The Still Small Voice

You may have noticed that the subtitle of this chapter is "following the still small voice." And you may also have noticed that I have got to the end of the chapter without making any reference to the title. So I would just like to make explicit that the title is a reference to what I hope to have been hinting at all along. I take it that one of the joys of being Catholic is that we are not a group united by an ideology, nor a group who adhere to a text, nor a group under the command of a leader or set of leaders, but a group being brought into being along with an ordered way of life as we undergo a certain form of listening, listening to a crucified and risen victim as he shows his forgiveness of us and undoes our ways of being together, which tend to be judgmental, violent and so on, so that we can share God's life forever. What keeps us as Catholics, and what is the central element of experience and truth as lived by Catholics in the gay issue, is that we can count absolutely on the crucified and risen Lord, present in our midst especially in the Eucharist, who is gradually teaching us how to reinterpret our world in such a way that we build each other up, and do not fear the truth which will set us free. The presence of the crucified and risen Lord teaching us, together, as Catholics to inhabit words like "Go and learn what this means, I want mercy and not sacrifice" or "the Sabbath is made for humans, not humans for the sabbath," his presence is the still small voice that is at work through and in all our debates and disjunctions, and will always be opening us up to being made anew starting from where we are.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Mark 13.31)

Those words are the living interpretive presence of one who loves us starting exactly where we are, one who reaches us in the midst of all the collapses of what seemed sacred, and the coming upon us of new dimensions of ourselves which seem terrifying until we learn to look at them through the eyes of one who loves us so much that he longs to be us, and longs for us to be free and happy with him, forever.

That we are learning to relax, together, through hearing his words, into being loved, is, surely, the central Catholic experience.

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