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I WAS GAY ONCE in Medjugorje I found myself

I WAS GAY ONCE in Medjugorje I found myself

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I WAS GAY ONCE in Medjugorje I found myself

Lunghezza:
340 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 16, 2020
ISBN:
9788831696128
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Luca Di Tolve was born in Milan. He and his wife Terry founded the LUCA® project

A conference speaker and promoter of training courses in favour of the new evangelisation, Luca conducts a series of spiritual exercises along with many priests and experts aiming at bringing men and women back to their true identity that identifies itself with Christ.

Abandoned by his father as a child and trying to handle a very demanding relationship with his mother, Luca finds himself questioning his gender identity and begins exploring the homosexual sphere. As he comes of age, he decides to come out of the closet and live his life without fear of judgement. In the 90s Luca is elected Mr. Gay at a very important Italian contest. Suddenly he becomes a much sought-after popular celebrity. His new life leads him to a world of transgression without end and his greatest enemy is lying in ambush around the corner. AIDS takes away his best friends and leaves him alone, in the dark. He is filled with anger towards God.

Luca then chooses to undertake a journey that will change his life forever. He converts to Christianity. As time goes by, he finds a way to heal his wounds and vows to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. He regains the part of him he lost along the way and resumes his life as a straight man. A long journey, full with doubts and struggle, leads him to Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzegovina). His encounter with the Virgin Mary is of great importance as it confirms his desire for a change and rebirth.

After a life of hardship, he finally finds love and begins life anew full with joy and happiness with his wife Terry and their daughter Gemma.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 16, 2020
ISBN:
9788831696128
Formato:
Libro

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I WAS GAY ONCE in Medjugorje I found myself - Luca Di Tolve

Truth.

PREFACE

__________________________________________________

____________________________

Robert Card. Sarah

Prefect of the Congregation for the

Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

The following pages contain the story of Luca Di Tolve, a man who experienced attractions for people of the same sex and who, after a profound conversion, has found himself, or perhaps it would be better to say, has recognized his own identity as a person created and redeemed, configured to Jesus Christ, model of the true man.

It would be wrong, however, to consider this book a simple autobiography, a genre that often presents a kind of subtle complacency: it is certainly a deeply felt narrative, and could not be otherwise since the facts that compose it have been and are lived. Page after page the story, the events and the life become a reflection on Grace, the awakening of self-awarrness in one man and in man created in the image and likeness of God, wanted and loved. The mind returns to an illustrious and useful model, the Confessions of Saint Augustine. In fact, to speak of one's homosexuality today without conforming to the dominant thought, to clichés and to the ideology of different nature, and instead reading it and understanding it in the light of the teaching of the Church, who is the only one capable of giving and restoring to man his true divine vocation, is an act of great and perhaps dutiful courage. This is a confession in its fullest sense, that is, without artifices or images, direct, that is born from a heart and is addressed to hearts. Its starting point is the investigation of the whys and the meanings of the attraction for same-sex people, never accepting them with resignation, or as something innate, or exalting them as a new frontier of being.

This book is above all a story that is deeply and clearly human. It is striking to read the pages in which the author describes his childhood, his early youth, the difficult relationships in the family with his parents and outside with his peers, his discovery of the attraction for the same sex and the exercise of homosexuality, his association to Italian and foreign homosexual circles, his activism on the gay and lesbian front, the personal relationships he had with members of the same sex. These are biting texts in their raw and real re-telling. As when they outline his achievements in fame, media presence, money and networking in the jet-set of the glossy world of fashion and trends, the unscrupulous use of his physical attractiveness and youthful appeal, his taste for freedom without boundaries and impositions.

At this point, a first fundamental reflection imposes itself: at the peak moment of his personal success, the Author realizes that he is not happy and that he needs something else; that he has made himself the center, without understanding himself; that he has worn a mask that is seemingly secure but which is difficult to remove. The truth about himself and about the relationship with his Creator is inscribed in the heart of man. This Truth screams and is the thorn in the side in the Pauline memory. In a nutshell, it is the ability to realize what is bad and good for oneself and for others and the possibility of choosing the Supreme Good: in this sense the pages of the splendid encyclical Veritatis Splendor of St. John Paul II are memorable in this regard. Whoever denies this voice, perpetrates a dangerous deception by silencing and degrading it to non-acceptance of what one is and of one's own inclinations. Thus the deepest essence of man is misunderstood, that of his being reasonable and free. That seed of Truth suggests that man, in his image and likeness of God, was created male and female and that this imposes itself with the incontrovertible evidence of reality. Disregarding this real fact means denying reality itself and creation, and instead starting from the sexual inclination to introduce a third other category, that of the gay, or even other numerous and infinite categories, such as those of gender: this is an illusory artifice, because according to it man and woman are no longer what they really are, but what they want, canceling their objectivity or their biological reality for an unstable subjectivity. The Church has always fought the attempt to retain and reduce the person to their inclinations and warned of the consequences, that is, the annulment and denial of the person himself: this operation today has risen to ideology and as such is imposed with ferocity, preventing any means to expose the deception, proscribing those who ask questions.

