Friday, 7 August 2009

GLASER: Coming Out to God

Glaser, Chris
Coming Out to God
Prayers for Lesbians and Gay Men

168 Pages

Catholic, Spirituality, Prayer, Lesbian & Gay

This is a collection of prayers written from an explicitly gay perspective. I particularly liked Glaser's introduction, in which he argues that contrary to popular practice, sensuality and sensousness is deeply embedded in ancient traditions of worship:

"The prophet Miriam led women in a dance celebrating God’s deliverance of her people from Pharaoh’s armies. King David danced almost naked in the religious procession bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem….. The body was not originally confined in worship to sitting, standing and kneeling, as in most churches today. Worship was an invitation to dance, in celebration and in service. Worship was a bodily and sensual experience."

"Sexuality and spirituality are not opposing g forces, as is frequently supposed today. Instead, both draw people into relationship. Sexuality draws us into physical relationships: touching, hugging…… kissing and intercourse. Spirituality draws us into relationships that both incl ude and transcend bodies because it includes and transcends that which is visible……Both our sexual and spiritual powers are holy, and therefore both my be profaned. At their holiest, these powers lead to love in all its many expressions. At their most profane, they may lead to apathy or hate. The integrity of both sexual and spiritual powers is called the soul.

Christianity sanctifies both body…and spirit …clearly by its single most revolutionary theological assertion: God’s “Word became flesh” (John 1:14)

He then continues the dancing theme but creating an image of Sensuality and Spirituality as two strangers at a dance, wary of each other, trying to assert superiority before finally finding a true partnership in dance. In this partnership, Glaser argues, lies integrity.

"For most of us, our spirituality dances awkwardly with our sexuality, if at all. Because we are taught that sexuality and spirituality are opposing forces, we either allow our spirituality to intimidate or dominate our sexuality, or we ignore our spirituality to enjoy our sexuality, or we do a little bit of both. "

"Yet in Christian tradition there have been moments of insight that serve as correction to the tendency to separate sexuality and spirituality. In the late fourteenth century, Julian of Norwich wrote, “Our sensuality is grounded in Nature, in compassion, and in Grace…in our sensuality, God is… God is the means whereby our Substance and our Sensuality are kept together so as never to be apart”.

He concludes:

"So let us enjoy our spiritual as well as our sexual lovemaking and the intimacy and integrity they may afford us, for, therby, we aqre reminded hat we belong in God's world: created in God's image, called for community, and citizens of a spiritual commonwealth."

Strongly Recommended

From Google books:
"In this collection of sixty prayers . . . Chris Glaser opens new vistas to us in prayer, discipleship, and the relationship between spirituality and sexuality. . . . This book is a classic in devotional literature which one will return to again and again".--Merrill M. Follansbee, co-founder of the Sacramento chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays."

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