Damned if I do, damned if I don't?


How do you balance the conundrum where it seems like you need to take Holy Communion everyday in order to avoid mortal sin (or you simply want to receive Communion daily) but you end up sinning and falling so much and so often that you cut yourself off the Eucharist (or it seems so)? Then there’s the concern of sacreledge and desecration.

Also note, the presence of scruples and anxiety (for background information).


One in this condition needs regular spiritual direction from their pastor or another trained to deal with scruples AND an evaluation by a mental health professional for the anxiety.

That is how one deals with this apparent conundrum, because it is priomarly in their head.


I will re-post another older post of mine (general information regarding scrupulosity)

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).

Thus with their direction they can “dismiss scruples” (in the older language despise them) - “act against them” (agere contra).

For example he might direct a particular penitent with scruples: “unless your certain of having committed mortal sin - make an act of contrition and go to Holy Communion.”

The Confessor will know his particular penitent and his scruples and can direct him.

Scruples are to be dismissed ~ not argued with.

To borrow and image from a Carthusian from centuries ago: Scruples *are like a barking dog or a hissing goose -one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? * No one keeps walking.

Such ‘obedience’ to a regular confessor who knows of ones scruples (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. Such is the age old practice.

Also counseling -(especially if one also has OCD) could be helpful depending on the case -but one would want to look for a counselor who can assist one in following the Churches Teachings - not go contrary to them (I have heard CA staff mention catholictherapists.com/)

Here was a not too long ago post from Jimmy Akin of CA that I saw in the Register and saved for those who struggle with such.



Finding a priest who is willing to hear confessions in the week would be a good start. And get a good examination of conscience and discern carefully whether each item on the list really is a sin or not. If you are finding you are committing mortal sins daily, you are not alone, but it may be that you need more direction on what is and isn’t sinful.


I struggle with mental illness and scrupulosity. It’s a horrible place to be. Thanks for your post and links. The article “I Don’t Care What Your Problem Is
Written by Allison Ricciardi, L.M.H.C.” from your first link was helpful as well as encouraging.



I don’t do +1 posts, but: +1 to 1ke’s post.


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