I’m taking a break at the moment, waiting for the shower walls to dry. A small project requiring a bit of elbow grease and patience. By evening, the shower should look pretty good again.
I have not been blogging much of late given my schedule. Every weekend this month I have had to travel, mostly to graduations. The past three days I was helping my son out with a painting project. The clinic has been busy too. Finally, I have a homily to prepare, and I will be teaching a two-night class for the parish on marriage, chastity and the Church’s ministry to same-sex attracted men and women.
As my bishop, John Quinn has said, “Ministry is never done.” Amen to that, especially if you begin to see your whole life as an expression of ministry, which indeed it is. It is really unhealthy to bifurcate one’s person, i.e., I’m a deacon now, but not then; or I’m a married man now, but not then. Any man or woman who is happily married knows this and the dangers associated with putting aside your marriage even for a hour. It is the same thing with our sexuality and sexual identities; everything we do, we do as a man or a woman and we live as a man or woman in every moment. We are to be integrated persons, human persons who act freely and give ourselves freely as a person. In ministry, as in marriage (a most beautiful ministry itself!), we are never done; we are continually called to give of ourselves.
In July I will be attending the annual Courage conference in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The diocese has asked me to go and get an update on the Church’s outreach to same-sex attracted men and women. This ministry, begun many years ago in the archdiocese of New York by Cardinal John O’Connor, is the Church’s effort to offer homosexual men and women a place to find support in their efforts to live out the Church’s teaching on chastity and relationships. The diocese of Winona only recently has established a Courage chapter. I am looking forward to my involvement as a deacon and a mental health consultant. If any of you are looking for such support, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Confidentiality is assured.
I had to turn the air conditioner on today for the first time. It has reached nearly 90 degrees outside. I dislike the heat. I run on cold air. Unfortunately, cold air “ain’t cheap.” O, well!
As is my custom, I made my way down to the local Catholic cemetery this morning for the annual Memorial Day salute to the veterans buried there. The American Legion, so many of whom are now quite aged, came and did a spendid job. I honor the men and women who have died defending me and my way of life. Yet, I still remain only 5 inches from being a pacifist, as I see no need for war, no glory in it, nothing that comes from it but death and tears. I find no contradiction either in my honor of the veterans and my stance on war.
I wish all of you a good Memorial Day holiday. Let us be grateful for all we have been given.