Sunday night, the founder of a movement which promotes authentic Catholic living spoke to an audience in the Gentile Gallery about the role of identity within the faith.
Anna Carter, co-founder of Eden Invitation, presented her talk, “Into the Longing: Life and Love Beyond the LGBT Paradigm,” which was the first of a three-part series on the topic of the intersection of faith and identity.
“To simply experience attraction to someone of the same sex, to experience a draw toward something that could be sinful … isn’t in itself a sin,” said Carter. “Part of us doesn’t define us.”
Carter shared her own struggles with same-sex attractions, and she explained that struggling with the LGBT paradigm is especially difficult because it leaves one without a sense of purpose.
However, Carter encouraged the audience by telling those gathered that people who identify as LGBT can view their struggles as an invitation to go deeper in their relationship with God.
“The invitation is to empowered and creative discipleship,” said Carter. She used the examples of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. Catherine of Siena to explain that Christians can live single lives and be good disciples to Jesus. In fact, she said that Christians living a single life have a great capacity to do so much good in the world because married people will struggle in different ways than them.
“Does anybody think that Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati missed his vocation?” asked Carter, who explained that creative discipleship entails serving God in extraordinary ways, even as lay people.
Carter did not just speak to those who place themselves on the LGBT spectrum, but she encouraged all present to get to know the stories of their brothers and sisters in Christ and learn how to walk with them in their journey. Carter said that everyone is close to the LGBT issue in one way or another, and it is important to understand how to respond to these issues.
Students were receptive to Carter’s message, responding to her talk with vibrant applause. Many students stayed after the talk to chat with the co-founders of Eden Invitation.
In response to Carter’s remarks on sexual identity, freshman Emma Ostermann said, “The entirety of the human experience is so much bigger than this part of yourself, and you shouldn’t inordinately attribute your identity to it. This invitation to a greater call is something that applies to us all.”
The next part of the series was held Monday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m., and the third part was held Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m.