Further Up and Further In

In light of my most recent post, I’ve been thinking a lot about “gay celibate relationships” this week.

The way I see “gay celibate relationships”–and have always seen them–is that they are pursuing an apparent good in place of a true good. I always feel when I hear about them that the people involved are stuck in a place of being “almost there.” I think that probably sounds offensive to some ears, or remarkably hubristic, but I write it not to be a critical blowhard, but because I want to urge them to go “further up and further in,” to quote C. S. Lewis in The Last Battle. I want to say to them, “Hey there! The path to peace, joy and happiness is this way! Don’t stop where you are–you haven’t gotten there yet! Keep going. It’s just over the next bend!”

rsz_cabrillo_2012_volume_iv_267

What I mean by this can be summed up in something I just read today in Blessed Dom Columbia Marmion’s great book Union With God:

Ask your patron [saint], as I do for your, to obtain for you such an ardent love for your Divine Spouse that all other love may flow from it. We may never share our love for God with any other creature; His commandment is formal: “Thou, shalt love the Lord God with thy whole heart.” But in the same way as we love God, we may love others, because He loves them, and because He desires that we should love them, and in the order and degree in which He wills that we should love them.” [Emphasis in the original.]

Our love for God must be such that when we love others, we will love them “in the order and degree in which He wills that we should love them.”

The “order and degree” in which God wills that we love members of the same sex is in the form of friendship, one of the true and great gifts of God. If we try to squeeze our love for our fellow members of the same sex into the mold of something else, or some other order of love, it will be a distraction and impediment to true and complete union with God: it is settling for an apparent good, instead of for the true good.

Not only would it be a distraction to us, it would be an impediment to the one we love most in the world: the “partner” we’ve chosen to share our lives with.

I think we are settling for something far short when we strive to ameliorate our loneliness by working out what it might be like to live in a “celibate partnership” or viewing ourselves as “a couple.” Any sort of pseudo-spousal relationship, or a “committed relationship” between two members of the same sex is outside of the bounds of “the order and degree” in which God wills that we love our neighbor. “Committed friendships” or “coupled friends” are a strange and novel view of friendship, and really have nothing to do with friendship at all. I think urging people towards that vision of the fulfilled life for the person living with attractions to the same sex is mistaken.

My criticism of this way of thinking isn’t motivated by thinking the people doing this are off their rocker. Far from it. I understand keenly the isolation and oppressive loneliness people can feel when they desire to be faithful to God, and yet find their desires to be out of step with God’s plan for humanity. For many long years of my life I had moments when I thought that if I weren’t to wake up in the morning, life would finally be better, because it would be over. The loneliness I felt would finally be gone, the isolation I felt would be over, and the constant tension in my life between my love for God and my desires would be over too.

In that frame of mind, naturally a “celibate gay partnership” would seem like a good idea. But God save me from anything that would impede me from realizing that my whole self must become wholly reliant on God.

That awareness only comes through pain and suffering, and thus, the most valuable and precious thing to me in my life now are all of those years of pain, loneliness and isolation I endured.

In the light of the hellish lonely existence that so often accompanies this life, especially in the early years of this journey, gay celibate relationships seem to be an understandable form of self-triage that attempts to stanch the flow of that pain in one’s life. But it’s done with the ignorance of the poor child who has to undergo surgery to save his life, and can’t possibly understand why.

child in surgery 2

St. Francis de Sales has helped me immensely in all of this.

Here are some words of spiritual direction he wrote to one of his directees:

Yes indeed, my dear daughter, it is certainly true; these eternal and irrevocable renunciations, these immortal adieux which we have said to the world and to its friendships cause some grief to our heart, and who would not shrink under the action of this keen-edged knife cutting between, and separating, the soul and the spirit and the flesh’s heart from God’s heart and ourselves from ourselves? But thanks be to God that the knife has been applied, and it is over: no, never shall there be a rejoining of one with the other, by his grace to whom to join ourselves with inseparably we have separated ourselves for ever from all else.

I don’t want to be cheated from all of the good that God desires to do in my life because of the loneliness I have felt–and sometimes still feel. That’s why I have no interest now in a gay celibate relationship, or why I’m not really tempted to try and date anyone anymore. And it’s why I think gay celibate relationships take us in the wrong direction.

