Scrupulous conscience VS doubtful conscience

Hi all,

Odd question, I know, but do we have to be actually recognised i.e diagnosed as “scrupulous” in order for the rules for scrupulous people to apply to us? I’m having difficulty in discerning whether I’m scrupulous or have a doubtful conscience.

Some details:

• I don’t have any issues with whether I said a prayer “correctly”
• I don’t have any issues with whether my confession was “valid”
• I don’t have any issues with whether I committed a mortal sin because I **accidentally **ate meat on a Lenten friday because “full knowledge” at that time, was absent (i.e I completely forgot it was a Lenten Friday)

However I do have issues with:

• I create RIDICULOUS hypothetical scenarios in my head; essentially anything I do can lead to sin
• An answer from a priest isn’t enough; I feel that I must ask two or three more after to ensure that the answer given is correct

Everyone has doubts but being scrupulous, from personal experience, is torture. And then, even the scrupulous occasionally doubt their scrupulosity. You need to talk to a priest about this to get a “diagnoses” for lack of a better term. Nobody here could tell you.


YOU - have a over active imagination - not good -
Don’t let thoughts push you around, like a bully, into a dark corner.

I know :confused: it’s just that I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to act against these thoughts - despite knowing how ridiculous they are - because I don’t know whether they’re part of my “conscience”.

Again, this is a conversation to ahve with your confessor. then LISTEN.

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4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty -
through God -
to the pulling down of - strong holds;
5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity -
every thought - to the obedience of Christ !

Friend you fairly clearly suffer from scrupulosity given your posting history on CAF.
Please stop posting to amateurs here on CAF re sin who will never give you clear guidance.

Please get yourself a spiritual director and put your questions to him and strictly follow his advice.
If a priest’s answer isn’t enough then nobody’s is. Its a mental condition.
The first Commandment for the scrupulous, as I am sure you know, is not to question your Confessor. You are blatantly doing so here and compulsively so.

God bless.


That’s a thing?

Yes, it’s a “thing”. When a person with a normal or lax conscience is uncertain if something is sinful or if they are not sure if what they did was a mortal sin they are generally advised to confess it but for someone with a Scrupulous conscience the rule is “when in doubt, it does not count” and they are advised to not confess it and to keep receiving communion unless they are absolutely certain they are in a state of mortal sin.

It may sound like this is letting people off the hook easy but it’s not. Believe me, when it comes to Scrupulosity there are often bad episodes where the person fears pretty much everything they do is a sin in some way. It makes it very hard to consent to grave matter when one is so scared of sinning mortally that it tortures them to no end. Episodes of this anxiety can last for weeks straight, even months. That is why a spiritual director, preferably who is a priest competent in dealing with Scrupulosity is important so that they can basically say “I order you to not confess anything but certain mortal sins and to receive communion unless you can swear on a stack of bibles that you are in a state of mortal sin” because witg obedience eventually Scrupulosity dies down. That is what helped me and although I doubt I’ll ever be fully cured I feel 95% better.

Also there are the “ten commands for the Scrupulous” that can easily be looked up online.

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