On November 21st we will celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Courage Reparation Group. I can't believe how long we have been in motion since 1992. We have come a long way since I met with Cardinal John O'Connor, in his residence, at St. Patrick's Cathedral on September 8th (Our Blessed Mother's Birthday). Mary our Mother truly is our advocate as both dates concerning this founding were on her feast days. November 21st is the Feast of Mary's Presentation in the Temple, the day she consecrated herself to God, our Father. Many Religious over the years made their first Profession of their vows on this feast day. It made me realize that God, our Father, was calling us too and giving us who struggle with homo-emotional issues, an equal footing reminding us of our dignity in Him. It is a reminder that we are persons first and not defined by our sexuality. It again confirms the Catholic Church's teaching which always separates the person from the behavior; the “love the sinner-hate the sin” mentality that has always been the mentality of the Catholic Church. Fr. John Harvey, our beloved Founder of Courage, spent 30 years trying to get this reality across all over the world in his instructions to bishops and priests concerning homosexuality. Fr. Harvey also stressed this in his books and whenever he was mentoring persons struggling in their personal lives.
We are called in this group to make reparation for sins against human sexuality and to pray for the conversion and healing of all our brothers and sisters who are experiencing homo-emotional feelings and desires. We are also called in this group to respond to God's desire for us to grow in the interior life, which is to grow into a deeper relationship with Him and be transformed in His image and likeness. The real formula in living a chaste life has to do with having a real relationship with the person of Jesus! We need to relate and respond to a living person not just to a doctrine. Pope Benedict XVI has said that "Our faith is not based on an event or a story or an ideology but on a relationship with a living person whose name is Jesus". Jesus is the one who loves us and understands us and our struggle, and it is His desire to raise us up in our weakness. He works in and through our weakness to transform us into our deeper personhood. This reality has caused me much pain in my heart in light of the politically correct agenda in our culture today. It has been 35 years since I experienced Jesus's personal love and respect for my homo-emotional struggle and since then I pray all who struggle with this can know Jesus's love and desire for all to come into His light - especially in this political climate which is demanding ‘gay marriage’, the Courage Reparational Group prays "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Our culture is stuck in satisfying the psychological aspect of ourselves at the cost of our spiritual aspect of ourselves. We are sacrificing our souls, our deeper inner personhood for psychological rights!! It occurred to me as a Catholic therapist that there is a false premise which is promulgated: that of course is that we are born “gay” and therefore have a right to all the rights that heterosexuals have?!? However, no one is born heterosexual or homosexual!! God has an order in life in all of nature and He created a psychological developmental process for us to grow into heterosexuality, which is the norm. It is during this developmental process that we experience certain deprivations which cause homo-emotional orientation, which actually is legitimate until we are able to fill these deprivations, to grow more fully into our maleness or femaleness. So if no one is born heterosexual and needs to develop into heterosexuality then how can one be born homosexual?!? The Mental Health Associations need to be more responsible about this reality and not hide under political intimidations and ignorance!!
On this 18th Anniversary we are mindful of all evil agenda's concerning homosexuality and God's laws and principles which serve, as all morality does to protect our dignity! We pray against all evil agendas which rob the person who experiences homosexual feelings and desires of his or her true right as a child of God the Father: the right to grow and be transformed into His image and likeness!! In light of this truth we unite in prayer and make reparation for this culture which is so deceived and ignorant to the Truth. A deaf ear is always presented in this political arena to the Catholic Church's teaching which is always presented as the "Hater" when it is actually the "Lover”. The old evil adage prevails when good is presented as evil and evil is presented as good! We will continue to pray against this lie until Jesus restores us to truth and He will and has on His cross. In fact we unite with Jesus forsaken on the cross and we unite all our emotional pain with His passion and death for the redemption of the whole world. We ask for Mary's powerful intercession to bring more and more of our brothers and sisters out of the darkness and into His marvelous light!
One of the signs of God's approval in this spiritual battle is the creation of more Courage Reparational Groups all over the world. We welcome our Australian Courage members who started a reparation group a year ago and most recently one of our Courage brothers from England has started a Courage Reparation Group online!! Praise God for this grace to reach so many of our Courage members all over the world! Also our Anawim brethren in the Philippines have started a Courage Reparation Group!
We continue to meet once a month, every third Sunday of the month in the New York area and hope to start to place our talks online so more can participate in this call to pray and unite our sufferings in our weakness for the conversion of the whole world. We especially pray that more persons in this struggle may know the love of God for them as they are, and come to understand chastity as positive for the real growth into the interior/spiritual life.
We implore Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Interior Life to bring more of her children who struggle homo-emotionally into Mother Church (Catholic) who was founded as the universal Church and to know especially that God our Father's intention for US is to belong and not to be excluded!!!