Because deep down I believe you love God and would not wish to offend Him even more .
You’re making yourself crazy over something that is habitual, which means it is going to cause you distress quite a bit of the time. Obsessing about “should I receive or not” will draw you further from Him, not closer. Trust Him that He knows your heart and will not be displeased with you if you receive wrongly but honestly. He will be very saddened if you avoid Him out of fear.
Priests are human and they don’t have omniscience. This means priest #2 was giving you the best advice he could without benefit of knowing your particular circumstances . Priest #1 knows you and your situation and has already given you appropriate advice, based on your individual circumstances. I understand that priest #1 wasn’t available to you for an extended period of time and you ended up with priest #2 in the confessional, but you need to apply some logic here. The lack of knowledge on the part of priest #2 means that you need to put aside his advice and concentrate on 1. dealing with your addiction as best you can and 2. continue to pray and to bring your doubts and confusions to the foot of His cross.
One thing that helps me when I struggle with habitual sin is to make a daily Act of Contrition. It helps me to remember that the whole point of loving God IS to love him, not to count pluses and minuses on a chart (which is what I was trying to do). Trust Him to know what is on your heart and to deal with you lovingly.
I deleted my post because it seems like this whole situation has occurred because you got advice from confessor #1, then moved to a different country where confessor #2 had a different attitude towards your sin.
To be honest I think at this point you either have to have a frank talk with confessor #2 outside of confession, or else find another priest/ confessor #3 and have a talk with them, perhaps outside of confession, about this whole situation. You did not fully explain the whole situation to confessor #2 so he basically ended up giving you his advice based on incomplete information.
Cultural differences between different countries, as well as personality differences between priests and how they approach confession, can result in different priests regarding certain sins differently. This whole situation has also gotten complicated to the point where it’s hard to discuss in the shortened time frame allowed for confession. I really think you need to have a deeper discussion of it with a priest outside of confession and given that you already kind of missed your opportunity with confessor #2 I would recommend you find a new priest and make a fresh start by having the discussion.
it’s hard to follow all this. I worry about sins that I may not even be aware of. I haven’t received the Eucharist for two months because I need to confess what I can rationalize, what I know is in my past. Yes, it seems nearly everyone receives communion except for a few. It’s been difficult to get to confession e.g. they are cancelled due to a funeral or other reason.
I watched the hour-long video on youtube with Bishop Barron and Rabbi David Wolpe. In a quickly passing moment the rabbi mentioned that all the ten commandments involved stealing something – stealing something from God or from some person.
psalm one says blessed is the one who meditates on the law of God day and night. “scrupulous” may be not be such a bad thing.
not receiving the Eucharist may be the closest we can get to experiencing what hell would be like, the eternal thirst and hunger for the LORD. “thus” it makes a difference to receive the Eucharist unworthily – then to receive the LORD after reconciliation knowing that the barriers have been removed. Technically, they say, we don’t receive the grace of the sacrament if we receive unworthily. That would, itself, be a habitual sin, to disregard the warning about receiving unworthily. If you love hell more than God, go ahead and heap punishment on yourself – they say the gates of hell are locked from the inside.
1735 and 2352 are about God’s mercy that He offers us in this lifetime and in eternity. “A humble and contrite heart I will not despise” says the LORD.
mentally, I try to put habitual sin behind a door (so to speak) and to lock it away in my mind. Although the temptations may be frequent, I know the beast is safely locked away.
Yes you don’t want to desecrate the host by allowing it to enter an unclean vessel. No more than you would want to desecrate any other sacred obect.
Actual scrupulously differs from meditating on the Law of God.
I’d be enlightened to know the difference. Scripture says if you correct a wise person they will be happy to know something more. scrupulosity may mature into the proper form of meditation, no?
Have you considered going to counseling sessions with a priest or therapist of some sort to help you with the problem? 30 years seems like a long time to struggle and fail against an addictive problem.
There are Catholic therapists who work over the phone or Skype.
Scrupulosity is a focus on one’s own sins to the exclusion of God and is debilitating and paralyzing to the sufferer; while meditating on the Laws of God is thinking about an aspect of God and elevates the meditator.
ETA: Scrupulosity will not mature into anything since it is a psychological problem.
Pardon me if someone has already brought this up. Your thoughts display the circular anxiety of scrupulosity.
