Ask the Priest

Question:

Hi,
I’ve got a problem I’ve been struggling with for quite a while. You see, I do not have a father. My biological dad was an alcoholic who died when I was 14, and even before that he had never played any significant role in my life. So, I would say that for all my life I have had this great longing to have a dad. I know, that God is my Father, and that He cares for me, and I am trying to feel that, but for some reason I do not feel it, and all my attempts to experience His presence in my life end in failure. No spiritual sensation has ever come even close to what I think it would’ve been like to have a real dad. From time to time I meet people, who sort of play the role of a father figure in my life, but it never lasts long, and they, too, leave. I’ve been trying all I can, and at some point I have even imagined that the priest from my parish was my father in a way. Unfortunately, it is all an illusion, and I do realize that it’s very stupid of me to think that.

I really don’t know what to do about it. I have tried talking with the parish priest about my medication affecting the way my brain functions, and he suggested that I should go see a doctor, but I just don’t know what it would change… It’s not the real problem anyway. I honestly don’t know what to do. I am desperate, and I am writing you in hope, that perhaps God will speak through you.

Natasha

P.S. I am 22 years old.

Answer:

I really feel the pain within you.  It is actually a common pain which many share with you.

The parish priest of whom you spoke was absolutely correct; you should see a doctor and this immediately.  Please explain your situation the way you explained it to me.  He will help you.  You should also get a spiritual director if you can; a local priest might help you find one.  You are suffering from a significant spiritual need.  A spiritual director may be able to lead you through the issues you have about a father.  You certainly highlighted the importance of a good family life.  But all is not lost – seek some help.

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