my friends, but I answer questions honestly. All the time. Even when those answers are ones that I know will be taken badly. To my friend with whom I spoke. I know that it is hard, very hard, almost unfathomable to understand why the Church would tell someone that their actions of love are wrong and that they cannot get married in a Catholic Church. It seems like a denial of love. And it would be, if the Church defined love as a feeling. But love isn’t a feeling. Feelings are temporary, they ebb and flow. Love is an action, it is a choice of the will to desire what is best for another. Love is a choice, a way of life, a constant decision to put another before oneself. With this perspective, one can make sense of why an institution as giving and caring as the Catholic Church would say that homosexuals cannot marry in the Church.
You may feel like you love someone. That doesn’t mean you can marry them. That doesn’t mean that the way to express your feelings is to have sex with them or marry them. There are all sorts of things that my feelings tell me would be good to do, that are not good. My feelings tell me that it is good to watch 8 episodes of West Wing in a row, eat an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies, and sleep till noon. My feelings tell me that it is good to strangle the child in my class who sticks a stick in the dirt by his foot and shouts “I claim this place and name it Footlandia!” then raises his hand and tells me that the pioneers ate at McDonalds. My feelings tell me that these things are very good. My logic tells me otherwise. God did not just give us a heart. He also gave us minds. And he expects us to use both.
The reason why girly girls like me love the knight in shining armor is because he exemplifies self sacrificial love. We swoon over knights because they would die for us, die to save us. (…hmmm this plotline is hauntingly auspicious today…) This way of defining love is wholly different from attraction. I recognize that homosexuals feel attraction to their partners, like their personalities, want to do nice things for them, enjoy spending time with them, and even want to commit to being with them for the rest of their lives. These are all great sentiments, but the sum of these feelings and desires does not equal love.
Do not think me callous either to how gut wrenchingly difficult it must be to be asked to not act on your feelings. I can’t imagine the struggle that it must be to have feelings for someone and not be able to act on them. But there are people who do understand. And they have made the choice, despite their feelings to live their lives based on what the Church teaches:
And this place that is a Catholic organization that doesn’t try to “fix” anyone like those horror stories you hear about with doctors and institutions and electroshock therapy.
Sometimes you love someone more by not acting than by acting. Sometimes you love someone by slapping them in the face. Sometimes love hurts. And sometimes you think it’s love and it isn’t.
And I know that saying these things has probably offended you, but realize that I said them because I love you.