This letter from C. S. Lewis to Warfield M. Firor, dated December 5, 1949 has helped me make sense of all of this:

Well, thank God (for there is still part of me, a tiny little infantine voice somewhere amidst all the strong, confident natural voices, which can just thank Him, or perhaps only thank Him for being able to wish to thank Him) we shall not be left to the world.  All His terrible resources (but it is we who force him to use them) will be brought against us to detach us from it—insecurity, war, poverty, pain, unpopularity, loneliness.  We must be taught that this tent is not our home.  And, by Jove, how terrible it would be if all suffering, including death itself, were optional, so that only a very few voluntary ascetics ever even attempted to achieve the end for which we are created.  A propos—dare we gloss the text ‘Strait is the way and few there be that find it,’ by adding “And that’s why most of you have to be bustled and badgered into it like sheep—and the sheep-dogs have to have pretty sharp teeth too’!  I hope so.

I don’t want the teeth pulled from the sheepdogs.

Sheepdog

God, in his inestimable mercy and love, allowed loneliness, isolation and feelings of hopelessness to enter into my life. This is a paradoxical view of pain, that makes no sense outside of God’s love for us.

Blessed Dom Marmion once again helps me understand all of this:

Your soul is in God’s hands; He loves it, He looks upon it unceasingly and He makes it pass through the states that, in His Wisdom, He sees to be necessary for it.

Gay celibate partnerships have always seemed to me to stem from the sheep not liking the sheepdogs who are doing the will of the Good Shepherd. If we are wise, we would run to the sheepdogs, instead of running away from them, and realize that loneliness, isolation and pain are the instruments of the Great Physician, shaping us to become divine works of art.

The smartest and wisest course of action is to lay still on the surgeon’s table, and accept the fate God has planned for our lives. That’s the way to true peace and happiness and joy.

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29 thoughts on “Further Up and Further In

  1. Thanks for sharing–this truly helps explain it better. Perhaps the best explanation of this I’ve seen yet.

  2. So to summarize your article: Celibate gay partnerships are different in kind and not degree from friendships. The nature of such a relationship is evil (-traditional equivalent for apparent good.) And those who engage in them do not love God enough. Is that correct? I’m still having trouble identifying where the sin is present. Can you help me there? Is it in the act of moving in? It can’t be in committing to assist each other on the way to heaven. I’m honestly confused about this.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for stopping by. That’s not quite how I would summarize my post.

      I have no doubt that most people who have engaged in celibate gay relationships do so out of their love for God, and a desire to assist others in getting to Heaven, namely the person they choose for their partner. There is no judgment here of whether or not they love God.

      The question I pose is whether or not that choice actually does assist the other in getting to Heaven, or to help them grow in their relationship with God–in the way in which God wants them to grow.

      There are many problems with a gay celibate partnership, as I see it, that despite the best of intentions, would actually impede one’s growth in union with God. The obvious one would be “the near occasion of sin.” The second is the issue of exclusivity. That’s the problem here, and I would say that this is where the possibility of sin lies.

      Exclusivity in relationships is reserved for marriage between two sexual complementary beings. Where is there an example of God-ordained exclusivity seen in the history of Christian thought? That’s the problem. That’s where the sin can enter in.

      The great monastic teachers wrote often about that temptation–to become too exclusive, one with the other. Incidentally, this is where I think some interpreters of Aelred’s Spiritual Friendship do a disservice to him.

      Anyway, it’s late, and I need to go to bed, but hopefully that’s helps clear up a bit of what I’m talking about, though I’ll probably need to write more about the subject in a future post, relying on some of the monastic cautions against exclusivity, or too much familiarity within monastic communities.

      • Exclusivity in monastic communities or religious life is often referred to as particular friendships. This deals more with the virtue of justice and the friendship that is owed to the entire community and not just one person. There is some concern about homosexual relationships developing, but this is more secondary than primary. Given that context, I’m not clear how this applies to those who are not in religious life and who do not have an entire community that in justice needs their time and attention.

      • That is one concern expressed in the 2000 year history of the Church, but is not the only concern expressed by the Fathers over exclusivity. One other is the temptation to sexual sin–an acknowledgement that the Fathers new this would be a temptation for some. There also was a caution against unhealthy attachments between two monks that could impede their growth in holiness. There have been volumes written on the monastic life in the past two millennia.