Already in 1986, the magisterium, in the important Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual People, analyzed this tendency and the danger of removing the distinction between man and woman from reality in order to introduce the difference between heterosexual and homosexual. The magisterium feared the change in language, which however cannot change the creation and its essence, that is, that of an act of love of God. It reaffirmed the stature of the person, not limitable and describable to only the sexual dimension, but as a being that tends to beauty, to art, to intelligence, attracted to the transcendent, to the knowledge of God and eternal life.

This anthropology is reaffirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1997, which contains numbers that though few are full of meaning and dedicated to people who feel attraction for their own sex. To them, chastity is proposed, far removed from any moralism and self-castration, but rather as the goal for their full realization and achievement of Christian perfection. That is, the imitation of Christ, true God and true Man.

The book is therefore the story of a search that becomes dramatic and at the same time, it is a manifestation of Grace, the work of the Spirit, as was said at the beginning: the tragic events of companions and friends overwhelmed by the consequences of behaviors and of lives at the limits; the lack of relationships with parental figures are only the beginning of a reflection which at first is that of disorientation and fear, then a desert, a painful cross, not immediately understood and accepted. Yet the awareness of having been and of being deceived will emerge from this desert. It is a full and frank confession, because the reader will notice how Luca Di Tolve does not fall into another even worse illusion, which is that of attributing his attractions, to his experience, to family and socialization difficulties, to emotional and relational wounds thus creating a justification and self-absolving himself,.

If his story is a story of grace, where God's mercy overflows, nevertheless it is also a story of justice: the author has staked all his will and has not shied away from his past choices, with a responsible commitment, in the Latin etymological sense of giving answers, of responding to one's actions. Pope Benedict XVI recently recalled how the Faith without a concrete moral declination risks becoming an abstract thought.

The story of Luca Di Tolve is therefore that of the awakening of his conscience, of having been created man. The moments of the book that are perhaps the most vibrant are those in which the Author narrates how day after day, with the help of restorative therapies, but above all through the recovery of Faith, he found his identity as one baptized. These moments are however far from ephemeral passing enthusiasms or sentimentalisms: the Cross first suffered and misunderstood has become the way to resurrection, to redemption in the sense of recreation. Confession becomes the confiteor in unum baptisma, it becomes totalizing Faith and as we have said imitation of Christ, configuration to Christ.

Another consideration is necessary: in the Author's story​​, there is nothing further from his mind than to consider homosexuality as something innate. This is another deception perpetuated against human freedom. There is no scientific proof of genetic homosexuality that is therefore either unaware or obliged. Even if science can demonstrate that homosexuals are born, the fact remains that this cannot reduce the freedom of the individual to his choices and behaviors. The teaching of the Church, an expert on humanity, is clear when it condemns sin, that is, the conscious and deliberate rebellion against God, but never the sinner. It is no coincidence that has filled the sky with saints and has never sentenced anyone to hell, while warning that perdition is a possibility and a danger.

The book is also a story of vocation to the family. The description of the meeting with the woman who will later become his wife, in a place and in significant circumstances, is luminous.

It is a story of forgiveness and meeting, or rather, of meeting with parents. And finally it is mission history. Hence the tireless work of help to neighbor exercised by Luca Di Tolve through seminars and testimonies, as a support for those who feel attractions and are asking the same questions about their identity, that as a man created in the image and likeness of God and who seeks the truth. The confession of Faith also becomes charity.

As we said, the book is a story of conversion and commitment towards holiness, but also of desire for holiness itself: this cannot be taught and indicated to other brothers as an end of man, except when we are aware of the need for own daily sanctification in following Jesus Christ.

It is therefore also the story of the exercise of human virtues, of wisdom, of fortitude, of temperance and prudence but also of custody and trust in the theological ones of Faith, hope and charity.

