Showing posts with label healing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healing. Show all posts

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lord, make me an instument of your peace

There has been a lot going on this week. Tonight, I found a lot of comfort in the prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, 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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Pray for her!"

I started to pray silently "Lord, bless her... I hope she has a great day..." Then the voice was a bit more direct:  "PRAY FOR HER!"

I felt awkward, but I tried to strike up a conversation by saying "hello." She said "hello" back but didn't say anything else. I thought "well, I tried.. That's all I can do." Finally I turned to her and asked directly if I could pray for her. Then I noticed that her eyes were watering. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Learning to (really) LOVE - a slow process for me

I got an email last week from a guy who seemed at first like he just wanted to argue with me. I ended talking with on the phone and after a few minutes I really wanted to hang up. He was throwing out arguments about "gay love" and gay-marriage etc.

In the past, I would have struggled with wanting to believe those arguments. Now, they just make me angry. I guess a lot of that anger comes from my own emotional wounding. It's difficult to separate that though and not unleash that on someone else. 

I also get frustrated because I really want to show compassion, but I also believe in Absolutes and absolute truth. It is not compassion to withhold important Truths and/or to endorse someone's destruction based on political correctness. To me, when a friend says that they are "happy" about their newest "gay relationship" it is the same as a heroin addict telling me that they are "happy" that they got their latest "fix."  What am I supposed to say? "That's great! I'm happy for you?"  I am saddened and worried for them.

I started asking him more pointed questions and guide the conversation toward his core emotions and wounds. He resisted at first, but more and more he started opening up and expressing his anger, then sadness, and grief. He was in a gay relationship that just ended last week (the day he decided to contact me). He was still holding out hope that the illusion of "gay love" was real and he seemed really angry at me for insisting that it does NOT exist and that homosexuality destroys love

I didn't let go of my position or assent to his, but I resisted the urge to argue as well. I just kept asking questions about HIM and HIS feelings and encouraged him to focus on that for now ("and we can talk about religion and politics later"). 

Without arguing, I found a few opportunities to gently point out that what I was hearing him say was that he wanted real love. He grew up in a Christian home and even briefly visited a local ex-gay ministry.

I pointed out to him that REAL love from our mutual religious background is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as:  
"patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud. does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs,does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I couldn't restrain myself from blurting out though that these adjectives are the POLAR opposite of every gay relationship I ever saw in 12 years. Not because the individuals were bad, but the relationship themselves were based on each person's emotional disorder. 

I prayed and fasted for him (and myself) for two days. I listened to his anger and ranting;
while praying and restraining my own reactions. I wanted to show him REAL LOVE and avoid judgement. I have no room to judge anyone. I was in the same trap for 12 years. I just want him to see the truth and avoid making the same mistakes I made. 

After two days of hearing his anger (which seemed directed at me at first, but then seemed to lessen), he went to grief and sadness. 
He texted me saying:  
"I really just need to cry." 
I called him and encouraged him to go into that grief (something he usually tries to avoid).

He seemed to get a lot better the next day. He said he has decided that he really wants his relationship to God to be more important, but said he wasn't sure if he was ready to let go of his "need" for a romantic relationship with a guy. He seemed to be really aware that his boyfriend's "love" was the polar opposite of 1 Corinthians 13

On Sunday night two JiM brothers invited me to meet them at a restaurant near here. After describing this situation to them, I texted him and invited him to join us. I had explained to him about Journey into Manhood and the groups I lead on Sunday afternoons called M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender), but I think he forgot that I had said these were JiM bros.

After they left, he said it was the first time he has "felt comfortable relating to a group of straight guys.” He had no idea that they were SSA. (I thought it was funny that they jammed his Gaydar). He seemed amazed when I explained that they friends from JiM. He seems to be really grasping the concept that real change and growth is possible.

Please keep my friend in your prayers. Also, please pray that I will learn to show REAL love and compassion to others without judging them, but also being authentic with objective Truth. I still have a lot of learning and growth ahead of me before I can be a good instrument for conveying God's love.

