I want all people who are called to marry to be able to do so, both within and beyond the borders of church. I am grateful that the cultural tide is shifting where same sex unions are considered. I'd like to advocate within my own Catholic faith community, however, for an expanded definition of marriage in the sacramental sense which includes gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. The following conveys some of my thinking about this topic of marriage as sacred, unitive and procreative for all called into it. I am writing for members of my Catholic faith community who are discerning this issue in both civil and religious contexts.
If you love well, no matter who you are or what your orientation, you have the ability to inspire and create a more loving world. Love begets love, right?I think of this wild, amazing God who made my body, and all bodies, and created us to love. He gave us all these unique parts -- to touch, to kiss, to hold, to embrace, to intersect, connect, interconnect and even the capacity, especially in sacred and holy unions, to transcend our limbs and glimpse Him in our love-making. Every reflective and religious man or woman I know who has had the opportunity to be loved in a physically and spiritually honoring manner, inside a deeply caring relationship, talks about the ineffable experiences that are the result of God’s gift to us when we make love. These are generative experiences that inspire our capacity to love more, to give more, to serve more, to live Christ more, in a humble and honoring fashion. These kinds of love-making experiences are not exclusive ones for heterosexuals. Gay and lesbian sexual experiences can be just as pro-creative, if you will, as heterosexual ones, if you expand the definition of creation possibilities to include acting creatively and in service beyond your bedroom. If you love well, no matter who you are or what your orientation, you have the ability to inspire and create a more loving world. Love begets love, right? (Consider the infertile heterosexual couple’s capacity to love and be procreative, and therefore okay morally, through this lens.)
I wonder: how does this thinking resonate within your heart?
Who are your gay or lesbian friends and family members? (Do you have a list of heterosexual ones?) What do they look like? Which "group" are you a member of? Do you have a hierarchical ranking in your heart or mind when you think of all these people? Who desires to be married civily AND religiously? (What are the benefits of each?) What does a marriage in the eyes of God, affirmed by the church, stir in you? What GLBT person sees their love, and capacity to love, as different from heterosexuals’ love? Who gets to decide whose vocation to love is inferior or superior? What does God say to you in your heart when you think on this? Does he whisper differently into the heart of a gay man or lesbian woman?
I keep hearing in my prayers, in the quiet of my own heart, as a Catholic woman, that I’m called to love and support other people in their vocations to love with their whole heart, mind and body. I am working to this end right here, as I write, pray, and advocate for marriage equality.
I do ask for your prayers. This is tough, messy stuff.