Need Help with Confession


I seem to have a problem doubting that I have not been forgiven after confession, but because of some little detail I have forgotten or something silly. How do I overcome this scrupulosity? It’s horrible. Sometimes I get so obsessed over whether I am worthy to receive communion. Please pray for me and any advice from those who have experienced scrupulosity before would be helpful.

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:


If the priest gives you absolution, you are forgiven for your sins, even the ones you forgot to confess.


First of all remember that God WANTS your salvation - so He WANTS to forgive you even more than you want to be forgiven. He’s not searching for reasons to deny you mercy and forgiveness when you ask for them, quite the contrary.

As long as you are genuinely repentant and don’t DELIBERATELY fail to mention a sin, or DELIBERATELY make a sin sound less than it was (eg ‘I stole a few bucks’ when it was really thousands), you’re fine.

And don’t worry too much about getting the words right - we’re confessing TO God, who knows what we’re thinking, THROUGH the priest, not just TO the priest. Whether the priest understands you completely is of secondary significance, absent a deliberate intent to omit a sin (not just detail) or to deceptively misstate something.


Hey Gloria! I have not experienced scrupulosity, but I can understand your feelings of uncertainty and nervousness. :o

So long as you’ve made a good and honest confession, you can trust that you’ve been forgiven. Reconciliation is a joyful sacrament that brings us back to God. If a “little detail” or venial sin slips your mind in the confessional and you remember it afterwards, don’t worry…your slate’s already been wiped clean! Trust in the Lord’s mercy and love…He will take care of you.

Making an Examination of Conscience in the evening is a great way to reflect on your day and the choices you made throughout it. If you find that you have committed a mortal sin, you should go to Confession before receiving Communion again. If you are in a state of venial sin, pray for God’s forgiveness and resolve to do better next time. :thumbsup:

Try to find a good priest whom you can talk about all this…he’ll be able to guide you in the right direction! I’ll keep you in my prayers!

*“Those whose steps are guided by the LORD may stumble, but they will never fall, for the LORD holds their hand”
(Psalm 37:23-24) *


I went through scruples for years and it was a dreadful time of constant anxiety. I was almost miraculously - i.e. instantaneously - cured of scruples in Confession. We should never underestimate the power of this great Sacrament which is the Presence of the Merciful and Loving Jesus. My advice would be to talk to Father in Confession about your scruples. Will be keeping you in prayer.



There is a book you can purchase

Understanding Scrupulosity: Helpful Answers for Those Who Experience Nagging Questions and Doubts (Paperback)
by Thomas M. Santa (Author)

And a website

and talk to your priest. He will be able to assist you.


For those who have answered so far thank you! If anyone else has any advice I would be thankful!

I am new to confession and haven’t received very good guidance in how to confess, so:

-How specific should we be? Is it enough if we know that the priest understands us?


I second the scrup anonymous link. Do make sure to read the 10 commandments for the scrupulous listed there.

I would also recommend the book, To Settle Your Conscience by Kucharek. It’s older, and written by an orthodox priest, but I’ve found it trustworthy and extremely helpful. You can find it used on amazon.

List by kind and number, that’s all that’s required. The priest will ask questions to elaborate if they do not understand.

I had a tendency to convince myself that I had given bad confessions, and I have gotten over that phase of my scruples by forbidding myself from replaying the confession I just gave, everything that was just said and done, when I leave the confessional. I simply give thanks to God for His mercy and forgiveness and say my penance. No going over past confessions.

If your intention is to make a good confession, then there is no reason to doubt that you are forgiven. God is so good, it pleases Him so much when we trust in His Mercy, even though we are afraid!



In addition to all the advice given above, what I typically do while walking up to receive communion is to recite over and over an act of contrition until it’s finally time to receive. None of are worthy to receive, and so long as you’ve made the best confession possible, saying an act of contrition prior to receiving communion will offer you much consolation.


Thanks everyone! Y’all are a real help.


Hi Gloria :wave: I’m a fellow “scruples sufferer”. God bless you, I know how tough it is.

Through the advice and friendship of the good people on this forum… I am learning to cope with it, too.

One thing which I have found very helpful. This may help you, too. I hope so. When I am in doubt about God’s forgiveness… it helps to stop what I’m doing for a few moments, and contemplate a Crucifix. When you look at Our dear Lord… suffering on that crucifix… you start to think… “Wait, He did that for ME; He must really LOVE me; He wants me in Heaven with Him”.

You will be amazed at the strength this will give you. And the courage… to pick yourself up, and try… try again. :wink:

Hang in there. He LOVES you! :heart:


Thank you for the encouragement. It’s always helpful that you are not alone. :wink: That’s why I came here because I was afraid to ask someone else and they think that I’m crazy.

God bless you all!


Not crazy:thumbsup: …scruples are a spiritual cross and a trial and a terribly difficult one. Some good advice I thought in this thread too. Those who have never suffered scruples can find it impossible often to understand or to empathize with, but the moment one is touched by this Cross, understanding will flood in. Priests in Confession would be well experienced in advising those who do suffer scruples.
Re your question about speaking to Father in Confession. Simply mention to Father your scruples much as in your opening post…and ask Father for his advice. This will bring with it all the Graces of this Great Sacrament of the Merciful Jesus.

God bless and may The Lord free you quickly from this cross…Barb:)


For me it was easiest because the Bible told me so. Hundreds of examples throughout the bible, one of the best known is:

John 20:21-23 (New American Standard Bible)
21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

When you’ve done your part and the Priest says you are forgiven, it’s ok! Hold your head high and move on a better person!:thumbsup:


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