There’s just something about it that makes me so uncomfortable sometimes.
I think it’s probably a bit more accurate to say that I hated the idea of sleeping alone forever. The idea that I could remain single for the rest of my life because of something I didn’t choose kept me up at night. It struck copious amounts of fear into my heart, fear that I don’t often know how to handle.
I’ll often sleep on one side of the bed wondering when someone will be tucked in next to me.
Not even when, but if.
Deep lacerations on my heart bled drops of worry and anguish while I laid there, making it no strange occurrence to just see tears stain the other side of the bed.
We all have crosses to bear in life. Christ encourages us to take up those crosses and follow Him (Luke 9:23). The cross of same-sex attraction for me is often times so brutal and costly that I find myself bruised, broken, and wondering if I’ll be able to survive under its weight.
I didn’t ask to be sexually attracted to women.
I didn’t. It wasn’t my choice, it wasn’t my fault, but for some reason, it’s the cross that I’m being asked to take up. I think I’ve pretty much gone through all of the stages of grief when it comes to my sexual desires (sometimes I think I’m still steeped in the depression stages), but I believe I’ve come out accepting them.
Truth be told, it hasn’t been a miserable experience all the way through! I’ve found immense joy even in the midst of carrying this cross; I’ve learned to serve and to love in ways I doubt I would’ve learned without this cross, and I’m very thankful for those experiences!
Still, it can be unbearably lonely at times. People who lead chaste or even celibate lives are pretty much crucified by the culture we live in.
Many of us feel damned to a life of isolation and longing, never able to have the one thing that will ultimately make us happy (which our culture believes is a sexual relationship).
We’re taught to mourn the death of our wedding day, or more so the death of our wedding night, and I have to admit, I do mourn for that.
But in the midst of that mourning, recently I’ve begun to reflect on Christ and His wedding day.
He did, in fact, have a wedding day, taking place over 2,000 years ago, on a mountain called Calvary.
His wedding day was the day He died, His bride being the Church, and the wood of the Cross the wood of His bed.
I once heard it said that Calvary is the mount of lovers, and I’m coming to see that more and more, the two most beautiful lovers being Christ and the Church. I spoke with Fr. Philip Bochanski and Paul J. Kim about this at SEEK, and we pondered all of the imagery.
Christ the Bridegroom draws Himself near to His Bride, fully exposed and willingly making a full and sincere gift of Himself, laying Himself down for her on the wood of the Cross, His Bridal chamber; the Blood and the Water flow forth from His side, very seminal in imagery, as he gives life to the Church, and the Church receives that gift and, by giving herself fully in return, cultivates it and molds it, allowing it to grow in a way that only a Mother can.
What profound beauty! What an incomparable expression of authentic love! And what a joy it is for a man and a woman to enter into and mirror that love in Holy Matrimony. It truly is a gift.
It is also so possible to enter into that mystery as a single person. Even now, in my own life, I can take on the role of the Bride, embracing the sincere gift of God’s grace, vowing to let it fill me up and working to cultivate it into something beautiful in the world.
I feel as though I do this now with my apostolate! With this blog, through my YouTube channel, through my traveling and public speaking, even just talking with people one-on-one in my day to day life! Even if I’m never physically a Mother, I can always find ways to be a Spiritual Mother to those who God entrusts to my care.
A celibate life should never be mistaken as a life without love, because each and every one of us, in each of our unique vocations, is called to love in some way.
Whether we’re called the wood of the bed or the wood of the cross, we are called to will the good of those we love. I’m not certain if I’m called to be married to an earthly man or to Christ, but either way, I’m fully certain of my call to love.