Within the last few weeks I have started to help a friend of mine church that he attends. They are having some issues with money and are looking for ways to use social media and their website to help increase membership and donations. The church he attends is an “inclusive spiritual community”. I’m not really sure what that means and at first I had some issues helping out with this project.
See, the church he attends a couple years ago removed the cross that was in front of the building. My understanding of why they did so had to do with wanting to move beyond the cross. I do not fully understand this nor am I am I for or against this in this blog posting. This blog posting is not about the removal of the cross, it’s about something much more important.
The reason I bring this up is I have started working on a project (I’m not sure what else to call it) to help those whom are gay, Catholic and in prison. This is an area that I feel is being over looked and needs to be addressed. I keep having this though about Jesus on his cross and how this relates to those whom are in prison. Often I hear about how our actions can result in our cross becoming heavier. When we act in manners that hurt others, these actions can make the cross we bear to more difficult to do so. We also know that God does forgive our misdeeds if we are serious about repentance, ask for forgiveness, and strive to not act in that manner again.
After talking to my friend, I wonder if one can really move away from the cross. I understand in theory what his church was trying to achieve with this. I think that too many people get caught up in the cross they bear. Whether it’s a past sin, struggling with an addiction or any other host of things can be a burden on one’s soul. I understand the goal of trying to move beyond this, trying to put all this behind us and live more for the moment and the future. I do think that God does want us to move beyond our sins and moving away from the cross.
I know you are probably think that I am crazy for saying this, but if you keep reading, I will explain. What I write below is something I am working on for the project I mentioned above.
To me the answer lays within the wounds Jesus bears. In John 20, we learn that Jesus should off these wounds to his Apostles, partly to show them that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. I think these wounds represent an attachment to the cross, but the nails that were nailed into His hands and feet that attached Him to the cross, are not there. Those wounds to me can be seen as scares, signs of our past deeds but are not still attaching us to the cross we bear.
It is those scars that help us grow to be better people, find our place in the world to help. For example, so people would say that being gay is a cross I must bear. If I just focus on the issues in my life that being gay causes, I think I would be stuck on my cross. But I do think I am moving beyond this issue on the cross I bear, turning this issue into a scare. With this issue being a scare, I do feel that I can do something with it, turn it into something positive. One thing I am doing is having this blog where I write about being gay and Catholic. I also have set up a social network that is focused on gay Catholics (this social networking website is still being worked on). In addition to these things, I am working on a project for gay Catholics in prison. To me, I want to take the negative parts of an issue and work on turning them into something positive.
I don’t know if I did a good job at explaining my thoughts on this issue. As I said, this is something I have just started putting together. If you have any thought on this, please leave a comment below. Thank you for taking the time to read this.