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need help from father
Nov 30, 1999

Dear father, I've committed a sin of adultry, had a high risk exposure incident 3 months ago, and am sure that i've contracted hiv. I've been married for almost 10 years to my wife who has always supported me and was always loyal. I haven't had any sexual relationship with her for a year now, and will continue to abstain until I know for sure. The fact that I kept postponing sex with her for all that time is another story.

Father, I'm lost and alone, I put myself in this situation and no doubt that I deserve it. I'm constantly planning to leave my wife if i'm positive so that she can restart her life with some better individual. I know this will be painful for her, my mother and sister, but in the long run she can have a life which she deserves. I can't bear the shame and stupidity that made me put myself in harms way and throw away everything that was so valuable to me.

I often think of my relationship with God. I get the feeling that it would be to easy to ask for forgiveness from him after the thing that i have done.

Can you please refer me to a priest/couselor that I can talk to about this in the nyc area.

thanks

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend---First of all I would be very happy to give you several referrals and if you simply e-mail me at ncan@sonic.net I can provide that information immediately.

I hear the pain and shame you feel for having committed adultery. When anyone feels deep shame they can begin to conclude that all they deserve is rejection and isolation. This self-punishment only adds to the hurt and can close a person to forgiveness and love. I encourage you to remember that in the Gospels there are numerous stories about how Jesus refused to add to people's shame and how he constantly reminded them that God's love and mercy were without fail. I hope that you could recapture the belief that people who care about and love you can forgive you even in light of what you have done. All you need to do is let them know that you are not giving up on yourself--they will know that when you can say "I'm sorry".

I will pray for you, your wife and family that even in the face of this shame and fear you can find God's love and forgiveness and offer it to each other. Blessings, Fr. Rod



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