32-Blessed art thou among women.

At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering, said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.” And Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.” Luke 1:26-38

What is relative to us here on earth, feet on the ground, is not relative to a sparrow. What is relative to a blue whale calling for a mate in the oceans is not relative to a bonsai tree in Kyoto, Japan.

What is relative to Mary? And how is that relative to us?

“Behold, the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to they word.” Slowly, over the course of time, it becomes apparent to Mary that her Son has a destiny. We don’t know much of Jesus’ early life. But at the marriage feast, we see Mary, perhaps coyly, saying to her Son. “They don’t have any wine.” And Jesus’ response to this?

“Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

Mary in turn says: Do whatever He tells you.

An act not of faith, but rather, an act of full knowledge of what Jesus is capable of, what Jesus IS.

It’s a certainty that begins in the room with the Archangel, Gabriel. And it grows. And surely, in the knowledge of the outcome of her son’s lived experience, there is grief, there is anguish; surely Mary cried out to God in much the same way as Jesus did the night of His passion.

Or did she?

Did she know what would happen? Did she have an experience of the infinite that gave her some kind of insight?

Or was it simply the constant, present, warm touch of God’s hand throughout her day, throughout her life?

What happened to Mary in her lifetime is relative to us because it defines the terms of our potential relationship with the Divine. Trust, daily. Pray, daily. Act in accordance with the law of Infinite Love, daily. Listen in silence, daily. Make every action an action done in the presence of the divine. Will there be no sorrow? Will there be no pain? Will there be no anger? Of course there will be. Sin is not what we do in the moments to seek our own pleasure alone: Sin is what we do to avoid sorrow, avoid pain, to act on anger unjustly. These things are what make the road to Hell wide.

Jesus takes the narrow path that leads to Heaven, that leads to our personal serenity and happiness, calm in our minds, quiet in our lives. Mary beacons us now from the gate, inviting us to follow.

Pray the rosary as often as you can. In the silence of your mind, in the rush and tribulation of your daily life, roll the Hail Mary in your mind like bead on a string that runs a light year or more in length.

When you rise in the morning, greet the day by saying these words: “Behold, your servant is awake, Lord. Be it done to me according to Thy will.”

32-Blessed art thou among women.

31-My time has not yet come.

At that time, Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews feast of tabernacles was at hand. And his brethren said to, him: “Pass from hence and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost. For there is no man that doth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world.” For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said to them: “My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth, because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil, Go you up to this festival day: but I go not up to this festival day, because my time is not accomplished.” When he had said these things, he himself stayed in Galilee. But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but, as it were, in secret. The Jews therefore sought him on the festival day and said: “Where is he?” And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For some said: “He is a good man.” And others said: “No, but he seduceth the people.” Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews. John 7:1-13

Good or bad, people will talk about someone who openly speaks the truth.

Especially when it comes to an opinion that goes against something that is popular, but harmful. Nobody does anything secretly and seeks to be known at the same time. It defeats the purpose of “secret”–that is, unless the intention is to get caught.

Nothing can be done in secret that doesn’t eventually come to light. And the reason the world hates the truth teller isn’t because of the truth expressed, but rather because that expressing of truth points out that what’s being done is wrong, causes harm, is dishonest.

The big one for a lot of us is climate change. This week, the conservative party voted to not accept that climate change is real–at the same time, inviting people from diverse communities to join them, telling them there was a place for them, because “we need your help.”

Ironic, no?

It’s the language of addiction. I’ve heard, and continue to hear, people who are addicted to meth say the very same things. I’m not an addict–but can you help me with getting past my addiction?

And I myself am an addict. I rely on the energy produced by fossil fuel. But I speak the truth when needed: I know that I’m sick, I admit that I have the addiction, I admit that I exist in a society who’s economic system is based on the continued addiction to fossil fuel and it’s biproducts. Our society is based on a lie.

Driving a jeep doesn’t give a person a sense of value. What a person does–what they do to impact their community in a positive way, does.

My time has not yet come, but your time is always. The world cannot hate you: but it hates Me.

Recognize mental illness.

Recognize dysfunctional behavior that causes harm to others, especially when it is an attempt to hide the harm you do yourself.

Your time will come.

31-My time has not yet come.

30-Yet a little while I am with you.

