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You are Perfect, Really


You Are Perfect, Really Though Christ tells us to “be perfect” (Matthew 5:48), we tend to think of perfection as an impossible, unrealistic standard. “Nobody’s perfect.” “She thinks she’s so perfect.” Perfect is ‘done’, ‘finished’, ‘no more work needed’, ‘as good as can be’. This causes confusion in our souls. Satan twists Christ’s own words within us until we aren’t sure whether we should try... Read More

Scrupulosity – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

Scrupulosity Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary Scrupulosity – The habit of imagining sin where none exists, or grave sin where the matter is venial. To overcome scrupulosity, a person needs to be properly instructed in order to form a right conscience, and in extreme cases the only remedy is absolute obedience (for a time) to a prudent confessor.     This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from... Read More

Should I refrain from communion if I don’t remember when I last ate?

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie


Dear Trent, we’re supposed to refrain from eating for an hour before Holy Communion, but I can never tell if it’s actually been an hour or not. A few times I’ve stayed in my pew because I wasn’t sure if it had been an hour since I last ate. What should I do? None of us, not even the priest offering the Mass himself, knows the exact moment when he will be receiving Holy Communion. If someone uses the hour of fast as a... Read More

I am always worrying that God is not happy with me…

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Dear Trent, I’m always wondering if God is really pleased with me. I try to do my best in everything, but no matter what I do, there’s always a doubt that God might see something wrong with me. A good way to overcome this doubt is to stop looking for validation, because the very search for it tends to make one feel even worse. As long as you have surrendered yourself to God and are doing all the Church requires of you, there... Read More

I am struggling with scrupulosity, can I overcome this on my own?

May 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Dear Trent, I tend to worry about trivial details, even to the point of being kept from participating in the sacraments. However, I want to work out the matter on my own because I’m afraid the priest I ask for help will be unable to do so because he won’t understand me. What do you think I should do? Thanks for your question on this central aspect of overcoming scrupulosity. It can be tempting to try to solve problems without... Read More

What if I have nothing to confess, should I still go to confession?

August 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Penance/Confession, Sacraments, Scrupulosity

Dear Father John, I recently heard someone mention the term “devotional confession.” I think this is what I need, but I am not sure what it really is. Is this the kind of confession we do when we are no longer living with habitual mortal or venial sins? Is this where we re-confess old sins to gain the benefit of the sacrament?  But if it is, isn’t that scrupulosity? Any guidance will be appreciated. Your question, it seems... Read More

Bad thoughts sinful? How to handle & avoid unforgivable sin?

Dear Father John, Thank you for your excellent series on scrupulosity. I have a question that relates to it, namely the occurrence of “bad thoughts” — thoughts that are negative, vile, or even blasphemous against any of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity or Our Lady herself. I understand that these may occur in cases of psychological imbalance, or gross immaturity, for which I presume there is little culpability.... Read More

Scrupulosity Series

December 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Scrupulosity

Scrupulosity Series Scrupulosity Series Dear Friends, Scrupulosity Series I have updated the Scrupulosity Series Links for easier access to all the posts on scrupulosity. You can find the links below! Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him Dan Understanding and Overcoming Scrupulosity – Part I Understanding and Overcoming Scrupulosity – Part II 10 Commandments of Scrupulosity Bad Thoughts Sinful? How to Avoid... Read More

Understanding and overcoming scrupulosity – Part II of II

July 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Scrupulosity

Editor’s Note: In part I, we looked at how sin matters and factors of personality, temptation and turmoil that play a part in scrupulosity. Dear Father John, I seem to be struggling with scrupulosity. However, when I read St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, they exhort that any small sin or attachment can keep us from union with God. How do I know if I am scrupulous or just sensitive to sin? How do I avoid taking... Read More

The Ten Commandments of Scrupulosity

July 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Scrupulosity, Sin

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SCRUPULOSITY Important Note: If you do not specifically struggle with scrupulosity, this advice is not likely to apply to you. If you have any questions about the advice or overcoming the struggle of scrupulosity, it is very important that you meet with your spiritual director for guidance. You shall not repeat a sin in confession when it has been confessed in a previous confession, even when there is a doubt... Read More

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