VERY scrupulous rosary/rosary intentions...HELP!

Hi. So first off I wanna say I know this is scrupulous, I do, but I can’t seem to stop it.

Basically lately (last 6months ish) I’ve become VERY scrupulous on how I pray the rosary and say the rosary intentions and even a bit on how I do the sign of the cross. Basically I try and get it PERFECT. If it seems like I didn’t do the sign of the cross and touch every part or did it too fast or whatever I’ll repeat it, over and over again.

With the intentions I’ll try and make sure I say every syllable PERFECTLY without even a mumble. When I say it ill almost always be like “Nope I messed that up.” and then I’ll repeat it. Over and over again. Now it can take up to 40 minutes to say just the intentions and I don’t have that many! Deep down inside I know God knows what I mean and doesn’t care of I even miss a word or mispronounce or mumble or whatever; but I keep feeling like if I don’t say it exactly right, it won’t count. And I know that’s illogical but I keep feeling that way.

Same thing with the rosary prayers. I just want to say them exactly right with no mistakes at all or no mumbles even. But I’ll still feel I messed up and repeat them either right then or later on separately. I know that I don’t have to say every sylabble methodically like some magic spell, but I keep feeling like if I don’t it won’t be good enough to count. Interesting thing; I used to be more scrupulous on the rosary prayers but now it’s switched to intentions.

So anyway I’m just basically looking for some reassurance that I can pray an imperfect rosary with mumbled intentions and have it count/be OK.

So is it OK to mumble during the decades when I just seem to start mumbling because of the repatition?

Can I say my intentions even very fast and mumbly and have them still count? Is that OK? Will God count them as much as if I basically said it letter by letter?

Will my rosary AND intentions count if I don’t pronounce everything correctly? Or say it fast? Or even don’t make a perfect sign of the cross?

Any hints/advice on dealing with this?

One last thing, this is actually the ONLY thing I’m scrupulous about. Only the rosary and it’s intentions. That’s it. This is the ONLY time I think God/Blesed Mother cares about how perfectly things are said. All other prayers and sign of the crosses are totally normal. And I’m never scrupulous about sinning either. As aster of fact I’m a very “liberal” Catholic.

But yeah, so yeah can I get some help/reassurance on this? It’s REALLY stressing me out to the point that I somewhat dread my daily rosary. :frowning:

If you aren’t in therapy for your compulsive behavior, seek treatment immediately. And seek spiritual direction from a holy priest who deals with scrupulosity. Start by getting a recommendation from your pastor. Your scrupulosity/OCD tendencies may only be manifesting in this particular way right now, but that does not mean it will stay that way or go away on its own. It will likely get worse. Please get professional help.

Yeah, I agree that you need to go to a psychologist. Do you have health insurance? It might cover some visits. If you need anything else, you will be referred to wherever you need to go for follow-up.

From Fr. Wade Menezes of the Fathers of Mercy:


  1. Do not repeat prayers, no matter how badly they may have been prayed, even if the prayers were given to you as a penance during the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).

  2. Do not repeat the confession of sins that have already been confessed and which have never been re-committed.

  3. If you doubt the earnestness of your sorrow in Confession, consider the sorrow as having been adequate.

  4. If you are doubtful as to whether a past action committed was sinful, mention it simply to your confessor.

  5. If you are worrying that maybe you never confessed a certain sin from your past, consider it confessed. If you know for a fact that you have never confessed that sin, then confess it simply. The Holy Spirit does not torment us with doubts and/or guilt; rather, He always brings peace as He awakens our conscience to our sins.
    (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:10-11: “Indeed, sorrow for God’s sake produces a repentance without regrets, leading to salvation, whereas worldly sorrow brings death. Just look at the fruit of this sorrow which stems from God. What a measure of holy zeal it has brought you.”)

  6. Examine your conscience for no longer than three minutes each day, and for no longer than about ten minutes before you go to Confession.

  7. If you have prayed at the time of temptation, you can be sure you did not commit a mortal sin.

  8. If you have a history of scrupulosity, and you have made a General Confession at some time in your past, do not make another General Confession. Once a month is a good norm for the frequency of a regular Confession.

  9. If possible, go to Confession to the same confessor-priest.

10.Most importantly, cultivate a humble heart by complete obedience to the direction of your confessor. Be patient with yourself. Love is the goal of all our lives. It is important to remember that scrupulosity usually (and, quite often, ultimately) stems from one’s personal pride or arrogance, as though the scrupulous person holds this personal opinion: “I have a higher norm than most normal people.”

This is very good advice.
There are medications for OCD that are helpful, if your therapist or physician thinks them appropriate.
You can say the rosary with many imperfections – I’m sure I skip phrases, etc at times, but our lord looks at the heart.