The Pharisees heard the people murmuring these things concerning him: and the rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend him. Jesus therefore said to them: “Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to him that sent me. You shall seek me and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come.” The Jews therefore said among themselves: “Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles and teach the Gentiles? What is this saying that he hath said: You shall seek me and shall not find me? And: Where I am, you cannot come?”
And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: “If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Now this he said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in him.
John 7:32-39

We are at the 30th day of Lent, moving closer to the passion, death, and resurrection.

I’m called to think of anxiety, my own in particular. How anxious have I been about doing the simplest of tasks, being afraid to mess it up, being afraid to disappoint people.

What would the anxiety be like for someone who knew they were not only about to meet their death, but know the way they would meet it–not just painful, but taking on the sins of every human being that was, that is, and shall be?

That is a weight I can not fathom.

We are called to pray the sorrowful mysteries this month.

Think on the mysteries carefully. Really place yourself in the moment.

The agony in the garden. Jesus asking God the Father, pleading to take the cup of suffering, but accepting the will of God.

The scourging at the pillar.

The crowning with thorns.

The carrying of the cross.

The crucifixion.

How short those sentences, those mysteries we repeat in the rosary. How much meaning, how much suffering, how much love those short sentences hold.

Something that I did during the depths of my depression was to ask God to unify my suffering with Christ’s own. I was told a few years ago that something else that is asked is for people who are experiencing suffering to unite it on their behalf.

Our sufferings, great or small, are opportunities for us to frame our experience in a way that is constructive. They can be part of our prayer if we are conscious enough to know in the moment: Lord, take this pain and unite it with your own.

30-Yet a little while I am with you.

29-Passion Sunday

At that time, Jesus said to the crowds of the Jews, “Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me: He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God.”
The Jews therefore answered and said to him: “Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?” Jesus answered: “I have not a devil: but I honor my Father. And you have dishonored me. But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever.” 
The Jews therefore said: “Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets: and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art thou greater than our father Abraham who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?”
Jesus answered: “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you have not known him: but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him and do keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to him: “Thou art not yet fifty years old. And hast thou seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM.” They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:46-59

Yesterday was Passion Sunday, which meant all of the images on the alter have been covered. When I prayed Vespers and Compline last night, I looked up and the familiar images weren’t there, and I felt alone. It was a very, very strange sensation.

As well yesterday, I was on a zoom call that was the very first stages of planning a congregation of Queer people who value the liturgy as part of their faith. I’m very hopeful. One thing we wanted to ensure was to convey that this was not an idea that came about as a response to actions that have recently happened. We’ve been discussing this idea for years–and in recognizing there was a need to be filled in our community, decided now was the right time to bring people to the table.

29-Passion Sunday

28-I am the light of the world.

At that time, Jesus spoke to the multitudes of Jews, saying: “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The Pharisees therefore said to him: “Thou givest testimony of thyself. Thy testimony is not true.”
Jesus answered and said to them: “Although I give testimony of myself, my testimony is true: for I know whence I came and whither I go. You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man. And if I do judge, my judgment is true: because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. And in your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that give testimony of myself: and the Father that sent me giveth testimony of me.” They said therefore to him: “Where is thy Father?” Jesus answered: “Neither me do you know, nor my Father. If you did know me, perhaps you would know my Father also.” These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
John 8:12-20

28-I am the light of the world.

27-A great prophet is risen up among us.

At that time, Jesus went into a city that is called Naim: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: “Weep not.” And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: “Young man, I say to thee, arise.” And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: “A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people.” Luke 7:11-16

Seven hours ago, I received the direction to self isolate and get tested immediately for covid 19. I’m literally at the point now where I’m not phased. It’s simply another thing in the way that needs to get done.

While we were waiting in line, four very vocal people waved signs, convinced that the virus isn’t real. I watched uncomfortably from my partner’s car as one woman shook her sign, pointed at a car, and screamed violently. It didn’t make the process any easier for me, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for others.

I have a cough, which isn’t unusual given this time of year. I usually get a cough when the snow melts. I have a head-ache, runny nose. Most likely, it’s just a cold. But given the circumstances, it’s important to follow the protocols.

The last time I had to self isolate, it was excruciating. But it’s what needs to be done. Given it’s the time of year that it is, I’m going to try and focus more on prayer, reflection, contemplation. I’m set to get my results back in two days, and provided I’m symptom free two days after a negative result, I can go back to work.

There are a lot of people in pain right now–the pandemic for many of us has taken people we love dearly. For me, and other workers, it’s caused a lot of extra stress and in many ways made it more challenging to self care.

How easy it would be if a magic cure would simply come and sweep all this away.

