A New Book on Gay Spirituality

Gay is a Gift is a new book on Gay Spirituality from Salvatore Sapienza, the Lambda Literary award nominee for Seventy Times Seven

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Gift of Gay: Confessor to Thomas Merton

“The Gift of Gay”: Father Matthew Kelty, the last confessor to Thomas Merton, died a few weeks ago a the age of 96. In his 1994 book, My Song of Mercy, Father Matthew came out of the closet at the age of 90, arguing that being gay was a gift – one that aided him in his spiritual path.

"There are none more called to it, more capable of it, more created for it, than the people we call gay...Bless them!" Father Kelty wrote in the chapter entitled “The Gift of Gay.”

Religion Dispatches wrote in his obituary:

Father Matthew Kelty decided, in anticipation of his ninetieth year, to uncloset his monastic self, and thus to attempt to describe what gifts gay and lesbian Christians have to contribute to the complex tapestry of Christian communion. He did so because he had come to feel a responsibility to those “least among us” who were not moving on a path toward acceptance in as straight a line as many in the late ’60s and early ’70s had hoped.

Kelty wrote, "I may as well make it clear: …[this] is why so many heterosexuals abandon celibacy after a decade or two: they cannot handle it: they need an external woman to awaken the inner one, especially in our culture...The meeting of the bride within is not had merely for the asking. Her hand must be won; love of her must be proven. Heroic effort is taken as a matter of course… Notwithstanding many find her, and these are the people who have truly lived. It is these who know God and who will see his face because they know what love is."

Thank you, Father Kelty, for reminding us that Gay is a Gift.

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