AS THE PERFECT IMAGE OF THE FATHER, JESUS LOVES YOUR SON PERFECTLY
Dear friends, if you have a son, particularly a prodigal or lost son, who has a homosexual orientation, remember that God loves him. As the Evangelist, St. John, proclaims, “God is Love.” This Love, God Himself, is revealed in the person the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In fact, St. John recalls Jesus saying that a person can have no greater love than to offer his life sacrificially for his friends. This is the faithful love, the sacrificial love, that He offers to the Father for His friends by becoming man, suffering and dying to save them. In this faithful love, Jesus reveals Himself as the perfect image of the Father’s love, meaning He loves His friends perfectly as the Father does. Moreover, in the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus describes the faithful and perfect love of God the Father through the fidelity of the prodigal son’s father. As sinful as the prodigal son is, as badly as he has lived his life, his faithful father loves him perfectly. Accordingly, in this parable, Jesus is calling the people of God, particularly parents, to love their prodigal or lost son faithfully, as God the Father does. For Jesus, of course, this faithful love involves offering mercy to the lost son. Indeed, He faithfully reveals this merciful love to others, especially to the lost, throughout His life and ministry. For this reason, He certainly loves your son faithfully, as the perfect image of the Father. Conversely, if Jesus, the perfect image of the Father, did not love your son perfectly, as He does, He would not image the Father’s love perfectly. On the contrary, He would image the Father only imperfectly through an imperfect love. This, of course, would be completely false. After all, as the perfect Son of the Father, He does, in fact, love your son perfectly, as the Father does, for all eternity, because He proceeds eternally from the Father as His perfect image.
THE LOVE THAT JESUS, THE PERFECT SON OF GOD, HAS FOR YOUR SON IS UNCHANGEABLE
As a result, the love that Jesus has for your son will never increase nor decrease nor cease. He will love him perfectly forever. This means He is unchangeable, as the Son of the Father. On the one hand, He is unchangeable, for He does not move from potency to act, from an imperfect image to a perfect image of the Father. On the contrary, He is already fully actual or perfect in Himself. For this reason, as the perfect image of the Father, He is not subject to perfectibility by becoming perfect in Himself through maturation. In this sense, He has no potentiality in Him. He is actus purus, pure actuality. In this sense, He does not ever have to learn to love your son perfectly, because He already does from all eternity. On the other hand, as the perfect image of the Father, He also does not change, by corruption, meaning He is not subject to becoming evil or imperfect in Himself by spiritual or moral corruptibility. As such, He will never sin by failing to love your son perfectly. On the contrary, as actus purus, pure act, He is incorruptible in His love, spiritually and morally, meaning He will forever love your son perfectly, as the perfect Son of the Father. Accordingly, Jesus, the perfect image of the Father, is unchangeable as a lover, because He is unchangeable as God. He can neither be perfected nor corrupted. On this basis, do not ever question or doubt God’s perfect, unchangeable love for your son. He may have a homosexual orientation, but God still loves him perfectly. He will forever have a perfect love for him.
AS PARENTS, YOU ARE CALLED TO IMAGE GOD’S PERFECT LOVE FOR YOUR SON
As parents, created in God’s image, you are called to image God’s perfect love for your son each and every day by loving him faithfully through a life of holiness. This call to fidelity in love will require you to mature daily in your love for God and for your son. You can only do this, of course, by professing and living the full deposit of Catholic faith and morals, particularly the Church’s teaching about the human person’s sacred dignity as image of God, including his call to live a holy life of virtue. In doing so, God calls you to be prudent, patient, merciful and loving as you teach and form your son to live his life virtuously, as God wills, through your witness, including your words and actions. This will involve much prayer, contemplation and penance. Indeed, God calls you to pray for the grace to be faithful and loving parents, but He also desires you to pray for your son that he may learn to be faithful and loving.
