A refreshing and even inspiring reflection in America magazine by Karl Miller, who describes his journey to the apostolate Courage, and what it has given him:
The numbness brought on by drink or drug was replaced with the reality of the loneliness I was experiencing. It was the loneliness that I imagine St. Augustine felt when he said to the Lord, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you”—the loneliness that led me to strangers’ arms and beds in my 20s and 30s. I was now enlightened or maybe just sensible enough to know that my heart and head longed for something vastly more authentic than a one-night stand.
I visited a local chapter of Dignity, a support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who are Catholic. But while the members of Dignity provide loving and necessary service in the communities where they exist, their style was not what I was looking for. For me, it seemed there was a wink-and-nod bonhomie that celebrated the gay Catholic’s outsider status. The fact that, at the time, Philadelphia Dignity met in a basement rather than a church only reinforced that perception. (Today, the group’s website proclaims L.G.B.T. Catholics “can express [their] sexuality physically” and “in a manner that is consonant with Christ’s teaching,” a stance that is inconsistent with the church’s teaching.)
I tried a Unitarian Universalist congregation and found that I desired a faith-directed home with more clearly defined principles and direction. I talked to a Catholic priest, who let me know the rules had not changed while I was gone but added that there was a home for me if I wanted to return to the church. I read St. Augustine’s Confessions and Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness, which gave me hope that a self-identifying outsider might find a place in the church.
And then, about a decade ago, I was introduced to Courage.
For more on Courage, visit their website.