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Some of you already know, that I struggle with a bit with scrupulosity. I originally thought that it was a sin, but several months ago, someone told be that it wasn't, that it was just a disorder. But just a few moments ago, on a thread I posted on another online forum asking for help with going to confession, someone post a comment saying that scrupulosity, in and of itself, is a sin, is that true? Is Scrupulosity a sin?
(08-02-2017, 08:12 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]someone post a comment saying that scrupulosity, in and of itself, is a sin

How absurd!

Any trait could be sinful if it somehow comes between you and your worship/relationship with your faith and especially with God. But being scrupulous is a blessing, because it can lead to avoidance of sin by steering clear of the near occasions to sin.

To wit:

1) synonyms: careful · meticulous · painstaking · thorough · assiduous · sedulous

2) synonyms: honest · honorable · upright · upstanding



Now one can take things to extreme in any adventure, so moderation and propriety are advantageous modifiers of the extreme positions. One could get ornery about this and it could easily slip into sinfulness. But, in the end, it is the disorderly and unkempt that may find fault with, and may claim sinfulness, of one who is scrupulous...for obvious reasons. I mean, if I had an disorderly house and you, being a scrupulous person, did not and I wanted to get your goat, I might seek the claim that your 'persnicketiness' was to the sinful degree in hope it would end any further discovery of my slobbery! :D
Scrupulosity per se is of course not a sin. However, it is usually related to the imperfection of purely "servile fear", which is opposed to "filial fear". Even if servile fear, i.e. the fear of punishment, is useful to get someone started on his path towards God, at on point it should be substituted with "filial fear", i.e. the fear of offending God for His own sake, as a son who wants to please his father. 'Servile fear' is still egoistical and self-centered and therefore can be the cause of falling into actual sins again. 

(This does not mean that anyone without 'filial fear' is damned. Catholic Teaching says attrition is sufficient for the validity of an absolution. But everyone must acquire it before entering into heaven, be it on earth or in purgatory)

From the Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena (Doctor of the Church):


Quote:How servile fear is not sufficient, without the love of virtue, to give eternal life; and how the law of fear and that of love are united.

Then the goodness of God, wishing to satisfy the desire of that soul, said, “Do you see those? They have arisen with servile fear from the vomit of mortal sin, but, if they do not arise with love of virtue, servile fear alone is not sufficient to give eternal life. But love with holy fear is sufficient, because the law is founded in love and holy fear. The old law was the law of fear, that was given by Me to Moses, by which law they who committed sin suffered the penalty of it. The new law is the law of love, given by the Word of My only-begotten Son, and is founded in love alone. The new law does not break the old law, but rather fulfills it, as said My Truth, ’I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.’ And He united the law of fear with that of love. Through love was taken away the imperfection of the fear of the penalty, and the perfection of holy fear remained, that is, the fear of offending, not on account of one’s own damnation, but of offending Me, who am Supreme Good. So that the imperfect law was made perfect with the law of love. Wherefore, after the car of the fire of My only-begotten Son came and brought the fire of My charity into your humanity with abundance of mercy, the penalty of the sins committed by humanity was taken away, that is, he who offended was no longer punished suddenly, as was of old given and ordained in the law of Moses.

“There is, therefore, no need for servile fear; and this does not mean that sin is not punished, but that the punishment is reserved, unless, that is to say, the person punish himself in this life with perfect contrition. For, in the other life, the soul is separated from the body, wherefore while man lives is his time for mercy, but when he is dead comes the time of justice. He ought, then, to arise from servile fear, and arrive at love and holy fear of Me, otherwise there is no remedy against his falling back again into the river, and reaching the waters of tribulation, and seeking the thorns of consolation, for all consolations are thorns that pierce the soul who loves them disordinately.”
 
Quote:There were others who had begun to ascend (those who had begun to know their faults only through fear of the suffering which purused them after the offence, thus they were raised from sin by fear of pain, the sort of fear that is imperfect) but I saw many of them turn from that servile fear to the perfect sort. These advanced with care to the second and to the final stage. But there are many marked by that servile fear who sat down at the entrance to the bridge. These have been overtaken by weariness (45) and react so tepidly that they do not attain to the spark of self-knowledge and of the goodness of God in them. Thus they remain in their tepidity.