Pax Christi,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Awesome text meesage - just now

A few weeks ago, I met a guy through a friend in my bible study group who had just recently decided to turn his life over to Christ and leave the gay lifestyle. It was 3 days after our Texas Journey into Manhood weekend in Houston and the program won't be offered here again for another year. I knew it would be one of the best ways for him to get started on the journey and I was praying for a way for him to go. I discovered I had just enough airline miles to get a plane ticket for him to go to the JiM weekend in Florida. I dropped him off at the airport Friday morning and had been praying for him all weekend.

I texted him just now to ask how his weekend went. I got this text back a few seconds later:  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back from the BEYOND (Journey Beyond)

I really appreciate your prayers this past week while I was at "Journey Beyond" the advanced program for "Journey into Manhood" (JiM) grads. All I'll say for now is that I just returned from the most AMAZING ssa-healing experience ever! God made his presence known in a POWERFUL way the past 6 days. It was a major healing experience for all of us.

I cried (gallons) non-stop for four full days and then again last night when I got home. About 1/3 of that was crying with and for others. I felt so attuned to their wounds that I probably cried more for them than I did when it was my turn. My whole face covered in snot - it was nasty. ;)

Another 1/3 of the crying was a "draining of the swamp" for experiences and losses I should have grieved 15-20 years ago. I had a lot of support from the brothers there when re-experiencing that. Another 1/3 of the crying though was tears of absolute JOY!
I can definitely understand now why they didn't let me go last year. I would NOT have been prepared to handle it in a healthy way a year ago. I felt like I and the others were well supported though when we had to face our issues.

During one particular process I was able to see and experience God walking with me through all of the dark moments of my past -the worst of the wounds and the worst of my sins. The times in my life where I felt I was the farthest from God. It seems like he shined a brilliant light into those dark places (I could see even the dark rooms I had been in back then being lit up with a blinding light. Nothing was secret, but everything was being restored. I really experienced first hand the way He has been able to use those bad experiences for good and for fulfilling the work that He has for me to do in affirming others and leading others to Him and walking with them in their healing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Divine Appointment "in the Gayberhood"

I had a really interesting (challenging, but rewarding) experience last night with my guys' bible study group.
(this is the group I mentioned before where we shot the propane tank with the AK 47 on our last retreat: see video here:

Most of the guys are evangelical protestant. I'm probably the only Catholic in the group, but we've gotten along pretty well. Last night, my friend Jason was leading and he started talking about this concept called "Divine Appointments." It's a bit of Charismatic thing I guess, but mostly it required more boldness than anything else.

He started by asking us to pray for a while and listen for God to speak and to reveal one person to each of us that we needed to pray for or talk to that night.

Then he told us first to ask God to reveal to us a place / location and to write down the first thing that came to mind. At first I saw this cafe in my head, but I kept telling myself "no" because it's in the gay part of town and I KNEW God wouldn't want me going there.

Then Jason said:
"The 1st voice you hear is God's voice. The 2nd voice is you trying to talk yourself out of what you heard from God and the 3rd voice is Satan trying to convince you that you were right and that couldn't have been from God." 

So, I went ahead and reluctantly wrote down "Cafe Brazil in Oaklawn."

Then we were supposed to write down anything that came to mind about a person. I thought of someone wearing a "white sweater, blue jeans and white tennis shoes" - so I wrote that down. Then I thought "No person in Oaklawn would be caught dead wearing THAT!...hello, fashion police?!"  ;)

Anyway, I wanted to scratch it all out, but I left it alone

When everyone was finished and we ended up splitting into small groups and getting into cars to go find the persons we had described and pray with or evangelize them. I was really nervous and freaked out - leading two of my non-SSA friends (who didn't yet know about MY SSA) right into Dallas's GAYberhood. I hadn't been there myself in over a year and it's always a place where people are Lewd, Crude, and Socially Unacceptable (24 hours a day!)

We got there and I started saying "Let's go to a DIFFERENT Cafe Brazil" I'm sure it can't be this one!" but my friends said "NO! We're going here first. It's what YOU wrote down." 

We walked up and there was a guy standing right in the doorway wearing a white sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.I could tell he was SSA and I froze up.

Jason asked "Is that him? Is that your guy?"