Do you have a scrupulous conscience

Well, I just watched EWTN during a commercial and not for the first time saw a person wonder whether they’ve been forgiven despite confessing everything.

I see these questions from time to time, and wonder if it is a common thing among Catholics.

If you select yes, tell your story! Do****n’t select yes if you are just a litlte but scrupulous, select yes if it’s serious. Because chances are everyone has a litlte bit of a scrupulous conscience.

Svoboda,

I think I’m watching the same program you are on EWTN.

It was mentioned at that time or in the next program that if you don’t know you’re committing a mortal sin, then it’s not a mortal sin. I try to keep that in mind when I review my actions of the day. But at the same time, I reading scrupulously to become more familiar with the sins of our faith.

I’m a new Catholic and striving to learn the ropes of sin. Reading message boards has been a part of my Catholic education. On some boards, people say they go to confession an average of every other week and my RCIA instructor said that once every month to three months is a rule of thumb. I would think the frequency of confession correlates to the frequency of sin?

For the time being and, perhaps, in the future, I will have to rely on my knowledge of Church teaching and my conscience. The comments to this thread will be a great help.

What you will find with confessing frequently, say every week, is that when you first start confessing you focus on the “big stuff”, those things that you are pretty sure are mortal sins, which you are supposed to do. But in time you will find the grace to avoid those sins with more sucess and with the counsel of your confessor.
When you do more frequent “housekeeping” you will begin to focus on venial as well and also on things you could have done that you have neglected. Kind of like getting down and looking at the dirt you might overlook in your carpet, even though your house looks clean at first glance. “Fine tuning” if you will.
Confession is a wonderful sacrament from which much grace flows. It can help you to grow in your spiritual journey. Take advantage of it often.

I agree with Leah, and I certainly go to Confession every week whether I’ve committed a mortal sin or not - certainly I have stubborn venial ones that I need help with! It’s like having your car serviced regularly to AVOID serious problems rather than waiting until you already have them.

The only times I worry a little, though, are when I’ve forgotten to mention something - but I have to just trust that God knows I wasn’t intending to not confess anything. I may start making a written list too, that’d be easier.

[quote=bellesjoy]What you will find with confessing frequently, say every week, is that when you first start confessing you focus on the “big stuff”, those things that you are pretty sure are mortal sins, which you are supposed to do. But in time you will find the grace to avoid those sins with more sucess and with the counsel of your confessor.
When you do more frequent “housekeeping” you will begin to focus on venial as well and also on things you could have done that you have neglected. Kind of like getting down and looking at the dirt you might overlook in your carpet, even though your house looks clean at first glance. “Fine tuning” if you will.
Confession is a wonderful sacrament from which much grace flows. It can help you to grow in your spiritual journey. Take advantage of it often.
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I agree wholeheartedly. It’s better to go more than “required” than not enough. Scrupulousity strikes again because I don’t want to waste the priests time when there are those in more need of his time. I’m fortunate that my parish has two priests, but that is a rarity in my area. We have many people from other parishes coming to our parish for confession. It’s not uncommon for all the priests in the area to gather at one church for a large confession session.

It’s great for the soul.

Hello,This Is a very interesting topic,I have often thought about this,besides the exams that are frequently listed,what are some more things ,like specifics,I always read about these things in “General Terms” . I’m not trying to be difficult I really would love to find out some ordinary examples of 'Sinfullness" because when I read stories of ‘The Saints’ they always say how 'wretched they are,and how they deserve to be in hell for their sins,and things like that,so I start thinking if these ‘people’ felt this way .what chance do I have.I don"t think I’m alone in this,sometimes it discourages me.I get somewhat depressed because I feel I need more information on the ‘ordinary’ stuff of us not so Lofty types.:confused: peace.mw

I think the Saints who felt their sinfulness were simply acutely aware of the goodness and mercy of God and his many gifts to us, and measured themselves against Jesus’ example, which of course is the highest standard of all. I don’t think this sort of ‘fear and loathing’ is the only path to God though.

Well, I can’t help but notice that more people respond than vote! Please vote! Surely you are either seriously scrupulous or not?