AN INVITATION TO READ

__________________________________________________

____________________________

Mons. Giovanni d’Ercole

I have met with Luca many times, and have read this, his testimony, with great interest and care. It is a personal testimony, touching and courageous in many ways: it must be read with the open and free spirit of one who does not foster preconceptions but that is instead aware that the heart of each human being is a mystery, a mystery of love whose truth is not always completely decipherable.

Luca tells of his journey made up of escaping and darkness but it reached a moment where the beauty of the light shone in his soul. And so everything restarted again.

In a time when scorn for what is different leads to absurd gestures of intolerance, not infrequently even murderous ones, this story must be heeded with an attitude of listening to a God that loves us as we are in order to make us how He wants us to be. In our times, when a certain kind of cultural conformism leads to the excessive simplification of the topic of sexual identity, when those who are inspired by the Gospel and present the topic of sexual identity in a manner that may seem at variance are accused too trivially of homophobia, Luca’s testimony is an example to ponder without seeing judgement in it on those who might make other choices.

Deep down, each one of us is searching for happiness and is thirsty for love. Luca tells us how he discovered that happiness lives together with suffering and toil.

Upon careful observation then, his story can become a source of encouragement for he/she that is searching, of support for he/she who, struggling in the toil of his/her own life, does not know to whom to turn. In this book he/she can find an open door and a path already trod by others and so easier to enter.

For those who are believers, the embrace of Mary Mother of God is always a secure refuge and a consoling guide towards the meeting with Christ who is the only true answer to the existential queries that inhabit the heart of man.

Premise

DISENCHANTMENT AND REBIRTH

There comes a time when the existence that you live does not satisfy you anymore. You have experimented with so much, you wonder to yourself if you haven’t already tried it all, and feel that you are even endangering your health. But what is even worse is that you realize that you are not happy.

You have pushed all the limits, you have drunk more and more, you have tried substances of every kind, you have tried to fill the vacuums with all the material things possible, you have clung to all the physical exercises and positions, to all the sexual sensations, to all the philosophies and religions, always desperately looking for love in every corner of drawing rooms and streets…but the quality of life has not improved.

Then, as if by magic, you begin to notice the asphyxiating fogs that surround you, but in that same moment you realize that you have little time left and only two choices: to either let yourself be swallowed up by the fogs and die within them, or to try and re-emerge, completely changing direction with a u-turn. But the last is not easy because while the reason is swift and would like to fly away, the limbs are limp and accustomed to the vice of ephemeral pleasure which still gives them some moments of ecstasy in the carnal delights.

With this new awareness, I began a new phase of my gay militancy. By day I tried to defend myself from what I would do at night. I would tell myself that I was going to stay home, that I was sick of the merciless sham by which all feelings of fullness and accomplishment ended with ejaculation. But at night any little trifle was enough to ignite the vortex of vice. When it wasn’t the friends to stop by and pick me up, even something as small as a text message was enough and the passions would propel me to follow once more the cycle of their sad satisfaction.

I would enter a room with my shirt on and, thanks in no small part to the alcohol, around one in the morning I would always find myself shirtless and euphoric, a prey of the exciting prospective of how I would find release for this particular one of innumerable nights. How many people I would greet, how many people I knew…young men and fit bodies who would show off, also for me, while living in my same excited expectation. It was like being in a pastry shop with a counter set up and a kind shop girl at the ready saying, Choose whatever you want. And like a child whose good resolutions weaken, I would throw myself in a new binge of pleasure.

Except that now I immediately became aware of the stomach ache and of how unhealthy the food that attracted me was. Now I began to focus on the eternal repetition that presided the rite of every one of my sexual acts. I would abandon myself to desire, a desire that was ever more under the effects of some consoling substance, in order to reply to the compensatory need from the trauma I suffered in childhood. Then followed the preliminaries of the relationship where, thanks to seasoned tantric practices, feelings and reason dissociated in order to charge up the drives instead of seconding the need for intimate relationship. Next I would throw myself in a man to man feral coitus, not made from communion or camaraderie but from the fulfillment of self in the overcoming of an other.

I would end up discovering myself exhausted and having to deal with my failure. I would find myself shattered as if I had jumped into the emptiness while skiing, or shattered on a pavement after having been shoved out of the moving vehicle that had enabled my dreams.

It would be then that a voice from the depth would resurface to tell me that I deserved to have my mouth in the mud because I had searched for mud and wanted mud to eat. In this phase, finally, reason would once more find its way to my self and the passions softened into feelings. Except that now the feelings were steeped in a vague and ever more certain sense of disassociation, shame and guilt that would look back at the innocent child that I had been, ask for forgiveness and declare itself ready to make amends for the evil done and deliberately endured.

