I lost my nerve a few days ago, what do I do?

Sorry if this is a little too long

Little bit of background: I’m 17, cradle Catholic but only started taking my faith seriously a few months ago after doing some soul searching and becoming disgusted with who I was. Unfortunately I have gone a little too far and have developed some scrupulous tendencies.

Iv been trying to go to confession and get over my past sins and truly start living my faith but every time I do something that makes me doubt it’s validity. A few days ago I made a general confession that lasted almost an hour and a half and later that night realized I didn’t quantify my sins correctly (stating number) and I don’t know how to describe it but something just snapped, I became very angry, I have been trying so hard to become a better person and obtain God’s forgiveness but every time I mess up somehow and can’t feel at peace. Now I’m going to have to make my poor confessor listen to me again…he must secretly hate me. I felt like I should just give up and accept I’m not going to be redeemed, not because God can’t forgive me but because I can’t make a confession correctly.

Unfortunately instead of calming down I only got angrier, and began to quietly rant to myself about other struggles I have had with my faith. For example, I worry about people who have died without Last Rites or Confession. (One of my best friends died suddenly last week in his sleep, last year my Uncle was killed suddenly) I know we shouldn’t presume anyone’s fate but they almost certainly died in mortal sin, (my Uncle had been away from the church for some time and my friend wasn’t very devout) and we can connect the dots from there if we really believe in what the catechism says about dying in mortal sin. This made me incredibly angry. They were both amazing people, two of the best guys I knew, and according to my faith they are suffering for eternity. How is that right?!

Furthermore if you read about what the church teaches is grave matter then you can only conclude that upwards of 90% of people are on the proverbial “road to hell.” That reality is scarier and more horrific than any horror movie I can think of. Our world is full of so much suffering and for most people (probably myself included unless I miraculously can make a proper confession) it will just continue in the next life without end.

Anyway, as you can see this became a real rant of sorts, Today I’m calmer and want to try to pray but I really don’t know where to go from here spiritually. Seeing as I just ranted and raged at God I don’t really know what to do. I intend to speak to my priest about all this but I was just curious to see what the people here would have to say. I’d appreciate any advice or comments you might have.

We can never know for sure. What happens to the soul in the moments before death – we don’t know. Hopefully someone’s prayers and merits have been applied to that soul so that perhaps they had a chance to repent in their final moments.


As someone who mostly has non-Catholic/non-religious friends, I can relate to your worries.
I try to remind myself that Jesus died such a painful death out of love for us-He wants everyone to be with Him in heaven more than we ever could. He is merciful and isn’t a God who tries to trap or trick us, looking for reasons to send us to hell. I believe God gives everyone opportunities to repent- and those who go to hell choose it out of their own free will.


If you are concerned about deceased loved ones, you should pray for them and ask God to please apply the prayers to the time of their death.

You cannot presume that people “died in mortal sin” as it is very possible that in the last moments of life, they repented - many think God gives people that chance - or that their sins were not “mortal” for some reason that God understands and you do not, because God is aware of the mental state of the sinner and you are not. By presuming that they “died in mortal sin” and are beyond help, you’re giving in to despair, which is not the right thing to do. You’re also making presumptions that are not your place to make.

Besides, if they were awesome people as you say, do you not think that God takes that into account? God is not just waiting for us to skip Mass or something so he can play Mortal Sin Gotcha and send us to Hell. God is a just judge. He considers everything. EVERYTHING.

If you feel you’re developing scruples, which I would agree that it looks like you are, your best course of action is to tell this to your confessor and follow his advice.


Agree. http://scrupulousanonymous.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ten_Commandments_for_the_Scrupulous_2013.pdf


You are probably struggling with scrupulosity, like me, if you constantly doubt the validity of your confessions.

If you only realized AFTER your general confession that you didn’t quantify your sins correctly, then you didn’t make an invalid confession. So long as, DURING your confession, you did not try to willfully hide or conceal any of your mortal sins, then you didn’t make an invalid confession.

