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The Difference Between Counseling and Spiritual Direction

IlTristeMessaggioCrop

Editor’s Note:  Today, we are blessed to have Allison Ricciardi join our writing team.  Allison is a licensed mental health counselor and has been a guest on the Mother Angelica Live and Abundant Life Shows on EWTN, as well as Johnnette Benkovic’s Women of Grace Show.    Please welcome her warmly! Q.  What is the difference between counseling and spiritual direction? When should someone... 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

Q: 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? A: None of us, not even the priest offering the Mass himself, knows the exact moment when he will be receiving Holy Communion. If... Read More

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

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Q: 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: 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... Read More

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

May 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Scrupulosity, Trent Beattie

Q: 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? A: Thanks for your question on this central aspect of overcoming scrupulosity. It can be tempting... Read More

How can I begin to see God as a loving Father?

December 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek

Q: Dear Father John, I tend to have a perfectionist personality combined with the cross of scrupulosity.  My family of origin does love me but it wasn’t the best environment growing up so I really lack in understanding of a loving father figure hence having trouble seeing God as a loving and forgiving father.  I am pretty sure that I have made peace with my past and have forgiven those who have... Read More

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

Q: 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... Read More

Is it a sin to have bad thoughts? How do I deal with bad thoughts? How can I be sure to avoid the unforgivable sin?

Q: 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... Read More

Scrupulosity Series

December 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Scrupulosity

Scrupulosity Series

Dear friends, I have updated the Scrupulosity Series Links for easier access to all the posts on scrupulosity. Either click here or look to the far right column under Topical Series and click on the topic. Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him Dan About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual... Read More

Is “Catholic guilt” bad? What about those who use it to criticize the Church?

September 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Apologetics, Forgiveness, Fr. Bartunek

Q: Dear Father John, I know more than a few people who are fallen-away Catholics. They make fun the Church sometimes, or they make fun of me. But my question has to do with “Catholic guilt.” They mention this sometimes and smirk, like it’s some kind of inside joke on me. I am not sure what they mean by this, but I have a sense that it’s holding them back living their faith. I would like to... Read More

Understanding and overcoming scrupulosity – Part II

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

Q: 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 sin too lightly?  If I am scrupulous, how do I overcome it? A: The word “scrupulous” comes from a Latin... Read More

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