Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Science Fiction As Literature | Main | The Curtain Closes On A Long-Time Blog »

January 03, 2007



I'd say just present the info "wide open" in FAQ format and try not to be quite so scrupulous about it ;-^

Seriously, you cannot shield anyone from their fears. To think you can is almost egocentric.
Just provide the info as only you can and leave room for the Holy Spirit to do the actual healing.

Who is to say that having such wonderful info "out in the open" won't be as much a blessing as hiding it in an Easter egg hunt?


What about the list of what all should need, a search box, then a link to another page with the minimally tagged stuff. Your two proposals do not seem to me to be mutually exclusive.

Brother Cadfael


I appreciate your efforts and your care in this regard. For what it's worth, I think that you have taken reasonable care with the two approaches outlined to make sure that people aren't unnessecarily clicking on things that aren't bothering them. But balancing the relevant concerns, I think making sure the information as only you can provide it is available outweighs the concern that others might be led astray by the same information.

So I'd listen to EinOH and use a combination of the two. (I'd also listen to dj, and not be scrupulous about it!)

Good luck and God bless.

(I assume this isn't one of the secret projects. What ever became of them?)

Eric Ewanco

Why not just write a generic piece stating that any sin you commit can be forgiven if you repent of it? It's impossible to repent and not be forgiven by God. That can be explained without listing any scrupulous behavior.

If you want to use a scrupulous behavior as an example invent an absurd (even humorous) one.

Dave J.

For chunks related to scripture passages, you could have users select from dropdown boxes, one to select the book, another the chapter, and a third the verse. Because the dropdowns would represent the entire bible, most random combinations wouldn't result in any answers, discouraging people from just playing around.

This still doesn't resolve the problem of what to do about concerns not directly related to a particular scripture passage. I think a search is probably the best solution for that, but I understand your concern about not wanting people to search for something generic like "unforgiveable".

So why not develop a customized search feature? Instead of indexing the text of the entire article, tag each article with a set of keywords or keyword phrases you feel represents the topic, and have the search operate only on those terms. Only return results whose relevance is above a certain high threshold (say, 75%). Although this increases the chance that people might not find what they're looking for, it will also make it less likely to find things they weren't looking for. In the worst case, you can always e-mail people a link to your answer.


Jimmy, I normally just lurk on this blog, but as a formerly scrupulous person, I felt I had to chip in. Thank you for your kindness in considering those with such difficulties. I know that it literally is hell that these people are going through, and it is impossible to understand unless you've been through it yourself (at least to some degree). By the grace of God, I am now free of my scrupulosity and I thank Him every day for it.

That said, I think you should go with idea number 1. Doing searches can stir up a whole boatload of unnecessary anxiety. Perhaps, if you prefaced your link with a warning, such as "SB" (scrupulous beware) and then the link, they would know that the material you are linking to could cause trouble.

Even though it is admirable that you are so thoughtful, you can't shield them from every worry and they have to take a certain degree of responsibility.

God bless you!


Thanks for taking this seriously. Plz don't accept dj's proposal. Someone who has suffered from this can't handle that. While its true that 'everyone is responsible for themselves', its also true that the great spiritual directors in the Church have always been meticulous about diagnosing and treating this problem. That said, I know one of your standing recommendations would always be to get the affected person into good spiritual direction as soon as possible.


I used to suffer from scrupulosity myself, and you are being very wise with your concerns. I remember my scruples would move to different areas after having read something about someone else’s scrupulous condition. It's like "Boy, I never thought about THAT being a sin." And then you start worrying about THAT. Thanks be to God, I am 97% over my scruples. As to what you should do, I think you should instruct readers that they MUST read the articles applying in general to scrupulosity before clicking on links. And yes, I think it would be better to provide general links so the scruples don't have to deal with a search engine. Not only could they turn up with the wrong results, but they could get fearful they weren't "trying hard enough" to find something. Also, maybe it would be a good idea to have a few people who were willing and sound Catholics who could be sources for emailing specific questions. Scrupulous people are usually not satisfied with a general problem, but always want to know about their specific problem, because they think that they are specifically bad or something. Anyway, thank you so much for doing this, and please keep us all updated! God Bless


I appreciate your wanting to use technology to solve the problem but I fear any of those solutions will have some pitfalls to them (as you have already noted). My suggestion would be for you to create the database, then enlist an army of trusted helpers to answer the user questions by linking to the relevant documents. This way a human can know all the different documents and search them and give the user links to proper material without the risk associated with a search engine. A human will always be able to do a better job than a search engine! This will require the finding and maintaining of a group of people willing to do this, but they will not have to be experts because you would be providing the material. Perhaps a group of past scrupulous people would take it on as a ministry? Good luck with the endeavor!


