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James Worthson wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am 20-year-old male and it seems like I am scrupulous.

When I have a impure thoughts or thoughts that objectify women, my mind gets very scared when it lasts too long and wants to (think it back up) to see if I sinned (basically trying to retrace my thoughts to find it out), and in doing so, it makes me think I did again and the cycle continues.

I convinced myself that I did not sin and received Communion but now I feel as if I may have received Communion with a mortal sin but don't know for sure because of my doubts.

I hope someone can help with a real answer to see what you think.

Thank you.


  { Can you help me determine how conscientious or scrupulous I am prior to receiving Communion? }

Bob replied:

Dear James,

Thanks for the question.

The category of impure thoughts most often is not a mortal sin, for we often don't have much control over what goes through our mind, and especially (if you get caught in the moment) for a young man whose body is influencing his mind as well; so don't despair. All you need to do is develop a simple mental prayer, like:

"Jesus, deliver my mind from evil," and move on.

If you get stuck in the trap of circulating thoughts, then pray,

"Jesus, I trust in you."

You must see this more like a mental discipline in the making. Patience is important, and most of all consistency. If you must do this many times a day that's fine, think of how many times you are then turning to Jesus so there is no sense in dwelling on these mental distractions, but use the occasion to spring into a better prayer habit.

Eventually, the energy of anxiety which emanates from this ferris wheel will diminish and you will not find it weighing you down.


Bob Kirby

James replied:

Hi, Bob -

Thank you so much for your answer!

I will definitely do the strategy of praying instead of thinking it up again from now on!


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