Religious interlude…

The other reason for going out briefly this afternoon was personal spiritual comfort. I know: its deeply unfashionable to be gay or trans or any sort of progressive and still retain some vestige of childhood religiosity. But i do: and despite the easy cliché that has all religion as evil and us as its target, i think we are far better served than perhaps we know.

(Those who just won’t hear otherwise, do skip this if you really must – though the punch line is worth hearing).

One issue, over the last year, has been my not receiving communion since i “came out”. Ridiculously, nothing directly to do with my being trans: everything to do with the fact that i am living with someone when my previous marriage, contracted in a catholic church has not been annulled. That has been a source of irritation over the last twelve months – espesh as it is not a dogmatic position.

It is up to my parish priest and my current priest is that bit more traditional than some.

Still, today and for a while i am in the Brighton parish and i spoke to a local priest (ok: he is Westminster diocese, but still, he’s local for purposes of this) and he was very happy to take confession and give communion.

I don’t think it particularly on for me to discuss in any great detail what was said. Still, we did touch on my transition and he was cool. I said i understood it was problematic in dogma terms. He said it was a “grey area” and “fast evolving”.

He also added a comment that i felt was very worth repeating. “God is beyond gender”. Yep. Oh, yes.


Anyway. Confession. Absolution. And finally, I took communion.

Andrea commented after that i seemed a lot lighter. I hope so. I think – i hope – it is not inappropriate to mention the nature of my penance: to contemplate a text that has meaning for me. I chose (naturally) the prayer of St Francis, which i first read, publically, many years ago in Italian on the anniversary of his feast day – 4 October.

I think it has resonance for far more than the purely religious…so i reproduce it below in the hope that some readers will appreciate it for its beauty, irrespective of anything else:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lois said,

    beautiful, I have sung this as a hymn, and it always moves me. xx

  2. 2

    kathz said,

    I don’t know if the Quaker term makes any sense to you but I shall hold you in the light.

  3. 3

    Wonderer said,

    Very best wishes, from another with religious sensibiltiies. Great to hear that the priest was open, and that you’ve had the consolation of absolution and communion. Good choice of prayer too;it chimes nicely with service orientation. (I struggle with the hymn adaptation though; the words don’t seem to fit).

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