“Ask a Priest: Gay and Virgin – Am I on the Right Path?”

Q: I’m sort of a rare individual. I have never smoked, never did any drugs, don’t drink alcohol, never been violent with others. I am still a virgin. Now the punchline: I’m a gay, 55-year-old gentleman. I’ve always lived alone since I left my parents’ home at 20. I knew I was gay since I was around the age of 7. The Bible passages that have really helped me to stay clean are the following: The five out of 10 virgins that kept the oil reserves full; “Blessed are those who are pure of heart — they shall see God”; and “Be holy as your Father who is in heaven is holy.” Have I been on the right path and does my sacrifice have any value? I think so! I pray and offer my life and myself to God the Father united with Jesus crucified for all the gay and transgender people of the world, for their conversion. I received the grace of chastity and held on to it — it was a blessing from God because my virginity was my strength over all these years. Father, I would very much appreciate your comments. – R.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: You are definitely on the right path! Your sacrifice has clearly born fruit for Christ’s Kingdom and will continue to do so.

It seems as though you have had a great grace from God. You have lived precisely the way that the Church counsels those with same-sex attraction to live: chastely.

It sounds as though you have dedicated your life to prayer, Scripture reading and, I’m guessing here, the sacraments.

In a sense you are living out what the Catechism in No. 2359 says:

“Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

You have therefore given glory to God through your chaste living. And you might have been a model for many people over the years without realizing it. This is the kind of thing that will be revealed at judgment day.

It is wonderful, too, that you pray for people with same-sex difficulties and related issues. That, too, is a great work of mercy.

Stay close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, continue to pray and do acts of charity and mercy, and you can become a saint. I hope you achieve that.

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