Father Dixon stands in the roofless shell of St George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, on the corner of St George’s Road and Lambeth Road in Southwark, South East London. The Cathedral was severely damaged by an incendiary bomb attack which gutted the building on 16th April 1941.
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.
Sometimes faith isn’t certainty, sometimes it’s a willingness to believe even when you’re not sure. This is fine, faith often ebbs and flows. Be patient.
Give. Give your time and attention and love and money to others. Do it without any benefit to yourself and if possible, anonymously. Alms-giving is about loving thy neighbor, not personal gain.
Pray even when you don’t feel it, even when you feel like you’re talking to yourself. Recite formal prayers and say your own. Speak from the heart. Tell God your fears and doubts. Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness.
Go to church, even if you feel out of place, awkward, unworthy. Those are the times where we need it most. Remember it’s not really about the parishioners or even about the Priest, it’s your relationship with God. Put those social concerns aside and focus on Him.
Read the Bible. Open it to any page or read what you find most inspiring; the Psalter, the Gospel of Mark, the book of Job if you’re feeling downtrodden. Open it and commit yourself to reading just one verse and see how you feel after
You may notice that all of these things have something in common; they’re about leaning into your Faith rather than away from it. Only God can remove your doubt and He is always waiting for you to return to Him. Don’t wait until you’re ‘better’ or your faith is stronger; come as you are. Be honest with Him and with yourself.