      • So we are basically back to sex again and the possibility of idolatry that can develop in relationships. I think this says more about you than others. It is possible to have a chaste relationship where the other person is not reduced to a near occasion of sin. In fact he/she can push one ahead in the pursuit of holiness. Virtue is real and people develop it. They really do! I would not recommend the young to enter into this type of situation. But for those who are further along and have a good handle on things, I think it is good given the proper guidance. I think approaching it as fundamentally evil in nature is misguided and lacks the nuances that are necessary in actually helping people spiritually grow. Your approach is irresponsible especially for those who are considering celibacy but have already committed themselves to another person. This seems to demand more than the Church actually does.

      • Well, on this we will have to agree to disagree. I’m not sure what to say in response to someone who resorts to suggesting that my arguments on this must reveal something about me, when there are plenty of moral theologians I’ve talked to who have also expressed concerns over this novel approach. It’s not just me who has concerns over this movement, and has serious questions about the wisdom of it. You may find my response irresponsible, but I’m not sure why, since this novel approach to the question of chastity for those who live with SSA is, well, novel! It’s never been something that’s been tried before in the history of the Church. (If you can point to an example of “gay celibate relationships” in the past 2000 years, please do so!)

        As to your last statement: I find that strange. What would the Church say to a man and a woman who have committed to themselves, but aren’t married? The situation is very analogous: two people have committed themselves to another person, but they are now hearing the call of chastity in their conscience. What would the Church ask of them? Certainly, they would need to begin abstaining from sex. If they were living together, what do you think the Church would say to them? Of course this would be arrived at on a case by case basis, but in most situations, the Church would advise them to move out. Why? Because of the nature of the appropriate relationships between a single man and a woman.

        Can two men live and share a life together? Yes–but I think this should be rare in the case of those who live with SSA, given human nature. Regardless, it’s clear how the Church views the relationship that should guide that relationship: that of friendship, not some sort of pseudo-committed and exclusive arrangement. And you are right: people do grow in virtue: part of that growth would be a deeper awareness of the truth of what is appropriate in relationships between two members of the same sex: friendship.

        Regardless, I think this conversation has run its course.

      • I would also add that the law of gradualness may need to apply in these situations, where two people have partnered together. At some point, the nature of the relationship needs to change away from a “same sex couple” towards that of either friendship or some semblance of brotherhood. Otherwise, the two people will be at cross purposes with themselves.

  3. This makes sense if your premises are sound regarding the existence of your god and his plans. As an outsider, however, the notion of such a cruel and unfair god is absurd. You can rationalize all day…I’ve heard it all. But nothing can make the idea or rewards and punishment based on such unfair starting points (even babies who die at birth!) being judges based on completely different games. It is so sad to see you suffer loneliness because of irrational beliefs in logically incoherent ideas.

    • I would say this, as a brief response: who doesn’t suffer from loneliness from time to time? I don’t suffer from loneliness because of irrational beliefs–I suffer from loneliness because, well, I’m human, and humans–all humans–suffer from loneliness from time to time.

      There is a certain assumption here too: that loneliness must be my constant companion. It’s not, and the older I get, the more rare it is.

      I’m not sure how you derive a notion that God is cruel from what I’ve written, though perhaps you could expound on it some more.

      What are the “unfair starting points” you’re talking about? I’m not sure what you mean by that, to be honest–or what the comment “being judges based on completely different games.” I’m not following you here.

      As to the “suffering loneliness” part–my past life is the life that was filled with such tremendous loneliness, which has led me to here, where I don’t experience that emotion very often anymore.

      It may seem strange, or odd, but that loneliness has been a gift to me, that has led me to the joy I feel now.

      And speaking of loneliness, I’m off to my favorite local brewery to have an IPA with one of my best friends. And I’ll probably raise a glass to the loneliness I have felt in my life, and thank God for it! It may be hard to understand, but the Christian view of suffering has been the most liberating answer for me to why there is suffering in the world: God allows it for our good, because like C. S. Lewis said in the Problem of Pain, it’s how God shapes us into the people He wants us to become. We’re like rough stones that need chiseling to become that which we are meant to be.