From this primordial stage of consciousness I started up again. My little yes was enough to begin a difficult climb that was made possible by grace from above. It happened on a regular day, that is yet the most important day for me, in a face-to-face meeting with Padre Pio and then with the Virgin Mary who pierced my heart at Medjugorje.

My name is Luca Di Tolve

I was gay, now I am married to Terry,

I am a father and I am happy!

This is my story…

1

MEET MY PARENTS

A Little Girl with a Suitcase

At the height of the youth unrests, my mother went to spend some time with an aunt who lived with her grandmother in Milan. It was 1968, the year that has been taken to symbolize modernity, a new conception of life: she was just 16 years old but decided to begin working. She left the South and never went back. She was an energetic, enterprising girl, who never stood still and knew how to get to work.

The South, with its rites, family traditions and bonds of honor felt tight to her. TV had already made its way into Italian homes becoming a fixture there and bringing the world in with it: my mother was overcome by an irresistible desire to go the opposite way and leave the home to discover the world for herself, people, things and far away places. Movies and the big musical bands that became famous in the Sixties influenced the process of her formation. The singers of the Beat Generation made a whole generation dream and desire a different world, in Technicolor and exciting.

My mother’s favorite singer was Caterina Caselli: she wanted to meet her, to know her world, and like many other young women, to make a life for herself. Perhaps this was the main reason she came to Milan.

In the capital of Lombardy, she participated in the protests for the rights of workers. Some relatives and friends who had moved to the North before her told stories of having found America¹. My mother described her move to the grand Milan as a period of creativity, full of possibility and of things to do. She would switch from one job to another because there were so many different employment opportunities with the feeling of always advancing towards the best. The mythical Sixty-eight, with its feminist struggles and its revolutions for sexual emancipation, added interest and curiosity.

In those years, young people conquered a freedom for themselves that they had never had before. Especially in the great cities, there was an apparently inexhaustible supply of new entertainment. Coffe shops, movie theaters, restaurants, pizzerias, bars and so many new kinds of places, like disco-dancing, competed to enchant passersby with their illuminated signs, soft lighting, candle play and other expedients that promised an irresistible and intense night life.

Mom, who was the cheerful and bright type, had no problems settling in and finding new friends. She entered her adult life dancing, or maybe she dived into it head first. But she was, in any case at the beginning, unaware that the conquest of one’s own autonomy always comes at a price.

Some photographs capture that time perfectly. Mom is smiling in them, dressed in bell bottoms and sporting a curious, and mischievous hairdo over equally extravagant flowery clothes. In the prime of her youth, released from her mother and completely at ease with the slack reins of her aunt and aged grandmother, she shook off the small town in Puglia where she had been born and raised, where she had been reined in and unhappy by its atavistic and male chauvinistic conventions.

In the village, to this day my mother complains, A woman was subject to heavy limitations that wounded her dignity and strangled her chance for action. Mom remembers that when she left the house, even to just go to the market, she had to be accompanied by her sister. She could never walk the streets alone, not even in the day time, to avoid the risk of being dishonored or to find herself in inappropriate situations… There was no trust and I just didn’t fit in anymore. Without fail she concludes her story by quoting a popular film by Mario Monicelli, The Girl with the Gun, she says, Superbly starring the great Monica Vitti.

In short, whoever would like to know my mother’s story, and understand what she was escaping, should watch that movie.

A Milan (yet) to Drink in

Music artists who rode the wave of the protests were leading reference models for the youth of Sixty-eight. They were inspired by the revolutionary ideology of Sixty-eight which aimed at subverting the established order. An order where traditional was synonymous with closed, rigorous and legalist, sad and bigoted, not open minded.

After the trauma of two World Wars and the destruction caused by the most heinous of ideologies - Nazism and Stalinism - the myths of science and progress gained new ground, as well as a confidence in a new world without emotional barriers, without borders and limits to individual liberties. These were all flavored by strong philanthropic and sentimental connotations. These popular feelings were established in part thanks to famous music bands who roamed the world creating the conditions for the first global movement capable of translating the underground ferments of rebellion into a Tsunami.

My mother was also dazzled by these masters of protests. As a little girl in search of her identity she would imitate some of them. She let herself be carried away by natural mechanisms of identification and by thoughtless games of rebellion to conventional rules that, at that age, often lead a person to view people or situations as black or white or to see evil even where it is not. Such was the case that my mom gave herself no peace until she was able to free herself from her village and from all the types of life it represented.

Inevitably, by searching for room

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