This stinks. Help me, please

Hello dear friends!

Firstly, let me say thank you to all of those who replied to my previous scrupulous thread. I was already getting the medical help for my OCD (zoloft), but the replies to that topic made me realize that I have a real problem which may destroy me and my faith (scrupulosity). I followed the advice of many of you and asked a priest who I trust to help me. I think this was a game changer. It was the best decision I made in my life. The priest and this forum probably helped to save my faith, because I was giving up all hope.

Eventhough I blindly follow the advice of my spiritual director to not confess any other sins that I commited before my last confession (finnaly some peace), I have a problem with discerning if what I did today and yesterday was mortally sinful.

I knew that I should probably take a shower, but was late for work, so I touched my private parts (nothing sexual) and smelled the hand to see if I could get away with just washing those parts, because I was somewhat late to work. I ended up just washing those parts with the towel and soap. I actually did the same thing yesterday before going to bed - I was hoping to take a shower in the morning, because I thought, ‘yep I better take a shower’ - I ended up with a really bad night, because I was obsessing over what I did, and how I will confess that, and how I will avoid it in the future, because sometimes this is an automatic thing that I do - which resulted in me being almost late for work.

Was this smelling part a sin?

I have a thing about cleaning my hands (I THINK IT’S probably not because of my OCD), but because of the sins that may be commited with dirty hands. For the last few months, I was cleaning my hands very precise after being in the toilet, because I was afraid that I may commit a sin of carelessy make someone sick or get in touch with my … you know… if I am preparing food.

I once confessed a simmilar thing, and a priest told me with a serious voice ‘NO, a sin is when you do something against God or a fellow men’ and when I Was confessing something not all that simillar, but still could be related he said ‘NO, IT’S GROSS, BUT IT’S NOT A SIN’.

Sorry for being so graphic.

I am asking you this, because I have to work now… and I’m so upset… and can’t stop obsessing about it. In a way I feel that if this is a mortal sin, that, then I’m in big trouble, but that it probably is not a mortal sin, but I need some reasoning or something. I will talk to a priest about my obsessive thinking, but if it’s not needed I would not like to bring up this thing in the confessional.

I am so sorry for being a burden again. I wish I could be happy, I went to confession yesterday, I should be happy.

Try asking yourself whether you would call someone else to account for this.

Any time you want to ask someone if such and such is a sin, you can be pretty sure it is not or is only very, very slight. In other words, “If you have to ask…”

God knows you far better than you know yourself, otherwise he could not plan for you. God knows of your struggles and your intentions. You have a heavy cross and you have been doing things to address this. Try to relax a bit, and stay on course. Pray always. Say the rosary every day. This will bring great merits.

There are limitations to the pastoral advice you should be getting from anonymous posters on the Internet, and I try to refrain from certain types of advice as I’ve no training. But in this case, I think I can speak. It wasn’t mortal. It wasn’t even venial. No grave matter was involved. It’s not even some type of gray area. Be at peace.

Please speak with your spiritual director about these types of issues. As a scrupulous person, if you are not absolutely certain it was a mortal sin, you probably shouldn’t be worrying.

Yeah, I think this is your scrupulosity talking for sure. You have to remember intent. Not every minor failure is sinful. If someone sneezes and you fail to say “Bless you” or “gesundheit” that’s not a sin. Was your intention when you, uh, smelled yourself to derive illicit sexual pleasure? No. It was to check on your hygiene. There’s no sin here. If you analyze every single thing you do throughout the day under a microscope, you’re going to drive yourself nuts. I think your best bet is to keep working with **both **your doctor/therapist on your OCD and the priest on your scrupulosity.

As a side note: as the priest said…it’s a little gross, man. Maybe get up a little earlier so you have time for a proper shower. :slight_smile:

I see your humorous title. :wink:

I don’t think it’s a sin to smell any part of your body for the purpose of hygiene. The same goes for clothing, footwear, furniture, bathroom fixtures, and the kitchen sink. :eek:

An excellent principle.

If you saw someone else doing it, would you consider it sinful?

If you would not be so hard on someone else, why would you be so hard on yourself?

(“you” here being the hypothetical “you” of course).

You need to be discussing these issues with your professional & spiritual advisors.

Thank you all for your replies.

Thank you all for your replies. I do try to stay optimistic and cheerful eventhough something is eating me inside. Hence, I try to make jokes, like the title. I really wish I had peace. When I look back 1 year, or 2 years back… I had issues with anger. Now, I don’t have the issue anymore. Thank God. When I think about that time, I am like “how could I ever be in a bad mood? when I was feeling so much confidence in God and was not seeing mortal sin in almost everything”. I’m really not trying to feel sorry for myself. I guess I’m just venting out.

tawny: I will definetly talk to my professional & spiritual advisor. I sort of wished that I would not have to feel like I need to go to confession again, after 1 day, I guess. That was my main goal. Every night of sleep is a precious thing. When I’m at peace (after confession), I feel like I have wings, but when a small doubt presents itself, I feel like I’m damned.

God bless you all!

To get to the heart of the matter, it is not a sin to touch yourself anywhere on your body if it is not for a sexual purpose.

Hi TwoNames, my advice, if the Lord so
wills, is to PLAN to take a shower or bath
EVERYDAY!! It will eliminate your obsess-
ion over being “unclean” and will FREE
you to thinking about more CONSTRUCTIVE
things.
GBY.

How Great Thou Art.
O Lord, my God,
when I in awesome wonder,
consider all the worlds Thy
hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the
rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the
Universe displayed.

Refrain:
Then sings my soul, my
Savior God to Thee,
how great Thou art,
how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul,
my Savior God to Thee,
how great Thou art,
how great Thou art!!

Whaaaat! You skipped a shower or two! The earth will stop rotating on its axis, the sky will fall and the sun will be “Lights Out!” Actually, you were hygienic and it is called a “sponge bath” where you hit the most important areas. It is more of a culture thing where we are taught that it is good to take a daily shower. There are parts of modern Europe that even today do not take daily showers or even frequent baths. The Army teaches soldiers what is necessary to be hygienic in the field. They even have a slogan for it-which I will not quote, but heard from my brothers.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say you must shower each day. As long as you are not “rank” you can be at peace. Take a stroll through Walmart sometime and open up your sense of smell. You will count your blessings because you encounter a few people who are truly “rank,” but may be sinless just because they have really, really not had a shower in eons. It maybe part of THEIR culture or lack of training or just plain clueless. I would venture you are safe from mortal sin. I will pray for you that you find peace.

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