Meditation is something I came to rather late in life. Until I was in my late-twenties and early-thirties, I never gave it any thought at all. When I entered a religious community, I began to practice meditation as a daily exercise. At first, sitting in the rather cold chapel, my mind always wandered to the purely mundane: my chores, what I was going to cook for dinner, the sound of the birds outside. Then, I stopped altogether and simply prayed the rosary, read the Bible, or some other spiritual book. At least, that kept my mind occupied. Later, I wanted to talk with God; not just recite prayers. But, I childishly requested from Him things that I wanted. I most often asked for courage and strength. As I was constantly being hounded by the demons of my past. I wanted them gone. When I returned to California, I was freed of all demonic possession; and I went in search of a deeper relationship with the Divine.
I gave meditation another try. For some reason, the subject of my thoughts always went back to my favorite Saint: Joseph (the foster-father of Jesus.) He represented the masculine love that I had forever been searching for. I knew that he was the key to my ultimate healing. After many years of practice, here is my favorite meditation:
I imagine myself walking down a gravel strewn road in the Holy Land. I can feel the pebbles beneath the thin layer of leather composing my sandals. Olive and fig trees line each side of the road. I can see in front of me, as the road dips and rises over the rolling hills. In the distance, I can barley discern the shape of a figure approaching. I continue walking. I feel the bight warm sun on my face; as the figure draws closer. Now, I can see that it is a man approaching. I feel at peace, calm, and overwhelmed by the beauty of the Lord’s creation. I start to climb up a small hill, and all I can see is the rising of the earth in front of me; the man disappears from view. As I almost reach the top, I stop; the man is nearly in front of me. I feel a little frightened. But, then, I recognize that it is St. Joseph. I relax. He puts out his arms, draws near, and pulls me to himself. I can feel the stubble of his short beard against my neck, and the smell of his woolen tunic. He squeezes me tightly. I return the embrace.
Suddenly, I begin to become ever younger. Now, I am in my twenties; he continues to hold me. I try to pull away, but Joseph does not let me move. Then, I am in my teens. My face is resting on his shoulder. All the pain and torment of those years passes before me. I hurt, but I am not afraid. Again, I feel Joseph’s arms around me; and the torments go away. Then, I am an adolescent; my face is buried in his chest. I feel safe and comforted. The looming sense of alienation and self-doubt disappears. Next, I am a littler boy holding on to his leg. He bends down to place his strong hand upon my head. I want to grow-up to be a man. Lastly, I am a little child again. St. Joseph is cradling me in his arms. He kisses my forehead. Finally, all is right in the world. I know love and I feel love. I am not ashamed to love another man: my foster-Father in Heaven. For St. Joseph is the Father of us all.
For those dealing with lesbianism, I would replay this same scenario, but with Our Lady instead of St. Joseph. For, from our heavenly parents we will be healed of all inner woundedness: our craving for love and acceptance from the same sex will be fulfilled by the pure Love of Mary and Joseph. This is not an easy meditation, and should only be attempted after practicing more simple forms of contemplation and quiet prayer. I urge everyone to read Fr. John Bartunek’s “The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer.” Here, you will learn the fundamentals and set up the ground-work for more complex meditations that will ultimately led to inner peace. I believe that the causes of homosexuality rests deep in the damaged psyche. It must be tended to and exposed to the therapeutic rays of the Lord’s all-powerful Love. Only then, will we be free.