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Shawn wrote:

Hi, guys —

Greetings!

It's been awhile, but I'm still struggling!! Here is the problem ... again.

I was raised in the Baptist church and just converted to the Catholic Church two years ago. When I was in the Baptist church "being impure with oneself" was not a big deal. For that reason, over the 25 years, I developed this habit and also suffer from manic depression, anxiety, and compulsion disorders, OCD.

My priest has told me not to get overburden by this, that God knows my heart and that I should also remember this:

CCC 1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

I was also told it is more of a sin to not trust in God; that He knows my heart. That said, should
I just pray for forgiveness when this happens and not worry. I go to Confession twice a month and take several medications for my condition. I have been told by multiple priests to not worry so much; that it is more sinful not to trust God since, in my case, my sin is venial.

  • I know we have been over this a million times, but why do I worry so much, when I know
    it is part of a condition I have?
  • Why can't I just come to grips with this and accept that this is the cross I my must carry and start trusting in God more, instead of worrying about whether I've committed a mortal sin or not?

It at times pushes me from the Catholic Church, and at other times, it brings me closer. : (

Blessings,

Shawn

  { Why can't I just come to grips with and accept my Obsessive–compulsive disorder as my cross? }

Mary Ann replied:

Shawn,

You must follow the direction of your Confessors. The Church has centuries of dealing with such things, and Her way is best. Do not worry, try your best, rely on God, and humbly accept "failure" as a sign of your human condition and as a chance to turn to God in love and trust.

OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder) can latch on to this practice and get mixed up with it easily. With spiritual direction, therapy, and grace, you should be able to find some freedom.

God bless.

Mary Ann

Shawn replied:

Mary Ann —

Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Nevertheless, the sad thing is my Confessors have made me aware of everything you said.

They've told me just to bring it to God in prayer and strive to not do it again. That I need to realize that some crosses we carry, will be with us for a lifetime, so not to dwell on them and become worrisome, but trust that God knows our intentions and heart.

Nonetheless, whenever I slip up and fall, I instantly start telling myself that I committed a mortal sin and that I'm going to Hell. When this cycle starts, I tend to quit going to Mass altogether.

I know I need to trust that God knows I'm not turning my back on him and giving a full consent of my will to these horrible acts, but its hard to shake. I know receiving the Eucharist helps when I go through these repeated cycles. They tell me it's good for me to receive Holy Communion, because I'm not giving full consent of my will, but sometimes I worry about that too. I start thinking everything is a sin.

Confused,

Shawn

Mary Ann replied:

Shawn —

You said:
I instantly start telling myself that I committed a mortal sin and that I'm going to Hell. When this cycle starts, I tend to quit going to Mass altogether.

That "instantly start telling yourself" is part of your OCD. There are therapeutic ways to deal with that; lots of techniques your therapist can teach you, or maybe you need a change in meds — ask your doctor.

Nevertheless, there is no sense in throwing out your religion because of an illness!

If your compulsive thought was about turning off the stove, you wouldn't renounce cooking!

Mary Ann

Shawn replied:

Hi, Mary Ann —

You said:
Nevertheless, there is no sense in throwing out your religion because of an illness!

If your compulsive thought was about turning off the stove, you wouldn't renounce cooking!

WOW, that just clicked!

Thank you Mary Ann. You are exactly right, that would be what the evil one would want me to do, just to throw in the towel. I will ponder on this.

Thanks and Blessings!

Shawn

Mary Ann replied:

You are welcome!

God bless.

Mary Ann

Shawn replied:

Hey Mary Ann,

I just came back from the 5:00pm Mass and prayed about as hard as I ever have. I told the Lord that I I have complete trust in Him, and that I know He knows my true intentions!

I received Holy Communion and felt so relieved!!

Thank you dear sister, your words have truly helped a lost sheep.

Blessings,

Shawn

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