Was this lying to my priest?

My local priest has a very good line of communication with the parish. He has a special email set up so you can ask questions, if you’re too embarassed to do so in person. Well, I have severe social anxiety, so this was a great way for me to communicate!

I have an anxiety disorder (I am getting help with it) and though I’m a lifelong faithful Catholic, in the last 8 months or so I have been really scared of sin and the law and doing things right! There are many issues I have pained over,r wondered over, and doubted.

So, I had been struggling with a certain moral dilema for about a month now. I had tried to solve it on my own, by research and prayer and reading, and had made a decision that this was not a sinful action. But there was one factor of it that I wanted more information on, to know if it was sinful (It’s a somewhat private matter, so I would rather not say exactly what it was, if you don’t mind)

Anyway, I was embarassed by how stupid I thought the question was. I didn’t want the priest to think that I had spent so long obsessing over something so stupid, so, the letter I wrote to my priest also addressed some other, similar issues, that had the same tone. Ones that I had struggled with in the past, but knew the answers to now. My hope was that, even though I knew those things were not issues, and he would say so, that he would address THE question if he thought it was different/sinful. Am I making sense?

He wrote me back saying I need to trust the Lord’s love, and drive these worries and fears out of my life, and relax! and I do know he’s right, but I have a slight anxiety about my letter now. I worry 2 things: One, was I lying by saying I was currently struggling with issues I knew the answer to? and Two, as I said, I was only worried about one aspect of this issue that has been bothering me, as I had already solved or sought out advice for the rest. I only asked about that aspect. I worry now I wasn’t specific enough : (

Should I leave it alone and take his advice?

Leave it alone and take his advice and
be at peace with that.
Mary.

I don’t think you were lying to him.

Take his advice and leave it.

Nah, don’t worry. It doesn’t seem what you did could be considered a sin, at all. As far as I’ve read, you were looking a bit of confirmation for the research you’ve done on the matter, and that’s okay.

Don’t get so hard on yourself like that, God sees what you do and what you think. I rarely call it lying to be honest, or a point of lying where it could be considered some kind of disobedience to God. With all the evil in the world, I doubt any problem should go onto your soul because you weren’t specific enough on a question that was already and purposedly vague.

Like the others have said, take the advice a leave the topic for another stuff. :thumbsup:

I agree with the others, and would add that, far from “lying” to him, you actually allowed him to have a little more “full” understanding of you. It may well have helped him in framing his response to you.

Be at peace

James

Thanks guys

I know it seems a bit silly, but it had been bothering me. Someone once said I might be scrupulous, but I don’t think i am. I have a pretty good head for theology, just some things bother me, and I didn’t want the priest to misunderstand. Even now rereading the message I can see a way or two how maybe he could misread it, or I didn’t make the question clear ENOUGH, but I can’t keep doing that to myself.

People with anxiety can also have some obsessive problems. You can get meds for that as well as for anxiety. If it keeps you from sleeping and in a state of constant worry it would be a good idea to talk to a doctor about it. One that understands anxiety.

To be frank, your posts do sound a little scupulous. Even if that’s not the case, it is a good habit for anyone with anxiety over sin to entrust themselves to a good conservative confessor. Be open and honest with your priest, so he can get to know you and help guide you. Your letter, as JRKH says, may have given the priest a more complete understanding of your anxieties and he will be better able to advise you than if you had been more direct in your question.

Thank you all. I think I do need to, at least, seek our a spiritual advisor (I’ve been told it doesn’t always have to be a priest?) and perhaps see about something for anxiety. I was still so convinced that my priest didnt really understand the issue I’d brought up that I sent a follow up thank you, where I didn’t aaask, but volunteered more information about the issue. and THEN I worried, when he replied again, that he hadn’t read the whole email!

Well, if you are second guessing things so much that it worries you then I think it is more anxiety and some obsessive thinking. If you do this a lot and it interferes with your life talking to a doctor about obsessive disorder may help you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.