Author Topic: Scrupulousity  (Read 1470 times)

Offline james03

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2021, 09:43:54 PM »
My initial reaction was shock.  nmoerbeek is usually someone I read thoughtfully.  Very uncharacteristic of him.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2021, 10:07:30 PM »
I've noticed uncharacteristic lack of civility elsewhere in the forum too.  Maybe many are stressed out by recent events.Trying to fight confusing evil and judge it as wrong they misjudge others who are also fighting but - maybe  - more confused.
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!
 
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Offline nmoerbeek

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2021, 10:20:54 PM »
Quote
Define formal prayer.
  Too late.  Burden of proof is on you.

Why don't you tell the people with scruples what would constitute sinning with regards to "pray unceasingly".  And include a cite, otherwise it's just your opinion.  You are dealing with people who have scruples who are being dragged away from the sacraments and prayer, so make darn sure you are quoting something authoritative. 

To be a Catholic in good standing we have the 5 precepts.  Not a good idea to be at this minimum, but you'd still be a Catholic in good standing.  My source is the CCC.  So give me your cite.

I would say to a scrupulous person that they must pray to God when they are tempted to despair. Just as Fr. Doyle said to do earlier in this thread.

"First Remedy: Prayer. The precept laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ to pray in temptation is evidently applicable to scruples, which are a great danger even to salvation. Satan would mock at our weakness in our fight with scruples, as Goliath mocked
at David, unless we were armed by prayer with the very strength of God.
And so prayer, however dry and against the grain, is needed by the soul that is a
prey to scruples. “Watch ye and pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Matt. 26:41)"  I would encourage them to with their normal prayer life and penances


I would remind them that "The Saints can pray because God has forgiven his sins" St. Augustine, On Grace 11, 26. 12: 27

and that "I we recognize our sins, we would find their remedy in prayer" St. Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 31

That there were several ways to obey the precept of praying without ceasing "One may pray continually, either through having a continual desire, as stated above; or through praying at certain fixed times, though interruptedly; or by reason of the effect, whether in the person who prays—because he remains more devout even after praying, or in some other person—as when by his kindness a man incites another to pray for him, even after he himself has ceased praying." Summa Question 83 prayer

Also that
"Scruples cannot be cured until the root cause of the disease is detected and removed" Pardon and Peace, Fr Alfred Wilson CP.

And that we would need to take time in spiritual direction to root at the causes of it, and that they should not self diagnose themselves. But that prayer which is a spiritual solution to a spiritual problem and that they must perserver in it, especailly when they are tempted to despair.

"Let me, however, beg of Your Beatitude...
not to think so much of what I have written, as of my good and kind intentions. Please look for the truths of which I speak rather than for beauty of expression. Where I do not come up to your expectations, pardon me, and put my shortcomings down, please, to lack of time and stress of business." St. Bonaventure, From the Preface of Holiness of Life.

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Offline christulsa

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2021, 10:40:00 PM »
Maybe it’s da covid.  :P
 

Offline nmoerbeek

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2021, 11:32:04 PM »
I can only hope that such advice arises out of ignorance, because on its face it appears to be diabolic.

You’re demanding your own interpretation of James’ statement you quoted, rather than first asking him for clarification.  Why don’t you ask him if in his “test” for scruples, that would exclude INFORMAL prayers of the heart, including asking for help during temptation.  You’re jumping to the rash judgment that is/was his meaning.  Which is unjust, against charity, and against fraternity.   The burden is on you to show that limiting daily FORMAL prayers to the TWO he listed, for 1 week, is “diabolical.”   That by necessity would demand more than those two FORMAL prayers, when the Church herself does not do that.

I was having a conversation with James till you unhelpfully butted in, treating James like a child that cannot speak for himself.  Why don't you butt out and let us talk this out?

No. You weren’t having a “conversation” buddy. And this isn’t a private discussion forum. 

The level of pride and in civility you are exhibiting in this thread IS diabolical.  You ask questions that get answered, but refuse to answer others’ questions or valid points.  Rashly accuse. Refuse correction. And now this post.

At this point I think James struck a nerve with you about this prayer test, because you yourself are probably proudly scrupulous, and his “test” proved that.  You’re a layman, not a religious or spiritual director.  So far we’re just giving our opinion about scruples, while you are rendering personal judgments at persons.  Nobody here deserves that.

I can only hope that such advice arises out of ignorance, because on its face it appears to be diabolic.

You’re demanding your own interpretation of James’ statement you quoted, rather than first asking him for clarification.  Why don’t you ask him if in his “test” for scruples, that would exclude INFORMAL prayers of the heart, including asking for help during temptation.  You’re jumping to the rash judgment that is/was his meaning.  Which is unjust, against charity, and against fraternity.   The burden is on you to show that limiting daily FORMAL prayers to the TWO he listed, for 1 week, is “diabolical.”   That by necessity would demand more than those two FORMAL prayers, when the Church herself does not do that.

