This is the thing about the entire Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner thing for me: I can respect a person while still holding on to my Catholic faith. I can say “her” and not lose any part of who I am as a Catholic woman who allows Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I can disagree that gender reassignment is a way to true authentic happiness for Caitlyn and still respect the person she is by calling her what she wants to be called. Why? Because I am not stupid enough to think that whatever I write in this blog post, on my Facebook wall or anywhere is going to change whatever Caitlyn Jenner does, any more than a surgery is going to change who God made when Bruce/Caitlyn was created. And because I expect for people to call me what I want to be called.
I also know how many people in my circle of real life friends who are gay, transgender, transvestite, or any other of the many other sexual identities. I also know what those people have done for me in my life. For some people the only gay person they know is someone they have passed online whether on Facebook, Twitter or in their combox. For me, homosexuality has a face, a face of someone that I love in real life. Someone who is seeking God every single day.
There were moments in my life when I was seeking God the best that I could, which wasn’t really good at all, and He has made it clear to me that He was always trying to get through to me during those times. Every man that I slept with was me taking one more step towards Jesus. I don’t really understand how Grace works, except to say that I know it was only by absolute Grace that God allowed any of those mistakes to end up being worth anything. As I sit here, I know that had it not been for them, I would not be that Catholic that I am today. I would not be able to look at people like Jenner and see that search for God. That search for happiness. St. Augustine said that the search for happiness is what all human beings have in common.
Some of us have to fall for the false sense of happiness before we turn back to God. If it looks like we aren’t searching to you, that doesn’t matter. All the times that I sat at a bar so wasted that I didn’t know where my car where, plenty of people said that I was not seeking God and that I was surely destined for hell. Joke was on them because I was already in hell and I was looking for a way out. People telling me that I was sinning did nothing to help me find it. When the moment came, Jesus found me and showed me the way out. The priest who ended up having to deal with me gave me the right combo of love and truth which led me to know for myself that Jesus lives and that this is His Church.
There are days when I am still attracted to the darkness, especially when fellow Catholics call me names and tell me how much I am falling short. But I have already tasted hell, so I just hold on to the feet of Christ for dear life. He is my Savior, and no matter what is said to me or about me, He loves me. The only thing that I can do is love those in my life and show them that no matter what they have done, how far they have gone or what anyone else says, God loves them more than they think He does.
If you wonder why it is that people who have the issues that Caitlyn Jenner has, don’t come to the Catholic Church and instead choose to mutilate their bodies and fall for the applause of the world, just look at the rude comments coming from the mouths and keyboards of “good” Catholics. We are the reason the world doesn’t know Jesus. We fail to pass on the mercy and kindness that we find in the confessional because we think that our sins aren’t as bad as other’s sins. If the world doesn’t know Who Love is, it is because We have failed to proclaim Him with our lives. And yet, so many of us aren’t paying attention to our own faults but loudly pointing out the faults of others.
I have my own sins, brokenness, selfishness, anger, vanity and jealousy to even begin to worry about the sins of anyone else. I am fighting my own war within my soul. I wake up every day working out my own salvation in trembling and fear because I honestly do know that any moment Jesus can call me home and I’ll be screwed. One minute I could be on Facebook telling someone to go fuck themselves and the next I could be in front of Jesus thinking “oh shit. Rude.” That is a very real possibility for me, so I have to spend every second of every day fighting my own broken disordered self, and that takes up a lot of my time. More power to those who are holier than me to sit around and discuss people they don’t know and who they have no influence of because their souls are in order to meet Jesus.
If I ever get bored working out my own salvation, being a mother of 7 children and a wife will keep me busy. I have enough in my neck of the woods to deal with. From here, I can say that I hope that Caitlyn Jenner finds Christ and that her children will come to understand that false happiness isn’t the same as authentic happiness which can only be found in the Objective Truth that is God. But all I can do about that is pray. Pray that God has the same mercy on Jenner as I hope He has on me one day.
When it comes to those in my life who are not Catholic, all I can do is try my best not to be an asshole so that when they do have questions, they know that they can come to me and I will answer them. I will answer why I don’t support gay marriage, why I don’t support sex change surgery and why I think that Caitlyn will end up feeling just as depressed as she did a few months ago when all the surgeries are over and the media have moved on to the next story.