Tuesday, 26 May 2015


'Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. As busy, active, relevant ministers, we want to earn our bread making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer.' 
Henri JM Nouwen in Mark A Yarhouse, Sexual Identity: Understanding Sexual Identity, p. 20. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015


'The folly of masturbation (as well as recreational sex) is that it silences the urge to love. The individual aborts an opportunity for growth and ends up being more empty and more lonely. Though masturbation can numb the yearning for intimacy, its satisfaction is momentary and not growth-orientated. Masturbation turns oneself inward, making one intimate with self while impeding one's true longing: authentic intimacy with another.' 
William F Kraft, Whole and Holy Sexuality, p.105. 


'The yearning for union (the spiritual dimension) is the primary but hidden reason for any sexual activity, even recreational sex.' 
William F Kraft, Whole and Holy Sexuality, p.101. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015


'Alcoholics Anonymous has an acronym called HALT. It is a reminder that when one is Hungry (in whatever way), Angry, Lonely, or Tired, it is time to be careful. This advice is relevant not only to alcoholism but to any problem.'  
William F Kraft, Whole and Holy Sexuality, p.88. 


'Discipline is both popular and unpopular today. On the one hand, discipline is glorified as the necessary condition for physical well-being, intellectual and career development, and spiritual growth. On the other hand, mass media, culture, and some individuals promote immediate gratification and a general flight from pain.' 
William F Kraft, Whole and Holy Sexuality, p.84. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015


'Sexuality is a sign that we are more than individuals, that we tend toward community.' 
William F Kraft, Whole and Holy Sexuality, p.60. 


'...chastity is culturally interpreted as an impediment or repression of sexuality. In fact, chastity promotes and nourishes healthy behavior for it combats our tendencies to be selfish, exploitative, and manipulative.
Consider chastity in its basic sense as respectful and unconditional concern.' 
William F Kraft, Whole & Holy Sexuality: How to Find Human and Spiritual Integrity as a Sexual Person, p.55. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


'Friendship, then - for Christians who take their cues from the arc of the scriptural story - lives with pain. There's the daily pain of our efforts, as well as our failures, to love each others under the conditions of sin and weakness that we all experience, along with the resultant tensions, heartaches, and losses that such attempts can incur. And, additionally, there's the final pain of surrendering the beloved friend, and surrendering oneself, to death, whether metaphorical or or eventually, literal. Friendship, in Christian terms, is all about giving up oneself for the sake of love and embracing the cost of such radical loyalty. Friendship, in a word, is cruciform. If Jesus is the ultimate author and exemplar, then we can't fail to remember that his own practice of friendship ended with him strung up on an instrument of imperial torture, made helplessly vulnerable and wracked by grief. Friendship for him wasn't an escape route from self-sacrifice. It was the other way around: self-sacrifice was precisely the way he enacted a life of friendship.'
Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship, p.100. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


'Friendship, I said, doesn't solve the problem of loneliness so much as it shifts its coordinates. Just as marriage isn't a magic bullet for the pain of loneliness, neither is friendship. It does, we hope, pull us out of ourselves, orienting our vision to our neighbors. But, no, I said, it's not enough. It's never enough.' 
Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship, p.98.  


'I am someone who makes sense of life with the help of books. In times of crisis, I'll pile up great stacks of them, looking for comfort and insight. Or, changing the metaphor, books become, in those times especially, the lenses through which I construct meaning out of my experiences, the spectacles through which I view the world.' 
Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship, p.90. 


'What I and others like me are yearning for isn't just a weekly night out or a circle of people with whom to go on vacation. We need something more. We need people who know what time our plane lands, who will worry about us when we don't show up at the time we said we would. We need people we can call and tell about that funny thing that happened in the hallway after class. We need the assurance that, come hell or high water, a few people will stay with us, loving us in spite of our faults and caring for us when we're down. More than that, we need people for whom we  can care. (As another single friend of mine put it recently, you want to be able to make soup for friends who are sick, not just have someone who will make soup for you when you're sick. In the absence of mutually recognized commitments, it's not always clear that that kind of reciprocity is welcome.)' 
Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship, p.42. 


'Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family, but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.' 
Willa Cather in Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian, p.14.