A reader who describes himself as “closted”, and is a Catholic priest, has sent me a link to a moving prayer by Sr Joan Chittester, OSB, which is explicit in its appeal for support of those proclaiming Jesus’ name to the lesbian and gay community. Here’s the opening:
OPEN OUR HEARTS:
A Prayer in Honour of Those Whom Jesus Loved
by Sister Joan Chittester OSB
+ + + +
Jesus who loved the Samaritan woman,
outcast proclaimer of your name,
let us love and support all those who proclaim
your name to the gay and lesbian community.
Jesus who loved the lepers
whom others called unclean,
let us see the glory of creation everywhere,
Jesus who loved the one condemned with him
and promised him heaven by virtue of his faith,
give us the faith to broaden our vision
of the reign of God.
Jesus who loved the hemorrhaging woman,
long ignored and thought to be intrinsically disordered,
give us hearts large enough to embrace
those whom the world calls bent.
A word of warning though, to those queer Christians who constantly see themselves as victims, and express resentment or outright hostility towards our opponent: she goes on to remind us that in addition to loving the outcasts and downtrodden, Jesus also loved the tax collector and Roman soldier, symbols and participants in the dreaded Roman oppression of the Jews. We too, must find it in our hearts to love those who “make exiles” of our community.
Jesus who loved the tax collector the community feared,
enable us to put down our fear of those
who are different from ourselves.
Jesus who loved the Roman soldier,
foreigner and oppressor,
help us to love those who make exiles of
our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.