Easter is the most joyous time of the year for all Christians. As a Catholic, I have the pleasure of participating in the most ancient of all liturgical traditions, something which can be traced back to the very beginnings of Christianity. Unlike Christmas, which was a later feast, the celebration of Easter, which is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, has always taken place as a great moment among Christians.
Today is the celebration, and the commemoration of the triumph of life over death, Jesus Christ. And yet faith, at least for me, sometimes seems hardly triumphant. At times faith seems a distant and difficult thing. The Church in particular is an institution, run by men but ultimately guided by God, that can be difficult to live with. The older I get, the less and less I seem to rely on what the Church tells me how to think, and more on my own instincts and experiences. For me, as I continue the journey of faith, I realize more and more how everything is about Christ, and following Christ.
This blog is in part devoted to the notion that sexuality and traditional Christian and Catholic thought are in serious conflict and that this conflict is unnecessary. I believe that the Church is absurdly outdated when it comes to our understanding of human sexuality, and that a moral theology which is in part based on the notions of men who lived 1500 years ago, men who had no understanding of the basics of human biology and psychology as we do, is something that needs to evolve. But as far as I am concerned following Christ is not about the outdated silliness of old men who lived a long time ago, or the old men who tell us how to live today, but rather it is simply that: following Christ. The older I get, the more I try to cull from my spiritual being all the excess fat and nonsense that drags me down, that keeps me from truly loving God and my fellow man. I find adhering too strictly to Church doctrines on sexual issues is a large piece of that spiritual fat that needs to be trimmed. I understand others may feel differently. For those devoted to a chaste and celibate life, I have no problem with that. But all of us are not called to that life, or to a life of marriage and children. And I do not think it is an either or situation: either get married, or live a totally celibate existence. I believe there are other ways of living that fall outside the traditional notions of the proper Christian existence. Gay and lesbians would be one example. There are many gay people who are good Christians. And yet other Christians condemn them as being immoral and destined for hell. I believe this is harmful and needs to change. As we see throughout history, our world evolves, and I believe acknowledging these things is part of that evolution. Perhaps I am one who is wrong on these matters, but that is what I believe. I will let God, and not men, be the ultimate judge of that.
But aside from that, there is the simple beauty of faith, the beauty of the hope that Christ brought into the world. We continue to need that today, perhaps more than ever. The world is a brutal place. The presence of the risen Christ, still with us two thousands years after his life, is something our world needs. Hope is its own kind of beauty. Loving and caring for each other as a human family is a beautiful thing. Sexuality and eroticism can be beautiful things. This blog is an expression and celebration of such diverse types of beauty.