This week we discuss the gift of chaste love ― What it is, what it isn’t and how we are called, as men and women, to live this virtue in our daily lives.
By: A member of the Diocese of Arlington Courage Chapter
Courage is an international apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons with (SSA) same-sex attraction. I am a mid-30s career professional who has struggled with same-sex attraction since I was a teenager. I joined Courage almost two years ago and I can say without any reservation that Courage has not only helped me to live a chaste life in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, but to also live my Catholic faith and life more fully.
My journey toward Courage was just that…a journey. My 20s were filled with an overwhelming desire to go on dates, experience relationships, and eventually find a life partner. Like many, I spent my 20s pursuing opportunities to indulge in these desires by dating and entering into relationships with those of the same sex.
What I gained from those experiences was a self-realization that I wasn’t finding the happiness I was looking for. While my stubbornness had tried to convince myself that nothing was morally wrong with same-sex relationships, my conscience could not be fooled. I lived my 20s with constant internal conflict between pursuing what I thought I desired in those relationships and the life that God was gently calling me to live.
There were certainly moments of peace and happiness, but beneath it all something just didn’t feel right. I never stopped feeling Christ calling me to do something different. For a while I even tried to block those feelings by reading the writings of various pastors that claimed same-sex relationships were perfectly fine in the eyes of God. However, this only increased the internal turmoil I was experiencing.
Courage is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church to assist those with same-sex attractions. Endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family, Courage seeks to help persons with same-sex attractions develop an interior life of chastity and move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete identity in Christ. For more information visit the Courage website or our diocesan site or email Courage@arlingtondiocese.org.
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