A great multitude followed Jesus into the city, and likewise, a throng followed the widow and her dead son out to meet Him. Those following did so because they believed, perhaps, that he was the messiah. Or maybe they followed out of a desire to watch a miracle take place. Perhaps the throng following the widow was a group of mourners, but I suspect in reality that there were 14 people in the crowd that new why they were there. The mother, alone in the world without a son, approaching with the last bit of hope in the face of doubt, hoping the stories that she’d heard of Jesus were true. The twelve, following because they were compelled to do so as the chosen, and Jesus, knowing the mother’s heart before she even saw Him. He was moved with mercy towards her. It does not suggest that he wept, as it does in the case of Lazarus. Yet, He was moved to act, and he did.

The crowd was afraid. If they had come with faith in their hearts, would they have felt fear when they praised God? The sense I have in reading this passage is that they were there to witness a miracle, in the same way that people listen to police scanners. They wanted a shock moment. They wanted to feel alive. Yet, what they witnessed stirred them to fear, to respect in awe and trembling.

Have we become numb?

The miracles in the New Testament are not things we see today. If the miracle of the sun occurred today in Fatima, would we experience the same fear and awe? Or does God whisper quietly now, working quiet miracles through our lives like threads in a tapestry?

I heard a robin two mornings ago. When a friend posted a picture, I felt that I wasn’t completely crazy–and I felt a kind of awe and fear. The miracle of spring begins again. My tomato plants are sprouting, and the flowers that I planted yesterday already have shot roots out into the soil cups I planted them in. I feel fear, and awe.

The sky last night was so clear–not clear enough to see the milky way, but clear enough that it felt brighter than it has in years. I felt a moment of awe, and fear.

Because we’re conditioned, we must work to see God at work around us. It takes practice.

These next few days in quarantine I’m taking as a retreat to contemplate the mystery of the hidden miracles in our lives, in my life, and to give thanks for them.

27-A great prophet is risen up among us.

26: What sayest thou of him that hath opened thy eyes?

At that time Jesus, passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him: “Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Jesus answered: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 
When he had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and spread the clay upon his eyes, And said to him: “Go, wash in the pool of Siloe,”which is interpreted, ‘Sent.’ He went therefore and washed: and he came seeing.
The neighbors, therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: “Is not this he that sat and begged?” Some said: “This is he.” But others said: “No, but he is like him.” But he said: “I am he.” They said therefore to him: “How were thy eyes opened?” He answered: “That man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me: ‘Go to the pool of Siloe and wash.’ And I went: I washed: and I see.” And they said to him: “Where is he?” He saith: “I know not.”
They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the sabbath, when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Again therefore the Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them: “He put clay upon my eyes: and I washed: and I see.” Some therefore of the Pharisees said: “This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath.” But others said: “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?” And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again: “What sayest thou of him that hath opened thy eyes?” And he said: “He is a prophet.”
The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight,
And asked them, saying: “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see?” His parents answered them and said: “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind: But how he now seeth, we know not: or who hath opened his eyes, we know not. Ask himself: he is of age: Let him speak for himself.”
These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore did his parents say: “He is of age. Ask himself.”
They therefore called the man again that had been blind and said to him: “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He said therefore to them: “If he be a sinner, I know not. One thing I know, that whereas I was blind. now I see.” They said then to him: “What did he to thee? How did he open thy eyes?” He answered them: “I have told you already, and you have heard. Why would you hear it again? Will you also become his disciples?” They reviled him therefore and said: “Be thou his disciple; but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from whence he is.” The man answered and said to them: “why, herein is a wonderful thing, that you know not from whence he is, and he hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God and doth his, will, him he heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, he could not do anything.” They answered and said to him: “Thou wast wholly born in sins; and dost thou teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out. And when he had found him, he said to him: “Dost thou believe in the Son of God?” He answered, and said: “Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?” And Jesus said to him: “Thou hast both seen him; and it is he that talketh with thee.” And he said: “I believe, Lord.” And falling down, he adored him.
John 9:1-38

Pastoral Letter Nuptiae quidem paratae sunt on Christian Marriage, September 2016