      I would also add quickly here: you haven’t heard it all. You haven’t heard what St. Thomas More wrote when he was in the Tower of London, and how He trusted that this was allowed by God in his life for the good of his soul. It’s in large part the reason he became a saint! You haven’t heard how St. John Chrysostom took such inspiration in the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, where Joseph said to them, “What you intended for evil, God intended for good, for the saving of many lives.” God always desires to transform evil into good, and in my live, the pain of loneliness was the door that I needed to go to that lead me to peace. If you think that I’m saying this out of some desperate attempt to reconcile my faith and my life, then you do me a great disservice, and are patronizing, or suffering from a failure of imagination.

      I would not have had my life any other way!

      • “God allows it for our good, because like C. S. Lewis said in the Problem of Pain, it’s how God shapes us into the people He wants us to become. We’re like rough stones that need chiseling to become that which we are meant to be.”

        So those who die in infancy need no shaping?

      • Zaga,

        Would you like every post by a Christian author to be prefaced by an adequate response to the problem of evil? You set a rather high bar.

        From now on, I expect every post by an atheist to include a watertight proof of God’s nonexistence. In binary code. So there.

      • Daniel,

        And you think I’m an atheist because…? Hint: I’m not, at least almost certainly not in the way you mean the term. I believe, by the way, that there are several possible good stories for our existence, but that the Catholic story isn’t one of them. You want to say it doesn’t matter if one of the founding premises of your whole belief system is faulty. Do you even hear yourself?

        D.C.,
        The reality is that people do better, physically and emotionally, when they are in relationships, better yet when they are in healthy, long term relationships with an active sex life.

        You argues that god is shaping people. This is the basic premise of justifying god’s burdens. I am simply pointing out that not everyone gets shaped…some get a free ride, so this story just doesn’t make any sense and ignoring that is sticking your head in the sand.

      • Hi Zaga,

        You state that “the reality is that people do better, physically and emotionally, when they are in relationships, better yet when they are in healthy, long term relationships with an active sex life.”

        No doubt people do better physically and emotionally when they are in relationships–what causes you to believe that the choice of chastity precludes relationships? I have all sorts of relationships with lots of friends. On any given day, I usually have multiple chances to spend time with good friends or family.

        As to your second assertion, that people do better when they are in long term relationships, with an active sex life, all I can say if you’re talking about gay relationships, I’ll point you to a couple of things. Just a week or so ago, I was propositioned by a fellow who wanted to have sex with me. He’s in a “committed relationship” of over ten years. Is that healthy? Is that better? Is that the sort of relationship that leads to human flourishing? That’s not an aberration. Monogamy isn’t really a virtue that is held in high esteem in the gay community, at least among men. Think of Dan Savage and his phrase “monogamish.” See this article from the New York Times that speaks of how so many same sex marriage are able to work because they have open relationships. Is that love? Is that what you would term as being a “healthy, long term relationship with an active sex life?” No thank you.

        There’s also an assumption that people like priests, or nuns, are somehow missing out on a full life, because they aren’t in relationships with an active sex life. Obviously, some priests an nuns struggle with this, but how many joyful nuns and priests are in your life, if you’re Catholic? My brother is a priest–he’s doing just fine! John Paul II is another great example. It’s absurd to assume that sex is a necessity for a fulfilled life. That seems very much shaped by the world in which we live, which is obsessed with sex. I think the greatest proof that people aren’t satisfied by having sex is all the magazines we are confronted with at the grocery store check out, touting the latest 75 sex moves, sure to bring satisfaction. The only reason those sell is for one reason: people aren’t generally satisfied with their sex lives! The reason is because they’re using it wrong, and doing it the wrong way. They’ve decided that it’s primarily about pleasure, rather than about procreation, and that the pleasure is secondary to the intent and purpose of sexuality.

        In light of how much this world seems to focus on sex as essential to the happy and fulfilled life, I find my life to be far better without that focus! And you might tout studies all the time, but that is my experience. As someone who has been plenty sexually active, including in longterm relationships, I find life is much better now–because I’m finally viewing sex through the correct light.

        As to your last paragraph–I find that strange, to say that children who die in infancy “get a free ride,” as if it is wonderful that they are free from the burden’s of life? Is that what you’re saying? What are God’s burdens in your mind, and are they onerous to you?

