Catholic vs. Catholic - 2018-08-12 - Avera Maria Santo

Author Recorded Sunday August 12th, 2018

There are 45 episodes in the Versus:Catholic series.

Recorded September 13th, 2017

Catholic vs. Catholic - 2017-09-13 - Thomas

Avera suffers from Same Sex Attraction but she is striving to embrace her cross. She has a blog called 'Inside my Holy of Holies' and speaks at parishes and schools and events. To book Avera contact her agent Nic Scott at 541-212-8616, @diary476Instagram: @averamariasantoBlog:

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Under Construction

These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi my name is vera Maria Santo and you're listening to Catholic versus Catholic if you would please just tell the listeners a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it absolutely so like I said my name is Vera Maria I'm 21 I'm originally from Mobile Alabama and I was born and raised Catholic down in the part of Alabama that's predominately very Catholic however I didn't really come to love my faith until around my sophomore year of high school where I really encountered Christ at a retreat that I went to trying to get out of a soccer tournament that I didn't feel like playing in and the retreat was on a like five-star resort on the beach so I was like obviously I'm going to that but at that retreat you know alongside having that very powerful encounter with Christ I was also told by one of my roommates what the term bisexual meant and it kind of sparked a lot of curiosity in me that's I kind of felt like I needed to discover and my junior of high school so about a year later I ended up really falling for this girl in my class she was the new girl she was super sarcastic you know just almost a completely the opposite of me but something drew me to her and I could not understand what it was and I couldn't reconcile my faith with how I was feeling towards this girl especially because homosexuality wasn't something that was talked about I went to a Catholic school one of the larger schools in the area but that just it wasn't something that we ever openly discussed so the only time that I ever heard anything about homosexuality at all was from my friends who were actively living gay lifestyles so you know because I didn't hear anything from my teachers from my friends from any church leaders really I thought it was the untouchable subjects I thought that I was in the wrong that something was terribly wrong with me and you know I hit it I hid away for a couple of years and it was only in in college my first and second year of college that I started really opening up to my spiritual director and he was telling me you can live with this and still be Catholic and he started to guide me on how I could do that and how my life could be so fulfilling so beautiful and I could still be devoutly Catholic like I really wanted to be and still experience these attractions at the same time this wasn't something that I was plagued with you know it wasn't something that God was was punishing me so he decided I'm gonna do this to you I recognized that this is something that people deal with at the end of the day this is a cross and if I'm being asked to carry said cross really there's only two ways that I can respond I can be hostile or angry or upset about it and just kind of sulk along the Via Dolorosa or I can't carry it with grace and I can carry it you know in the way that Christ is calling me to in a way that can eventually lead me to holiness so I used to think that you know is being damned by God in a way but now I'm thinking that this is a way that's I can eventually get to heaven and you know this isn't something that's going to stop me in my path to holiness in fact it can be something that can draw me so much closer to Christ crucified that I can enter more fully into the promise of the resurrection if I choose to live in accord with what the Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality we will talk about that in more depth but I'd like to go back to your early childhood before you reach the age of reason even can you just talk about your earliest childhood memories about religion maybe some of the family members that inspire your people in your community so I actually remember being a fairlead about child when I was preach a kindergarten like first grade I remember really loving going to church you know I just thought it was really peaceful I thought the music was really pretty my church was really pretty but I didn't really go too much deeper than that you know and the older I got the more I got into sports so the more I was asking okay when's recess so it wasn't something that I think that I was delving deep into in my youth even though I did have some sort of response to the beauty of Catholicism I just didn't really know what that meant at the time however the older I got maybe like eleven twelve boys became a factor so a lot of my girlfriends were older than me because the girls in my grade they weren't very sporty so whenever I did play sports which is predominantly what I did I either played with the boys in my grade or I played with the girls who were the great above me and the girls who were great above me they were all pretty they were all dancers also Grethe let H you know the boys just loved them and I couldn't understand why the boys just saw me as one of them and not someone who was worth pursuing a romantic relationship with so I became really desperate for love at a young age and that's kind of distracted me from my faith so I really