I went to confession today, and I missed something important to confess in my last confession so I asked the priest if I should confess everything over again and expressed my concern and he told me to just confess everything over so that I basically could feel at ease. I confessed everything that were serious sins that I confessed previously, and I told the priest I was thinking if there is anything else I wanted to confess and he asked me if I was sorry for anything I have forgot and I said yes. But, of course right when I get into my car I thought about a bad thought that I had previously and I didn’t confess it. Should I just confess this thought and anything else afterwards at my next confession, or should I say everything over? I just have hard time with accepting that I forgot something to confess.
Yes, it is common of scrupulosity.
And the answer to your specific question about what to do is clear and well established.
If you confessed all the serious sins you did remember, and would have confessed the ones you forgot, and are sorry for all of them, then ALL your sins are forgiven.
You do not need to rush back to confession. You may receive Holy Communion.
The next time you go to confession (and you don’t have to rush back), you should mention the serious sin(s) you forgot last time, but leave out all the other previously-confessed sins.
And if you sincerely forget again to mention the ones you forgot the last time, then the same rule applies.
God loves you. He’s not up in heaven trying to trip you up, or looking for ways to say “gotcha!” Trust him. He’s looking for ways to save you, not to condemn you.
Yeah, that is common of scrupulosity. If you genuinely forgot to confess something, it does not invalidate your confession at all. You simply tell the Priest that you forgot to mention something at your last confession and tell him. It has already been forgiven though. You can only invalidate your confession by INTENTIONALLY leaving out a mortal sin. But I have a question for you. I am scrupulous myself. Is this “bad thought” that you had without a doubt a mortal sin you know you committed or is it a something that you think was a mortal sin, but you are not sure so you want to confess it just to be safe but it is really a doubtful sin? I ask because people who are scrupulous tend to do this also and it is just feeding our scrupulosity by giving into this compulsion. It is a compulsion to try to gain peace of mind by confessing every little doubtful sin we have in our head. It just makes it worse to do that. You need to work on that. If you are not sure you consented to a “bad thought” or “impure thought” then you did not. If you would not say to God personally “I know for sure I consented to a bad or impure thought” it is a doubtful sin if you are scrupulous and you are not obligated to confess it. Only those with a Lax conscience should confess doubtful sins.
Thank you so much for your advice! I think the thought is a mortal sin, but I’m not sure. I’ve gotten a lot better at not having such bad thoughts anymore, but of course I still need to work on having more pure thoughts. It was definitely a bad thought to where I don’t feel content leaving out of my confession. I plan on confessing it at my next confession. But, this happened with another confession where I left something out and then today I repeated everything and again I forgot something important.
I will re-post an older post of mine.
A person struggles with scruples - what ought they do?
A person with scrupulosity --ought to have a* “regular confessor” who can direct them --and even give them some general principles* to follow -to apply (principles for them due to their particular scruples -they are usually not for those with a normal conscience).
Thus with their direction they can “dismiss scruples” (in the older language despise them) - “act against them”.
Scruples are to be dismissed ~ not argued with.
To borrow and image from a Carthusian from centuries ago: Scruples *are like a barking dog or a hissing goose -one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? * No one keeps walking.
Such ‘obedience’ to a regular confessor who knows of ones scruples (except in what is manifest sin - such as if he told them it was ok to murder someone or something certain like that) is key. Such is the age old practice.
Also counseling -(especially if one also has OCD) could be helpful depending on the case -but one would want to look for a counselor who can assist one in following the Churches Teachings - not go contrary to them (I have heard CA staff mention catholictherapists.com/)
Here was a recent post from Jimmy Akin of CA that I saw in the Register and saved for those who struggle with such.
You go ahead and confess it if it will give you peace. I cannot help myself sometimes and still give in to my compulsion to confess things I am not obligated to once in awhile. But just know that if you are not sure if you consented or not, you DID NOT. You will not know peace in the long run if you need to run to confession every time you have a impure thought in your head that you fear that you consented to. Believe me, I know. It is uncomfortable to say “I had a impure thought. But I am not sure if I consented to it or not. Well, then it is a doubtful sin and I am not obligated to confess it.” and then to just drop it without obsessing over it. But you need to learn to do this. Everyone has impure thoughts. They will NEVER go away completely.
If you have a little extra money to spend sometime, I recommend the book “Understanding Scrupulosity” by Fr. Thomas Santa (yes, Santa) I ordered it off amazon.com and it and it has helped me a GREAT deal. Father Santa has been helping people like us for a long time and he understands the scrupulous condition. Take care and God bless!
You are so right! I am getting better like I said, but this thought was couple years ago but it was a bad one and not a sexual thought - but a thought I think from being hurt or upset from someone and then the thought came to mind. I am ashamed of this thought, as the other thoughts I confessed that are most shameful. I am planning on meeting with the same priest each week for confession and I feel this will really help me. But, i just want my past thoughts that to be cleared from my mind and having missed one just bothers me. Thank you so much for the advice though, I will have to brush off those thoughts and today the priest did tell me not to dwell on them.
This is very true. I suffer, and I am slowly recovering from scrupulosity. Especially with what I would call “impure thoughts”. I’ve still struggle, although not so much anymore, about if my thought was lustful. As a man with a healthy libido, I have, well, thoughts! And not all of those thoughts are pure. But I can reassure you that you too can overcome your scrupulosity. Trust the people who you, along with the Holy Spirit, discern are giving you truthful and sound advice. I did. And it helped, over time. I also spent time in prayer, consistently, asking for peace surrounding this.
It’s a catch 22 for those with scruples, the more you focus on not focusing on it, the worse it gets. So what to do!? As one of the other posters said, Scruples are to be dismissed ~ not argued with. Good advice.
My prayers are with you.