I was having a conversation with James till you unhelpfully butted in, treating James like a child that cannot speak for himself.  Why don't you butt out and let us talk this out?

No. You weren’t having a “conversation” buddy. And this isn’t a private discussion forum. 

The level of pride and in civility you are exhibiting in this thread IS diabolical.  You ask questions that get answered, but refuse to answer others’ questions or valid points.  Rashly accuse. Refuse correction. And now this post.

At this point I think James struck a nerve with you about this prayer test, because you yourself are probably proudly scrupulous, and his “test” proved that.  You’re a layman, not a religious or spiritual director.  So far we’re just giving our opinion about scruples, while you are rendering personal judgments at persons.  Nobody here deserves that.

Christulsa and James, Forgive me for my offenses against Charity, especially when I said "I can only hope that such advice arises out of ignorance, because on its face it appears to be diabolic." and "Are you admitting that your opinion and James opinion is guided by conjecture and vibes off of what you think priest would say?"

So, if I may start over for the sake of disagreement I would like to outline why  I believe James advice is wrong with sources. 

St. Augustine taught that it was impossible to keep the commandments without grace, and that we would obtain that grace through prayer.  So, in my mind telling people to withdraw from prayer, especially when they are suffering under the burden of a spiritual disease, is the opposite of what they should be doing.

"He commands that, by attempting to carry out what is ordered and being exhausted by our weakness we may learn to seek the help of grace". 

St. Basil said the same thing
"When someone is allowed to fall into temptation he must seek by prayer the outcome of being able to resist and the fulfilment of God's will"

Also, their is Private Prayer and Public prayer.  There is vocal prayer and mental prayer.  There are stages of mystical prayer.  But to me saying that you should only make two acts of prayer in a day as keeping a precept is wrong.  You say he meant formal prayer.  I think I know what you mean, you mean vocal prayers that follow a formula.  I don't know of some type of category of formal prayer for the small personal acts of private prayer you are referring to. 

However a person furthermore can sin by omitting a good work they normally do.  Fr. Faber calls these obligations of conscience, in Growth in Holiness.  The imitation of Christ warns against it

"If an accustomed exercise be sometimes omitted, either for some act of piety, or profit to my brother; it may easily afterwards be recovered again. But if out of a slothful mind, or out of carelessness, we lightly forsake the same, it is a great offense against God, and will be found to be prejudicial to ourselves. Let us do the best we can, we shall still too easily fail in many things.[73] Yet must we always purpose some certain course, and especially against those failings which do most of all molest us. We must diligently search into, and set in order both the outward and the inward man, because both of them are of importance to our progress in godliness." 

So saying that one should limit there formal vocal prayer to determine scruples strikes me as wrong. The Imitation of Christ is saying that if you omit an excercise from another cause "like sloth" you do sin.  Furthermore if a person was to resist a movement towards prayer that arose from grace, they would be not showing fidelity to grace which can be a sin.  In his book Penance by Dom Hubert Von Zeller he warns against directors withdrawing exercises from penitents suddenly that it can send them into a tailspin. 

In the past it was recommended that person pray for at least 20 minutes a day, in order to avoid venial sin, this was the opinion of many theologians but for myself I find this arbitrary and most later manuals do not say that.  Fr. Chad Ripperger still teaches it   in his conferences.  However manuals still say things like the following:

"That prayer is a necessary means of salvation — at least generally speaking and according to ordinary law— is the more common and probable opinion. This absolute necessity of prayer is well expressed in the Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict : “Just as breathing is always necessary for the continuation of life in the body, so is prayer absolutely essential for spiritual health ... I would more easily believe that a man has no soul than that he could become a perfect religious without prayer.” The same conclusion is reached by reason : it is absolutely necessary to worship the majesty of God. But this worship is impossible without a loving movement of soul towards God, which is prayer — -at least in the wide sense."  Handbook of Moral Theology, Prummer.


So for me this violates both the teachings of the Masters, such as the Imitation of Christ, it injures fidelity to grace, and can further injure a person already in a perilous circumstance.     It suggestion in my opinion shows a lack of faith in the power of prayer.  Prayer helps things, saying fewer prayers can greatly hurt things.  Your point earlier about people neglecting duties is well taken, but that is called spiritual gluttony, not scrupulosity.  Furthermore a damaged conscience can commit a sin that is not a sin, even a non scrupulous person.  If a person believe it is a sin to not say the Rosary for example that is not scruples, that is  having a false or erroneous conscience.  However a person is bound to act by their conscience Romans (14,23).  Many people you know may have erroneous consciences and act on it.

