Confused and worried about sins. Please help

Hello. I’m new to the forum, so Hi.

I’m here because I’ve been struggling with obsessive-compulsive problems my whole life, and in later years, scrupulosity. Basically I’ve done a lot of bad things in the past which I’m truly sorry for and I’m trying to be a good Christian. Over the past 3 months I’ve gone to confessing quite a lot to confess my past sins. I have a tendency to re-confess sins out of doubt or ‘just to play it safe’. I’ve had one-on-one talks with different priests which gives my peace of mind, however it’s not long before I feel terrible again.

Today I just wanted to run a few things by you all to get some clarity.

In past confessions I have confessed to viewing pornographic material, the nature of which I mentioned. Since that confession I’ve remembered some videos I’ve watched that the nature of which I forgot to remember. Do I have to confess these details and if so must I withhold from receive communion until I’ve done so?

Also, I find my self over analyzing my confessions and sins in order to conclude as to whether or not I’ve committed a sin. This drives me insane and causes my to become confused and doubtful of my confessions. Do you have any advice to help control this, because it’s gotten to the point where I convince myself every little thing is a sin. Such as having a fleeting impure thought from where I’ll be like “That was sinful. But I didn’t mean to have it. But I feel like I somewhat invited it. But I didn’t dwell on it. Yea but I still had it”. This then causes me to become very annoyed, tired and confused.

I also doubt whether or not I’ve confessed a sin and argue with myself as to whether or not I should re-confess it just in case. I also argue with myself as to whether or not something is sinful.

Over all I’m very confused and would greatly appreciate your help.

Kind regards.

Your condition is treatable, but only a trained professional can diagnose your condition. You really need to seek professional psychological help. Since you seem to have a problem with scrupulosity and have seen several priests about it, I suggest that you contact a priest who is familiar with your situation one more time and have him recommend a Catholic Psychologist or Psychiatrist. If you live in Canada, your public health insurance should take care of the cost. If you are in the US, unless you live in the middle of nowhere and have no transportation, there are numerous public clinics that can help you.
Remember, G*d helps those who help themselves.
At the risk of sounding uncharitable, bitching and moaning on the internet will not help you. It might get you some sympathy, but that sympathy is meaningless and cheap.

Thanks for the help mate.

You do not have to confess the grisly minute details of a sin, just what is necessary to convey it’s nature (i.e., if you commit adultery, and it was with a minor, that’s two things to confess, not just one). If you have confessed a sin even without great detail, it is absolved. If you did not deliberately omit mortal sin, all of your sins, remembered or forgotten, are absolved at that point. You may go to Communion. (If you remember stuff later, you may/should then re-confess it, but know that it has already be absolved.) Forgiveness does not depend on whether or not you still feel guilty.

Sorry that you are suffering! :hug1:

Please reference the passage in scripture where it states " God helps those who help themselves ."

As already mentioned - we are very limited in the help we can offer.
In the case of people who struggle with OC tendencies and Scrupulosity a good regular confessor is necessary. Note here that I say a regular confessor not just regular confession.
It is necessary that you commit yourself to be guided by this confessor who will get to know you personally and understand your specific struggles and can tailor his guidance to your specific issues.

Also - as mentioned - you should see a mental health professional. Here again, your priestly confessor and guide should be able to help you.

Now as to help and advice…As I say there is little we can offer except in a very general sense.
OCD and Scrupulosity are issues that often stem from a need for surety and being in control…of “knowing”. The problem that can crop up is that when one is trying to follow “rules” without an understanding and/or appreciation of the underlying principles one doesn’t have a true compass by which to evaluate how well or badly they are doing.

In our faith - Love is the underlying principle. Love of God and Love of neighbor as self. Three interlinked elements. We need to Love ourselves…we need to love God and we need to love our neighbor.
Underpinning these is the idea that we are to call God “Father” not “judge”.
The Father Loves his children.
The Father is not looking to pounce as soon as we make one mistake or are unsue of something.
The Father forgives readily and completely - even if we don’t tell Him everything (heck he knows anyway)
The Father is more interested in our efforts than in our specific accomplishments. How many times will we fall off the bike before we learn to ride? God doesn’t care…as long as we keep trying. And God even recognizes that we will STILL occasionally fall off our bike even after we’ve learned to ride it.

“Rule” following and anxiety attached to that stems from looking at God as judge instead of as Father.

Of course this does not mean we do not desire to be good, to please our Heavenly Father. It also does not mean that the Father won’t challenge us in different ways.
But the root - the image - the core that we need to build on is Love and the image of God as Loving Father.

Hope this helps a little.

Peace
James

Thank you all! Your advice has been fantastic and has really helped.

God Bless!

Dan

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