The Geezer Wonders if God Hates Him

The Geezer Wonders if God Hates Him

Does God hate? The Westboro Baptists would have me think that God does hate, and that, specifically, God hates me, a “fag.” The gay issue aside, I’m just not sure that God hates at all.

“God is love, “ St. John tells us. God’s very essence is love. Can such an essence coexist with hate? I spent my adoration prayer time at our Adoration Chapel this morning thinking about God, God’s love, and the possibility of God’s hatred.

I have forgotten what theologians teach about this question. Based on Sacred Scripture, they probably admit the attribute of hatred to God’s nature. I’ve long ago stopped depending on theologians, however, for my sole understanding of God. I believe God wants me to come to know God through my personal relationship with the God whose most intimate revelation is to the soul who seeks God and seeks to adore and worship God.

I believe in sin. I believe in Satan. These beliefs, along with the Genesis account of the creation of free will in human beings, make me see evil, or sin, as a person’s choice of evil over good, of the basic sin of idolatry in which a human being puts God second to something that is not in God’s will for us.

I believe that a person who chooses something else—anything else—before God is choosing to reject the will of God and the love God has for those who live in God’s will. The result of that idolatry is separation from God. The separation occurs not because of God’s lack of love, God’s wish for separation, or God’s hatred, but because of the idolater’s choice, the idolater’s rejection of the love of God. God’s love persists, perfect and unending, but, as in an unrequited human love, the love relationship is broken by the idolater’s choice not to return to God the love that is God’s due.

I believe God’s love for each of God’s creatures is constant and unchanging. I don’t believe that God hates anything that God has made. . . God looked on God’s creation and saw that it was good. If there is no love connecting a human being to God, it isn’t God who has changed, but us. God is love. God cannot hate what God has made. The Westboro Baptists have it wrong.

Pax et bonum.

Ed

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The Geezer Prays for Christopher

The Geezer Thins about Christopher

This is Christopher. He has leukemia. He has been treated for this for several years. He’s had chemo and other “interventions,” but the disease persists. His current problem is a spleen inflamed by the disease. This inflamed spleen is intensely painful. Christopher says that this pain is about the worst that he has experienced. His doctors are putting him in the hospital so that they can give him stronger pain medication intravenously.

He’s younger than I am. . . but then so is just about everybody. He’s had a life full of ups and downs. He’s gay. And, to me, beautiful.

I ask God to ease his pain, to fill him with peace, and to bring him back to a semblance of normal life. Christopher—the Christ bearer—is a gentle, loving, and giving man. I want God to touch him in a powerful way tonight.

Pax et bonum.

Ed

The Geezer Tries to Understand the Modern World

The Geezer Tries to Understand the Modern World

I just read some of the “Manifesto” of Elliot Roger, the 22–year–old man who killed six people in Santa Barbara. His killing rampage was evil; he wasn’t.

His long essay is more an apologia pro vita sua than it is a terrorist “Manifesto.” His life as he describes it seems to have been normal for his age and for this country. His parents were able to give him just about any material thing he wanted. Although he repeatedly refers to himself as “ugly,” he seems to have been a fairly good–looking young man. He lived the good life in Southern California. He didn’t live in East LA. He didn’t have to worry about money or a job or a car or gas to put in his car. Compared to the great majority of men his age throughout the world, he was fortunate.

Some comments about his horrible murder of six young and innocent people refer to him as “crazy” or “schizophrenic,” or just mentally ill. He may have been severely emotionally disturbed, but I would be surprised if he could be classified as mentally ill.

He hated himself. He projected a prodigiously inflated self–image that he obviously used to hide the deeply vulnerable lack of self esteem that drove him. Despite all the material things his parents could and did give him, his life was empty, lonely, and sad. His preoccupation with sex, in my view, was just the focus of his pervasive sense of not belonging, not being accepted, not being loved. Despite the horror of what he did, I feel sorry for him and I pray for the peaceful repose of his soul — that God will show him mercy as he goes before God in judgment.

These are the random thoughts I had while reading (scanning, really) his “Manifesto”:

— We don’t raise our sons to have the ability to ask for love in healthy ways. Boys are raised to a standard of self–sufficiency that is inhumane and impossible to attain.

— Our society makes sexual activity the hallmark of a fulfilled and healthy emotional life. I am not a prude, and I am not an advocate of across–the–board “chastity except in marriage.” I know from personal experience, however, how good people often view a person who is not sexually active. In my case, a good friend of mine told me once that, because I wasn’t having sex when sex was available to me, I probably would be happier being dead. He told me that with love. . . really!

— Guns, especially hand guns, are a black mark on the conscience of this country. A Franciscan friar who is a priest, wrote today that a good Catholic cannot in conscience be pro–life while having is her/his purse or wallet an NRA membership card. Amen, Father Dan. Read Father’s blog at http://datinggod.org/2014/05/26/craven-politicians-and-the-nra/

— Shrinks and social workers have their function. A good shrink was an amazing help to me in the years after my later–than–late coming out. But these people can’t fill the emptiness that modern life, in and of itself, produces. Saint Augustine famously wrote, “Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te.” (“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”) I really and deeply believe that St. Augustine, in this brief statement, names the source of our modern discontent. Had Elliott Roger taken these words to heart, his life, and our world, would have been much happier.

