I’m very scrupulous, and when I start worrying about a sin I think I’ve committed, I usually don’t stop until I’ve confessed it at Reconciliation–whether or not it’s an actual sin. I don’t want to just use Confession as a way to relieve my anxiety, and I’m afraid if I’m superstitious or obsessive in the confessional, that’s a sin all in it’s own. And I don’t want to commit presumption and say something superstitious, figuring I can just apologize as soon as I’ve finished saying it. I have a specific confessor who understands my scrupulosity, but since I know him, there are some sins I am too embarrassed to say to him. What should I do?
You should upfront and honest with your confessor so that he can help you to overcome your scrupulosity. You should take your questions to him and follow his instructions.
Get professional therapy for your compulsive issues, and a spiritual director for your scrupulosity.
First of all you are doing something good by going to confession. Scrupulosity is taking a good thing too far … but is by no means the worst of sins.
Show some faith in God’s forgiveness and receive the peace of the Sacrament when you are
absolved of your sins. And remember that you have received graces to keep you from sinning in the future. This should make you happy.
One aspect of scrupulosity (it seems to me) is that Satan may convince a potentially good and fruitful soul to hide his light under a bushel basket by making him too self-absorbed.
In baseball this is called paralysis-by-analysis. A batter is so obsessed about every aspect of his swing or past outs that he goes to the plate with a buzzing mind and is NOT at his best while at the plate (or in the field, etc.). A good coach will build such a player up and tell him (or her) to use their gifts to the max, be without fear, and enjoy the role they have been given and the opportunity at hand.
Remember too that God desires that none may perish but that all come to repentance. He’s on OUR side. He is the truth … and we are always shy of the mark when examined in His light. But minute by moment we can “be perfect” in Him. Since we cannot uncommit past sins, its best to keep walking toward the Lord, trust in Him for forgiveness but also setting us right.
The scripture of Isaiah in heaven (and perhaps scrupulously being unavailable for the Lord’s work until he is purged of his sin because he is so horrified by his true self in comparison to the Lord and the holy angels about him) might help you.
After the purging, Isaiah is able to say “Here I am, send ME!” to the Lord … and put both his past sins and his self-consciousness behind him.
While you should not hide a sin from your confessor out of embarrassment … sometimes there is another priest in the building at confession time. Waste no time, put this nagging sin behind you … and maybe consider confessing to another priest, in anonymity anyway since you’ve discovered this problem. Or determinedly confess this to your confessor and make sure not to do it again any time you confess. Thank you for your witness in a time when more people have the problem of sloppy confessions, or NO confessions and the OPPOSITE of scrupulosity (that no sin matters that much)! :eek: :nope::tsktsk:
Isaiah 6:1 In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple.
2 Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.
3 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” they cried one to the other. “All the earth is filled with his glory!”
4 At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 He touched my mouth with it. “See,” he said, “now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,*** “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”*** “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
Recently I have had the “problem” (?!) of remembering sins of long ago that I had not confessed due to a dull conscience that was concentrating on other sins. I have confessed these sins quickly (even though technically they may have been venial due to some lack of something making them mortal sins – and hence already forgiven through past absolution) … just to give my conscience ease knowing I had owned up to my past sins and had (now) confessed them with my mouth.
This might be a degree of scrupulosity – but I don’t intend to keep revisiting these past sins, absolution will put them as far from me as the east to the west. Knowledge of wrong things as sins can prevent me from stupidly doing them again though.
The title of this thread is intriguing. Made me look. Perhaps to my benefit.
Have a “regular confessor”.
One that knows you and your difficulties and can thus direct you in your difficulties with scruples.
Such is the age old approach in the Church.
Ask him to take responsibility for you as your regular confessor.
Obedience here is the way
(unless he say tells you to murder his secretary or use contraception or something :eek: but that goes without saying…)
PS: Priests are not likely shocked in the confessional and it is under the “seal” --and they too have likely heard many highly scrupulous confessions…do not fear to have a regular confessor or what he may think of one etc.
Hi I’m new to this site and couldn’t resist reading this thread.
When you go to confession look at the priest and seek out the face of Jesus with his crown of thorns He knows your problem but He just wants you to say it Confess your problems and the sins will follow Let Him be your healer…do this a few times in total humility. Trust in Him…I will say my Divine Mercy Chaplet tonight with you in mind.
PS find something to read about St John Vianney…he too will inspire you as a specialist in this Sacrament!!