      • By the way, while I certainly haven’t read everything I have read a lot. I have a degree in philosophy (from many years back) and and aunt who is not only a Catholic nun but one of the smartest people I know. I don’t think the Catholic church is evil, and I believe it has contributed often well in history. But the ideas on which it is founded are so outdated as to require serious mental gymnastics to convince oneself they make sense. If you are truly the happiest you can be that’s great, but i fear not only that one day will your rational mind take over leaving you in shock, but that you will continue to hurt others through support of an organization whose policies on birth control, for instance, have caused so much misery and poverty as to push toward the definition of evil as we now know so much more about population, the environment, and the psychological role of sex.

      • Zaga,

        Read what I wrote again. I never suggested or implied that you were an atheist.

        “You want to say it doesn’t matter if one of the founding premises of your whole belief system is faulty.”

        Look, if I thought the problem of evil didn’t have a good answer, I wouldn’t be Christian. The answer to the problem can’t be given in a blog post, though, no more than the groundwork for the laws of thermodynamics can be given in a blog post. At any rate, your complaint about Dan’s post seemed to imply that he needed to answer the problem of evil before commenting on something that had nothing to do with the problem of evil. Whatever the merits of Christianity, your criticism held up an unreasonable standard.

      • Unfortunately, there is no way to tell someone they are wrong to the very core of their beliefs without sounding patronizing. The reality is that sticking with an outdated and harmful religion unsupported by the evidence for your own sense of security is just another case of “if it feels good, do it”.

  4. In this post, you have spoken about loneliness, and I can certainly see where that could be a motivating factor for some people to form a chaste, committed same-sex relationship, just as it could be a motivating factor for someone to enter into marriage or any other form of community life. However, you seem to have written about it from your own experience and life journey, and then you applied that experience to everyone. You have gone from a particular to a universal, which does not always work. Perhaps, I have misunderstood you, but I do not think you can posit that every single person, who enters into a chaste, committed same-sex relationship is doing so because they are swathed in the bands of loneliness. I think it gets dangerous if you start to impute motives to others when those motives may not be a factor in their decisions.

    Also, you wrote above about how you “don’t want the teeth pulled from the sheepdogs,” which is also a fair desire. I understood this in the sense of the iron of our loneliness sharpens us and makes us stronger in our spiritual lives. However, you cannot forget that iron sharpens iron in a community of people as well, even if that community only consists of two people. Now, the community can grow to more than two; however, there is as much benefit and grace that can come with being in a communal living situation with others as there can be in dealing with the loneliness of the single life or with any of the difficulties that come about in our lives whether it be in community or alone. The Lord uses all those things to help us grow in theosis. However, you cannot say that iron does not sharpen iron in a chaste, committed same-sex relationship.

    Again, I have to reiterate what I wrote in a previous comment. I would say that most of the chaste, committed same-sex relationships among Catholic, both Eastern and Western, as well as Orthodox Christians are not modeled after marriages but sketes. These are not pseudo-marriages or pseudo-spousal relationships but small communities into which two people have been called to common prayer, common meals, and common apostolates. (The danger comes when those things are ignored, and the relationship turns inward rather than outward to the Lord and others.) From the standpoint of our Faith, these are two single people living together in a stable situation, and it gives both members of the community a chance to practice generosity and openness, and hospitality is practiced quite well. Now, I’m not saying that all people in chaste, committed same-sex relationships are open and that exclusivity doesn’t exist. Yes, it can, and it does. However, that is not always the case, and I don’t think it’s fair to make such broad and sweeping statements.

    • I have never found the notion of these relationships of two people being motivated by “sketes” very convincing: what monastery of two monks, or what community of monks has ever called themselves “a gay celibate relationship?” It’s just absurd to me, and given the admonitions of monastic rules throughout the history of the Church on too close of attachments, it seems very much opposed to the monastic ideal. I just don’t buy it, at all. I’ve read a lot of the monastic rules, as I’m sure others have too, but it seems to be a very tendentious reading of the monastic life to find justification of “sketes.” I’ll never be convinced of this as being wise, prudent, or in keeping with the monastic tradition. Besides, the entire language used to describe these sorts of situations, at least as far as I’ve read, speak of LGBT couples, or relationships, or celibate gay couples.

      Look–there have obviously been plenty of monks through the history of the Church who have gone into the monastic life in part because of they realize that they will never be suited to marriage, because of their attractions.

