Mar 8, 2000
Dear Father. I have written to you before (Battle ahead I & 2)and this is a follow up. I did test negative at 14 month and I am now preparing for the 15th month this coming week. God is keeping a grip on me and I pray to God this time is negative despite I continue with unexplained symptoms which I suspect are due to HIV. My anxiety is worst after I read many reports coming with different time window periods for seroconversion to take place 3 to 6 months for the CDC and 36 months the for Red Cross.
During this time I gave a lot of thought to the possibility of putting and end to my life and what will be God's will. I now have the testimony that we should not be attached to this life. The thought of another life after this one gave me a great relief. I dreamed meeting my father who pass away years ago and I think will be nice to reunite him. I'm not attached anymore and when the time comes after hearing the bad news I will not allow the sickness to consume my body. I'm prepared now. Many people prefer nature to take control which I will not. After all Christ was not attached to this life and he could have avoided physical death if he have wanted. He gave himself to death without complaint and that prove to be His great act of love. I found a great peace lately after receiving this testimony and have no attachment to this physical world. In this way I see God's blessing. One of my best friends a great catholic who lived an ascetic life thought me to be prepared for death. He said the worst thing it could happen to anyone is to be caught unprepared when the time comes. He just died in his late thirties in an automovil accident while he was praying according to his chauffeur. He never was scared of dying. I am not either anymore and a great peace finally came to my soul. Thanks Father for all the support in this group. I just read a book which I will recommend to other Catholics The name is "Sean's Legacy" which is the testimony of a grieving father and his son struggle with the horrible sin of homosexuality.
| Response from Father DeMartini
Dear Friend--Thank you for your letter. First of all I want to express my support and encouragement to you as you continue to test HIV-. I sense, however, that despite the test results, you have determined that you deserve to be HIV+ and, moreover, that if this was ever the case that your life would not be worth living. I encourage you not to punish yourself and risk any further harm. It is true that Jesus accepted death on the cross but it was not because he did not value his life on this earth. On the contrary, he enjoyed his family and friends, was not afraid to meet new people, including people often very different from himself and to speak out of truth and love of God. I think if you and Jesus were to have a conversation about your fears of being HIV+ and other concerns, he would encourage you to find support and friendship from others, to value and accept the gift of life which God gives you each day and not fall victim to the temptation that you life is not valuable or worth living. If you would be willing to tell me where you live, perhaps I can recommend a spiritual advisor or support system which might help you face the loneliness and blame you express and not harm yourself any further. You can communicate with me confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org. I keep you in my prayers, Fr. Rod
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