Overcoming Scrupulosity (The Inner Life with Patrick Conley)

Do you struggle with an exaggerated sense of guilt where you constantly feel like you could be in mortal sin? This could have you torn up inside and feeling very fearful and distant from God. It may be worth looking into the problem of scrupulosity.

Fr. Patrick Hyde, OP is here to explain and give you guidance.

🔍 Scrupulosity Explained: Fr. Hyde distinguishes between healthy guilt over sin and the more complex state of scrupulosity. This condition combines both spiritual and psychological elements, leading to excessive guilt, anxiety, and misinterpreting venial sins as mortal sins or even non-sins as mortal sins. It’s a barrier to flourishing in faith. 🌱 God does not want you to live this way and you don’t have to!

🤔 Roots of Scrupulosity: Fr. Hyde touches on causes like intellectual and spiritual immaturity during conversion or awakening in faith. This is common among young Catholics discovering their faith. He also highlights other sources like traumatic experiences or mental health issues such as OCD or depression. 🧠

🚨 Signs of Scrupulosity: The symptoms? Overthinking potential sins as worse than they are, feeling unworthy of prayer or engaging in extreme prayer practices, and distorted attitudes towards sacraments, especially confession and communion.

🙏 The Solution Path: Father emphasizes the importance of intellectual and spiritual formation. Understanding the nature of mortal sin is key. He also encourages seeking regular, but not excessive, confession with a familiar priest, potentially coupled with professional mental health support.

💡 Spiritual Insight: A critical point made is about understanding God’s nature and our relationship with Him. Fr. Patrick Hyde warns against the extremes of presumption and despair, advocating for a balanced virtue of hope. 🌟 Trust that God truly wants your salvation and will give you the grace to get there.

📖 Recommended Resources: A caller named Barbara recommends “The Mindful Catholic” by Dr. Gregory Bottaro for exercises in Catholic mindfulness.  Fr. Hyde mentions the book “Scrupulosity” by Dr. Kevin Vost for practical steps, combining both spiritual and psychological approaches. 📚

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.