didn't get back into it like I said until I was a sophomore in high school because I was so so distracted by trying to be loved by other people or trying to prove myself as worthy of being loved and you know I wasn't really going to God looking for that answer I was going to boys in my class I was going to the older girls you know I was going to even like older cousins you know my faith wasn't deeply rooted enough to where when those winds of change came that I was able to withstand so I had to kind of have things uprooted and God kind of had to start over a bit for me when I was you know past the age of reason in high school what about your family can you talk about the faith of your parents your grandparents your siblings can you just give a rough sketch of sort of where people stand on the religious spectrum so both of my parents are Catholic my dad's side you kind of see more of the Protestantism however on my mom's side of the family it is predominantly Catholic she has a lot of French like Creole heritage as well as the african-american part of her family so we have like that deep rooted chocolate background there so that's kind of what I was exposed to when I was younger it wasn't super developed though I will say it wasn't I didn't have too many family members who you would see at daily Mass for instance you know like I would see people going to Mass every Sunday you know or I would see that kind of thing but it didn't go to much deeper than that so I didn't really know that there was a possibility to go deeper in that until I was much older so I am thankful for having at least the bare minimum of that faith foundation however like I said I wasn't exposed to going much deeper into the faith until I was much older if you don't mind I'd like to talk a little bit about your conversion as an adult just paint a little picture about that flame of faith and how you maintain that fire so I think I've always had a bit of a small member of the faith within me sometimes that turns into a roaring fire and other times it goes back to that very dim amber and I think that that's kind of what happened to me when I was a sophomore in high school at that retreat is that that fire started roaring and I was so hype you know I was so ready to delve as deep into my faith as I possibly could however you know again the winds of change came and kind of started blowing on that and it kind of wanes for a little while and then I would have more experiences like that in the coming years and it was just my face would be so unsteady you know I've no I don't think I've ever had an issue believing that God is who he says he is I think some of my problems have come from one being angry that God is who he says he is because if that means that I can't do what I want to do or just not seeing why I should care because that makes everything else easier to do you know that validates kind of everything that I want because if I don't have to care then nothing really matters but the older that I've gotten I think I've kind of realized if God is who he says he is if my relationship with him is what he says it is then nothing else matters no nothing else that would take me away from that is helping me in any way so my faith life has actually become a lot stronger in the past year the past year and a half something has really switched in my brain in order for me to kind of recognize that you know when I'm completely stressed or when sin is kind of overwhelming my life the whole reason I feel that tug towards God is because he wants me you know he thirsts for me so I really started basing my life off of that truth and that's why I've been able to bring light to everything that I suffer with because now everything that I suffer from makes sense you know my suffering now has meaning because of the cross and I know that I'm able to suffer alongside a God who himself suffered and I'm able to really join myself with him so that I can enter into the resurrection as well and that whole promise of the Resurrection makes everything so worthwhile and even at the time when I don't necessarily see it as that I'm constantly able to be reminded especially about the sacrament of the Eucharist that that is a reality that that happens that that you know we're being represented that sacrifice and I'm able to be reminded of that gift that I'm given saying you know I want this for you I want you to join me I want you to be with me forever and that makes everything that I do worthwhile and you know there are times when I definitely do forget that or I let that slip my mind but again like with sacraments especially like with the Eucharist and confession you know I'm able to be reminded that that sacrifice did happen and that should I choose to accept that I can enter into that mystery myself and really come to understand who Christ is and what he wants from me what he wants of me and why he wants that of me out of the love that he himself is so what sort of vocation are calling do you think you might have from God so I'm really actively discerning the married life ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be married I don't know what it was but I was just I'm gonna be married and I'm gonna have a husband you know I thought I was gonna live in a castle and wear a tiara when I was younger I knew I wanted that so even when the same-sex attractions came you know that's the flame of marriage or wanting to be married did not die and I really wondered why that was and I just can't help but think that it's because that's what I called you I'm not dating