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Old 05-17-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
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Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

I just got finished reading a book by St. Francis de Sales about a friend of his who was suffering with religious scruples. What he told her was the following: "Better to love obedience than to fear disobedience". These words really helped me and thought they might help others.

Believe it or not, when analyzed most of religious scruples are based on disobedience to God not obedience. This can also be said for "magical thinking" as well.

 
Old 05-18-2005, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

Can you tell me the title of the book? I'd like to read it. Thanks!

 
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsgrl
Can you tell me the title of the book? I'd like to read it. Thanks!
Actually, this particular book did not go deeply into scruples that much. In fact this particular book wrote alot about the historical events happening while St. Francis was alive, and not so much on his interior life.

St. Francis, though, did mention this advice to his friend (who later became a nun) as he recognized she was suffering with scruples. She would agonize for weeks whether "this or that was right".

Unfortunately, I don't have the book with me now (I am not at home) but I will give you the name of the book the next time I log in.

His most famous book is "Introduction to the Devout Life". He was an eloquent writer and very often used nature to show his readers the love of God.

But getting back to religous scruples: Most religious will tell you that to cure religous scruples one should get a spiritual advisor first of all - particular one who understands scruples. If you are Catholic I would suggest speaking to a priest about it. Confession is usually a great time to talk because you can remain anonymous if you so desired. In fact, the most thorough and helpful advice was given to me in confession by different priests.

I personally believe, most secular psychologists really don't know how to throroughly grasp religious scruples and what is truly going on as it is a spiritual struggle the individual is going through. I know, I have been to several psychologists.

Secondly, if one truly examines his scruples, he will notice that - he is actually not being obedient to his faith - whether it be lack of faith in God - and feeling that he/she can actually make something "right" by his/her actions, etc.

In my case I suffered a lot with the "magical thinking" stuff -thinking that I could make something happen by my thoughts - which actually is total disobedience to God - because when you think about it - who do you think you are using when you think you may be cursing or causing harm to someone by these thoughts? I have one answer - it is not God that is for sure. So when I come upon these situations, I simply say to myself "fear the disobedience to God here". It's almost like a weird jujitsu move you are doing - fearing the disobedience to God, rather than the actual fearful houghts.

Thirdly - scruples absolutely operates on fear. It is the "fuel" that keeps it going. You can actually use this fear to your advantage - in order to get out of this tangle mess - and that is to be fearful of being disobedient to God.

This is why so many saints (St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Ignatius Loyola, and this particular saint - in this book) have mentioned that it is by "obedience" that they came out of this darkness.

Last edited by fm5; 05-20-2005 at 12:08 PM.

 
Old 05-21-2005, 12:14 PM   #4
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

The name of the book is "Saint Francis de Sales and his friends" by Maurice Henry-Couannier. I would suggest going to a Salesian Spirituality site where they have many books on St. Francis de Sales - particularly "Introduction to the Devout Life". The particular book by Henry-Couannier, was more historical with not a lot of spirituality in it.

I read it because I read St. Francis de Sales "Diary of Daily Meditations" years ago and it had a profound impact on me. The book was essentially excerpts of St. Francis de Sales book "Introduction to a Devout Life".

Last edited by fm5; 05-21-2005 at 12:49 PM.

 
Old 05-21-2005, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

Thanks for getting back to me w/ the name. I appreciate it!

 
Old 05-23-2005, 02:46 PM   #6
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

Since o.c.d. absolutely depends on and operates on your fear, the trick here, as stated by St. Francis de Sales, is to "be afraid of the disobedience to God" in these situations, and to be totally focused on that - not on our own crazy rituals - which are in fact, disobedence.

How are we disobedient?

Adding "new rules" to our faith system. An example would be adding new rituals to your daily life, believing that this will get you "right with God" when there is no indication given by your faith that you have to/or should do this stuff. An example of this was would be, perhaps, a Jewish person who felt that she/he had to shower after eating certain foods. This is something that is not at all indicated in that faith to do.

Anything that you are doing that is "adding on" to your faith, or you feel that Jesus would not have indicated you to do, or a feeling that "I can make things right by doing this or that, rather than putting your trust in God, is actually disobedience - not obedience - because you are putting trust and faith in yourself, not in God's mercy on you.

Last edited by fm5; 05-23-2005 at 02:51 PM.

 
Old 05-25-2005, 01:07 PM   #7
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Re: Those Suffering with Religious Scruples

Again, the trick here is to be just as afraid of being disobedient to God (as you should) as you are in not performing your rituals.

Last edited by fm5; 05-25-2005 at 01:07 PM.

 
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