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I am losing my faith
Jun 20, 2000

Dear Father I tested HIV positive Aug last year, it was a very rough time since 2 weeks before that I was fired from my job, I was single at that time so I didn't have anyone to count on but myself, I have no family and was too ashamed to tell my friends about my status. I grew up catholic but for several reason I have separated myself from catholicism, but not from God, I firmly believe in God, in my own way sorta speak, back then I felt betrayed by God, not because I got HIV but because I only had 1 possible exposure and bam! got it. I have friends that still have unprotected sex and they are negative, so somehow I still feel that God is punishing me or he just doesn't give a damn about my person. I would really like to improve my relationship with him, but being myself, gay, hiv positive, and proud of the human being I am, also when I told my mother I was gay she wasn't really happy about it, and a couples of days after I told her, she passed by me and told me, she would have preferred that I had died when I was 3 years old and had a seizure and was very sick at the hospital, I know she said that in a moment of anger, and I think I have forgiven her for saying that, but those words keep tormenting me and make me feel sad every time I remember them, any suggestions on how to deal with those issues?

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend -- Thank you for your very honest sharing and for your desire to move beyond the painful memories and feelings of betrayal. I am glad that in the midst of all the misfortune and bearing the burden of HIV by yourself, you can still clearly write "I firmly believe in God". In the Old Testament Scriptures, the author of the Book of Psalms firmly believed in God too but also expressed in many of these psalms, the feelings of being alone, burdened and bearing undue pain and asking "Where are you God?" But in asking this question, the psalmist also kept saying -- "I know you are there God and you won't forget me". Maybe these psalms can help give voice to your feelings and help you pray. I admire your choice of forgiving your mom and realizing that her anger was in the way of her love for you. I hope that your anger won't get in the way of your love for God and God's love for you. I will keep you in my prayers and ask you to keep me in yours. Blessings and peace, Fr. Rod



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