The Third Way

Please watch and share this brand new film from Blackstone Films, The Third Way, speaking about the life giving beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

This needs to be shared widely!

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20 thoughts on “The Third Way

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for the comment. I would be curious to know what your thoughts are on how you define “attractions.” The Church is pretty clear that attractions that arise, unbidden, aren’t sinful, whether they’re towards the same sex, the opposite sex, or towards a slice of pizza. It’s what we do with them where the sin comes. I see many men in a given way who are attractive to me, but if I don’t dwell on those attractions, or indulge in them, no sin has been committed. So too with the man who sees a hundred attractive women in a given day. Those attractions that arise without an act of a will aren’t sins that we are culpable for, right? I’m concerned what you wrote in your blog that you have issue with the movie stating that the mere attraction to a member of the same sex is a sin–but perhaps I’m misunderstanding you.

      • Attractions serve a purpose, either Satan’s purposes or God’s purposes. One or the other. How we respond to them depends on how we feel about God.

      • I posted too soon because I had more to say. Shame is a natural emotion to something that you know is offensive to God…like the shame I feel as an emotion when I have suicidal ideation. The shame is pain. Pain is redemptive, but only if we unite it to the sufferings of Christ. Because so many in the world refuse to feel any kind of shame (they rejoice in “pride”) some of us must carry the Cross of shame (humility), because we are all connected in the Incarnation. The shame is redeemed at the foot of the Cross with Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows. Sorrow and joy are both passions. Pope Francis is talking a lot about joy, which is a passion. Let us not forget that sorrow is also a passion. You can say that we should not have shame, but only if you talk about it in terms of the redemption. Shame is a natural emotion. To say that someone should not feel it is to deny the redemption in this case.

      • Hi Lisa–thanks for the clarifying comments. I would say that shame is a very undervalued emotion–we live in a day and age which shuns shame as much as possible. We all know the value of shame, especially when we see it in children. The child who destroys a siblings handiwork, out of jealousy, or the child who ends a game in a puff of rage, and is then confronted by it shows shame on his or her face clearly. Shame serves a useful purpose when it’s connected with our conscience and our moral compass. Shame is valuable as a response to what we’ve done. Shame over things we have no control over, however, is toxic and unhealthy. I have no control over my attractions to men–for as long as I can remember, I’ve found men attractive. Would you say that I should feel some sort of shame over that? Would you say the fact that I’ve always found some men handsome is a reason for me to feel shame? Would you say that my attractions to men are offensive to God? If you do, you go further than the Church does on the subject. Acts of the will, contrary to the good, are those things that should engender shame. Thoughts that come unbidden may disturb our peace for awhile (such as suicide ideation, something that has crossed my mind before), but to chastise oneself for having thoughts that come unbidden to do sinful things are not things that should bring us shame. If that’s the case, shouldn’t Christ have felt shame in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was tempted to sin?

        In the Summa, Aquinas writes “a thing is said to be good or evil, on the supposition of something else: thus shame is said to be good, on the supposition of a shameful deed done.” An unbidden attraction is not a “deed that is done,” and we do a great disservice to men and women who live with SSA if we tell them they should feel shame over their unchosen attractions.

    • Lisa – I read your review on your blog and like D.C., I also feel there is a need for you to define “attraction”. You also wrote about those with same-sex attraction finding their identity in their sexual attraction. The film clearly states that we should all find our identity in Christ, in the Church.

      Pope Francis’ words and actions have really prompted me to rethink how I view others particularly those who struggle with same-sex attraction. I agree (with the film) that we as Catholics have wrongly treated our brothers and sisters and we need to “see the person” and to love them with deep Compassion just as Christ loves us.

      God bless you,
      ~Mar
      Sorry D.C. – I felt the need to respond to this.

      • One cannot see the person in full unless one recognizes the role of shame in the redemption.

      • lgraas, I don’t quite understand your argument here. I have same-sex attractions, but, as D.C. said and the Church teaches, these attractions are not sinful in and of themselves. There is therefore no moral obligation to feel shame about them. If I act on them, then indeed I ought to feel shame for the acts, but not the attractions that lead me to them. Just as I need to feel ashamed that I get hungry, even though I overeat.

        To further illustrate this point: when my grandmother was in the womb, the umbilical cord wrapped around her right arm and prevented any growth from occurring past the elbow. She was born with half of an arm. She was ashamed and embarrassed by her arm as a child.