Scruplosity is defined as "The scrupulous person becomes a prey to continual fear of sin, past, present, and future in the most innocuous circumstances.  He is afflicted with endless doubt in regard to what is lawful and what is forbidden, between what is trivial and what is serious." Understanding Scrupulosity, Fr. Santa.

I hope this is helpful in reaching your own conclusions on the matter.

"Let me, however, beg of Your Beatitude...
not to think so much of what I have written, as of my good and kind intentions. Please look for the truths of which I speak rather than for beauty of expression. Where I do not come up to your expectations, pardon me, and put my shortcomings down, please, to lack of time and stress of business." St. Bonaventure, From the Preface of Holiness of Life.

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Offline james03

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2021, 11:48:20 PM »
Quote
or through praying at certain fixed times, though interruptedly;

So if for three days they pray at certain fixed times, let us say in the morning and at night, they are in compliance with what St. Thomas states?  Obviously yes.

Quote
And that we would need to take time in spiritual direction to root at the causes of it,
Yes.  If you suspect you have scruples, you need spiritual direction (which is separate from confession).  And the mind set going in is to be obedient to what he tells you to do and do it.  So if Father tells you to cut back on your 15 decade daily rosary, 3 litanies, 8 devotionals, chaplets, precisely 10 ejaculation (though really you say 12 to make sure) and instead concentrate more on maintaining your home and getting a good night sleep, you have to go in with the spirit of obedience and do what he tells you to do.

Another thing, if after reading about my 3 day test, you don't want to do it because you believe you will be sinning (not twitchy, anxious, or whatever), you have scruples and need to arrange for spiritual direction.  You don't even have to do the test.

And finally, a legitimate complaint I lodge against myself.  A morose, burdensome prayer life done because you fear that these prayers MUST be said or you will be damned is one element of scruples.  Others include an unwillingness to go to confession because there is no way to do it without committing a sacrilege, or not receiving communion because you can't be sure if you are in mortal sin.  There's a fear you don't really have Faith.  There's an overriding dread that you are damned and in fact making it worse by trying.  So it's possible for someone with scruples to have this avoidance of the sacraments, but a regular prayer life.  My test would show a false negative in that case.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 

Offline james03

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2021, 11:57:12 PM »
nmoerbeek, thank you for your comments, this was a Catholic act.  As I said, I generally give consideration to your comments.

Quote
"If an accustomed exercise be sometimes omitted, either for some act of piety, or profit to my brother; it may easily afterwards be recovered again.
This is my point.  You are trying to improve yourself with a test.  I am not saying the person with scruples needs to give up prayer and that will fix him.  This is meant as a test.  If you think you are sinning:

Quote
"The scrupulous person becomes a prey to continual fear of sin, past, present, and future in the most innocuous circumstances.  He is afflicted with endless doubt in regard to what is lawful and what is forbidden, between what is trivial and what is serious."

you need to go get spiritual direction.

I'll accuse myself of one thing and retract.  I said after the exercise add back in prayers each week that are meaningful.  That is wreckless advice.   Instead go over your prayer life with your spiritual director and do what he tells you to do.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 
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Offline christulsa

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2021, 12:05:27 AM »
Forgiven.  And sorry for suggesting you're scruped out (my term).
 
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2021, 06:47:26 AM »
Father Ripperger says that church teaching is that you need to pray at least 15-30 minutes every day as a bare minimum, just to fulfill the requirements of religion, in justice.

He says that still doesn’t fulfill the requirements of charity, which seeks union with that which it loves, which is why Christ said, “Pray always.”

He says it’s a sin against justice to systematically neglect your prayer life.

His sermons are almost always very clear, ordered, specific, easy to understand, hopeful, and encouraging, so they should be a great support for anyone with or without scruples. His accent and manner of speaking are also easy to listen to, so he’s a great resource for genuinely busy people to be able to listen to his sermons while they work.


I am sorry for the times I have publicly criticized others on this forum, especially traditional Catholic religious, and any other scandalous posts and pray that no one reads or believes these false and ignorant statements.
 
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2021, 07:09:47 AM »
And speaking of praying without ceasing and being busy, he also says in another sermon that by playing Gregorian chant in the home you can be forming your children’s souls. This is especially true and helpful for pregnant woman, since all old Catholic mothers manuals stress how important your dispositions during pregnancy are for forming your child’s heart.

“9 months education in the womb is worth 10 years education after birth.” Korean saying
I am sorry for the times I have publicly criticized others on this forum, especially traditional Catholic religious, and any other scandalous posts and pray that no one reads or believes these false and ignorant statements.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Scrupulousity
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2021, 11:21:19 AM »
Fr. Isaac Relyea posted this conference on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.  He talks at some length about the issue of recidivism and its effects on the validity of sacramental confessions.  He relies primarily on the writings of St. Alphonsus Liguori, so I have no doubt that the content is orthodox. 


Thanks for posting this link. The video is very edifying.
 
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