Long and delicate matter. Please help


#1

This is going to be kind of long!

I am having a very delicate situation that I am hoping all you wonderful people here at CAF can help me with. First, I guess I should give you a background on how my situation started.

I came back into the Church in October of 2008 after a series of events that was seriously testing me. I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I had been away from the Church for approximately 14 years. Anyway, I jumped right back into Mass and communion and later found out that I was in Mortal sin because I hadn’t gone to confession in over 14 years along with some questionable activities that I did when I was a teenager. I later went to a very stressful and emotional confession and confessed everything that I could remember and received absolution. Later, I started to obsess that maybe I didn’t confess right and started to remember more sins that I committed. So, I made a private appointment with Father S and had a very personal, heartfelt/emotional talk/confession. I told him my deepest darkest secrets that NOBODY knew about me. I immediately felt a strong connection with him. After that, I started going to Daily Mass as much as able, joining many clubs and activities. Really just trying to become a strong member of my new family. However, I didn’t feel like it was enough. In away (now don’t get me wrong by the way that I word this) a started to obsess whether I was ‘good enough’ to be apart of the church.

I was never a very popular person growing up. I pretty much had to, in a way, buy my friendships. I was the mommy’s girl who found herself at home with her family rather then being out with her friends. It was all I knew, and even this day, my parents live with me…and I can’t be happier.

Now to get to the point of my story…

I don’t know how to word this without it sounding creepy so I am just going to say it…

Lately, I found myself becoming obsessed with Father S. I will be in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel praying and all of a sudden my thoughts go to Father S. Wondering what he is doing etc… And then I feel guilty that my mind strayed from what I was doing…Praying to our Lord. I know that God knows where my heart is but I can’t help but to feel guilty. I also become so tense when he is around. It is a struggle just to go out of my way and say hi. All I long to do is to be apart of my church family. For so long when I was growing up all I longed to do was be apart of something more then what I was. I never felt like I was good enough and was never within the ‘circle’. Now, however, I feel like I have the opportunity to do so and this time to have it mean something. Like I can truly be myself…not pretend to be something I am not. Now I know Father S is a very busy man, but it sometimes feels like he is ignoring me, not wanting to make eye contact that sort of thing. The thing is, I know that I am being paranoid and one moment I shake these feelings off, and then the next they are back. For awhile there I was sure that I was condemning myself because I thought that I was developing a crush on Father S. But after some talking to myself and asking ‘what is really the matter’, I came to realize that Father S truly has become a father figure to me. My mom and I are the closest that we can be and here was a man who knew things about me that I was certain (before I came back to the Church) that I would take to the grave. Then I did some more soul searching and came to realize…I am kind of afraid of Men. Don’t get me wrong, my father is wonderful and I love him so much but for much of my life, I felt like I was raising him. I never really had that text book ‘father’ figure and now I feel or maybe hope that Father S will fill that void. Is that wrong. I can’t stress enough that I love my mother and father more then anything, but I also feel like I need something more.

How do I, after just spilling my soul to all of you, handle this. Any suggestions. Am I doing something wrong…am I sinning. Please guide me.

Also, if anybody needs me to clarify anything, please E-mail me.
Thanks and God Bless


#2

H1, :slight_smile:

It’s natural to feel a bond with someone with whom you’ve shared a lot of yourself, and who has helped you in your deepest needs. It happens with psycologists, and psychiatrists, for instance. It’s called “transferance.” Patients will beleive themselves in love with the one who has helped them and may become obsessed with their doctor. This is natural…but you have to first, recognise it for what it is, and then deal with it.

Yes, the person has listened to you. He has been kinder to you and more compassionate than anyone ever has. Naturally it wins your heart. But remember, he’s doing his job, as he has done for many before you and will for many after you.

If your priest is appearing to ignore you to any degree…he know the psychology of the process, and will possibly have read tiny signals…but in any case, where he has helped someone, particularly a female, any priest has the wisdom to withdraw and try prevent you from allowing the ‘transferance’ feelings to take hold. Instead of course you feel hurt, but he is doing exactly the right thing. He showed you kindness and gave you all the help you needed, but he will do exactly the same thing for any man woman or child who comes to him for help, especailly with regard to helping them through the phase of a new beginning.

You priest isn’t there to fill yours or anyone else’s parental void. He is there to bring souls to God, to minister to their souls in the Sacraments.

Don’t beat yourself up about the fact of your emotional transferance. Of course he’s the kindest person you ever met. Any good priest is. So now you have to talk to yourself realistically to get yourself past this. The person you need now to transfer your heart to is Jesus. Unless you do, your spiritual life will founder, because you have allowed a man who is only genuinely doing his job as well and caringly as an apostle of the Lord must, to gradually take the Lord’s centrality from your heart and mind. I don’t say this has happened yet, but it will if you don’t deal with it with God’s help. If you seek counsel on the matter from a priest, be very careful not to approach this particular priest on the matter.

I’ll keep you in my prayers and ask Jesus to help you deal with this with wisdom and grace. Take good care of yourself,

Warm regards, Trishie


#3

Thank you so much for your help. You have really put things into perspective for me. I guess I don’t really know what else to say except…Thank you. It won’t be overnight transformation but I am willing to take the first step. Thank you again. :o


#4

I know, it’s difficult. I’ve seen friends go through it. God bless you for your courage and humility in sharing this difficulty .:hug3:


#5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.