Is it scrupoulous to

to think you have to pray a prayer perfectly for it to “count”? Like you keep praying prayers of the rosary until you say them clearlyand make sure you say every word? Just wondering would that count as scrupolous?

*Hope it was OK to post it in this sub-forum.:confused:

From catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3739&CFID=38232865&CFTOKEN=56478165

"What Is Scrupulosity?

In Catholic moral teaching, scrupulosity defines the spiritual and psychological state of a person who erroneously believes he is guilty of mortal sin and is therefore seldom in a state of grace. A scrupulous person has difficulty making choices and decisions even though he desires above all else to please God and to follow God’s law. For a scrupulous person, it isn’t that he doesn’t “carefully attend to the sacred and certain teaching of the Church” (as the Catechism teaches), but that he becomes overwhelmed with the details and nuances that may be present in the decision.

An example of the “crooked thinking” of a scrupulous conscience may be helpful. All of us are aware of the need to abstain from all food and beverages for one hour before the reception of Communion at Mass. We are aware that this is one of the conditions the Church expects us to fulfill for the worthy reception of the sacrament. We are also aware that this is nowhere as demanding as the previous prescription for a three-hour fast — or the even older fast from midnight of the night before — that was once part of our spiritual practice. Most of us do not become preoccupied with the prescription because it is so easily followed.

This is not the case for a scrupulous person. One hour is sixty minutes fraught with the possibility of making a mistake. There is confusion over what constitutes breaking the fast. For example, does lipstick break the fast? Or say a piece of food is dislodged from your teeth, despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing, and you inadvertedly swallow it. Does this action break the fast? Or perhaps the celebrant is a little quicker today than normal and you are not sure you’ve fasted for the entire sixty-minute period. What to do? To receive Communion may well be to risk sacrilege, the deliberate and unworthy reception of the Body of Christ.

Imagine how a person might feel consumed in this way by the doubt, fear, and anxiety of scrupulosity. One author described the experience of scrupulosity as “a thousand frightening fantasies” and yet another author as the “doubting disease.” Despite a person’s best efforts, despite his absolute commitment to the moral teaching of the Church, and despite his desire to serve the Lord, he is unable to arrive at a point of peace, confident that he’s done as much as can reasonably be required."

So, the short answer is yes. At least, that is how I read it. Although we should pray diligently and not just form the words, to worry if my 17 second Hail Mary is better or worse than your 23 second Hail Mary is scrupulous. If I fail, and I do, when I pray or think or act, then I try to immediate fix whatever I am doing or not doing and depend on the mercy of my Father to perfect me.

Yes that is really scrupulous!

Padre Pio once said that if he had to pray the Rosary perfectly he would never complete a Rosary in his lifetime.

Use the “search” button toward the top of this page and look for “Scrupulous” “Scrupulous Anonymous” “Scrupulosity”.

Lots of good stuff available on CAF.

Yip.

Relax…pray it only once. Resist…stand firm against any impulse to do more…

You can pray another one tomorrow…but that one will be new.

Turn your attention more to the mysteries…but do not scruple there either…

no repeating…(accept 10 times each decade :)…)

Yes, that is sort of scrupulous. I remember a Q&A during a retreat once, where someone asked about being distracted while saying their penance after confession. The priest’s reply was: it might be the most distracted, worst prayed prayer you ever said, but it still counts for your penance.

Likewise the question came up about distractions during Mass, with a parent attending to children, having a million things on their mind. He said, that Mass where you were totally distracted by kids and thoughts, that might be the Mass from which you received the most grace of all.

Many years ago I suffered from extreme scruples. It took many years to get out of that pit and still today at age 74 I may say a prayer and think I could have done that better. I have learned today that it is best to plough ahead. The Lord knows my good intentions and constantly double thinking every move is crazy making. Satan loves that kind of worry.:slight_smile:

Yup, that’s pretty scrupulous, but it’s not sinful. Remember, God knows our heart, so just trust Him even if your prayer is imperfect.
One prayer that you can say is the Jesus prayer. Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
I will sometimes say this like breathing in (Jesus Christ, son of the living God), and breathing out (have mercy on me a sinner).

I have a question, I have become really scrupolous about what sins I am saying in confession and how, I am worried I have commited sins I probably haven’t and its really stressing me out really badly and just need to move on but not sure how.
So the question is when you go to confession is it nescesary to state the names of every person/group and or saint you have sinned against?
It has got so bad that as soon as I see a Saints name that I have done something against them in the past so I put their name down on sins like Anger or Wrath…
However I have asked my mum and she has told me that even If i were to simply say I commited gluttony, I commited the sin of pride that I would be forgiven for everything under that catergory and that is how I have been confessing since I was 9 ( 19 now) .
I am just really scared that I wont say something properly, miss someones name and that I won’t get forgiven.
Please if anyone can help me out.:frowning:

You need to get a “regular confessor”…put yourself into his hands…tell him your problems and follow his directions.
*
This is very important for you.*

To answer in general:

For mortal sins one needs number and kind…such as “murder 2x, adultery 2x” (one only needs the circumstance if it actually changes the sin…like the person you murdered was your brother…no unneeded details…no scrupulous details…ask your confessor about specific questions you may have …and there can be cases where a scrupulous person may be given an exception even to such …for they get all tied up in their scruples…etc)

For venial sins one can confess things even very generally.