now I'm so single I'm not sure if I am in a place where I want to be actively dating but I know that you know I'm actively pursuing that calling and you know if I am called to celibacy if I just have the whole thing wrong that's totally fine you know God is gonna place me in a vocation and he's gonna call me to a vocation where that is gonna be the vehicle to which he calls me to himself so I'm trying not to worry about it so much but I want to be married so bad so I definitely can see that in my future I don't know how near future maybe by like age like 24 25 I think I'd really like to be married but you know whatever God calls me to is ever is whatever I want my vocation is first to holiness so whatever gets me there is ultimately what I want can you talk from your perspective about purity why does God emphasize purity so heavily just from your perspective as a young woman one of the things that I think I've noticed about the virtues of purity chastity temperance really is that it clears my head in my heart to be able to love people in the way that God is calling me to love them not necessarily the way that I feel in that moment that I'm called to love them if that makes sense so I think same-sex desires are very powerful they really are that can be anything you know like the desire to look at pornography the desire to sleep with someone outside of marriage you know these are all very powerful desires and they can overwhelm the person very easily but the reason I really don't want to put myself in a position where I'm overwhelmed by that is because you know I've been there in that moment you don't think about anything else you don't think clearly you know you think really about what you want in that moment and nothing else in the world matters so you really at least in my experience you can't see the person you see what you want out of them or you see what you want to see but that might not be what's really there and I'm able to think so much more clearly I'm able to really decide that I want to love the person the way that God intended the person to be loved and you know for my girls that means like loving them as sisters in Christ or my close friends you know loving them as my dearest friends in the world you know for guys loving them as my brothers in Christ I have really dear guy friends so loving them as friends not necessarily fakey with this overwhelming desire to get what I want or to make myself feel a certain way so I think that overall with purity with chastity God wants us to see the person as God himself sees that person not necessarily what we want out of the person because what we want might not necessarily be what's right I'd like your perspective on the differences the substantial and essential differences between men and women what are the most important differences between men and women and what are some of the most prominent lies in today's culture that contradict these truths about the distinctions between men and women so I think that women and men even the way that we think the very basic level it's very different not to say that you know the way that men and women think can't overlap you know or you know some a woman can have traits that or can have like a personality or something like that something very superficial you know where that get more generally a man might have doesn't mean that's you know like she was born in the wrong body or he was born in the wrong body or anything like that and you know I know scientists you know I got straight season bees and biology and high schools it's not my best subject but you know God created the man and woman for a reason you know they are different and just because we're different doesn't mean that we're not equal we're very equal you know God wants us to be equal but at the same time we can be different from each other without one being superior or inferior to the other so it's not it's not a bad thing and you know even spiritually the way that women in his innocence kind of connect with God and the way that God connects with us is very different than men I think receptivity is very different in women than it is in men I think women have a higher capacity for receptivity because I mean even in this sexual embrace we're kind of on the receiving end you know we're able to cultivate what the man gives and we're able to you know enter into this partnership this cooperation with God to create human life in us you know so there are very large differences between the two sexes but that doesn't necessarily make one superior over the other that doesn't make it bad to be one or the other and I know father might Schmitz in one of his videos on the Central Presents pointed out that really I don't know what it's like to be a man because I'm not a man the only thing that I have to go off of is stereotypes like I won't lie I was a very talented athlete when I was younger I was really good you know like I was a junior Olympic athlete at one point there weren't many girls especially in my area who could say the same thing I was like outrunning the guys in my grade from pre-k through eighth grade but I'm not a boy you know just because generally speaking most guys are more athletic than girls that doesn't mean that because I was faster than them or because I was stronger than them that I was supposed to be a boy it just means I was a good athlete because a girl it's not a bad thing to have qualities that are more commonly associated with the other sex you know we really have to I think become comfortable in knowing that God does not make