  1. Nuptiae quidem paratae sunt, sed qui invitati erant, non fuerunt digni: ite ergo ad exitus
    viarum, et quoscumque inveneritis, vocate ad nuptias. “The wedding is ready, but those invited
    were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding
    banquet.” (Matt. 22: 8-9)
  2. In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Jesus uses nuptial imagery to teach about the
    kingdom – the reign – of God. Nuptial, or marriage, imagery is an ancient figure of speech used
    to illustrate the relationship between God and God’s people. The Old Testament prophets use it
    in this way. St. John the Baptist calls himself the herald of the Bridegroom, and St. John the
    Evangelist talks about the Lamb and Bride, while St. Paul uses it to describe the relationship
    between Christ and the Church, the People of God. And Jesus uses nuptial imagery in speaking
    of Himself as the Bridegroom of His people.
  3. This all points to the fact that the relationship between God and God’s people, between
    Christ and us, is understood – better yet, is experienced – as a deepening, generative, life-giving,
    intimate relationship of love, support, and personal growth. This, rather than the need for
    procreation, is the basis for our sacramental understanding of the marriage relationship.
  4. Many Christian mystics, both male and female, have experienced and described their
    relationship with Christ as a spousal relationship. The Church has described the relationship to
    Christ, not only of consecrated women, but also of the (male) priest, as one of marriage.
  5. This marriage relationship with Christ is a relationship that is open to all people,
    irrespective of gender. As a man, I am called to be the spouse of Christ. Christ calls me to be His
    spouse, to have an intimate relationship of love with Him. The spousal relationship with Christ,
    therefore, is not limited by one’s gender, by biology, by the physical.
  6. I can hear some objecting by saying that, of course, this is true because the relationship
    with Christ is not a physical relationship, but rather a spiritual relationship. This argument
    cleaves the physical and the spiritual. The teaching of the Church, elaborated by early Church
    Fathers, sees in the human person a unity of the physical and the spiritual, as they do in
    considering the two natures of Christ being combined in one person. The spiritual and the
    physical enhance one another as a unity.
  7. We cannot get around the fact that our relationship of love with Christ includes all of who
    we are, physical and spiritual. This includes our sexual orientation as an inherent facet of who we
    are as persons. I relate to Christ as a Gay man. Christ calls me to a spousal relationship with him
    as a Gay man. Christ does not call me to Him as a man who happens to be Gay, or as some
    Churches teach, as a person “with homosexual tendencies”. I am not a person “with homosexual
    tendencies”; rather, I am a homosexual. It is as such that Christ calls me into His loving arms, to
    be evermore fully who God has created me to be.
  8. Our understanding of Marriage as a Sacrament of Christ should be based and reflect our
    understanding of being called into spousal relationship “through Him, with Him, and in Him”.
    Just as Christ calls each and every one of us to an intimate spousal relationship with Him, so that
    we become one with Him, so also does Marriage in Christ, as a Sacrament of Christ, call two
    people to become one; and this, irrespective of sexual orientation.
  9. Believing that different sexual orientations are inherent to God’s creative plan, we
    believe that God desires for His love to be imaged and realized in same-sex spousal
    relationships.
  10. The call to the vocation of Marriage in Christ is not limited by sexual orientation. The
    Sacrament of Marriage, modelled on the relationship of Christ with His Church, is a life-giving
    union of love, support and mutual respect to which individuals may be called irrespective of their
    sexual orientation. God has placed in us the desire and capacity to love and be loved, and to love
    and be loved in an intimate way in a marital relationship. This God-given desire brings together
    both body and spirit; it is both a physical and a spiritual reality. It is not a desire whose
    fulfillment God means to be limited to heterosexuals.
  11. Our Faith calls us to be saved by Christ. Christ tells us: “I am your salvation.” St. Paul
    tells us to “Put on the new man which has been created in justice and holiness of truth”
    (Eph.4:24). The “new man” is the person who is clothed in the garment of grace, as Jesus
    explains in His parable of the Marriage Feast (Matt. 22: 1-14). This most important task of our
    life is to become the spouse of Christ, to be clothed in Christ’s nuptial garment.
  12. Our mission as a Church is to witness to the infinite love of God for all God’s people,
    including God’s LGBTQ children. We seek to do so in the truth of Christ, serving our neighbour
    by seeking God’s justice. We do so in all humility, trusting on sanctifying grace given us by the
    Sacraments, including the Sacrament of Marriage. In doing so, we may likely find ourselves at
    odds with others. On some issues, we will find ourselves at odds with prevailing attitudes in the
    political and social worlds which are not based on a Christ-centric perspective. On the issue of
    Marriage, we find ourselves at odds with others of God’s children, with other followers of Christ.
    This may well be the sacrifice we must bear – the Cross we must carry – for seeking to be a
    faithful spouse of Christ.
  13. Let us pray to be worthy of being clothed in the garment of grace, the nuptial garment of
    Christ.
  14. Given in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, this 19th Sunday after Pentecost, the 25th day of September in
    the year of our Lord 2016, by the grace of God the 11th year of my Episcopate.
    Most Reverend J. Roger LaRade, O.F.A.
    Primate-Archbishop,
    Eglise Catholique Eucharistique-Eucharistic Catholic Church

26: What sayest thou of him that hath opened thy eyes?