Find ONE priest. Listen to him, and rely on his pastoral guidance, and give up trying to micromanage every detail of your life, because you will fail in that effort.
Humbly accept guidance from a priest. And when you get your self out of the way, you will see that God is not calling you to obsess over every possible sin, God is calling you to love and trust him with your whole being.
Christ came to bring liberty to captives, to cast out fear, bring sight to the blind. It is Christ who will bring you the freedom to love, not your own efforts.
What good is a heroic jailbreak, if the captives cower fearfully in their cells, afraid of stepping out into the sun and freedom of movement? Fear enslaves you.
Give it up.
I believe you should have remained at #4, but because you have proceeded to jump through the rest of the steps, I will again ping Fr. @edward_george1 to confirm. Here’s my basis for my answer:
Priest #1 got to know you. Priest #2 did not.
Priest #2 may have been absolutely correct. In theory. But priest #1 is also more absolutely correct in real life because he may have determined mitigating factors.
As it stands, you are in a dilemma because you are now torn between two priests’ answers. Unless you have more facts (not feelings), I would steer you back to priest #1’s advice.
I currently live in a very non-catholic north-eastern European country. There are only about 6 catholic churches in the entire country, and the catholic priests here are understandably stern. I’m not sure what my options are here for Catholic counseling, but I’m assuming they’re rather limited. There are 3 catholic priests at my current church here in this country (I have gone to each of them at different times for confession), and I’m not sure which of them I should speak to. The reason I’m hesitant is that I’m afraid of the answer they might give.
The skype option is interesting. Any info you could send me on that?
You do not study scrupulosity from the Word of God. You study scrupulosity from mental health textbooks in the same vein as anxiety and OCD. It is a mental condition, not love of God, and is not a good thing in any sense of the word. It needs to be absolutely, unconditionally fought and rejected and not encouraged. This is why we steer the confirmed scrupulous off these forums because of the mix of answers that can be wrong, confusing, and harmful to them.
Here is the thing----you need to stop re-litigating this on the internet. You need to find a Priest you can trust and are comfortable with and explain your whole situation to him. Then, take all of your issues to him and him alone. He will be the Priest who hears your confessions, and he will have the details that other Priests might not be aware of. You will trust his judgment blindly.
Putting this out on an open internet forum to get answers from random people on the internet will not help. In fact, it can be quite harmful. Just like going to multiple Priests, but only worse. You will get a myriad of answers on this forum, some better than others, but none as good as a Confessor, trained, schooled and experienced in Sacramental and Moral Theology in theory and practice, who has gotten familiar with your situation.
This right here.
Taking this to the internet for advice complicates things.
Find ONE priest. Trust him, and begin letting it go.
More advice just drives one to distraction.
An even better idea is to e-mail, or better yet, call your old priest #1 long distance if high-tech options are not available. Tell him all this. Ask his advice on how to identify one of these priests to trust and form a relationship with him.
https://www.catholiccounselors.com/services/ This was started by Dr Gregory Popchak who is on EWTN so you might be able to get a feel for his views by listening to some of his shows.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://catholicpsych.com/online-therapy/&ved=2ahUKEwjy84v79OXfAhUDbK0KHWbWC3gQFjAAegQIChAB&usg=AOvVaw2NjwCZGtEom43AoAMmy2iw this is set up by Dr Bottaro, with whom I am not familiar.
There are more, I think. I ran a search on Catholic counseling via Skype and got a lot of returns, one of which was Protestant, so do a bit of looking around, esp at the About Us page.
Yes, and this ultimately should be the case here, except he put himself in a jam by second-guessing his priest #1’s advice, and so he needs to be set up properly before we proverbially send him packing. Normally if this were one of our identified Scrupulous Club, we would have flagged the post immediately for closure.
I’m hoping Fr. Edward @edward_george1 chimes in again because his word should carry the day. Personaly, I’ve been suggesting he roll back to the state he had with priest #1, but admittedly, he still needs to overcome the addictive sin, and may still need a local confessor to help him through that, but one who understands. And I would be the first to say I am no expert in these things.
That is the key.
Mortal sin = serious matter/thing/action + knowledge it is a sin + doing it on purpose without anyone/thing forcing you.
One cannot commit a mortal sin without knowing you did it. No accidental mortal sins.
People in various places and times have only been able to receive once each year. In some places Mass is illegal or there are no priests to celebrate. Offer up your bummer feelings for those who will not be able to attend Mass.