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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Scrupulosity, Questions & Sin

QUESTION:

Thank you for offering this platform for us to ask questions. I have a question about whether something would fall under the sin of rash judgement or would just be a temptation. I have anxiety; unfortunately, this leads to me having thoughts that other people might be judging me because of the things that I say or do. I am usually able to stop myself after those thoughts pop up; but I am wondering if just having those thoughts would constitute the scenario of a near occasion of sin that should be avoided? I think I have really bad scrupulosity.  I tend to ask priests a lot of questions.  I am worried that because of these thoughts, I should not be asking them any further questions.  Thank you so much in advance!

RESPONSE:

The questions are arguably a symptom of scrupulosity, not any kind of near occasion for sin.  There is nothing wrong with asking questions.  Indeed, it is probably even neutral matter to ask ridiculous questions.  Scrupulosity often leads to inquiries that have little or no moral weight in reality.  Indeed, I find that this mental tendency is toward the fanciful or unreal.  Some imagine themselves much worse than they actually are.  The sin is rooted in a denial of the goodness of creation, an errant self-deprecation and a repudiation of God’s power to save and to forgive.  I cannot say whether people are constantly judging you but I can tell you that all of us will stand before the divine tribunal.  If we walk with the Lord then we need fear neither men nor the judgment of God.