The PERFECT prayer is the one that come from our heart, faith is not based on prayers, it is based on love, understanding and forgiveness, so love yourself, understand yourself and forgive yourself, that is what God want.

We have times when we simple can’t pray, we have no peace of mind to do so, but God both know and understand that, as in the song (by J.Cash) “He say He understand and say well done”, and that is all we can do, our best, and God does not want us to suffer, not in this life nor in the coming, and to struggle to get the perfect prayer is to suffer, so don’t be hard on yourself, God does not want that. If we do our best, and the outcome is nothing we still did our best, and if that is enough for God it surely must enough for us. God does not want miracles from us, He know we can’t provide one, and when we understand that and accept it, we are in peace both with God and us.


Hi kindascrupulous,

I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. I agree with the above posters that you are definitely being scrupulous and you should certainly look into getting help from a professional.

Since you asked for reassurance, remember that God hears every prayer no matter how imperfectly it is prayed.

Imagine a young child giving a drawing to a parent out of love. Obviously, it would not be displayed in some art museum for it’s perfection, but the parents will hang it on the refrigerator all the same. Why? Because they see the love and intention behind it, and they don’t need a Michelangelo’s work to know that the child really gave them an act of love.

Keep that in mind next time you pray the rosary. Trust me, you’re not going to impress God with your perfection, but He won’t ignore any prayer or any act of love, no matter how imperfectly done it was.

Thank you all for saying I need professional help.

I honestly thought that since this scrupulousness was manifesting itself in this way only that it was “OK”. I mean I knew it was bad and kinda crazy and possibly even insulting to God a bit; but I thought I had a handle on it since it was the only thing I felt like this about.

After reflecting I’ve decided to just put a stop to this scrupulousness once and for all.

I’m just going to make the sign of the cross ONCE.

I will only say my intentions ONCE. Even if I mumble or miss a word/words or don’t pay attention and am not sure “if I said it”.

I will only say the rosary prayers ONCE. Even if I mumble/miss words/ don’t pay attention.

Just one last bit of reassurance; I can do what I said and still have it count, right? I know deep down inside I can, but just reassure me please.


P.S. Is what I was doing with ALL the repetitions kinda insulting to God? Feeling like He wouldn’t listen unless I was perfect?

Yes it ‘counts’. And such is a very good resolution!. And be simple about it.

Be sure to get a “regular confessor” who can know you at least in confession and your difficulties and direct you.

And God knows you and your difficulties - so worry not!

Turn to Jesus the Good Shepherd - he loves you!

Dear Kinda,
God looks at your heart, and knows you don’t mean to insult him.
I am positive he accepts even imperfect fragments of prayers, it’s the movement of the heart in his direction he cares about.
He knows about your efforts to please him, so don’t worry about it.

It’s great that you’ve decided to overcome your tendency to be scrupulous. If you find any difficulty with it, I hope you will talk to a counselor.

These verses have always helped me, when I used to struggle with similar thoughts:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. . .(2 Tim. 1:7) .I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.(1 Tim 1:12)

I would suggest a few items of consideration. Reason is ruled by objects and the person would be the subject that perceives the objects which are perceived. You describe your self-perception of your prayers, but be devoted to this sure proposition:

“If any man think that he knoweth any thing, he hath not yet known as he ought to know.” (1 Cor 8:2)

The gifts of the Holy Spirit attend communion in a journey with the one gift of which, that being wisdom thereto. This is a journey of self-knowledge, that has a fruit of simplicity in devotion. You seem devoted, but by what means God or yourself? Again, we do not know as we ought to know.

We know from faith in response to Pelagius:

"It has likewise been decided that whoever says that the grace of justification is given to us for this reason: that what we are ordered to do through free will, we may be able to accomplish more easily through grace, just as if, even if grace were not given, we could nevertheless fulfill the divine commands without it, though not indeed easily, let him he anathema. For concerning the fruits of His commands the Lord spoke not when He said: “Without me you can accomplish with greater difficulty,” but when He said: “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15,5). (Council of Mileum)

This was a defensive disapprobation. It set the course of the Church from the fifth century onwards. You have a course to take as well, to learn what it means to perceive, and how much you strive to give God glory for the good he has done in you. Only by intellectual communion with the Church that worketh through Charity.

If you want to disclose any further matters in faith, please feel righteous enough to contact me a poor sinner.

Oh! Before I go, St. Paul said, “We walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7) St. Augustine said this over and over to the conclusion that if you see it, it is no longer faith. St. John of the Cross delves into this conclusion and provides an explanation of his own. So what you believe in your own efforts, let it be unseen if it be good or bad. For God by faith is unseen, and that is who you put your hope. Hence, the dark night! What you judge in your own actions, let it be based on dogma. What you understand in which you apprehend, let it be ever subjected to Public Revelation.

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