25-He shall now of the doctrine.

At that time, about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews wondered, saying: “How doth this man know letters, having never learned?” Jesus answered them and said: “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do the will of him, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true and there is no injustice in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why seek you to kill me?” The multitude answered and said: “Thou hast a devil. Who seeketh to kill thee?” Jesus answered and said to them: “One work I have done: and you all wonder. Therefore, Moses gave you circumcision (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers): and on the sabbath day you circumcise a man. If a man receive circumcision on the sabbath day, that the law of Moses may not be broken: are you angry at me, because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance: but judge just judgment.” Some therefore of Jerusalem said: “Is not this he whom they seek to kill? And behold, he speaketh openly: and they say nothing to him. Have the rulers known for a truth that this is the Christ? But we know this man, whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth, whence he is.”
Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying: “You both know me, and you know whence I am. And I am not come of myself: but he that sent me is true, whom you know not. I know him, because I am from him: and he hath sent me.” They sought therefore to apprehend him: and no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. But of the people many believed in him.
John 7:14-31

This week, the Roman church came out with a statement regarding the blessing of same-sex unions. That statement, found here, says in part:

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life”. In addition, they “have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession”.

Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.

For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”.

The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.

The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness. At the same time, they should recognize the genuine nearness of the Church – which prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith – and receive the teachings with sincere openness.

I don’t know how to respond to this.

At first, I was frustrated. I posted on Facebook this morning, how is this view held by the Roman Church any different than that of the backwoods pastor who shall remain nameless, and who’s sermons are basically of the same ilk as this statement if not a little more american bible belt?

At the root of the Roman church’s teaching is the idea of the “homosexual person” maintaining disinterested friendships.

Have any of you reading this had a disinterested friendship? How was that for you?

By the time I got to writing this reflection, I realized that it doesn’t matter in one sense. I’m not *of* the Roman Church. While my rites and rituals are of the Roman Church at the time of the Council of Trent, the doctrine that I know is one that emphasizes the health of diversity in God’s plan.

But the problem here isn’t that the Roman Church doesn’t condone same sex unions. The problem is this:

The Disinterested Relationship with the Eucharist, with Jesus Christ. If you don’t have an interested relationship with God, how can you know love except in a way that comes from a place of disinterest?

Have you ever loved someone who was disinterested? Did you ever know someone who loved you, but you were disinterested?

I don’t believe it’s possible for God to be disinterested. I don’t believe that loving relationships that ask for the sacrament of marriage are outside of God’s plan. I’m not one hundred percent convinced that Pope Francis endorsed this document easily. I believe that the Vatican is political, acts politically.

And I also believe that if you, reading this, look into your heart right now? You will recognize the doctrine of Love to be one that cannot fully be understood by human beings because it encompasses a Love that is infinite.

25-He shall now of the doctrine.

24-Take these things hence.

At that time, the pasch of the Jews was at hand: and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen: and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew. And to them that sold doves he said: “Take these things hence, and make not the house of my Father a house of traffic.” And his disciples remembered, that it was written: ‘The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.’
The Jews, therefore, answered, and said to him: “What sign dost thou shew unto us, seeing thou dost these things?” Jesus answered and said to them: “Destroy this temple; and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said: “Six and forty years was this temple in building; and wilt thou raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen again from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this: and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had said.
Now when he was at Jerusalem, at the pasch, upon the festival day, many believed in his name, seeing his signs which he did. But Jesus did not trust himself unto them: for that he knew all men, And because he needed not that any should give testimony of man: for he knew what was in man.
John 2:13-25

24-Take these things hence.

23-The prophet that is to come into the world.

At that time, After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there he sat with his disciples.
Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” And this he said to try him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: “There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes. But what are these among so many?” Then Jesus said: “Make the men sit down.”
Now, there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: “Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.” They gathered up therefore and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above to them that had eaten.
Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: “This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world.” Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountains, himself alone. John 6:1-15

23-The prophet that is to come into the world.