Great Idea. Here's one previous scrupulous person willing to help!

A. Williams

I'm also with RickK. Furthermore, I would have one section devoted only to the examples and sayings of the Saints in regards the particular scruples/sin types.

Why saints? Because they are examples of the Gospel as 'lived' and not only as 'studied'. If someone reads passages from the life of St. Joseph Caffaso, and how he accompanied so many criminals to the gallows, convincing them of the love of God and the forgiveness of all their sins, and being with them until the moment of death...one could probably encounter more hope for forgiveness than all the theology books combined! And passages and examples from the 'joyful' saints, in particular, such as St. John Bosco, St. Philip Neri, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis de Sales, St. Joseph Caffaso,St. Anthony Claret and St. Louis de Montfort all can go a long way in giving loving and soothing comfort to the spiritually afflicted.

In many ways, I find these saints to be like spiritual sunglasses. When great truths are difficult to comprehend, sometimes we need to have a sort of filter by which to soften them and make them more understandable and digestible. In examining the Saints in their acts of ordinary living we have such a filter. We find examples that we can imitate, either by their intense prayer and severe mortifications, or maybe also by their loving charity, and more often than not, their light-heartedness and sense of humor.

So, on each topic, readers from this blog might contribute particular stories or quotes that they have read from the Saints. The Bible and theology are often very profound, but the lives and sayings of the Saints very sweet, digestible and spiritually delicious!


Wondering if many folks afflicted with scruples would not pour over the material not specific to their immediate concern no matter how it is presented? That's the sort of thing I might do anyway! Hence my thought that there may not be a lot of point in "hiding" topics a level or two deep. But I don't know and rightly and willingly yield to the opinions of the sufferers.


I am a recovering scrupulous lay person with no authority on the subject but my opinion only. I thank you for at least understanding that there are suffering souls out there. Trying to out fox a scupulous mind is not where the remedy should be applied as every nuance of every topic, thought etc, can be a trigger. The remedy is to help heal the scrupulous person with knowledge, competent Priests and maybe Physicians. In my case a little book (Quadrupani Light and Peace) went a long way to help dispel fears and set me on the right road. for example he writes that the Church requires Sacramental Integrity and not Material integrity for Confession pp. 57 61. I hope that some learned person will evaluate this book and if it passes muster (it has a imprimatur) write more about it.


Thank you for your concern for us, Jimmy.

And, everybody, please remember scrupulosity can often be a manifestation of the illness OCD, as it is for me. Medication, therapy, and the "Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous" from Scrupulosity Anonymous are the gifts God has given me to fight it, but as was mentioned above, sometimes things will set it off that you never would have guessed could do it.

St. Dymphna, pray for us!


Jimmy's concern for his brothers and sisters afflicted with scruples is a great example for us all because he is trying to reach out and protect the broken and weak. I dont think the Truth should ever be obscured because of someones weakness etc. but it seems to me that by having solidarity with each other (as the Church teaches) ways of delivering the truth can be devised that meet the test of Charity (I Cor 13:4-7;13:13.) and Solidarity.

Cathechism of the Catholic Church
1828 The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us"

1939 The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of "friendship" or "social charity," is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood. 45
An error, "today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity." 46


I was just wondering if you had heard of anyone being healed of Religious OCD? I have found very few stories like mine and the only place I have found a few answers was net-buzz.net Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I was just wondering if you had heard of anyone being healed of Religious OCD? I have found very few stories like mine and the only place I have found a few answers was net-buzz.net Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I was just wondering if you had heard of anyone being healed of Religious OCD? I have found very few stories like mine and the only place I have found a few answers was net-buzz.net Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31