Monday, September 30, 2013

Love and Acceptance Healed Me

This is the inspiring testimonial of a fellow Courage brother, Dr. Ryan Capitulo, on his amazing healing journey.  He now actively serves in the Feast, a weekly prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Community founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez.

 I am an obstetrician gynecologist, and I was a practicing homosexual.

In 2004, I felt that God was calling me to have an intimate relationship with Him. I tried to look for a spiritual community that I could join, where I could be accepted as I was.

Then I saw a book of Bro. Bo Sanchez in National Book Store. In the book were the telephone numbers of the Light of Jesus Family. I dialed a number and learned that the Light of Jesus had a group for single men called Joshua and for single women called Esther. I asked if I could join Esther. There was a long silence at the other end of the line. I took it from there that I should join Joshua.

Joshua was a huge blessing. There, I was introduced to Ephesians 5:3: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Those words inspired me to abandon "improper" acts so that I may be what God purposed me to be: pure and holy.

I desired to be sober. Sobriety is the freedom from self-gratification.

I consulted a priest who, at the same time, is a clinical psychologist. He helped me go through psychoanalysis and therapy. I struggled to be sober. But after six months, I engaged in those improper acts again.

My efforts to change my ways all seemed futile. I was already losing hope until I heard about Courage Philippines - an apostolate of the Catholic Church that supports men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA).

 In one of the Courage sessions, I shared my failures in attaining sobriety, and no one judged me. They accepted me and, through them, I felt God's acceptance, His love, mercy, forgiveness, and embrace.

After our meeting, I became sober for a week, 2 weeks, and many weeks. Today, I have been sober for 7 years, 7 months, and 14 days, and counting.

 In my struggle with homosexuality, only the power of God's love - unconditional, unfailing, undying - has healed and saved me.

(Note:  Although Courage is an anonymous group, Doc Ryan has agreed to publish his real name.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catholic Social Media Summit ver 2.0

Do you want to be an Online Missionary of God (OMG)? Do you have the burning desire or calling to be an online evangelist but do not know where to start? Then you should attend the Catholic Social Media Summit 2 that will happen on Nov. 23-24, 2013 at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.

The 1st Catholic Social Media Summit which was held last year was successful in stirring up interest among the religious and lay people to make a concerted effort to promote the 'New Evangelization' using the new media. This year the organizers of the summit aim to engage the young people to use social media as a platform and catalyst for change in our society.

Why Be an Online Missionary?

It's an established fact that we as a people are more connected than ever, thanks to the power of social media like Facebook and Twitter. Not all of us can become 'missionaries to distant fields' yet we as baptized Christians are called to share in the mission of the Church to spread the Good News to the ends of the Earth. And one way to do that in our modern times is to harness the power of the internet. Our dear Holy Father no less has a Twitter account.

I will take our blog as an example. Since being around for almost four years, thousands of people from all over the world have found their way to our site by searching topics on Google without me actively promoting this site. When visitors arrive at our blogspot they then can find more links and articles related to our ministry hence the blog becomes a tool for evangelizing them.

Consider also the fact that you can reach anyone anywhere with an internet connection at any given time and really there is no limit to the number of people you can 'catch' so to speak. Talk about casting your nets into the world wide web. We need to meet where the people are and guess where they are most of the time?

Here's a bonus for us - some of the members in our community have found Courage Philippines through this blog. Praise God!

To find out more about Catholic Social Media Summit ver 2.0, just click on the photo above or visit

Go and make disciples of all netizens!

"The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if it failed to use the media for evangelization." 

- Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975), n. 45.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lonely No More

A peek from Bro. N's journal:
I learned a beautiful lesson reflecting from my experience today. 
I was in my room laughing incessantly from a television series that I just finished watching for the past hour, when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed  by a strong emotion  - one that is not all too unfamiliar. 
I felt terribly lonely. That awful hurting emotion that you are all on your own accompanied by a striking fear of being abandoned. It came from deep beneath the surface I'm well aware. And it's getting more frequent since the healing conference I attended the weekend before which dealt with sexual and relational brokenness. The spontaneous flashbacks - scenes and feelings that you have kept bottled up for so long. 
I was quickly moved to tears. 
It took me a while to go beyond the hesitant anxiety of causing concern, but eventually I gained the strength to text three brothers from our Courage group to pray for me. I am relieved by their words dealing with such a spontaneous reaction. They assured me that asking for help was the right thing to do. The feeling lingered still after my ordeal. But I was consoled psychologically that there's someone present (though not necessarily physically present) when I get the feeling that I'm about to fall. 
Suddenly I realized that I'm no longer lonely after all. And I thank God for it.

