Excerpts about Scrupulosity

Excerpts about Scrupulosity

St. Catherine of Siena is a Doctor of the Church, and her largest work is “The Dialogues”.  The work is written as a dialogue between her and God.  This is what God said in the dialogue:

“I do not wish defects to be considered in particular, but in general, so that the mind may not be contaminated by the remembrance of particular and hideous sins.  But, as I said, I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion.  And together with confusion would come the Devil, who has caused it, under color of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy.  This is one of the subtle devices with which the Devil deludes My servants, and, in order to escape from his deceit, and to be pleasing to Me, you musty enlarge your hearts and affections in My boundless mercy, with true humility.  Thou knowest that the pride of the Devil cannot resist the humble mind, nor can any confusion of spirit be greater than the broadness of My good mercy, if the soul will only truly hope therein.”

St. Alphonsus Ligouri is also a Doctor of the Church, and he suffered from scrupulosity.  Here are two pieces of advice taken from his Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ:

“In addition, we must show meekness toward ourselves.  The devil makes us think that it is laudable to be angry with ourselves when we commit some fault.  But it is no such thing:  the enemy is trying to keep us in a state of restlessness so that we will be unfit to do any good.  Saint Francis de Sales said:  “You can be sure that all thoughts which cause disquiet are not from God, who is the Prince of Peace, but come either from the devil, our self-love or from the high opinion we have of ourselves.  These are the three sources from which all our troubles arise.  Therefore, when any disquieting thoughts come to us, we must immediately reject and despise them.”

“But here it is worth noting that theologians, even of the rigorist school, generally admit that persons who have long led a spiritual life and greatly fear God, so long as they are in doubt whether they have consented to a grievous sin, should feel sure that they have not lost God’s grace.  It is morally impossible that a will whose good intentions have been tried and tested for a long time should all of a sudden change and consent to a mortal sin without clearly realizing it.  Mortal sin is so hideous a monster that it could not enter a soul that has long abhorred it, without the soul’s full awareness.”

The Desert Father Agathon said, “Under no circumstances should the monk let his conscience accuse him of anything.”

If you are still struggling and would like more information on extreme scrupulosity, please visit Scrupulosity Anonymous.