“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
~St. Francis of Assisi
Since beginning this apostolate for gay men and women, I daily receive 100s of messages, e-mails, and phone-calls from people seeking advice. I am often overwhelmed and humbled. Just recently, I got a letter from a woman, a rather devout and pious Catholic lady, who was very upset because a girl in her extended family “came-out” as gay. As she described, her first instinct was to sit this child down and giver her a stern lecture on the evils of gay sex and the homosexual lifestyle. I called the woman and immediately cautioned her on dropping such huge bombs on this poor kid. I first asked what the girl’s family life had been like. I was told that: she came from a broken home (a rather messy divorce,) had never been baptized, and grew-up with very little to no religion in the home. Immediately, my heart when out to this poor lost soul. For, she has probably spent her entire life looking for healing and love.
I advised the woman to read some of the very short, but incredibly potent, works by Blessed Josemaria Escriva who had made it his lifetime work to help others evangelize the world. On that very subject, he wrote: “The first step towards bringing others to the ways of Christ is for them to see you happy and serene, sure in your advance towards God.” In other words, it’s often much more important what you do, and how you act, than what you have to say. Also, be cheerful and filled with joy. As St. Teresa of Avila said: “God save us from gloomy Saints.” In addition, much of what Escriva wrote, reminds me of the words spoken by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Of course, this does not mean to blindly and stupidly tolerate all forms of evil. Does not the Holy Scriptures say: “Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts…” (James 4: 7-8) And, God will be the ultimate Judge, not us. Since, one of the greatest tragedies is that many souls are lost because they had no one to help them, or someone, who may have been well-intentioned, brought the Word of Christ, not with Love and understanding, but with aversion and impatience. Because, we must always keep in our hearts, that what we say to one person, may be the only thing they ever hear about Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the end, bring Love and empathy to the sinner, because, even if they do not know it, they are suffering greatly. Build a relationship of trust, where the Truth will be able to one day flourish.