Rousing Her Radiance: Day 38
‘You are Peter, and on this Rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ (Matt. 16:18).
‘Since the beginning of our life together, we have faced one sexual crisis or another in every community we’ve been a part of. I’m tired,’ said Annette with a wry smile.
She’s right. And in every community, we build on something solid and immovable. Church foundations are true. We believe in the dignity of the Imago Dei—sexual complementarity—and chaste boundaries that guide and grow our desires into dignifying others according to God’s best.
Through it all, Jesus runs like a river through our faith-filled efforts. Only He gives us authority to reclaim that true image from its desecration; only His chaste beauty frees us to own and rebuild the broken boundaries that have left us sick and defenseless.
Truth, with a river running through it. That is Living Waters. We as lay leaders, still vulnerable, lead out in weakness and tap into holy power to lend a hand (within reasonable limits) to fellow strugglers. That is Living Waters. And guess what? Wounded Christians get what they need. Men and women rediscover lost fullness: they become truer, at ease, free to aspire to more. Glorious.
Living Waters does something more. It grants that community authority over cultural influences evangelizing the Church. False anthropologies—LGBTQ+ realities—cannot take root when a church is founded on the Imago Dei. And fearful exclusion of broken people can’t endure when the Church believes Jesus can restore anyone back to their original design. It just takes faithful ministers to do the work. Voila—Living Waters!
These are miracles of mercy that every community can conceive and coax forth. This is Jesus’ Body! He promised that the hell of sexual violations, distortions, and confusion—plus the equally hellish unbelief that Jesus cannot touch these things—wouldn’t prevail. We must believe that. And act. Living Waters is one such action. It activates her authority.
My pastor came to the last night of our 6-month Living Waters gathering in which members testify. A new pastor at the parish, he inherited the group. He knew something of Living Waters, liked it, but needed to know more. What he heard that night changed him.
One man—Paul—recalled growing up divided and shamed by sexual abuse then living scared as a missionary struggling with same-sex attraction. His face radiant, he declared how he now lived in the flood of Divine Mercy, moment by moment, with the help of a band of brothers. He was now free to flourish in his marriage. Others chimed in.
My pastor reflected: ‘I didn’t know such miracles happened in my parish.’ He wanted more. He went through Living Waters then assisted Paul in leading a small group the next round.
Our parish has become a solid, imperfect model of what the Church can be for broken people. Living Waters helps. It authenticates truth-in-love, giving Her authority to preach and live chastity through humble service.
‘Thank you, Jesus, for giving Your Church authority to redeem broken lives. Help us to do our part. Raise pastors who will guide and support members who can help each other. We are desperate: our confusion and brokenness require more than a few ‘specialists’—we need to tap into the core truths of our faith and activate those truths in service of each other. Help us live truth-in-love and expand the rule and reign of Your Kingdom on earth.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’