By all means, if you suffer from scrupulosity, DO NOT make another general confession, under ANY circumstances. As long as you are scrupulous, and keep making general confessions, you will never find peace.

It’s sort of like wanting to constantly get X-Rays, because you fear for your bodily health: It isn’t good.


I know we can’t know for sure, and I know that’s it’s possible that they could repent at their last moments but I always thought that the church told people that to simply keep them from despairing, more of a hypothetical possibility than a reality. Honestly I’m more confused than anything, some preach about God’s mercy the way you mentioned, and others focus on God’s justice and how most everyone ends up in hell. It seems like only one can be true no? I don’t know which to believe. I certainly know I really want the merciful and hopeful part to be true but I also want to be realistic

Thanks, I will probably discuss the confession with him before jumping the gun and reconfessing, but I can already feel that I’m never going to be at peace till I simply try again.


You are in my prayers. Please pray for me. I think it’s lovely how you’re starting to take your faith seriously.

Keep studying, keep learning, keep on keeping on, persevere. Stick by the truth (Jesus). It’s hard being a teenager. There are some intense emotions at that age. Sounds like speaking to your priest is a good idea.

You thought wrong.
Divine Mercy Sunday is coming up…perhaps you should review the Divine Mercy message

Divine Mercy Sunday is an established feast day of the Church.
The Divine Mercy devotion was approved and promoted by Pope John Paul II (who is now a saint).
St. Faustina Kowalska who received the Divine Mercy messages from Jesus is also a saint and has a huge and beautiful and busy shrine in Poland.
In short, Jesus loves us and “we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus in spite of all our wretchedness, because Jesus is our hope; through His merciful heart, as through an open gate, we pass through to Heaven.” <----from the Divine Mercy prayer of St. Faustina

This doesn’t mean we can or should just go out and sin willy-nilly, but it does mean that God loves us and wants us in Heaven and if a soul shows itself the least bit open to the love of God, then God will very likely help and save that soul. And like I said, you can help these people you love by praying for them. Doesn’t matter if they’ve been dead for years, time means nothing to God, just pray and have confidence in God and His mercy.

God bless

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By all means, certainly talk to a priest again.

And in know from experience, you wont find peace if you keep confessing again and again.

Did you realize AFTER you confession that you hadn’t adequately confessed your sins? or did you know ABSOLUTLEY 100% that you weren’t adequately confessing your sins DURING the confession?

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It was several hours later, I started mentally reviewing the confession and realized my mistake.

I just wanted to add, I will be happy to add your uncle and your friend to my prayer list.
I pray regularly for the deceased and I try to get one plenary indulgence for one deceased soul in purgatory each day.
I will add your two special persons to my list for two of the days next week and do my best to get one plenary indulgence for each of them.
That way, if they are in purgatory, it should help them get to heaven faster.

You can also pray for their souls yourself, start a prayer thread in Prayer Intentions asking others to pray for their souls, and add their names to the intentions book at churches, shrines, or Perpetual Adoration chapels that have them (you should be able to do this for free). This will get them more prayers to help them if they are in purgatory. If they are already in Heaven, God uses the prayers to help somebody else in need.

Thank you, that truly means a lot, I have been praying for them, everyone in my family has. Your prayers and detailed responses truly mean a lot to me

God Bless

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You should probably not review your confessions afterwards for the future.

Above all, you really should talk to the priest, as you said you would, but this is what I would say to do:

When you next go to confession (which should probably be by appointment), mention that you forgot to confess your mortal sins sufficiently. Then, mention all your mortal (only mortal sins) sins in from your general confession in kind and number to the best of your abilities.

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Thanks for the advice!

God Bless

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You too! Thank you very much!

Fortunately, this Sunday is the Feast of Divine Mercy.
Pray the chaplet, read about it, and absorb it.

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