Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Longing for Love: God's Primal Beatitude

For National Coming Out Day today I share the following excerpt from the book Tender Fires: The Spiritual Promise of Sexuality by Fran Ferder and John Heagle. I believe the message of this particular excerpt is appropriate for today as the coming out journey helps transform us into "sacraments of the sacred, icons of the divine." In so doing, this wondrous journey also positions us, or perhaps better yet, opens us to lovingly, authentically and healthily respond to God's "primal beatitude," which, according to Ferder and Heagle, is the longing for love and the ache for relationships.

I've come to believe that it is only when we "come out," i.e., lovingly accept ourselves in the totality of our being, a totality that includes our sexual orientation, that we can seek, build and sustain that special type of relationship which so many people – gay and straight – have experienced as the fulfillment of God's "most lasting blessing" in their lives.

God has created each of us to be sacraments of the sacred, icons of the divine. And the central mystery of God – the heart of the holy – is communion.

This thirst for love and this longing for connection is woven into the very fabric of our “inmost self.” . . . We are created for communion. We are made to belong. . . . Loneliness is an integral dimension of the human condition, a quiet reminder that we are creatures – limited, mortal, unfinished, and radically interdependent.

It would be sad if we awoke one morning and came to our kitchen only to discover that there was no food. But it would be far more tragic if we awoke one morning and discovered that we were no longer hungry. The longing for love, the ache for relationships is God’s primal beatitude, the first and most lasting blessing of our lives.

– Fran Ferder and John Heagle

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 8, 2012
Coming Out: An Act of Holiness
The Raising of Lazarus and the Gay Experience of Coming Out
Darren Hayes, Coming Out . . . Oh, and Time Travel
Ian McKellen’s Two Greatest Achievements: Playing Gandalf and Coming Out
A Girl Named Sara: A “Person of the Resurrection”
No Matter What
Quote of the Day – July 16, 2010
Coming Out in Africa and the Middle East
A Gay Catholic Man's Testimony of Courage and Grace: "God Made Me and Loves Me Just As I Am"
The Many Manifestations of God's Loving Embrace
Getting It Right
Photo of the Day – March 7, 2012

And for my own coming out story, see The Wild Reed series, In the Footsteps of Spring:
Part 1: The Light Within
Part 2: Shards of Summer
Part 3: Intimate Soliloquies
Part 4: Coming Out
Part 5: No Stranger Am I

Related Off-site Links:
Sorry, NOM, But Same-Sex Marriage Has Actual Benefits – Jim David (HuffPost Gay Voices, October 17, 2012),
Is It a Coincidence that Coming Out Day and Vatican II’s Anniversary Are Today? – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, October 11, 2012).


Unknown said...

Myopic, hedonistic, narcissistic homosexuals, along with most others, miss the point. It is not about love. It is about children.

William D. Lindsey said...

You're right, Ray. "It's not about love."

That comes through loudly and clearly in your response to your brother Catholic in this comment.

Unfortunately for your sake, the entire Christian tradition, the teaching of Jesus, and the gospels--not to mention God the Trinity--is decidedly and absolutely about love.

And those without love forfeit their claim to know anything about God.

Paula said...

As a widow for some time now, I know that what Fran Ferder and John Heagle say is true. The post made me miss my husband. Partnering is so complex sometimes that we should rejoice in people's successes. Ray, can we invite you to rejoice in other people's being able to lovingly partner?

Anonymous said...

Goodness, Ray, what a bitter comment. Are you married? What does your wife think of that comment? Mark