Each day the sun sets sooner.
Within another week or so it will be dark by mid-afternoon.
Of course with the sun rising later each morning the amount of darkness in each 24 hour period is pretty extreme.
This is the flip side of summer when past midnight the sun barely dips below the horizon.
Not quite the 24 hours of daylight ‘North of 60’ but light filled summer days nonetheless.
Those trees whose leaves change colour each fall are already denuded, stiffening themselves for the onslaught of ice and snow which will repaint the streets, the alleys of this city from the colour of summer grime to the shimmering whiteness of glory and purity.
How has it come to pass that being pure, chaste, is looked upon, even by some priests, as an aberration, a denial of full self-expression?
Of late in the United States [anonymously], in Canada [on a tv show in person ], and in France [by authoring a book and giving interviews using his real name] at least three ‘gay’ priests have come out, spouting the usual self-serving jargon and assailing Holy Mother the Church in the very usual and wearying to listen to fashion.
We get it guys: you want your cake and able to eat it too!
Not going to happen!
No man can claim that upon entering the seminary in saying yes to the call to priesthood he was unaware of the demands and vows of this splendid vocation, which Pope John Paul II aptly denotes as “gift and mystery”.
It is a struggle to remain pure, a struggle which demands a disciplined prayer life, a life poured out in service, a life of basic emotional, intellectual and spiritual maturity.
It is to embrace the loneliness of Christ as our own, to forgo the particular comfort of marital intimacy with another, to accept the perpetual ache in arms and heart which will never hold a child issued from our own body and heart.
This priestly chastity and purity has a sacred sacrificial purpose: that we might be free as faithful ‘husband’, In Persona Christi, of our Spouse the Church, true fathers, with a tender a maternal dimension to our hearts as well, for every human being on the face of the earth, especially the poor and abandoned ones.
Nothing is being asked of us that is not asked of married persons: fidelity to what we have promised!
Pope John Paul II wrote in GIFT AND MYSTERY that in our priestly vocation we men offer our humanity to Christ, so that Christ may use us ‘ as an instrument of salvation ‘.
Towards the end of the book, this teaching from his own priestly heart, Pope John Paul urges us: “ Love your priesthood! Be faithful to the end! Learn to see in your priesthood the Gospel treasure for which it is worth giving up everything [cf. Mt.13:44].