If what one confesses is doubtful…say so (and add one sin your sure of)
But those with scruples are often recommended to not confess doubtful things…

As to your particular difficulty here…I repeat…make sure you get a regular confessor

You need to get a “regular confessor”…put yourself into his hands…tell him your problems and follow his directions.
*
This is very important for you.*

To answer in general:

For mortal sins one needs number and kind…such as “murder 2x, adultery 2x” (one only needs the circumstance if it actually changes the sin…like the person you murdered was your brother…no unneeded details…no scrupulous details…ask your confessor about specific questions you may have …and there can be cases where a scrupulous person may be given an exception even to such …for they get all tied up in their scruples…etc)

For venial sins one can confess things even very generally (general categories etc…impatience…etc)

If what one confesses is doubtful…say so (and add one sin your sure of)
But those with scruples are often recommended to not confess doubtful things…

As to your particular difficulty here…I repeat…make sure you get a regular confessor he will help you through this…(names usually are NOT part of confession…)

“Jesus Good Shepherd, take care of your sheep”

Some possible advice for you…

Remember too that one is only obliged to confess a mortal sin. Such goes for everyone.

So when you examine your conscience…start there. Am I conscious …of any mortal sins that I know of? Note them all to yourself…these need to be confessed.

Then after that …ask what venial sins have I committed? And then pick some of these…but do not concern yourself with any detail. I would suggest you limit yourself to say what you can count on one hand. And then intend all your sins that you are sorry for in general…

"I accuse myself of murder 2x

I also accuse myself ways I have not been good to my wife, of been impatient, of not working as well as I could, some intemperance and selfishness.

And all the sins of my life, especially against chastity and of anger (pick some category of sins your particularly sorry for from you life)."

Doubtful sins need not be confessed and are often recommended to those with scruples to not confess them. If one does confess them say it is doubtful in some way.

If you forget a venial sin that you wanted to confess…but were sorry for all your sins…that it you were contrite for it…it was absolved…and need never be mentioned.

Also venial sins can be forgiven in many ways…such as the Our Father, act of contrition, reading Sacred Scripture, Holy Communion etc…though it is highly recommended to confess them…at least some of them …but I would not try to hunt them all down and round them all up for confession…

If you forget a mortal sin…you need to mention it in the next confession …

Can I just ask, is it a sin in its self to state things that you might not have done in confession :S? Like I am in a hard position, if I don’t say the things im worried about I will worry probably until the day I die whether I haven’t confessed some bad stuff, if I do confess it, I’m worried that it will be lying and I won’t be forgiven for anything, I hope it won’t count as anything bad, because I am far from trying to cover stuff up, I just want to be certain that I have said everything possible, also with the saying in doubt in all the sins I am not sure about, instead of doing that is it ok to tell the priest at the start about the situation ? like If I say I have doubts, I might later on find that I did commit that sin and then I will become scrupolous again and look into things I probably haven’t done…

There’s no need to confess things one might not have done, or to confess doubtful sins. Concentrate on trusting in Christ’s mercy. In confession, he forgives all your sins, even those you confessed imperfectly or forgot. Put the past behind you. God is not trying to play ‘gotcha.’

Well I have gone to confession but as always, I have been looking for things I have not said and I am simply not trusting my self that I haven’t lied :frowning: even after many pages of sins I confessed to the priest, I will talk to the priest about this next time again but right now I would say all my sins all over again because I am worried I have lied and didnt say something on purpose but I don’t know I think I simply might not be trusting myself so I need some clarification until I go to confession next time.
I said I had evil and bad thoughts when I saw the Holy Bread and received it, now I was told there is no need to say what those thoughts consisted off, but this morning I got up thinking, did I try to steal the holy bread at some point? did I have the intention to do it? maybe I thought of this in confession and didnt say it on purpose? and I am simply not trusting myself, I did mention I commited sacrilege and my mum has been trying to persuade me that if you want to steal the holy communion and do something with it, that this is sacrilege and that because I said it all sins to do with that matter have been forgiven even if I didn’t go into specifics on what I commited it on?
I have to say I never have stolen a Holy Eucharist I am just worried I have had the thought and will and urge to do it in the past…even though I don’t think I have and I am not trusting myself, I just want to have a peace of mind and know if you confess sacrilege are all the sins surrounding it confessed such as going to holy communion with a mortal sin, stuff like this etc?
Thanks alot.

Anyone please, this is really bothering me badly I feel gutted and worried that I tried so hard to confess everything, but I simply dont trust my self and I fear I am going to hell for sure :S

Dear Dazzi,
I can see that you are very worried, and very upset.

Remember, that a mortal sin happens when you completely turn your back on Our Lord. You are trying very, very hard not to ever do this and God knows this.

Having a bad thought is not a sin. It is only when the bad thought comes and you do not push it away, but instead you enjoy the bad thought and keep it there in your mind.

You are not enjoying these bad thoughts. You are trying to avoid them. You have not committed a sin.

The evil one wants to put bad thoughts in your mind and upset you. Whenever this happens, picture yourself in front of Jesus, and reach out to grab His robe. Since you are not turning your back completely on Jesus, you are not committing a mortal sin. If every time you think you are committing a sin, you mentally reach out to Jesus, maybe eventually these thoughts will start to go away and you can find peace.

Remember to wear a cross and a miraculous medal around your neck to help keep the evil one from bothering you so much.

I hope this helps you find some peace.

yes it very well could be
prayer is turning the mind and heart to God, its value does not lie in perfect repetion of words and formulas.

Moved to Moral Theology.

Choosing Your Forum Wisely

a scrupulous person is one who highly principled,punctiliously exact.Example:one doesnt go to confession because he doesnt use the prescribed procedure.He thinks he has to say Bless me Father for I have sinned,ect.Everything has to follow a precise procedure.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.