I’m working on a real post or several, but in the meantime, I am going to piggyback off of Mudblood Catholic’s 100th post. What a post. Here are the bits that made me nod and grin the hardest. [Indented bits are him, other bits are me.]

The trouble about discussing sexuality — and this is not peculiar to gay sexuality — is that it involves you in nearly everything. There’s a sense in which sexuality is the crossroads of our being: every level of our self is involved in it at once.

Yes, totally. That’s why it’s actually fortuitous that the culture at large is in such a lather about homosexuality: we’re being forced to confront all sorts of things that have never been quite this urgent before. What’s marriage? What’s sex for? Are men different from women, and if so, how?

The common Catholic tactic of implying that giving up sex shouldn’t be such a big deal to someone who isn’t selfishly hedonistic, betrays a woefully shallow outlook on sex and sexuality. Yes, there are other modes of experiencing and expressing love; yes, we don’t “need” sex the way we need food and drink; that isn’t the point. The need to love and be loved as a specifically incarnate being, the need to give of oneself, and the need to create, are real needs of the human person; and erotic love — truly or falsely — holds out the promise of all three.

I plead guilty. Not very long ago, I was all “What’s the big deal, guys, it’s just SEX”. But the thing about sex is that it’s never just sex. For me — a guy from a big Catholic family, who got somehow remarkably and providentially plugged into a big Catholic community, that’s magically full of tolerant-yet-orthodox people — for me to say “Dude, celibacy ain’t no thang” is about as fair as a silver-spooned ivy-leagued trust-fund kid telling a panhandler “Have you tried working harder?”

God is remarkably prosaic…the practice of prayer and taking part in the sacraments have a very unspectacular appearance. But they are of the essence. Prayer is our lungs; the Eucharist is our heart; Confession is our immune system.

A lot of the authors I’ve read seem to imply that, once you have some solid friendships under your belt, you stop being lonely and don’t want a partner any more. To that, I have to respectfully cry bullshit. Loneliness is a feature of all human life, and, yes, being the single one in a group of predominantly married friends can exacerbate that instead of helping. You need friends because intimate friendship is something that every person needs to be a healthy person, not because they act collectively as some kind of surrogate spouse.

True that. It’s probably unavoidable, at some stage in the journey, to use your friends as a collective, surrogate spouse, but that can’t be the end.

“Father, I wore those weird shoes with the individual toes.”
“This problem is beyond me, my child.”

Sexuality involves more than just the urge to make; it also involves the more specific urge to beget — to be a mother or a father. The fight of the LGBT movement for adoption rights is not just about making a political point about equality; I think it is linked to this far deeper desire.

Yeah, Gabriel, wow. Who woulda thought a brony could be such a mensch?

19 thoughts on “Happy 100, Gabriel Blanchard!

  1. WillyWonka

    Does granting the “LGBT” crowd these much-desired civil rights mean we’ve also conferred on them the ability to naturally procreate?

    Reply
  2. Das

    Spiritual Sexuality (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bum*)
    *Okay… not really, but I saw an opportunity and I took it

    I agree that sexuality not only exists as a need on a physical and instinctive level, but it also possesses us on emotional and intellectual levels. Although I may be the only one who experiences how fully my sexuality runs through me, expressing it (either through verbal expression or… other means) is a fundamentally intimate act, despite how mundane it usually appears to everyone else… or even me.

    And, of course, it makes sense that it would be. God created us to imitate Him; with God’s words, the directive to create life was infused into our very essence. But that means sexuality isn’t a thing which is wrapped around our being, having roots on various levels of us. It is actually a part of our being. Trying to root out “it” from “us” is like trying to figure out where personality ends and the soul begins.

    If it is a part of our being, since nothing is a “part” of our being without being our being itself*, it contains within itself our intellect and will as well as our emotions and desires. And that understanding (I think) is the locus of chastity: realizing that the desire to sleep with a person comes from the same place as the choice not to.

    I don’t know if that grants any of y’all a sense of serenity, but I’ve certainly found it easier to not want to have relationships with guys since I’ve thought of it like that. I could just be floating on the wings of grace though; I wouldn’t know.

    *In the same sense as a homogeneous solution: if you take a sample, you get a sample of everything that’s in the whole.

    Reply
  3. Brian

    So it’s the same person who wants and doesn’t want? So even if we choose not to, we are still being true to ourself? I think that is really consoling if I got that right.

    Reply
    1. Das

      @Brian
      I can’t really tell if you’re responding to me, but, given the context, I think you are, so I’ll assume that.

      First off, I assume that sexuality is an innate part of us, and not just some desires which have attached themselves to our minds. What follows is my wary conclusion from that assumption.

      In a perfect person, desires and will would align all the time, since sexuality is, in perfect form, equal parts will and desire. What I am saying (or, really, theorizing… I’m not even sure how much I agree with it) is that the will to ignore the desires when they are inappropriate comes form the same part of us that the desires do. To put it simply: chastity and sexuality are the same thing.

