Dear Abba Worksheet

Dear Father:

May I have your blessing?

I am writing to you because lately I have had an awful lot of questions about the Church and I really don’t know where to go and who to ask for answers. Everybody seems to have different answers nowadays and it’s difficult to keep things straight. I guess I just want to do what’s right, but it’s so hard to figure out what that is. I am not even sure where to start.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life and where it is going. I am 20 years old and about to start my third year of college. I’m doing pretty well, I guess. What I want to ask you about isn’t very easy to talk about — I’ve never really asked a priest about these things. When I came to college I wanted to have a lot of fun. It was my chance to be away from home not be tied down by how everyone expected me to behave – to be a whole new person. I’ve been able to meet a lot of new and different people and had a lot of good experiences. At the same time, I am having a hard time relating to being a Christian. I feel like my mind is open now, but I’m not as sure as I once was.

Some day I want to have a family and all that goes with it, but not right now. I’d like to be able to establish myself in a career first. Sometimes I feel like the Church doesn’t want me to. Whenever I talk to people back home from the parish they want to now if I am going to get married. I feel so rushed. I’ve met a lot of guys here but no one yet that I could really see myself marrying. How am I supposed to know who’s right for me anyway? I feel like I am not supposed to really get to know someone intimately until I am married. Shouldn’t people be allowed to have sex before they’re married, to see if they are really compatible? Wouldn’t that cut down on divorces and make marriages stronger?

I guess I have a whole problem with this sin thing. I mean, God created us as sexual beings, didn’t He? It seems wrong to say that what is natural is a sin. I feel like the Church doesn’t want me to have any sexual feelings and that if I do I should run to confession. Why? Is there something wrong with my body? The other night, my boyfriend and I were watching movies and studying on the couch and fell asleep. It was so nice to wake up in each other’s arms. I mean, nothing happened, so what’s the big deal? I can’t understand why the Church would want me to feel guilty for that. I don’t see why God would love me any less.

A lot of my friends are having sex. As long as they use protection, it doesn’t seem to be doing them any harm. How far can a person go without it being a sin? Some people seem to think that even heavy petting is a mortal sin. I don’t understand all these hang-ups. Aren’t we living in a more enlightened time? And what if someone loses their virginity with someone they loved but weren’t married to, are they going to hell? Why would God do that to us? Isn’t God supposed to be love? What if someone wants to show their love by having sex? Sex should be something sacred, not something dirty. Not every religion thinks sex is dirty.

I guess I want to know if I am wrong for thinking all these things. Oh, and one more thing. Not that I do this myself, but is masturbation a sin? Does the Church really want us to feel ashamed of our natural feelings? I try to ask God for help on all these questions but I don’t know what I really want anymore.

Your daughter in Christ,