mistakes with us the reason that we have the body that we do the reason that we're either male or female it's because that's how God connects with us you know so there are beautiful things that coincide with both of the sexes and I think once we figure those outs it makes us I think really be able to see like this is the relationship that I have with God this is a beautiful relationship if I choose to cultivate it talk just a little bit about the left/right dichotomy in politics and how that world of politics interacts with the world of faith so politics make me itch I hate politics I think mostly because I tend to see very negative side of politics where it pairs so many people apart I think especially in my family because I don't necessarily think the way that the rest of my family does it kind of separates me from them a great deal but I think like with politics it gets to the point where we're not really seeing people on the opposing side as human beings we're seeing them as a political agenda or we're seeing them as a belief system and not a whole person that is created by God to be loved to be respected but not necessarily meant to be agreed with I think that we would benefit so greatly by taking a step back and realizing that at the end of our lives God is not going to ask so were you a Democrat a Republican that's just not something that's gonna come out of his mouth he was gonna say you know what have you done for my kingdom what have you done to love me what have you done to love those that I love and there can be so much good on both sides I see very compassionate very loving people on both sides but there's also a great deal of hatred on both sides as well and I think that a lot of that can be fixed by simply seeing the other side as people and not just a political agenda that we feel like we have to make sure they realize our stance you know like you just have to look at each other as people and see how can we meet in a human way in a very humane way and discuss things and see what would be beneficial to the person I want you to talk a little bit about persecution being misunderstood being labeled can you just talk generally about your experience how has that been for you so I've been fairly fortunate enough to not experience too much persecution from inside of the church especially with my SSA you know the majority of people when I was first telling people the most supportive people were other Catholics so I was super super fortunate in that but a lot of times when I do try to share my opinions with people they will automatically say things like well you're Catholic so you're just bible-thumping or you know you're not really seeing things as they are you're seeing them through a lens especially because I Catholic I think I kind of envy converts in that way because people think that I was brainwashed you know as a child so I didn't have the liberty of coming to the realization that the Catholic Church is all true is all good and is all beautiful because I grew up with it even though I chose the faith for myself later on you know because that was what I was most used to or what I was most comfortable with you know people tend to disregard anything that I have to say and I think that I experience most of that from self-professed members of the LGBTQ community where I will state an opinion especially in the realm of chastity or celibacy or things like that and even though their immediate thing is like you're Catholic you just don't understand what it's like or you don't know me or you don't know my story which is funny because they also don't know mine so they're making these judgments saying you don't know me you don't know my story when they don't know me or my story either so it's kind of hard oftentimes to have these conversations when people will see it tweet or something I post on Facebook or something and then just kind of get offended and get all in my comments or my mentions and just catch an attitude you know but when I'm able to encounter people on that human level when I'm able to have these conversations they really just ask people about their stories or even ask something as simple as their name you know I'm able to communicate what I think without the arguments without an argument ever really happening you know like sometimes debates will happen but I mean I have been fortunate enough to not experience that so much yet I say yet very strongly because I know as I grow as hopefully if my platform grows the amount of hatred and the amounts of opposition is definitely going to grow as well but at the same time that just gives me I think an opportunity to again join my sufferings to Christ because he experienced so much persecution as well and he experienced persecution to the point that he died at the hands of his persecutors so I still AM able to share in that in some way and I'm able to offer that to Christ and I'm able to share that with him so I try not to see it so much as something that's a roadblock for me but I tried to see it it's something that is giving me even more of an opportunity to suffer with Christ and to join in him on the way of the cross and eventually you know get to Calvary where maybe I'll be able to make a very profound statement to people without being judged or without you know experiencing so much persecution you know maybe I'll be finally be able to say something but even if that day doesn't come for people you know I try not to take persecution personally especially because most of those people don't know me personally most of my friends here