I want to love God above all else and I am struggling--can you help?

I am going to confession today to confess a mortal sin. I do struggle with being scrupulous. I feel that everything I do is bad and I constantly find sin in others and in things around me. I don’t want to go to hell and I really do want to give up the mortal sin that I habitually did. I am afraid that I can’t give it up. I feel no peace when I read the Bible. It only makes me fearful. I feel a little peace if I pray out loud but it is only temporary. The problem is whenever I try to become close to God through prayer or reading the Bible, I only get closer to fear. I just started praying again a week ago and I have found little comfort in the Lord which is why I am having trouble loving him. I know He is the only true bringer of happiness and peace but I haven’t found it yet. I know the devil is telling me to give up. I want to love the Lord but I can’t discern if He really is telling me that everything I do is bad. I feel that I can’t do any of the things that I used to do like school work or practicing my instrument or watching Harry Potter or TV because I am not putting Him first when I am focused on something else. I know we are commanded to love Him above all else but I feel that everything I do breaks that. Surely this cannot be true? God doesn’t want me to be unhappy! But ever since I started praying I have just wanted to return to sin because I felt happier. I feel as if prayer is a burden.

I know I need Jesus and I don’t want to give up but I how do I go about loving again? Can I still focus on practicing my instrument(alot) and enjoying Harry Potter movies? Is this because I lost my state of grace? I want to make a perfect act of contrition and I want to avoid sin but I booming voice keeps telling me I can’t.:shrug:


First of all, you are treating this problem as if it is mainly a spiritual one—and it is not. Scrupulosity is a form of obsessive compulsive behavior. No wonder prayer has become oppressive for you. Practicing your instrument and watching Harry Potter movies are not sinful activities in themselves. Scrupulosity has an irrational fear at its core. When you pray and think of God, you automatically turn your attention to your fear of displeasing Him. But if you can focus on Him and His love for you, you will feel very safe because He loves you so much. This problem with scruples is a cross He has allowed you to carry—and it is not an easy one. Many others carry it as well. The very pain of it is a sign of His love for you. I will keep you in my prayers. If you would like to contact me privately, just click on my name.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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