10 – Induced-Seduced

YOU have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.
[ Mic.6:8 ]

HEADING out to the hospital after Holy Mass on this feast of the Transfiguration, early this morning, I took a moment to pick up the mail.

Later, when I returned from the hospital call, where the elderly man I was to see appeared more alive than worried family had indicated, I opened the mail.

The above quotation was on the back of a friend’s ordination card, on the front a depiction of the Icon: Jesus Pantocrator.

Such passages from Sacred Scripture ought to make it clear to every human being we cannot plead ignorance about what constitutes a right relationship with God, other and self!

That a young man newly ordained, in this day and age, should so understand the import of such a word from the Lord it becomes part of the very ebb and flow of his life, gives great comfort to my heart.

I know this man very well.

He will be a good, humble, holy priest, for he has had a long, painful struggle, from the typical secular-hedonist life of so many of his generation, to a surrender to conversion of heart, to saying yes to the call of priesthood, which is humbling to behold.

He is one of many touched by Pope John Paul II.

The media constantly harps on the Pope’s so-called unrealistic challenges to the young to be pure, kind, generous, self-sacrificing, claiming his words fall upon deaf ears.

That may be true, but his words likewise fall into hungry hearts and there, like the proverbial seed in the Gospel {cf. Lk.8:4-8}, bears fruit a hundredfold.

Today is one of my favourite feasts: His Holy Transfiguration.

St. Matthew with precise language unfolds this tremendous reality for us, revealing the beauty of the Beloved[Mt.17:1-8]!

This is a true feast of hope, and like all the mysteries of our Christian religion, requires participation for what we believe to truly penetrate our hearts.

This is a true feast of tenderness, for here Christ, though at the time the Apostles would not have known this, gives them a gift which will sustain them when He is crucified; will sustain us throughout our own lives if we open our being to this same gift.

This is a true feast of becoming, for here is revealed what, in, through and for Christ, the Holy Spirit works to accomplish in every baptized person.

 BESIDES being the festival of Light, of Brilliance, of Whiteness, and of Glory ( all names signifying divinity ), Transfiguration is also the feast of beauty, of freedom, and of human dignity. From the brilliance of the face of Christ every human face, no matter how ugly and distorted it appears, acquires beauty, dignity, and divine worth. Transfiguration reveals the true meaning of divinization and shows the glorious outcome of our own life in the Parousia.Contemplation of the beauty of Christ on Mount Tabor is the paradigm of our contemplation of the face of God in the beatific vision in heaven.[r]

The rectory is quiet this rainy mid-day of the feast.

Summer is beginning to wane, cooler air to hint of early frosts.

The Bishop’s curt announcement of my ‘leave’ was published today, so soon word will be among the parishioners.

Some will, in their humble hearts, understand the need for a priest to take time to pray, to fast, maybe even to write and paint.

Others will bemoan the waste, since there is such a shortage of priests.

A few, or perhaps many, will be glad to see this outspoken one leave!

All is in Your hands, for reputation is something we mostly delude ourselves about, and over which, in this age of purulent gossip, none can feel secure.

It is an aspect of being poor, hence vulnerable, I cannot yet claim to have truly embraced, but which I accept nonetheless as a reality.

I am deeply aware of the various dangers about writing the story of how it came to be I have such need of His Mercy. The danger of making the terrible, romantic; of readers misunderstanding the seriousness of sin, perhaps even seeking here a justification for hardness of heart; of causing people to miss the point and have an ‘ I told you so’ attitude towards priesthood, as if priestly reputation was not already battered enough.Still, it is writing I have been mandated to do by obedience to my Spiritual Father.Of course there is always within me as I write this, or anything, to do so as an act of, and with, prayer.Not only so as, in this instance, to avoid writing anything sensational, or any error, but so as to write in a way which will further the spread of the Gospel, of those who read crying out: JESUS, MERCY!A boldness perhaps for a writer, but not for a priest.Looking back I understand now a significant misstep in my sexual and emotional development, which development thus became frozen in adolescence for decades, was my relationships with the females in my peer group.I failed to relate to them as persons. I related to them only as objects of my disordered desires and immense need for affirmation, for love.Pseudo-mother, pseudo-wife, was the way I approached them.Some, of course out of their own disorders, responded in kind, while others distanced themselves from me.Often, between their mothers and mine, a combined effort saw to the temporality of such relationships until the hassle became too much exposure for me and I, other than the occasional date for a school dance, pulled away from female persons altogether and developed a mild form of misogyny — not hatred of woman per se but rather a fear which would take decades to heal because it was interwoven with my whole identity disorder of mind ( emotions and reason ), heart and soul.Having no right relationship with my own mother, or with female peers, hence a disordered relationship with the feminine in general I fared even worse when it came to the masculine.Being the oldest male in the home most of the time, with my father away with the navy, I would, when he was away, find myself a type of emotional husband-father figure which, when he would return home, was increasingly difficult to put aside to assume once again my proper place as male-child, son.Pointedly I was deprived of proper maleness formation.