in Montreal are atheist agnostic new age or lapsed Christians of some sort and my homosexual friends they haven't adjusted too well to my conversion to Catholicism there's a lot of tension there's a lot of unresolved tension but one organization that I've discovered that I think strikes the right balance is called courage I'm sure you've heard of it I have I actually just got back from the National Conference in Philadelphia I got back a couple of weeks ago it's fantastic okay can you tell me and the listeners a little bit about courage because you have first-hand experience with it is it all that it claims to be because it seems very Catholic and it seems very loving and striving for chastity and purity and striving to be true followers of Christ absolutely so courage is an organization a very Catholic organization that kind of welcomes in people like me and is able to provide pastoral care community to Catholics with same-sex attractions and it was a profound ministry there are chapters of courage all around the country I think there's several in Canada I think maybe a couple in Italy but it is definitely something that is growing outreach is profound and you know it's still something that's that's growing and like I said a lot of people don't know about it but I really think that's a shame because of how much courage helps actually one of the things that my spiritual director in high school is actually one of the chaplains of courage in my archdiocese because it kept coming to him saying you know I'm struggling with this I don't know what to do I don't know how to be a faithful Catholic and still feel the way that I feel like what can I do and he really didn't know what to do except research what courage was so that is why the archdiocese and mobile where I'm from is why we have a chapter of courage you know like my my chapter is not that big but there are some that are really really flourishing and it's kept fairly anonymous you know like you're usually interviewed by a priest to be invited into the group just because you know they want to make sure that you know what the Catholic Church teaches you know what courage is about you know you're able to get to know the chaplain in that way then you know the community is very warm and inviting in itself but just what courage has done for me especially you know like not just exposing me to my chapter but the overall courage community you know the retreat that I went on in Philadelphia was so so so beautiful you know we were able to have mass every day there were times of conversation in prayer you know there were times when the men and women were separated when we were kind of able to you know had that community as men and women or you know we had a social on the last night so we were kind of people just just like have cake and drinks and things like that it's so overwhelmingly beautiful what courage is doing for I think one of the most scrutinized and also marginalized groups in the Catholic Church I know father James Martin says that LGBT Catholics are the most marginalized group and I think that he is absolutely wrong on that I think that the most marginalized group of Catholics are men and women with same-sex attractions who are actively trying to live in accord with Catholic Church teaching and not try to change it not try to you know make people feel bad about leaving it or anything like that you know they are actively trying to live in accord with how God has asked us to live and encourage ministers to those people in a way that is so beautiful so profound and that's very practical and you know I love my chaplains I love my group and I love you know the overall community that courage has really invited me into like I said it is very Catholic organization we're very focused on staying true to Catholic Church teaching and honestly I don't know any other group like it and yeah I am so so so thankful for courage and all that the organization does and I really hope to see it grow more and more over the years because it is so neat and it's so necessary and I just don't think enough people know about it can you talk from your perspective as a young woman about the sex abuse scandal what is your impression of it and what does it mean and how does that affect your faith in the hierarchy of the church what's happened with the sex scandal in the church doesn't shake my baby at all so I still believe wholeheartedly that the Catholic Church is good beautiful however I will say that this greatly disturbs me that seemingly such a high percentage of people that should be trusted in the church have proven themselves to be untrustworthy honestly I don't know too much about the details of the sex scandals I do know in kind of my friend circles it's been brought up a lot that deep-seated homosexual tendencies play a big role in what has taken place and if that is the case I am NOT shocked by what's happened I think I'm just kind of wondering when are we going to start talking about this because like I said when I was in high school homeless sexuality was the untouchable subject you did not talk about it and I really suffered a great deal because of that and I can't imagine how many others suffered a great deal because of that now that there has been a great deal of devastation now that the church has a lot of fingers pointing at her you know now is the time students to start dealing with our crap because a lot of people are being affected by this a lot of people have had serious damage done to them now with the time for healing now with the time to start