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Living the Truth in Love : Pastoral Approaches to Same Sex Attraction (Paperback)
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Living the Truth in Love grew out of the desire to provide answers to the questions posed in the Lineamenta for the Synod on Marriage of 2015 in Rome:
How can the Christian community give pastoral attention to families with persons with homosexual tendencies? What are the responses that, in light of cultural sensitivities, are considered to be most appropriate? While avoiding any unjust discrimination, how can such persons receive pastoral care in these situations in light of the Gospel? How can God’s will be proposed to them in their situation? (40)
People who want to be instruments of Christ’s love to those who experience same sex attraction—among them our children, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, parents, friends, and coworkers—seek guidance on how best to do so. We need to listen to the stories of those who experience SSA and the stories of those who have accompanied them on their journeys. We also need to ground our responses in a genuine Christian understanding of the human person and of human sexuality.
More and more of those who have left the gay life style are telling their stories, stories that disclose that engaging in homosexual sexual acts has not delivered the happiness sought. Fortunately, for many there is a second chapter to the story, a beautiful story of falling in love with Jesus and his Church, of finding an ennobling understanding of the truth of the human person. Their journeys and transformations have often been facilitated by family members and friends, counselors and spiritual directors, who have been affirming and accepting of those who experience same-sex attraction without approving all their choices.
Those who courageously face the realities of their lives and resolutely make the changes necessary—a process generally involving a significant amount of suffering, prayer, commitment to the sacraments, and a refashioning of relationships—eventually find peace, not misery, in accepting the Church’s teaching on sexuality. In their willingness to undergo conversions of many kinds and in their desire to seek holiness and live lives of complete self-giving, they become witnesses of the saving power of Jesus’ love and the graces he bestows on those who love him.
This volume includes essays that lay out the Christian view of the human person and of human sexuality, essays that challenge the bifurcation of sexualities into “heterosexual” and “homosexual.” Topics include an explanation of the meaning of the word “disorder”, a discussion of the therapeutic power of friendship, and an application of St. Pope John Paul II’s personalism to the question of same-sex attraction. Psychologists and counselors explain various ways of affirming those who experience SSA and of leading them to experience the power of Christ’s healing love. Several of those who experience SSA tell their touching and