Of this sort of person, the divine Truth said: "See, daughter, how impossible it would be for those who do not go forward not to turn back. And this is the cause: the soul cannot live without love. What the soul loves, it strives to know and serve. If it does not strive to know itself, where will it know better the generosity and abundance of my charity? Who knows not, loves not;(46) and who knows me not, serves not. By the very fact that a soul is deprived of me, it remains without love and returns to the worst and vilest in itself.(47)

"These are like the dog who, when it has eaten, vomits. Then, casting its eye on its vomit, seeks it and so feeds itself in a filthy way. So, too, these negligent one, mired in such tepidity, out of a fear of punishment have vomited forth the rottenness of sin by a holy confession, thus beginning to will to follow the way of truth.(48) Whence, by not going forward, it is inevitable that they turn back. The mind's eye is caught by their vomit. They are drawn away from the consideration(49) of pain and turn to gazing at sensual delights, and so lose their fear. They seek again their vomit and feed their affections and desires on their own filth.
(08-02-2017, 09:12 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-02-2017, 08:12 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]someone post a comment saying that scrupulosity, in and of itself, is a sin

How absurd!

Any trait could be sinful if it somehow comes between you and your worship/relationship with your faith and especially with God. But being scrupulous is a blessing, because it can lead to avoidance of sin by steering clear of the near occasions to sin.

To wit:

1) synonyms: careful · meticulous · painstaking · thorough · assiduous · sedulous

2) synonyms: honest · honorable · upright · upstanding



Now one can take things to extreme in any adventure, so moderation and propriety are advantageous modifiers of the extreme positions. One could get ornery about this and it could easily slip into sinfulness. But, in the end, it is the disorderly and unkempt that may find fault with, and may claim sinfulness, of one who is scrupulous...for obvious reasons. I mean, if I had an disorderly house and you, being a scrupulous person, did not and I wanted to get your goat, I might seek the claim that your 'persnicketiness' was to the sinful degree in hope it would end any further discovery of my slobbery! :D

When we're talking morality, "scrupulosity" is not a good thing.

You can't just pick up Websters and assume that's what we're talking about when speaking about theology and moral.

Scrupulosity is a spiritual disorder in which the conscience is so warped as to make one judge that things which is completely permissible or even goods are sinful. It is a paralysis of the soul.

To be scrupulous in your cleaning of the house before guests come is a laudable thing. To be scrupulous regarding your moral life is a terrible scourge.
(08-02-2017, 08:12 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]Some of you already know, that I struggle with a bit with scrupulosity. I originally thought that it was a sin, but several months ago, someone told be that it wasn't, that it was just a disorder. But just a few moments ago, on a thread I posted on another online forum asking for help with going to confession, someone post a comment saying that scrupulosity, in and of itself, is a sin, is that true? Is Scrupulosity a sin?

Scrupulosity is not a sin in itself any more than clinical depression is sin. Both are terrible illnesses.

But just as you could be at fault for your depression if you actively foster what makes the depression worse, or fail to try to take the means to fight it, so too with scruples.

The scruples are not the problem, but there is often sin tied up with scruples.

At the root of scruples is a veiled pride, often coming from the desire to know more than God allows us. A scrupulous person often wants to know with metaphysical certainty that he is in the state of grace, or that some action was certainly a sin, but this is impossible. We can have a good deal of moral certainty, but we cannot be absolutely sure. We have to trust God and those he has sent (like our confessor). Often the scrupulous does not want to do this, and rather want to figure everything out themselves. In that there is probably some fault, perhaps even grave fault.

There also may be sin and faulty in allowing oneself to constantly question one's sins, which feeds the disease.

In those who are trying to take the means to overcome this disease, however, there is no fault, but virtue.

The cure for scruples is to subject oneself to a single good confessor, to follow his advice rigorously, to limit oneself in ones examination to very specific topics, only to confess absolutely certain mortal sins, frequent the sacraments and to pray often.
(08-03-2017, 09:28 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-02-2017, 09:12 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-02-2017, 08:12 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]someone post a comment saying that scrupulosity, in and of itself, is a sin

How absurd!

Any trait could be sinful if it somehow comes between you and your worship/relationship with your faith and especially with God. But being scrupulous is a blessing, because it can lead to avoidance of sin by steering clear of the near occasions to sin.