      The significant application of that idea is that if a thing is not chaste, it is not in keeping with our sexuality, and, thus, is not a real part of us.

      Reply
  4. F.

    I was thinking about the last paragraph of Gabriel Blanchard’s post, where he writes about spiritual fatherhood. I don’t know if you guys (Gabriel, Steve) acknowledge this, but you certainly exercise some kind of spiritual fatherhood through your blogs. So, please, don’t stop writing. :)

    Saludos.

    Reply
  5. john

    Steve/Joey-

    This is my logic. Can you please explain the holes in it. Really I’m not that smart so here goes….I am a sinner. Sin permeates every pore in my body. I can so relate to Paul when he says “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” Really, this is me Paul is talking about when he wrote this.

    I am dishonest, my motives are usually impure, I get angry at people in stead of reacting with compassion and love and, yes, I have sexual relations outside of the prescribed parameters that God has set out. But isn’t this the human condition? Isn’t that what grace is for? Has anyone who has given their two cents on this website completely stopped sinning? If so, please tell me how you did it. Because it seems like Saint, yes Saint, Paul had the same struggles.

    I mean maybe I am bordering on blasphemy here, but isn’t this the human condition? It seems to me, (and again I remind you that I am a very simple guy here ) that we are picking this one thing and saying, “I draw the line here. I pick this one thing and I will be pin my whole existence as a Catholic and Christian, on this one thing.” I mean really, what if I picked tithing and decided to write a blog about my struggles with giving exactly 10% before taxes to the church? Is this what the gospel is about……sin management? If that is true, then I fail. I fall short. I will never reach the bar.

    Really, I promise, I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I have read your blog intermittently for years. Your story has impacted me immensely. I love to read about God’s grace in other peoples lives. It inspires me. But why did you pick this one thing to take a stand on and not other sin in your life?

    I invite anyone with wisdom to respond to this.

    Reply
  6. MD

    @Rose – I have felt a lot of loneliness in my life, especially over the last two years after moving away from a group of very close friends, and while dating long-distance. Well, I just got married, and I would say that when I am lonely now I am lonely in a very different way. It’s a…sharper?….loneliness, I guess. It hurts more, sends me running to the true Source of love and company more quickly.

    Reply
  7. Yanmega

    I’m actually kind of interested in your take on what John said…. Could that be inspiration for a blog post somewhere down the line?

    Reply
  8. Sheila

    @Joey, I agree that our sexual identity is so interwoven into the fabric of our culture that it is nearly impossible to deny its existence when confronting social issues of today. Isn’t it interesting though that when we do actually engage in discussions surrounding sexuality that there is so much anxiety in the room that it actually hinders us from self-discovery and growth? And so much of the discussion happens utilizing a binary logic that I wonder if we really are even gaining insight. It is for these reasons that I appreciate your blog. I appreciate the honesty in which you write about your journey as a person who is trying to uncover the complexities of life. I appreciate the fact that you identify with being gay and yet you do not rule out the possibility that you may one day marry a woman–you are truly occupying the third space and contesting what we think we know to be true about sexuality.

    @John: if you were to replace the word “sin” with “missing the mark” (hamartia has often been mistranslated as sin instead of missing the mark) does it help to gain a different perspective on your actions? Missing the mark helps us to keep working towards the goal of becoming Christlike whereas interpreting all of our actions (as fallen creatures) as sin prevents us from connecting with our inner strength and power–the Spirit that so resides in all of us. If the human condition is such that we are nothing but sinners, we become powerless to do good. That kind of logic can be dangerous. Grace is granted to all who keep working at hitting the mark; it should not be used as a “get out” card. Also, it is difficult for me to believe that you are ALWAYS dishonest, impure and angry. While you can work at these issues, are there times in your life that you are motivated by compassion and love? Maybe you should also be celebrating these moments when you actually hit the mark. God doesn’t just select some of us to bestow his grace, your life has also been graced by His presence. Peace.

    Reply
  9. John

    Steve/Joey-Ok not really sure how to do that. Is your email somewhere on this site?

    Sheila-You are wise. Thanks for your kind words ;-)

    Reply
  10. Gabriel

    @John: Joey will have beaten me to the punch, natch, but nonetheless. For myself, I’d answer that I haven’t exactly chosen this one thing to take a stand on — if I take a stand on anything, it’s intellectual integrity, and not chastity. But I write about it because I remember how alone I felt ten years ago, and how scared I was. I don’t want anybody else to feel that way; I write in the hope that, maybe, if someone stumbles across it, it’ll console and encourage them, and I have received some feedback that suggests it does. It does also interest me in its own right, because sexuality is one of the things that makes people tick, and I’m fascinated by that sort of thing. Personally I’m inclined to agree with what you wrote, and don’t see any flaws in your logic.

    Reply

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