Gay, Catholic and Doing Fine

(Editor’s note: Here's a repost from a veritable site, It was written by Steve Gershom - a pseudonym - who runs the blog
I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same church?
When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I’m gay, to give the priest some context. (And to spare him some confusion: Did you say ‘locker room’? What were you doing in the women’s…oh.) I’ve always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.
Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first — who doesn’t like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? — but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn’t mean I’m special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, “I guess if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else.” Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?”
Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.
Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?? You must be some kind of freak.
Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable — but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.
Is it hard to be gay and Catholic? Yes, because like everybody, I sometimes want things that are not good for me. The Church doesn’t let me have those things, not because she’s mean, but because she’s a good mother. If my son or daughter wanted to eat sand I’d tell them: that’s not what eating is for; it won’t nourish you; it will hurt you. Maybe my daughter has some kind of condition that makes her like sand better than food, but I still wouldn’t let her eat it. Actually, if she was young or stubborn enough, I might not be able to reason with her — I might just have to make a rule against eating sand. Even if she thought I was mean.
So the Church doesn’t oppose gay marriage because it’s wrong; she opposes it because it’s impossible, just as impossible as living on sand. The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe — made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the picture, and we’re not about to throw out the rest of the picture.
If you don’t believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don’t have much left to talk about. That’s not the world I live in.
So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.
Would I trade in my Catholicism for a worldview where I get to marry a man? Would I trade in the Eucharist and the Mass and the rest of it? Being a Catholic means believing in a God who literally waits in the chapel for me, hoping I’ll stop by just for ten minutes so he can pour out love and healing on my heart. Which is worth more — all this, or getting to have sex with who I want? I wish everybody, straight or gay, had as beautiful a life as I have.
I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer. I don’t think any words could be. I try to make my life a satisfactory answer, to this question and to others: What are people for? What is love, and what does it look like? How do we get past our own selfishness so we can love God and our neighbors and ourselves?
It’s a work in progress.

Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Reasons Why Homosexual "Marriage" Must Be Opposed

(Source:  America Needs Fatima)

1. It Is Not Marriage

Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and well-being of the spouses.

The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.

Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.

2. It Violates Natural Law

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)

3. It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother

It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent.

The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model.

Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.

4. It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.

5. It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

This is false.

First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.

Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.

Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.

6. It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union

Traditional marriage is usually so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. It naturally tends to create families.

On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families. Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.

7. It Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage

One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents. This aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the State.

Homosexual “marriage” does not provide such conditions. Its primary purpose, objectively speaking, is the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.

8. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.

In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.

In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.

9. It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution

In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”

If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

The railroading of same-sex “marriage” on the American people makes increasingly clear what homosexual activist Paul Varnell wrote in the Chicago Free Press:

The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality.

10. It Offends God

This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29)

The same was taught by Our Savior Jesus Christ: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.” (Mark 10:6-7).

Genesis also teaches how God punished Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality: “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.” (Gen. 19:24-25)

Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand

In writing this statement, we have no intention to defame or disparage anyone. We are not moved by personal hatred against any individual. In intellectually opposing individuals or organizations promoting the homosexual agenda, our only intent is the defense of traditional marriage, the family, and the precious remnants of Christian civilization.

As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against unrelenting and violent temptation to homosexual sin. We pray for those who fall into homosexual sin out of human weakness, that God may assist them with His grace.

We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weakness and strive to overcome it and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for these too.

We pray also for the judges, legislators and government officials who in one way or another take steps that favor homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” We do not judge their intentions, interior dispositions, or personal motivations.

We reject and condemn any violence. We simply exercise our liberty as children of God (Rom. 8:21) and our constitutional rights to free speech and the candid, unapologetic and unashamed public display of our Catholic faith. We oppose arguments with arguments. To the arguments in favor of homosexuality and same-sex “marriage” we respond with arguments based on right reason, natural law and Divine Revelation.

In a polemical statement like this, it is possible that one or another formulation may be perceived as excessive or ironic. Such is not our intention.