'Courage' (letter)

'Courage' (letter)

John Dodwell

I have just read the letter "Misguided compassion" (March AD2000) and particularly with its statement "... nor do we hear many sermons on the sinfulness of the (homosexual) lifestyle" in mind, would like to bring to readers' awareness the existence of the group "Courage" in Melbourne.

"Courage Melbourne" is a group of people who meet weekly for prayer, fellowship and sharing, with the goal of supporting and encouraging those members who are struggling with a homosexual orientation and wish to live a chaste life in accordance with the teachings of the Church.

We do not offer a "cure" for the homosexual person, nor do we offer to wave a magic wand and change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. What we do offer is the challenge to put God first in one's life.

Practically speaking, we try to live out, and recommend to others, a life which centres around prayer, frequent participation in the Eucharist, frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual reading (including reading of the Scriptures), individual spiritual direction and service to others.

It is just possible, that over time, as one falls in love with Our Lord, they may find their sexual orientation does change. As the angel Gabriel said to Mary "... nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). The goal of Courage is first and foremost, however, to facilitate the redirection of a person's life back to God, and to encourage that person in living a chaste life (not turn them into a heterosexual).

With regard to the statement "... nor do we hear many sermons on the sinfulness of the (homosexual) lifestyle", I do not wish to comment. What I would like to say, however, is that in order for a person's life to be influenced toward change for the better, that person needs to know that we love him. Change, or a desire for change, occurs through conviction of the Holy Spirit. Change also occurs through Intercessory Prayer. My heart goes out to the parent who wrote the letter "Misguided compassion" and who lost her son to AIDS. That parent's prayers and ongoing love were not in vain.

Flemington, Vic

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