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Shawn Hughes wrote:

Hi, guys —

I feel I'm never good enough to follow the Catholic Church and her teachings, though I know they are right. My priest thinks I have Religious (OCD) Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder.

  • I'm always doubting my Confession
  • I feel I'm never good enough to be a Catholic
  • I'm constantly having evil, impure, sexual thoughts, and
    when I try to block them they only increase. 

I pray, but it usually gets worse.

I thought I should just leave the Church and just study the Word on my own, but I love the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) community and Holy Communion; I just never feel good enough.

I have even written you before acting like I didn't believe in the Church, just to get answers I was craving to find out about, but it gets so overwhelming that I honestly feel that I can't follow all the Church's teachings. I constantly question myself.

I seek not only your advice but If you could put me in contact with a group, website, etc; that could help me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and God Bless you!!


  { Do you have any (advice or know of a group) for those who never feel good enough to be Catholic? }

Paul replied:


Nobody can follow all the teachings of the Church; everyone struggles with them. The pope does. The last two that didn't were Jesus and Mary . . . and the Church wasn't even yet established then.

My suggestion is a regular regimen of the Sacrament of Confession. Once a week if needed; perhaps more or less. The grace that comes from that sacrament is amazing. Keep persevering. Some sins can be obsessive or addictive and might take much time get past them but keep confessing, keep resolving, and keep attempting to do whatever you can in your life to lessen the temptation to sin . . . and continue to persevere.

Also, look into getting a good spiritual director.

  • Maybe you could call your diocese and ask who does spiritual direction?

That too can be a great help and inspiration. Finally, try to find good Catholic friends to hang out with and be supported by. Perhaps some kind of group on the parish or diocesan level will have people like yourself who are a similar age (and/or) have similar struggles.

I'm sure there are other good suggestions. Perhaps my colleagues will add to these.

And remember, pray as if everything depends on God, work as if everything depends on you.

Seeking grace and cooperating with it are essential in remaining in God's friendship and don't give up! He who gets up after falling must elicit a prolonged applause from the angels in Heaven.


Shawn replied:

Hi, Paul —

Thank you so much.

Your words were very encouraging.


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