dealing with it so that we can grow from this so that we can learn from this not have this repeated again and start healing our members the body of Christ needs to heal at this point and if we're gonna just sit there and put a band-aid over a bullet hole nothing is going to be done and we're gonna end up having to deal with something possibly even worse in the long run so I think now is the time for drastic healing but it's gonna start with just opening the conversation what about those that are not repentant what about the wolves in sheep's clothing that are actively fighting the church they hate the church they hate Jesus Christ they hate God how many are there is there one percent of one percent or is it thirty percent how many enemies true enemies of the church are within the church oh man I I mean I feel very fortunate coming from a place where we haven't seen in too much scandal at least not that I know of so I'm kind of spoiled in a way where I don't see a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing or even you know even worse I know I mean I don't see wolves and Shepherds clothing either but I I do know that that exists I just don't feel the consequences of that so much because it's not in my immediate area I don't think well you mentioned father James Martin he's a wolf in sheep's clothing I mean I can definitely see him as a wolf in Shepherds clothing but I don't think that he knows he's a wolf in Shepherds clothing I honestly think that he really truly sure heartedly believe that he is doing the right thing but just because you think you're doing the right thing doesn't mean that you are and there has been some serious damage done by him and I'm not even sure how to combat that honestly or even how to approach the subject if I was in the same room as him honestly I think the only thing that I could do is just reveal my wounds to him and say that this hurts like it really truly does and the only place that I have ever received healing is within the arms of the church and the only medicine that has really helped is her teachings is her truth is the truth that she upholds only she upholds and the fact that she wants some of these teachings changed means that that medicine is gonna change or could change if he got his way I don't think that he's going to get his way but at the same time I mean I think the mindset is more toxic than the law is changing you know because even like within the abortion debate even if roe v wade gets overturned they're still going to be in overwhelming mindset towards contraception towards abortion abortion is still going to be sought out it's just gonna be legal so there has to be a mindset change there has to be a conversion of heart and I'm kind of reflecting now on st. Thomas seeing Christ in the Upper Room for the first time after the resurrection he is only able to see that Christ is who he says he is that Christ is Christ when he touches his wounds that is the only time that he's able to recognize and say my Lord and my god so I think that the only way at least from my perspective I could be totally wrong on this is to reveal our loans and to be very open about it and say how this has affected us how this has been damaging maybe then once the wreckage is seen for what it actually is then a transformation of the heart will take place but I mean just writing articles or just tweeting at him or you know ranting on Facebook I don't think that's gonna work FH prayer and human interaction it's what's going to be what does it you know yeah I just want to qualify my statement I don't know if father James Martin is a wolf in sheep's clothing of God Only Knows right I'm not as familiar with him as I am with some other dissident Catholics but the thing is that yea only God knows what's in our heart and we have to give the benefit of the doubt even to those in error because for mortal sin of course you need to have not only grave matter you need full knowledge and consent so I think it's an important thing to emphasize and I'm not gonna be judged for his sins or anyone else's sins but I want to talk a little bit before I wrap up I will wrap up soon but I wanted to get your perspective on Pope Francis I love Pope Francis I like him I respect him I admire him and I want to imitate him and I've learned over the years enough to know that he is widely misunderstood and he's portrayed in a negative light by his enemies what is your perspective on Pope Francis what is he doing for your faith I think he is the leader of the church and the leader of the Catholic Church he deserves to be respected and I highly respect the man you know I follow him on Twitter and I like his tweets and things I do know that some of the things that he said have been taken out of context a great deal so I get a lot of conflicting viewpoints on him but I mean I will say especially like to people who say like he's the Antichrist or you know things like that or you know I think he has really really beautiful points and maybe some of the things that he said could be articulated a bit more but like I said he is the Pope and he definitely deserves to be respected as the pontiff and I pray for him and I hope that he turns out to be the leader of the church that God is calling me to be just briefly what are some of the deal-breakers where you would say okay that's it I have to leave Christianity what would it take for you if the teachings on homosexuality changed that would break it for me because I don't want anyone to water down the faith for me I don't want to belong to a faith where people