To wit:

1) synonyms: careful · meticulous · painstaking · thorough · assiduous · sedulous

2) synonyms: honest · honorable · upright · upstanding



Now one can take things to extreme in any adventure, so moderation and propriety are advantageous modifiers of the extreme positions. One could get ornery about this and it could easily slip into sinfulness. But, in the end, it is the disorderly and unkempt that may find fault with, and may claim sinfulness, of one who is scrupulous...for obvious reasons. I mean, if I had an disorderly house and you, being a scrupulous person, did not and I wanted to get your goat, I might seek the claim that your 'persnicketiness' was to the sinful degree in hope it would end any further discovery of my slobbery! :D

When we're talking morality, "scrupulosity" is not a good thing.

You can't just pick up Websters and assume that's what we're talking about when speaking about theology and moral.

Scrupulosity is a spiritual disorder in which the conscience is so warped as to make one judge that things which is completely permissible or even goods are sinful. It is a paralysis of the soul.

To be scrupulous in your cleaning of the house before guests come is a laudable thing. To be scrupulous regarding your moral life is a terrible scourge.

Mea Culpa

I was unaware of the degree of this behavior disorder and to the extent of the Obsessions one can be gripped with. I see how this can be an extreme form of OCB and have Demonic influences.

I have done a better, more in depth search about this and found a very good description and discussion. Perhaps this will inform and educate others who are reading about this and were as uninformed as I was:

Quote: Catholic Encyclopedia

Scruple


(Latin Scrupulus, "a small sharp, or pointed, stone", hence, in a transferred sense, "uneasiness of mind")

An unfounded apprehension and consequently unwarranted fear that something is a sin which, as a matter of fact, is not. It is not considered here so much as an isolated act, but rather as an habitual state of mind known to directors of souls as a "scrupulous conscience." St. Alphonsus describes it as a condition in which one influenced by trifling reasons, and without any solid foundation, is often afraid that sin lies where it really does not. This anxiety may be entertained not only with regard to what is to be done presently, but also with regard to what has been done. The idea sometimes obtaining, that scrupulosity is in itself a spiritual benefit of some sort, is, of course, a great error. The providence of God permits it and can gather good from it as from other forms of evil. That apart, however, it is a bad habit doing harm, sometimes grievously, to body and soul. Indeed, persisted in with the obstinacy characteristic of persons who suffer from this malady, it may entail the most lamentable consequences. The judgment is seriously warped, the moral power tired out in futile combat, and then not unfrequently the scrupulous person makes shipwreck of salvation either on the Scylla of despair or the Charybdis of unheeding indulgence in vice.

It is of great importance to be able to make a correct diagnosis of this disease. Hence especially guides of consciences should be familiar with the symptoms that betray its presence as well as with the causes which commonly give rise to it. For one thing, the confessor should not confound a delicate with a scrupulous conscience, neither should he interpret the reasonable solicitude sometimes discernible in those who are trying to emerge from a life of sin as a sign of scrupulosity. Then, too, ordinarily he ought not to hastily reach this conclusion on the very first experience of his penitent. It is true there are cases of scruples which may be recognized from the start, but this is not the rule. Some special indications that persons are really scrupulous, generally adopted by theologians are those enumerated by Lacroix. Among these is a certain rooted attachment to their own opinion which makes them unwilling to abide by the judgment of those whom they consult, even though these latter have every title to deference. In consequence, they go from one confessor to another, change their convictions with hardly a shadow of motive, and are tortured by an overshadowing dread that sin lurks in everything they do, and say, and think. The scrupulous may, and ought to, act in defiance of their misgivings, i.e. against their so-called conscience. Nor can they, therefore, be impeached as acting in a state of practical doubt. The unreal phantasm that affrights their imagination, or the unsubstantial consideration that offers itself to their disturbed reason, has no validity against the conscience once formed upon the pronouncement of the confessor or in some other equally trustworthy fashion. In the various perplexities as to the lawfulness of their actions they are not bound to employ any such scrutiny as would be incumbent upon persons in a normal condition. They are not bound to repeat anything of former confessions unless they are sure without protracted examination, that it is a mortal sin and has never been properly confessed.

