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I am so afraid and skeptical....
Sep 14, 1998

Dear Father: I am a RC male, age-38, my older brother is a RC priest, and I was raised in a charismatic family setting. Recently, I've been doubting the afterlife, wondering if it really exists. I believe I get too scientific, always wanting PROOf,i.e.-doubting thomas. The current books out that talk about the Gospels being fabrications and the Shroud being a fake do not help matters, either. My wife is HIV +, and I think I may be also, but I am so afraid to get tested, because I FEAR DEATH SO MUCH...Please help...

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend, Thank you for your very honest sharing. My first thoughts after reading your letter were the very real words of Jesus - "Come to me, all you who labor and find life burdensome and I will refresh you". I sincerely believe that despite all the confusing and contradictory messages about the world or our religion, the words of Jesus are unambiguous. I believe in the afterlife as a place and experience in which all that has been loving and life-giving here on earth will be "multiplied" eternally. I am certain that there are people you know and have loved who have died and I believe that they are now encouraging you to take steps in your life to give the fears and uncertainties to the Lord and to find a way in which you and your wife especially can share the burdens associated with HIV. Facing uncertainty is always difficult but it become impossible if we try to do it alone. I would be happy to be a "listening ear" if you would like to stay in contact or perhaps I can recommend someone closer to where you live--you can contact me directly at ncan@sonic.net or (707) 874-3031. You are in my prayers, Fr. Rod



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