Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Lack of Faith

In this generation it seems that there's a lack of faith. Recently the other day I heard a guy say, " I don't understand why you would have faith, it doesn't make sense to me", he later went into saying both how if something doesn't make sense to him he will be skeptical about it, and how many times people have done very wrong things because of their faith to something. He used the example of mass murders, and mass suicides because the people committing them had faith that what they were doing was right. What he needs to understand is that the faith that these people had is difficult to decipher, all one could say is that it is not faith that caused this to happen but ignorance.

This kind of mentality is souring in today's world. The if I don't see it or if it doesn't make sense to me I won't believe in it. If you think about it, it makes sense why this mentality is normal in today's world. First you have a lot of products and services being sold in the market which makes big promises. People become skeptical about this. The second reason is that we are living in a practical world. People have gotten used to thinking scientifically, practical and mathematically. This is not something wrong, and it can be very useful, but the problem is that many have gotten used to only what makes sense, or what they have seen with their own eyes.

The problem with living in a world where we only allow ourselves to believe in what we see, or what makes sense to us is that many times we need faith that something is real or that something works, without seeing. We need to get out of the I believe only what I see mentality. The second thing is that we are in essence putting limitations on God, when we say that miracles and unexplained things can't happen because it doesn't fall under logic. It is true to say that there are scientific and mathematical formulas for stance, but these are limitations that only humans and worldly beings are subjected to. God is beyond what is created, as he is the creator. This makes God immune to all this.

It is time that we take notice of this observation, and realize that having faith doesn't have to make sense to us, at least not right now. It is like believing that an idea or an Epiphany works. We don't have to fully understand it right now, or at least not right now. Just have faith, and maybe it will make more sense later on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Combating Scrupulosity

  ( David Castillo Dominici)

As a sufferer of scrupulosity I decided to make this blog to help others dealing with this same problem. I will describe my advice that I would give others who suffer from this same problem. I will describe what I have learned, and what I have seen work for dealing with this type of problems. I will also write down some websites and publications that will help people learn a little bit more about scrupulosity.

 What is Scrupulosity?

Scrupulosity is a psychological disorder, usually involving a neurological problem or chemical dysfunction. It usually involves a pathological guilt of moral or religious issues. It is a form of anxiety and stress for Catholic faithfuls. Scrupulosity is usually considered to be a form of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD).

A scruple is described in Latin as a pebble or stone, and in English it is describe both as a weight, and as a doubt or hesitation about a moral course of action. Scrupulosity makes sense if you put all the definitions together. A person with scrupulosity tends to doubt whether they committed a sin, or not. People with this problem also take in all the small details as small as a pebble, and they weight them to try to see if anything was done wrong. They will take all the smallest of details into context. The problem with this is that it may make a person with scrupulosity feel as if they committed a sin when they did not. If a sin was committed it may make a person with scrupulosity over-exaggerate the gravity of the sin committed.

People with scrupulosity have a hard time evaluating between a venial and mortal sin. Many times they will see sin when it doesn't even exist; as previously mentioned. People with this problem are encouraged to see a psychologist or a spiritual adviser. These professionals can really help guide people with this problem.

Another problem that scruples have is that because of all the small details that they evaluate, they might start a prayer such as the "Our Father" and begin to go through it half way and soon find themselves repeat parts of the prayer multipe times before finishing the prayer. This is because they feel that the prayer wasn't said right the first coupe of times.

People with scrupulosity have a hard time when confessing. Many people that go to confession give themselves a harder time that they ought to. For the reason that many of the people that suffer from scrupulosity tend to feel really bad about the sins they committed, or atleast about the sins that they feel they have committed, they feel that the priest didn't give them a harsh enough Penance. They may feel that the priest just doesn't understand the gravity of the sin they committed, or they may even feel that the priest is too liberal. The reality is that the person with scrupulosity is just taking it too hard on themselves.

One of the hardest problems with a person suffering from scrupulosity is the fact that they suffer from unwanted thoughts or rather "intrusive thoughts". Many times these types of thoughts occur in the most  random times. They usually occur when praying, when looking at a crucifix, or when looking at any sacred object, or image. People that get these thoughts feel like they are somehow perverted or " not normal". This is simply not true. What must be done is simply to acknowledge that the person having these thoughts don't want them, nor are they consenting to the thoughts, thus given the name unwanted thoughts. We get random thoughts throughout the day, thoughts that are not logical, or thoughts that we would never want to think about. Yet when we have this thoughts we simply ignore them. This is what one must do with unwanted thoughts about sacred things as well. Many of the most devout Catholics who try their best to not sin, or to think bad thoughts usually get these thoughts; as do I. The best analogy to use is, Suppose I told you not to think about carrots for a day, what is the first thing you are going to think about? Carrots right? For this reason people who suffer from scrupulosity, or any Catholic doing their best not to think about these type of thoughts will most likely get an unwanted thought. Just as with any random thought you might get during the day, the best thing to do is simply to ignore them. Unwanted thoughts have been described as an annoying mosquito in your ear. All one must do in this case is to slap it out. This is the same when it comes to these unwanted thoughts.

Websites and publications that will help
The websites listed below are all helpful for people suffering from scrupulosity. I use most if not all of these websites and publications. Besides this, I urge you to check with a trained professional as well, as they can be of great assistance. The websites are listed below.
  Scrupulous Anonymous - Scrupulous Anonymous
  Crown of Thorns- Crown of thorns (Good article for unwanted thoughts).
 Countering Scrupulosity- Countering Scrupulosity ( Good mp3 audio for understanding scrupulosity)