I vote for “kinda” and allow me to explain. You plant a garden in the spring and get all done and step back and say, Wow! That looks good. I’m going to check every single day for weeds and pull as soon as I see them, that way I won’t ever have any weeds growing there to spoil my crop. Well, the first couple of days you go out and sure nuf’ there are two little bitty weeds and you take your thumb and forefinger and pull them out. Then you forget for a couple of days and when you go back, oh dear, ten weeds. You grab them and yank them out. Two weeks go buy and whoops! How’d that happen? You get your little hand digger and chop away. A month goes buy and you remember your garden. You go out and oh my! Where ARE my crops anyway? All I see is weeds and I did MEAN to keep them out. You get the hoe and start whacking the heck out of those weeds only to discover that they have ruined your crops. They took all the water and nutrients and are flourishing, while your crops withered and died.

Well, that’s what sort of happened in my life. One little almost microscopic weed one day turned into a huge weed that sucked the life out of me later.

1 Peter 1:13-19Therefore,*** GIRD YOUR MINDS*** for action, KEEP SOBER in spirit, FIX YOUR HOPE completely on the GRACE to be brought to you at the revelation of JESUS CHRIST. As obedient children, DO NOT BE CONFORMED to the FORMER LUSTS which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, BE HOLY yourselves also IN ALL YOUR BEHAVIOR because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.’ And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN FEAR during the time of your stay upon earth, knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with PRECIOUS BLOOD, as of a LAMB UNBLEMISHED AND SPOTLESS, the BLOOD OF CHRIST.”

So as Barney Fife used to say, “Nip it in the bud!”

I am beginning to overcome scrupulosity. I attribute my struggle to my OCD tendencies. :slight_smile: The only way to get through it is through prayer. Also, I have found “Understanding Scrupulosity” by Fr. Thomas Santa and his apostolate of Scrupulous Anonymous to be very helpful.

I suffered much from scrupulosity in my teen years. But so did St. Therese the Little Flower. Even now, in middle age, sometimes I feel a twinge of the old scrupulosity. What has been helpful and comforting to me is what St. Joan of Arc replied at her trial when she was asked if she was in the state of grace. I paraphrase, but it goes something like this: if I am in the state of grace, I pray God preserve me in it; if I am in the state of sin, I pray God to remove me from it.

[quote=whiteyacht]I am beginning to overcome scrupulosity. I attribute my struggle to my OCD tendencies. :slight_smile: The only way to get through it is through prayer. Also, I have found “Understanding Scrupulosity” by Fr. Thomas Santa and his apostolate of Scrupulous Anonymous to be very helpful.
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If you have OCD you might consider seeing a doctor, it is a real medical problem that won’t be fixed by prayer.

I recently read St. Teresa of Avila’s book of her life, and she came across as exceedingly scrupulous. She was always saying how she was wretched, and being down on herself. I think she even said she deserved hell. I was completely shocked by that book, she seeme dso negative on herself at times. It made me think “how many people did you murder?”

Yes… I am currently in the throes of scrupulosity… The worst part is never knowing whether something is a grave enough sin or not, and then agonizing over whether or not you should receive Communion because of it… And then if you do receive, then there’s one more notch in the anxiety chain, and was THAT the right thing to do, am I so wretched that I would do something so horrible as this knowing that I shouldn’t do it, do I so callously disobey God, etc etc etc. :banghead:

But I’ve never doubted whether something I confessed was forgiven or not… at least as I remember it at the moment (see, there it is again… I didn’t want to lie by keeping the first part as an absolute… sigh)

:crying:

[quote=svoboda]If you have OCD you might consider seeing a doctor, it is a real medical problem that won’t be fixed by prayer.
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Notice I said “OCD tendencies.” It is only a disorder when it negatively impacts your daily life, i.e., you can’t live normally. I am nowhere near this. I just have tendencies, and to these I also attribute my scrupulosity. :thumbsup:

Wow, it seems that there are nearly as many scrupulous as non-scrupulous voters!

Please keep responding, there have to be more than 20 of you here! :slight_smile:

[quote=svoboda]I recently read St. Teresa of Avila’s book of her life, and she came across as exceedingly scrupulous. She was always saying how she was wretched, and being down on herself. I think she even said she deserved hell. I was completely shocked by that book, she seeme dso negative on herself at times. It made me think “how many people did you murder?”
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Well even the best among us don’t DESERVE heaven or the perfection of being in God’s presence forever. And even the smallest sin falls far short of Christ’s sinless ideal.

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