      The monastic rule would lead them to believe what we all must believe: Divine Providence allowed this in their life for their good and for their sanctification. In their case, they would reach the conclusion that one reason God allowed this in their life was to lead them to the monastic life. But no monk, no skete, no monastery in the history of Christian thought has ever described itself as a celibate LGBT skete. Now, one could also counter with the awareness that LGBT terminology is relatively recent in the history of mankind, but even so, can anyone in Orthodox or Catholic traditions think that such a thing would ever exist?

      That being said, I do like the idea of communities of folks, coming together under one roof, committed to growing in communion with the Lord. There might be ways that this can be done–but it seems foolhardy to begin a community such as that with the anchor being two people who would refer to themselves as being a celibate gay couple.

      To your opening point: you take me too far in all of this. I don’t assume that the only reason anyone pursues a relationship is to ameliorate loneliness–and I don’t think I really would need to say that, since human nature shows us that usually the primary motivation for a relationship is motivated by the positive, feel good emotions one feels.

      But loneliness is a universal phenomenon. Every human being has felt loneliness in his or her life, so I’m not sure why a discussion of loneliness takes me from my personal experience towards the universal–since loneliness is universal.

      As to the iron sharpens iron comment, as if that’s a motivation for the Church to embrace such things–I’m just not buying it.

  5. Extraordinary post! As is almost always the case with your writing, so much of it applies to all of us, no matter what our form our weakness and suffering take.

    I want to etch these reminders in my memory:
    “Run to the sheepdog!” “Lay still on the surgeon’s table.”

    When one understands how very wise and how very good the shepherd and the surgeon are, he would be a fool do anything else. Lord, deliver us from our folly!

  6. Hi again. One last comment: your response to Zaga, that you’re finally “viewing sex through the correct light,” is the church’s ultimate response to the ‘how’ of chastity. However, while I believe it and have experience to support it, I seem unable to change the way my mind and heart view sex, as a sort of “ultimate good” in relationships, and until I change it, I have essentially no hope for future chastity. As you mentioned, this is a direct result of today’s society, but how can one go about reversing it? Is it something that simply takes time, that in my youth I simply will be unable to embody? Most of the answers to this question involve reading the bible 24/7, praying rosaries daily, or watching nothing but mass on TV; just curious if you have any more practical advice.
    Thanks again, and God bless!

    • Solutions to problems like this that start with “just pray your rosary” are never helpful, right? I’m always suspicious of such as “five steps to peace,” or such things. So in answer to your question, how do we go about reversing what we think? In answer to that, I’d ask a follow-up question: how long has it taken to arrive at your current thought? For me, the develop of my thinking on sexuality took an entire lifetime, and I don’t think I really started to begin to think about it rightly until the past eight or so years. (I will say this though: there was a certain conviction I always had about sexuality, that I took on faith, but to actually realize that truth in my life, with the sort of recognition that says, “Aha! I get it now” took much longer.)

      But there are things we can do to help reshape our thinking. I fed my thinking on sexuality through the messages the media sent, through porn and all of the other usual suspects–thinking about how unfair God must be, etc., etc. I trained my mind to think a certain way.

      In all of this, I think of St. Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

      I think we can participate in that renewal of our mind. Another great line of St. Paul comes to mind here too, from Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

      So one way I think I was aided in all of this is by reading about sexuality, through the lens of Catholic thinking. For me, JPII’s Love and Responsibility really reshaped my thinking. That took my quite some time to get through, however–dense stuff! Reading about the Theology of the Body has also helped me have some “eureka” moments. Reading books like Benedict Groeschel’s Courage To Be Chaste has helped me too. I think the best book that makes sense of sex for me is “On The Meaning of Sex” by Professor J. Budziszewski. That book really opened my mind, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

      I also think of The Screwtape Letters, or Mere Christianity–both have great sections on sexuality. So too C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, about what he calls the “red lizard of lust.” That’s online, and you can read it here.

      In the final analysis, however, your mind will be transformed not by your own efforts, but by asking God to do it–and then trying to do it. Making an effort to do so I think will be pleasing to God. He’ll release you from your current thinking on sexuality at the time when He sees fit. Probably, for awhile, you’ll need to journey towards chastity while it doesn’t really seem all that appealing to you. God seems to work that way, quite often! But make the effort, out of love for Him, and then let Him do the work in you, in His time.

      I hope this helps a little bit!

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