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Please answer this qustion
Aug 12, 1999

Some preachers feel that you do get punishment for sin even if you confess and try not to do it anymore and I think that the Bible does say that God will punish his children. Do you feel that getting HIV by commiting adultry is punishment from GOD? If you do not, do you have any encouraging scripture that would back your feelings up? It is so kind of you to spend your time helping people on this forum. You are truely a man of God. Thank you.

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend, Thank you for your question and your kind words of supoport. First of all, I do not believe that becoming HIV+ is God's punishment no matter what the circumstances. HIV is the result of either risky behavior or of dishonesty or ignorance but is not a vehicle that God uses to show displeasure with us. I have known people who feel at first that God is punishing them or someone they love with HIV/AIDS but then come to find God's love and presence in so many ways in their lives that they actually grow more spiritual and closer to God. I hope that you experience that as well. There are many Scriptures that speak of God's forgiveness. The prophet Joel writes "Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord. For gracious and merciful is God, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment." ST John writes "If we say we are free of the guilt of sin, we deceive ourselves...but if we acknowledge our sins, God who is just can be trusted to forgive our sins and cleasnse us from every wrong." I hope that these passages and the words and actions of Jesus throughout the Gospels can bring you consolation and encouragement in your life. You are in my prayers, Fr. Rod



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