Scrupulosity and Confession


#1

Hello friends,

I recently just went to confession. I like to go weekly, sometimes because of a struggle with a certain sin, sometimes just for the sacramental grace it brings. But in my last confession, I told the priest my sins and he then somewhat chided me for be scrupulous. He said that we need not go to confession weekly, but monthly is a good pattern to follow. The way I see it and have read about, weekly confession can be very good. If Pope John Paul II went to confession weekly, why shouldn’t I? I don’t think I am being scrupulous. Many times, I truly need the sacrament due to my personal struggles with sin. But his comment about coming to confession less kind of went against the grain of my thinking. I’m keeping an open mind that he may be right, and that maybe that’s why I was taken aback by his comment.

To clear it up: Doesn’t every mortal sin committed need confession for forgiveness? If reconciliation is needed, why wait a month? Should I take my priest’s advice and go to confession less, even if I have committed mortal sin? Or should I not receive the sacrament when I need it?


#2

When you commit a mortal sin go to confession ASAP.

Our priest encourages us to go to confession as often as we can–he even gave the example of a recent Pope who went to confession every day. He says monthly is good but weekly is even better. We’re lucky to have confession available to us at least 3 times a day at my parish.

I don’t know why the priest would advise you the way that he did. As long as you’re being relatively quick (not treating it as a therapy session or going off on tangents) then I don’t why you couldn’t go to confession as often as you wanted. It’s one of the sacraments we get to have continually so it makes sense to use it because of the graces given.

good luck!


#3

When scrupulosity is a factor, as may be-according to the title of your thread, then a person is duty bound to follow what their confessor tells them, unless they KNOW they are in mortal sin.
Scrupulosity can become a sin in itself, so a person needs to be obedient to their confessor for their own spiritual good.


#4

Perhaps your priest sees a pattern that causes him concern about scrupulosity. Ask him why weekly confession is not a good idea. He may see something you haven’t tuned into yet.

Yes, you need reconciliation ASAP if you commit mortal sin, even if it is the very next week… Otherwise, if his reasons are sound, go less often.


#5

You present a very good point. Maybe I’m simply unaware of possible scrupulous tendencies. Thank you for pointing that out to me.


#6

Maybe your confessor does see scrupulousity in you. Sometimes with scrupulous people weekly confession can exacerbate their scrupulousity and make it worse. I can be very scrupulous and because of my scrupulousity I go to confession every 6 weeks I used to go more frequently, weekly as you do, but it through my scrupulousity into hyperactive overdrive. Every 6 weeks seems to be my magic number. If I attend confession more frequently than that and I start becoming so overly scrupulous, any time later than 6 weeks and I just can’t stand being away from the sacrament for that long. But anyways maybe you can ask your priest to discuss with you why he thinks you’re being scrupulous and then clarify with him why he thinks you should attend confession less often. And yes if you commit mortal sin then you need to attend confession ASAP.


#7

Pax Christi!

“Listening to nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.” - Bishop Sheen

Unless you are under obedience in the religious life, you probably can just go monthly.

God bless.


#8

Yes, while it is possible for mortal sin to be forgiven prior to confession (the grace of perfect contrition) -one is still obliged to confess ones mortal sins. One is to goto confession also if one has mortal sin - prior to Holy Communion.

One should go right to confession if one commits a mortal sin.

Frequent confession of venial sins is an age old and very good practice. Different persons can decide differently as to how frequent. It could be say weekly, or monthly or every other week …*(some have gone even daily --and not out of any scrupulosity).

It is a wonderful and great Sacrament.

Catechism

1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful (scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm)

One is also free to choose ones confessor/confessors.

If one is scrupulous -if one struggles with scruples (I am not saying you are) one ought to choose single confessor to normally confess to who will come to know you and your scruples and can direct you (PS scruples can also be “transient” as in the case at times with converts or those who have had a deeper conversion).

Also let us all remember both the great good of frequent confession - and also that venial sins need not wait til confession to be forgiven: forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=11966589&postcount=13


#9

Those with a scrupulous conscience must seek out a spiritual director.


#10

If you feel that scrupulosity isn’t an issue, then I think you need to clarify to the priest why you go to Confession as often as you do.

Note: Those with a scrupulous conscience must seek out a spiritual director.


#11

You could read the following article: catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=9057

For those who sincerely wish to do their best to avail themselves of the opportunity of frequent confession in order to grow spiritually, frequent confession will ordinarily be linked to** having a fixed confessor**. **The confessor will **be the best qualified person to suggest the frequency suited to the spiritual development and the physical and moral possibilities of the penitent. Within those rather broad limits of flexibility and to seek a general rule of common sense, we can refer to one of the documents mentioned above which speaks about “receiving the Sacrament of Penance frequently, that is twice a month.” Previous legislation which specified regular intervals for confession spoke about weekly confession. One can therefore say in general terms that, whenever possible, frequent confession will ordinarily mean between once a month and once a week.

If this quote is a valid approach to the subject, and if your priest has regularly heard your confessions, then he very well may have made a judgement based on your “spiritual development and [your] physical and moral possibilities.”

Perhaps it isn’t so much a case that you are scrupulous, as it is that you are simply trying to do something in your spiritual life which is unnecessary at this stage.

If you are confessing instances where you got a bit snarky with someone, where you felt you were lazy in your prayers, where you feel you may have misled someone, etc., then your priest may very well be moving you a bit away from feeling that you need to confess such things in order to develop at present.

If, on the other hand, you have had serious doubts about whether or not you dealt with a particular sin – I assume temptations to lust – in a way which amounted to mortal sin, then please do go to confession.


#12

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