Their chief remedy is, having reposed confidence in some confessor, to obey his decisions and commands entirely and absolutely. They are counselled also to avoid idleness, and thus to close the avenue of approach to the wild conjectures and strange ponderings responsible for so many of their worries. They should remove the cause of their scruples in so far as it may have been of their own choosing. Hence they are to guard against the reading of ascetical books of a rigorist trend and any intercourse with those afflicted in the same way as themselves. If the source of their scruples be ignorance — for example, with regard to the obligation of some commandment — they are to be instructed, discretion being used in the imparting of the necessary information. If it be a propensity to melancholy, certain harmless pleasures and rational enjoyments may be employed with advantage. Confessors to whom falls the difficult task of receiving the confessions of these harassed souls are to carefully inquire into the origin of the anxieties laid before them. They are to treat their unhappy penitents in general with great kindness. Occasionally, however, some degree of severity may be useful when the penitent shows an extreme tenacity in adhering to his own unreasonable view of the situation. As a rule, the confessor's answers to the innumerable troubles submitted should be clear, unaccompanied by reasons, and so unhesitating as to inspire courage. He should not permit the presentation indefinitely of the various doubts, much less, of course, the repetition of past confessions. Finally, he may sometimes do what should hardly ever be done in any other instance, that is, forbid the penitent to have recourse to another confessor.
"But being scrupulous is a blessing, because it can lead to avoidance of sin by steering clear of the near occasions to sin."

I can tell you as a formerly very scrupulous person, it is not a blessing.

I would say, at the very worst, scrupulosity is a lack of trust, but that lack of trust stems from a deep-seated anxiety. When you are able to heal the anxiety, you can heal the lack of trust. When you heal the lack of trust, you heal your scruples. And for me, what healed the anxiety was love from my boyfriend. His love restored my health, in a very literal sense. There's a stillness of soul now. If I'm not sure if something I did was a mortal or venial sin (or if it was even a sin at all!), I know I don't have to take it to Confession "just to be sure," so there is no mental urge to worry. I can wait a month or so in-between Confessions without wracking my brain with worry about whether I should have taken something to Confession, how much to mention, etc.

Now, if your scrupulosity comes from something like OCD, I suggest also looking into medication. This is simply what worked for me. Opening up to genuine, unconditional love from my boyfriend (and from the way things look, my future husband), helped me see the truly genuine, unconditional love of God. God is not standing near you with a huge list of all your wrongdoing in His hands. He's willing to wait for you in the tabernacle for you to come and see Him. He wants you to receive Him in Holy Communion. He's not frowning at you behind the priest in Confession. He's holding out His pierced hands to embrace you.

When your internalized fear becomes internalized love, everything changes.
(08-05-2017, 09:51 AM)In His Love Wrote: [ -> ]"But being scrupulous is a blessing, because it can lead to avoidance of sin by steering clear of the near occasions to sin."

I can tell you as a formerly very scrupulous person, it is not a blessing.

I would say, at the very worst, scrupulosity is a lack of trust, but that lack of trust stems from a deep-seated anxiety. When you are able to heal the anxiety, you can heal the lack of trust. When you heal the lack of trust, you heal your scruples. And for me, what healed the anxiety was love from my boyfriend. His love restored my health, in a very literal sense. There's a stillness of soul now. If I'm not sure if something I did was a mortal or venial sin (or if it was even a sin at all!), I know I don't have to take it to Confession "just to be sure," so there is no mental urge to worry. I can wait a month or so in-between Confessions without wracking my brain with worry about whether I should have taken something to Confession, how much to mention, etc.

Now, if your scrupulosity comes from something like OCD, I suggest also looking into medication. This is simply what worked for me. Opening up to genuine, unconditional love from my boyfriend (and from the way things look, my future husband), helped me see the truly genuine, unconditional love of God. God is not standing near you with a huge list of all your wrongdoing in His hands. He's willing to wait for you in the tabernacle for you to come and see Him. He wants you to receive Him in Holy Communion. He's not frowning at you behind the priest in Confession. He's holding out His pierced hands to embrace you.

When your internalized fear becomes internalized love, everything changes.

I am pleased to hear that you have had some blessings out of this anyway, haven't you? You have found unconditional love and found a new future for your life and it has led you to a more fulfilling, faith-based lifestyle, one where your trust, not only in others, but, more importantly, your trust in God has been enhanced and redirected in a very positive direction...at least from what you say and I am sure it is true.

May Almighty God Bless you abundantly! May this journey you are directed in be one of loving joy and happiness and fulfilled by the union, body and soul, of the one you love and you!