        Her malformed arm and my SSA are *both* the result of the Fall. However, my grandmother was not morally obliged to be ashamed of her defect, despite the fact that it was the result of fallen human nature, and I cannot see that I am morally required to be ashamed of the psycho-sexual defect of my SSA, even though it too is the result of fallen human nature. Neither her malformed arm nor my malformed sexual attractions are deliberate choices; i.e. she did not mutilate her body and I did not decide to be sexually attracted to men. They are mishaps that occurred because human nature is not perfect.

        “Because so many in the world refuse to feel any kind of shame (they rejoice in “pride”) some of us must carry the Cross of shame (humility), because we are all connected in the Incarnation.” According to the ‘Catholic Encyclopedia’, St. Thomas Aquinas defined humility in this way: “[Humility consists] in keeping oneself within one’s own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one’s superior” (Summa Contra Gent., bk. IV, ch. lv, tr. Rickaby) Merriam-Webster defines shame as “a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong”. Based (partly) on these definitions, I see no reason why I ought to go around personally feeling guilt over somebody else’s behavior. Certainly I feel sorry for anyone who destroys their soul and their life with any type of sin, whether that sin is homosexual behavior, hubris, gossip, substance abuse, lying, theft, etc. Let us pray earnestly for the conversion of such people. Let us also pray earnestly that we not think of ourselves as better than those who engage in such sins.

        (I’m posting this against my better judgment: I’m tired and think I really ought to wait to post till I review this in the morning, but here goes!)

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this movie! I have two siblings who are actively gay and the film really gave me hope for them. The film caused me to have an even deeper gratitude for the Church. At this point, I can not share this film with my sisters but I can share it with other Catholics to encourage us to love our brothers and sisters who struggle with same-sex attraction.

    You are a HERO. I thank you for your courageous witness. Your witness gives me hope.

    God bless you,
    ~Mar

  2. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this film, with a little uncertainty about how it might turn out. Your endorsement means a lot. I just watched it and loved it!

  3. Pingback: The Third Way | A Joyful Life

  4. Your endorsement almost, just almost makes me want to view it. But, as I have a real problem with what some of the featured individuals evangelize, I think I’ll pass. I got the email from Blackstone about the name change. I found that intriguing. I too have used the phrase the “third way” but in reference to something related but different. But I’ll confess, I am in a happy place and I fear the short will bring me down.

  5. I would just like to thank you for sharing this video. In Malta we have just passed the law on gay marriages and as a Catholic and married male with four children I felt this law would have negative consequences on society. However my mind kept asking ‘If Jesus was here now, how would he have tackled the situation? Why is there such antagonism for Christians by the Gay lobby? How should I behave on this issue if I want to be a true and faithful Christian who whilst not condoning what God indicates is not right, at the same time is willing to lovingly accept our gay brothers and sisters who I truly love and feel great compassion for.
    This video drove me to tears and it is just beautiful. I think that as our dear Pope Francis is saying, we must not moralize the issue or be judgmental. We must love all our brothers and sisters (whether they have straight or gay attractions) and just lead people towards God and Jesus. Then we let God move them towards whatever He deems fit for that person. As is said in this video we ALL struggle with unchaste attractions. I myself as a man who is attracted to females find myself attracted to other women and I have to resist such impulses and put God first before any other relationship – even that with my wife…. because that will make me love my wife more. So I think that if people with gay sexual orientation put Jesus first in their life before everything else they will find the way that will truly lead them to inner peace even if it is a big struggle as I myself struggle with heterosexual attractions. However deep down I am truly at peace because I know Jesus is the truth, the way and the life.

    Daniel, God bless you and I will try to share this wonderful video with others.Keep up the good work!
    PS I stumbled on your website as I was listening to your podcasts on Catholic Answers.com

  6. So, I saw the video on Catholic vote’s Facebook page and was glad I could watch it. I commented on it and was referred to your helpful podcasts on Catholic answers. My question, however, involves the point about intimacy without sex. Do you endorse this idea? Is that something to look for? I’ve found lately that, more than anything, close companionship is all I crave, and casual friendships seem unfulfilling. If you think it a good idea, how could one go about finding “the right person” ? Through groups like courage? I’m going to college in a year. Might a secular college with a strong Catholic center or a Catholic college be a better choice for close friendships?
    And, thank you so much for what you do, Daniel! God Bless!

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’m glad you were able to benefit somehow from the Catholic Answers Podcasts. There are so many questions, though, aren’t there? And you raise a very good question, one I’ve wrestled with many times. I figure it’s a good enough topic that I’ll create a separate blogpost about it, so check back throughout the week. I’ll probably have something up about it by Friday.

      God bless you!

      Dan

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