think that I have to be catered to I want to believe that Christ has allowed me to carry this cross because he knows that I'm capable of doing so if for some reason I somehow learned that Christ was just trying to baby me then I would leave because I I don't want to serve a God that can change on a whim just because of how I feel you know my feelings can change my feelings do change the way that I feel about this cross is different depending on my mood is different on different days but I don't want my God to change and if I serve a God that can just change because his members feel a certain way that I speaking of Christianity light what do you think about Christian unity what is going to draw all of us Christians and all of us humans really eventually to the one true faith so we can get into that one Ark that saves and everyone outside of Eric will perish right so what's your perspective on Christian unity I think that Christians will be unified when the least of us are seen as the model I think that it is so easy and so pathetic to judge an entire group of people based off of its worst members so once we have real models once those models are magnified of what's a beautiful and true and good relationship we will be able to have unity because holiness is so attractive there is something about seeing someone living a holy life that intrigues something in all of us I think and once we see that I think once our lady gets her way with enough people you know once our lady is able to wrap her mantle around some like really key people then she'll take over and Christ's reign will come because it was through Mary that our Lord came into the world and I think that it's going to be also through her that Christ is made more visible in our time in our day and you know she is the perfect model Christian and I think like when devotion to her sparks when this becomes a very marian age when we're able to look to her and she is able to make those models of christian joy of christian unity then more and more people are going to be drawn in to the authenticity to the reality of what the Christian life is meant to be like and once people really see that for what it is I definitely think that the church itself will be unified and people outside of the church will start asking how can I be a part of that you know what is that why is that so attractive to me and how can I learn more really quickly what are your sort of top three Saints favorite Saints so Our Lady is first she has to be my favorite I'm very devoted to praying the rosary I tried to pray the entire thing every day so I really really love her really really admire her some other I grew up in a church dedicated to st. tries of the zoo errands I'm very very drawn to her incredible faith and trust in God I love the story of how she cut off bits of her hair as she was dying and gave them to I think it was her mother superior and said keep these as relics for when I'm a-saying like she knew in her heart she knew she was gonna be a saint not because of anything that she did but because of everything that he did within her and I want that confidence I hid like if I could be known for that confidence in Christ oh my gosh I want that I think also trying to think of a male Saint well I'll say this he's not a saint yet but the founder of courage Father John Harvey I think is absolutely going to be a saint and I'm really looking forward to the day that I'm able to say Saint John Harvey and father Benedict Groeschel who also played a part in the founding of courage but those two men father John Harvey especially they saw a need in people like me and decided to fight for other people to recognize our capacity for holiness and for us to recognize our capacity for holiness and that God had not abandoned us and that God had not forgotten us and I never met the man but I want to imitate him and I want to continue his work in whatever way that I can because he reminded the world that I am capable of holiness that I am called to be a saint and that I have the capacity to be a thing and I'm so grateful to him even though I never met him so grateful to him that's he decided that the world deserved to know that I still have a chance because of the cross that I carry I don't know if you know but at the end of my interviews I always ask my guests to give a little closing thought just a little message of hope to the listener so what might you say to someone that might be out there listening now there is hope there is hope out there in the world whether we recognize it or not it is there and I would encourage everyone to just look for the beauty look for the good look for the true in the world because the more you open yourself up to it the more that you look for it the more that you will find I've experienced this firsthand in my life where I thought because I would same-sex attracted that it was over for me that's you know God hated me that God had to be so angry with me for something that I did and I I honestly I wanted to die you know I did not want to fight that battle because I thought it was a losing battle but when I changed my perspective when I looked at it in a different light I was able to see wow this is actually a pretty beautiful experience and I still hurt I still suffer but it is all the more joyful because I choose to see the joy in it joy is there you just have to look so I encourage anyone Catholic Protestant atheist agnostic whatever you might be to search for the joy in life because it is absolutely there just all you got to do is all you got to do is is