My Confession- Scrupulosity

Hi friends,

         I try to be a good Catholic, please take my post seriously- I have my failings and I get things wrong- I am an extremely Scrupulous person.  Yesterday I waited inline for Confession at Westminster Cathedral, I made my Confession and accused myself of all the sins I was conscious of at the time of my Confession (I am very thorough with myself and say and accuse myself of things that others probably wouldn't even think they were guilty of) and then ended my Confession with words to this effect **"for these sins and all my sins, especially those that have escaped my memory"**.  I listened to Father's advice and then received absolution, I felt wonderful and gave thanks to God and said my Penance and then prayed in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, met a friend and went to Mass, we prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy and then went out for the afternoon- I enjoyed the day....however several hours after my Confession my Scruples began to hit me- I am just a person who wants so much to be a good Catholic and to serve Jesus, there are those who will laugh at me but I will be honest and mention my Scruples- I forgot to Confess that I drove over the speed limit and it got to me, I began to think "oh no, should I have Confessed that (as I usually do)" or am I covered because I said "for these sins and all my sins, especially those that have escaped my memory" which it genuinely had at the time.  I know most people wouldn't even be Conscious of this in their Confession but...these things worry me, especially as I had thought to mention it- if it not thought of at all it is different but when I Confess I truly believe I Confessed all on my mind at the time, but had intended earlier to Confess that also (as I was travelling to Confession...over the speed limit haha).   I said the prayer after Confession from my 1962 missal which has a line saying "and I ask you to make good any defects in this my Confession" (or words similar to that)....I hope I am good, I am well instructed and I know that I was absolved, I suppose my human nature is just looking for some recognition- does anyone else suffer with this?  I am covered aren't I?  I am always so kind and understanding to those who are Scrupulous but when it comes to myself it is another story!  I am just so aware of my own sin and past offences against God, which are too many and some very serious. I have prayed a rosary to Our Lady of Westminster to ask her intercession that I be granted peace of mind and conscience and also for her to intercede on my behalf if there were any defects in my Confession- I was repentant.

Maybe I did Confess it but I have no recollection of it and I am sure I didn’t…please pray for me and my Scruples!

Driving over the speed limit?

32mph in a 30mph zone or 100mph in a 30mph zone? (The latter being the norm for London :D).

I think you have to say to yourself, does this (whatever you are thinking may be a sin) hurt God or hurt somebody else? If yes, then ask yourself was it deliberate or an accident?

Yes well of course I didn’t intend to hurt anyone haha but it is just a problem I have- being over-scrupulous, I know I am so- but it is good to hear that in a lighthearted way haha. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!

haha I think it was closer to the first…although not quite so close lol! But not recklessly or anything like that! Thanks and God bless!

In England they set the speedometer 2-3mph above what it actually is. So if your speedometer says you are doing exactly 30mph you are actually doing about 28mph.

Sometimes sins are like throwing a tennis ball into someone’s face.

  1. Throwing it directly into someone’s face because you want to.
  2. Throwing it against a wall so you can catch it when it bounces back but it bounces in the wrong way and accidently hits someone in the face.

You threw the ball in both scenarios, it hit someone’s face in both scenarios but one is worse than the other, one was direct and the other indirect, an accident.

I hope nobody will try and fit sex into my crazy scenario as that is black and white.

Interesting analyse- everyone has their own problems- nobody is perfect, except for Christ and his Blessed Mother of course!

Some general notes for you with your scruples.

  1. One is only obliged to confess mortal sins (that goes for everyone).

  2. If one forgets a mortal sin - but was contrite and seeking to confess any mortal sins - it is indirectly absolved in that confession. One simply mentions it in the next confession.

  3. Venial sins never need to be confessed. It is good to regularly confess from your venial sins -but if you forget one -there is absolutely no need to mention it. It can be have been absolved then or even forgiven in other ways.

  4. Venial sins can be forgiven in many many ways – the Our Father, an act of Contrition, in reading Sacred Scripture, prayerful use of holy water, acts of love etc.

  5. It is good for one with scruples - when one is not conscious of any mortal sins - but want to go to confession – to not seek to mention all the venial sins they are conscious of - or certainly any detail of them. It is good to say examine and pick a few - maybe 3 of them. “I accuse myself of y, w and z and all the sins of my life” and include all the rest under “all the sins of my life”. One can focus in on those one is wanting to be more sorry for ( in the will ) and work on being better regarding. Resist the overly anxious desire to “get em all” by name (venial sins).

Often it is advisable for those with scruples to resist the desire to look back at their confession. If later a certain forgotten mortal sin comes to mind - then note it for the next confession -but otherwise it is often advisable not to look back at that confession. Ones regular confessor can guide one - discuss this with him.

  1. Often those with scruples have been told: only confess sins of the past that come to mind when one is both: 1. Certain it was mortal and 2. Certain is was not confessed as it ought to be. Both being the case. Note the emphasis on “is it certain” (no perhaps’ or "what if’s etc). A regular confessor can guide one.

  2. It often the advice for those with scruples not to confess anything that is doubtful. But only certain sins.

  3. A person with scruples - ought to have a “regular confessor” who can direct them. Such is the age old practice in the Church. (this ought to have been #1)

For ones scruples interfere with right judgement of conscience. One can become like a ship without a rudder. For a time at least one needs that regular confessor. One follows his direction (in what is not manifest sin -like he says go murder so and so -that one would not do). He can also give you general principles for you to follow. To assist one in acting against scruples.

  1. I will note too - for those who are scrupulous -that in general it can be said that scruples are to be “dismissed” (or to use the old word “despised”) - not conversed with.

Treated like a barking dog or a hissing goose --one does not stop to talk with either of those does one? No. One keeps walking (image borrowed from a Carthusian from the middle ages).

With the guidance of a *regular confessor *who knows one.

Or as another basically put it-- when scruples arise - turn towards the Lord and let them pass by unheeded.

Turn towards* Jesus of Nazareth* the* Risen Lord and Good Shepherd! In him is true life* Alleluia! (even in the midst of ones struggles).

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