 …..his problem consisted in the fact that he was split off from his masculinity and as a consequence from his real self…..the splitting off began..when he was three years old….to be split off from his masculinity meant he was separated from the power to see and accept himself AS A MAN. His inner vision of himself was sadly wanting…Within his heart there were no pictures of himself as a man and as a person in his own right…inside…there was a peculiar void, a nothingness that he attempted to fill with an unhealthy fantasy life….[s]

The above insight accurately describes how I was becoming.The process of induction by which I sought to bring about the experience of the masculine in my life became itself a major component of the very confusion I was seeking to escape.My escapades with the gang I hung with became increasingly a combination of dangerous adventures, such as playing chicken with freight trains, petty ‘ b and e’s’, and, what can best be termed primitive forms of homosexual activity.For most of the guys in the gang I hung with the latter was a passing phase, soon outgrown as they became more adept and confident with girls.Not so for me.I was so turned inside of myself, split, walking beside myself, living within my own intellect and fantasy world, so repressive of my true emotions, and increasingly so untrusting of others, especially adults and God, hence obsessively needy of another’s arms, particularly male, that I quickly became, long before the term was overused as an excuse to avoid responsibility, a sex-addict.Because I was an instant-need-gratification addict.

 God creates us out of love…Scripture proclaims that this love, from which and for which we are created, is perfect…..I am certain that it draws us toward itself by means of our own deepest desires. I am also certain that this love wants us to have free will…we are not completely determined by our conditioning..our freedom allows us to choose as we wish for or against God, life and love…free will is given to us for a purpose…to love God in return..to love one another….this is the deepest desire of our hearts….our creation is by love, in love,…for love…but our freedom is not complete. Working against it is the powerful force of addiction…addiction USES UP desire…sucking our life energy into specific obsessions..compulsions..addiction is a deep-seated form of idolatry..objects of our addictions become false gods…what we worship, what we attend to, where we give out time and energy, INSTEAD OF LOVE. Addiction..displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest desire. [t]

The addicted heart is a hunting heart, a lonely heart, a vulnerable heart, blinded by compulsion.Only a heart at rest, and the place of that rest must be in God, is a heart aright.The sheer weight of all the confused compulsion, increasing the need for affirmation, intensified vulnerability to a shift from hunter to prey.Word reached me through street gossip among my peers about a lad a few years my senior, a lad of alleged experience in the areas which were confusing me.Even before I had met him, in my interior musings through my fantasy life, I had constructed an intimate, affirming, relationship.My plan was to seek him out and get him to want me.It was the induced journey of moth to flame.By the time I was snared in the relationship he had already begun to be physically more rough, at times administering beatings in ways which would not leave marks greater than those you could get playing ball, at other times through emotional intimidation making me do things for, or with, older boys of his choosing. They were his peers, and some of them were scary.As was this lad’s Great-Aunt who lived in a dark purple coloured house, the windows always shaded. She dabbled in tea-leaves and other strange things and whenever she looked at me my inner being froze.I avoided her as much as possible.Only after my conversion did I understand this woman was involved in the occult and all the dangers associated with that.I have been prayed over and delivered from those influences, but they are difficult to be freed from, extremely dangerous to get involved with, yet in this too this generation is extremely, sometimes wilfully, naive.