Each morning after I awaken I reach out for a collection of poems that is permanently situated at the side of my bed – these poems edited by Daniel Ladinsky are a collection of twelve sacred voices from East and West entitled “Love Poems from God”
This is my favourite written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
THE CHRIST SAID
The Christ said to us,
“I have cut you from a garden I tend and set you in a vase for the world to see.
Soon you will return, for your glorious presence I miss.
My hands need to touch you again, my divine sense and eyes require your soul’s beauty near.
Forgive me, my love, for the suffering our separation brought.
If I said I am in debt to you, could you understand?”
This beautiful verse touches me deeply because during the years of my marriage as I suppressed my homosexuality and was tormented, i somehow kept my faith in Christ. This poem help me to realise that to be faithful to a faith or an ideal or a community, I must first of all recognise myself as an individual.
During the two years since I informed my wife of my torment and experienced her love and support as I came to terms with my sexuality and accepted it as a significant part of what I have brought to the world, I have become more aware that a separation between me and my God has existed over many years.
The idea that God has mourned my absence is profound because it has allowed me to say to Him, I rejected and suppressed the gifts which you gave to me and now, in bringing them to Him and also to the world ,as an individual, made in His image and likeness, He asks forgiveness from me for the suffering our separation brought.
I like this idea because I have no intention of asking for His forgiveness for being a homosexual. I have carried a burden because I tried to conform to what I thought my family and the Church expected from me. I have learned that it is good to conform to an ideal and a faith but only if I am allowed first and foremost to be an individual with all my special gifts.
So through a difficult life, transformed now through an openness to the world, I have managed to keep my faith but I have loosened my bondage to the ideals of blind conformity to my church which I love.
In another poem written by St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), he writes:-
“God sees nothing in us that He has not given.
Everything is empty until He places what He wishes into it”
If you are suppressing your truth in the hope of conforming to an ideal, let these words encourage you to bring yourself whole as an individual to the places that you choose to conform to as I have tried to do, and find comfort in the love and support of others and if faith is part of your truth, then yes also from God.
My next blog will be: Catholic Synod