Hey all, I hope you don’t mind me asking so many questions about Confession, but I am getting up from a long period of digression from the Church’s ethics and am now struggling with scrupulosity on the other side. I went to Confession this weekend and confessed to committing minor theft multiple times (see another thread I made about this). I don’t remember if I mentioned this or what I said, but I meant to mention that only in one out of three cases I can recall did the person care and that I made amends with that person. However I was very nervous that Confession and may have accidentally said I made amends with all the people, which is not true. I did not realize this until hours after the Confession and cannot remember what I said. Is my Confession valid, or is it possible I lied and invalidated it?
I would believe that your confession is valid. You tried to confess to the best of your ability. I would just mention it to the priest next time you go to confession but would not worry about it until then.
As long as you forgot, didn’t deliberately leave it out, you should be forgiven. It should be valid. However, for mortal sins that were forgotten, we need to bring them up next confession.
can you make an appointment to see a priest outside of the Confession to discuss the problems you are having with scruples, my friend had the same problem but she went to see a priest and she only goes to this one priest for Confession as he can guide her in the Confessional and reassure her that her sins are Forgiven.
All I will say is once you receive absolution, the Confession is over. You cannot negate a good Confession by just remembering a sin hours later after leaving the Confessional with a reasonable assumption you made a valid Confession.
Hopefully, this will tide you over, but since you are scrupulous, you need to have a regular spiritual director to bring your questions to. Asking questions on here will not help your scrupulosity in the long term.
This is actually better than what I originally wrote. I may have misread what you were saying, so you need to see a priest outside of Confession to discuss this.
While one can meet outside confession of course - one can and normally (also at least) meets within confession.
When a person struggles with scruples - what ought they do?
A person with scrupulosity --ought to have a* “regular confessor” *who can direct them --and even give them some general principles to follow -to apply (principles for them due to their particular scruples -they are usually not for those with a normal conscience).
Such ‘obedience’ (except in what is manifest sin - such as if he told them it was ok to murder someone or something certain like that) is key.
They with the direction of their confessor and the principles given - then act contrary to their scruples - ignore them -(using the older language) despise them, dismiss them–following that direction and the principles given.
Hey there, bumping this thread with another question based on today’s Confession. I went in today and told the Priest about my scrupulosity. He told me to only focus on sins I knew I committed and not possibilities or worries. Is this acceptable advice? Also, if because of this I chose not to mention a worry I had, that couldn’t in any way invalidate my Confession, right? I also brought a little list of sins I remembered in, but when I was nearly done he told me not to worry about it since most of the sins there were venial or not sins at all and just focus on the big stuff, so I chose not to look at it. Afterwards I realized there was at least one mortal sin on the list I completely forgot to Confess. I know forgetting doesn’t invalidate a Confession, but I am scared that since I chose not to look at my reminder and remember it it was really a form of choosing to omit it. Is this a problem?
in answer to your second question…
Be at peace for now but confess the mortal sin next time you go to confession.
Next time you go in with a list, write it with the most serious sins at the top of the list (I’m a list-maker, too).
I used to be scrupulous, but it turned I actually have an anxiety disorder, OCD to be exact and I didn’t know that anything was wrong with me. I new my behaviour was unusual, but eventually it became debilitating.
I agonized over confession for years, went weekly, often daily and sometimes three times in a day…I was a mess and was always worried about having invalidated my confession through some means or another.
Anyway, one day I’d had enough, I knew deep down that something was wrong, so I went to my Doctor and although I was embarrassed, I told him everything that I was doing.
My Doctor helped me.
Best of luck to you.
So my fear that choosing not to look at the list is equivalent to choosing not to Confess the sin is unfounded? I thought so, but could not be sure. I even said “oh shoot” to myself when I realized I forgot to Confess it - it really wasn’t a calculated decision. I just worry a lot.
I appreciate your help. I am actually diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and may have OCD. I was offered SSRIs for this condition but refused them, and will continue to do so now. While I respect those who have made the decision to use them, I personally do not think the benefits outweigh the risk and feel like I will only truly grow out of this if I don’t use them. Nevertheless thanks for the tip and God Bless.
I’ve been on SSRI’s for about 7 years.
The medication saved my life.
I don’t know if anyone can outgrow a mental illness, but Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is known to be very helpful for issues related to OCD.
Best of luck!