Still worried about obedience, scrupulosity. Please help if you're not tired of me yet

I have talked to him pretty regularly already. Does that already make him my SD? Or is that some thing where you have to take some kind of vow?
And then I couldn’t go to confession at the other place anymore, because they offer it more often? I kind of liked the opportunity to do that too.

I see. I used to like to be able to go to some other priests for confession too. We have confession every day at my Parish with different priests. But the reason I went to one priest and asked him to be my SD is because he then takes responsibility for my soul and I know I am under the direction of God Himself, with the priest being his voice. (This is sound Church teaching.) I only have to communicate honestly with him and obey his directions and God provides all the rest. Because I only see him, one priest, he really knows my situation and is in a better position to help me and help weed out my spiritual problems/sin. If he were ever to tell me something unorthodox I would ask him to explain himself, in case I did not understand him properly. If he were accidentally misleading me, I simply would point it out to him, and seek out a new SD if he was found to be an inveterate liberal. And, no, you do not take a vow to your SD. The Church just recommends that we all seek a good SD for the sake of our souls and for finding the easiest remedy to our spiritual problems/sin. But if you are not comfortable with the priest, I would suggest seeking another.

I guess now I am worried about HAVING TO have an SD. I don’t want to do anything out of compulsion. :wink:
It makes sense, somebody who really knows you. But if I feel more comfortable not confiding in one person so totally, is that wrong? Or, maybe: Not before I am ready to do that. I am just not sure if I am at this point. Maybe because a lot of other things in my life are kind of up in the open, or maybe I have some possible plans that I am not totally sure about yet… Where I kind of just have to let go and let God.

Anyway, Ready, thank you so much for all your help and understanding. I think I’ll have to go to bed soon now. It is almost midnight here and I am working tomorrow.

Good night! And just pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you. He’ll let you know when you are ready to see a good SD. But I must say if there is anything worse than not having a SD, it is having a bad SD. So make your selection carefully when you do.:wink:

I had to check one more time. Because now I am worried that I am going against church teachings if I don’t feel good about getting an SD at this time.:frowning: I guess I am worried that I would worry too much about everything he would say, and about what I would have to tell him and what not. I would have to feel REALLY REALLY REALLY comfortable with him.

The church does recommend it for everybody?

But you said it’s not like your SD will make your life decisions for you and you’re bound to obey under ain of sin? That would be kind of scary, no? Or is it just about trusting God. But can we not trust God without having an SD?

OK, enough for today. Thanks for your prayers! I prayed for you too! I really appreciate your kindness and understanding.


Even though the Church recommends SD for everybody, not everybody can find a good SD. So they go by the Holy Spirit prompting them and by SD like St. Alphonsus, St. Francis De Sales, etc., who wrote and left good spiritual direction in their books. Just be abandoned to God’s will for you and don’t worry. Padre Pio tells us to pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is very damaging,and it uses perfectly good energy wastefully. Anyway, even when you have spiritual direction you are supposed to put your trust in God, not in the SD. If you feel you’ve met a priest who can help you - go for it! If you don’t feel so ready, then just pray to the Holy Spirit to help you and to help you find someone to help you. Isn’t it better than suffering alone, doing the same thing wrong over and over again?

Kathrin, unless you have taken FORMAL vows (and I’m quite certain you have not), you do not owe blind obedience to your spiritual director. Your director will not command you to do things concerning major life decisions under pain of sin. There is always the opportunity for you to respond and discuss whatever suggestions are made to you, and in the end, you always have complete freedom to make your own decision.

Direction is supposed to give you peace. When you decide (that’s you deciding here) to obey, you can be totally at peace, because when you obey your director, even if he makes an error, YOU do not sin! Do you think that would help comfort your scrupulosity? I do.

There is one exception to the no commands part. The healing of scrupulosity does require unquestioning obedience. I know you are familiar with the Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous. It is those types of things that you will have to obey about, or else you’re totally wasting your time and the priest’s.

To sum up, you can’t go wrong by obeying your director. But you’re still free. Hope that helps.


Ready, that does help. You have been so kind. Wow, I turn my computer back on in the morning before going to work, and I find two replies that give me feelings of peace.Yours, and Betsy’s.

Betsy, thank you for explaining. Yes that helps!! I was getting myself into a whole new spiral here. Thinking I’d have to surrender my life completely to one person’s mercy and I’d have to do everything they say - that sounded really scary. But then I started worrying about me thinking that. Like: “If the church teaches that spiritual direction is good, and I am afraid that my SD would ask something of me that I am not ready to do, that means I am not ready to trust and obey God blindly.” Going further: “If I am afraid that my SD will tell me not to pursue a path in life that I feel is right for me, that means that path is too iportant to me”, and then I started feeling guilty about pursuing my dreams again. Even though I have talked to several spiritual counselors AND priests about this and have almost always become the reply that it is GOOD to follow your dreams and, if it is something positive, go with what gives you joy.
So why would I be afraid an SD would ask of me to change my life completely and forsake good things that give me joy?
Aha, maybe I am afraid I’d happenen upon an SD who understands me wrong and thinks something would be good for me that I think wouldn’t.
The spiral turns on: “If you’re afraid of that, that means there are things in your life you don’t want to surrender to God. So you better give them up now just in CASE they are wrong.” Something like giving up a whole set of possible plans and studies you have been pursuing that have given you a sense of purpose and direction in life. That wonderful feeling of having found something you really like.
I was told that is good, but if I am afraid an SD might tell me it’s not good, maybe that by itself means its not good because it means I would not surrender it to God, because an SD is supposed to know what is best for me and represent God in my life, or something like that… as in: “Ifg I am even a tiny bit AFRAID an SD would ask of me to make major life decisions, that means I don’t want to obey God enough and I want to hold on to my life dreams too much.”

Are those the “dream attackers” talking? :wink: Isn’t it good to find things that give you joy, that ring right with you, just a feeling that you have found something you want to pursue in this life? I doubt that an SD would tell me: “No, you have to give up the things that give you joy, that feel right for you in your life.” Be that job plans or hobbies or dreams of moving to another country again or whatever. Why would an SD do that? But I think my “dream attackers” try to tell me that if I am even afraid an SD might do that, that means my dremas are too important to me.

And then you tell me, no, an SD cannot tell you what to do with your life, as in making your major decisions for you, telling you things like give up your studies or your job or your dreams. Now that of course is a relief! That also tells me: Maybe everybody would be afraid if that was really the case?? Maybe that doesn’t mean I am too unready to surrender, it just means that OF COURSE it is normal that we want to listen to our feelings and pursue our dreams if we feel they are good?
Or is an SD supposed to be so in connection with God that he is, so to say, infallable (is that the right word?), and it is a sin not to trust that he is right in everything? And it is a sin to even THINK he might ask something of me that I wouldn’t like to do?

See, a whole new spiral.:wink:


I understand your concerns. The reason I thought you mighrt like to see a SD is because a SD can help you get over your scrupulosity like my SD did. If the priest knows about scrupulosity and how to pastorally minister to it, that would be a good thing, wouldn’t it? If you are not ready to see a SD, then maybe you might like to read a book called Abandonment to Divine Providence by J. P. Caussade. In it he talks about how some people are called to have the Holy Spirit as a SD. But if we have scrupulosity, a SD seems to be how we can conquer it (with the Holy Spirit).

It is just that I suffer from similar sorts of things. I know what it is like.

Thanks, Pure.
And you think it’s not possible to overcome it without going into therapy again?

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