AS PARENTS, GOD DESIRES THAT YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR SON BE INFORMED AND GUIDED BY CHURCH TEACHING
At the same time, as already suggested above, your call to love your son faithfully after the image of God’s perfect love means that your love for him will have to be informed and guided intellectually and morally by the Church’s teaching about the homosexual orientation and activity. The Church teaches that the homosexual orientation in a human being is not a natural movement in him, for it does not move or incline him to the good and proper telos or end of his true human happiness, as image of God, either naturally or supernaturally. On the contrary, his orientation is an unnatural movement of the concupiscible appetite that malforms and inclines him in his passions, his intellect, and his will to an evil end or object. All the same, this unnatural movement, or inclination, precedes a moral act of his will, a moral choice on his part. In this sense, the Church does not define the homosexual orientation as a moral evil, an evil act of his will, per se, but merely as a movement that inclines him unnaturally to an evil moral end or object. In particular, that end would be a homosexual act involving another man. For the Church, such an act would be intrinsically evil, evil by nature, for it would be against right reason and nature, including divine grace and revelation. Consequently, under no circumstances may a human being, including your son, act on his homosexual orientation through an evil act of his will. If he did, he would be acting against God’s will. Moreover, you would not be loving your son faithfully, as God wills, if you malformed him by false teaching, particularly by telling him the lie that living a homosexual life was fine, or morally good. On this basis, God desires that your love, as parents, be properly informed and guided by the Church’s teaching about the homosexual orientation and activity.
YOUR SON’S HOMOSEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A CONSEQUENCE OF ORIGINAL SIN, NOT A NATURAL QUALITY OF HIS CREATION BY GOD AS A HUMAN BEING
Your son certainly did not receive his homosexual orientation from God as a natural quality or inclination of his human nature when God created him. God did not create him to be homosexual. On the contrary, a man’s homosexual orientation, including your son’s, is a consequence of the original sin of his first parents, Adam and Eve. This is a form of concupiscence. Of course, he has no personal moral guilt here. As such, he cannot be rightly judged or defined as a sinner, merely because he has a homosexual orientation. After all, his homosexual orientation is neither a moral act nor a sin. Accordingly, he would only be morally guilty of a homosexual sin, if he acted voluntarily on his homosexual orientation.
YOUR SON’S FULL SACRED DIGNITY CANNOT BE REDUCED TO HIS HOMOSEXUAL ORIENTATION
Moreover, for the Church, the human person, particularly your son, has a full dignity that cannot be reduced merely or primarily to his homosexual orientation. He, himself, is not an orientation. He is much more than an orientation. Indeed, he has received from God a full sacred dignity, the dignity of the divine image of God, as a rational and free person. For this reason, by his rationality and freedom, he has a capacity for God as God’s divine image, meaning he can know God, love God and serve God by his good moral choices. In doing so, he opens himself for the grace of God to perfect his human nature supernaturally. In this sense, he is not perfected as a human being through his orientation, but through the grace of his good moral choices. This life of grace would involve fully practicing the theological and moral virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit, including chastity, as a son of God. This would form and rectify him intellectually, spiritually and morally that he may respond virtuously to the unnatural movement of his homosexual orientation. This alone would prepare him to fulfill the final end or perfection of his full sacred dignity as image of God: becoming a saint in Heaven someday.
GOD’S PERFECT LOVE ALONE WILL NOT SAVE YOUR SON
As great as that would be for your son, before he could ever become holy, or virtuous, and eventually a saint in Heaven, he would first have to learn to love God as his First and Greatest Love. For this reason, he is called to mature in his love for God, throughout his life, until he finally reaches full perfection in Heaven. In this sense, he will not reach Heaven merely because God loves him perfectly. As perfectly as God loves your son, as perfectly as He will love your son forever, your son will never reach Heaven as an unrepentant mortal sinner. On the contrary, he will only reach heaven by remaining in the love of God. As Jesus says in the Gospel, “Remain in my love. If you remain in my love, you will bear much fruit.” Only in the love of God will your son live and die fruitfully in preparation for Heaven. This preparation would also involve opening his heart to receive the justice and mercy of God through repentance, if he sins by acting on his homosexual orientation. As such, God’s justice and mercy will be available to him throughout his life, but this is not a license for him to act immorally. Loving God first will move him to prepare himself for Heavenly beatitude through repentance and a holy life of virtue. This is true freedom, a freedom for happiness that will perfect him in Christ, the perfect image of the Father.
Finally, in preparing himself for heaven, God calls your son to love his neighbor virtuously as himself in this life. Is he willing to do this? Is he willing to learn to love sacrificially, as Jesus Himself, through holy chastity. This will involve your son avoiding the near occasions to sin in his friendships by good and prudent moral choices that will help him spiritually and morally. I pray that he is prepared to do this, but he will certainly require the help of God, including your help, to be chaste in his love of neighbor, just as everyone does.
In Christ with Blessed Mary,
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.