The Gay Geezer Fails

The Gay Geezer Fails

I was getting dressed to go to church for confession last night when I chickened out. The thought of going back over 36 years of my life scares the spit out of me. Maybe I should see a shrink who is also a priest. I never have any trouble telling my secrets to s shrink.

Pax et bonum.

Ashamedly,

Ed

Long Time, No See

Long Time, No See

I am a rabid fan of Pope Francis. I believe he is a pope who gets it. I was with him from his first Angelus talk, the Sunday after his election, when he spoke about the infinite mercy of God. He’s risen higher in my esteem almost every day since then. I know he hasn’t changed Church teaching about gay people, but he has made me believe again that the Church has room for my gay self. I know he won’t ordain women, but I believe he will, and has already to some extent, include women in the governance of the Church. He is a humble, honest, and loving human being who is making needed changes in the culture of the Catholic Church, and in its practical (pastoral) theology. Such a change from the “intrinsically disordered” Ratzinger! Such a change from the finger-wagging JPII! Thank God for Pope Francis!

Last week, in selected parishes throughout the world, the Church had a marathon confession offering: certain parishes in every diocese stayed open for 24 hours to hear confessions in an attempt to bring people back to this less-than-popular sacrament. St. Peter’s in Rome kicked off this marathon by having a Liturgy of the Word followed by confessions. Pope Francis celebrated the Liturgy of the Word, then went out into the Basilica to hear confessions. His master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, showed the Pope to his confessional. The Pope, instead of sitting down in his confessional, went across the way to another priest in another confessional, knelt down, and made his confession while the cameras whirred. Amazing, this man!

It’s been 36 years since I went to confession. I do not like this Sacrament. I have had many unpleasant experiences in the box, and I decided when I was 31 that I didn’t need to put myself through that torture. So I haven’t. For a l o n g time. My last confession was before my wedding to Beni, in September, 1978.

Pope Francis speaks often about the experience of God’s mercy and forgiveness in the confessional, how good it is for our souls to have the assurance of God’s love that comes from the Sacrament. He has said that the confessional isn’t a torture chamber but a chamber of mercy, love, and unity. He promises us that the confessor will be gentle, understanding, and kind.

I hope to take Pope Francis up on this point tonight. If my courage holds, I want to go to confession and end this 36-year period of estrangement.

I’ll write here tomorrow. I’ll admit to going or to chickening out. If I go, I’ll report on the results.

We’ll see what happens.

Can one go to confession on-line?????????????

Pax et bonum.

Ed

Wishy-Washy

Wishy-Washy

I’m of two minds. . . often. You would think that, at my age, I’d know what I want to do, what I want to say. Not so. I am now, and I always have been, wishy-washy.

Twice in the past week I have posted pieces on this blog and, after an hour or so, deleted them. One was about divorce (not mine), the other about abortion (again, not mine or ours).

In both cases, I wanted to write about intense feelings that I have, or have had, about these things. The pieces I wrote were honest and revealing. The “honest and revealing” part is just why I deleted them. Although my family and friends don’t know about this blog (so that I can be “honest and revealing”), one never knows what Google will do, does one?

One of my many faults: I want to please everyone at the same time, all the time. I’ve met other gay men with this same trait, and all of us have had a rough time in life because of it. When I was in school (seminary), I lived 24/7 with my classmates. We all got to know one another really well over the period of ten years when we were together. My classmates told me hundreds of times that I was “wishy-washy.” What they saw that prompted this characterization is the same trait that made me delete these two posts. I can’t make up my mind because I can’t figure out how to do something without – possibly – offending someone who is important to me. My classmates also characterized me as “nice,” by the way. This characterization was another result of the same please-everybody obsession that caused “wishy-washy.” I have come to detest the adjective “nice” when it is applied to me, possibly because I know it is the result of a trait that isn’t helpful to me.

Enough of this.

Pax et bonum.

Ed

Good morning

Good morning

Tuesday, 1/28/2014
Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

Wow! It’s a beautiful and cold new day! Mornings remind me, as Pope Francis preaches, that God never gets tired of being merciful to me. I always have a fresh start with God.

Mornings also remind me how important light is. Humans are like flowers, turning sunlight into vitamin D, without sufficient amounts of which we all would get sick and die.

I saw the film, Gravity,” last night. How amazing a film it is! I loved Sandra Bullock’s performance – who knew she had that in her! But the message I take away from the movie is, as usual, a weird one. When she is in danger of dying, she says that she never learned to pray and she realizes that she has no one to pray for her after she dies. As of now, I’m adding to my prayer list those people who have died whom no one will remember or pray for.

It’s gonna be a good day!

Peace and love,

Ed