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Showing posts from July, 2010

St. John Climacus on scrupulosity

Concerning unspeakably blasphemous thoughts...

... This atrocious foe has the habit of appearing during the holy services and even at the awesome hour of the Mysteries, and blaspheming the Lord and the consecrated elements, thereby showing that these unspeakable, unacceptable, and unthinkable words are not ours but rather those of the God-hating demon who fled from heaven because, it seems, of the blasphemies he uttered there too against the Lord. It must be so, for if these dreadful and unholy words are my own, how could I offer humble worship after having partaken of the sacred gift? How could I revile and praise at the same time?

This deceiver, this destroyer of souls, has often caused men to go mad. And no other thought is as difficult to admit in confession.... In fact nothing gives demons and evil thoughts such power over us as to nourish them and hide them in our hearts unconfessed....

If you have blasphemous thoughts, do not think that you are to blame. God knows what is in our h…

St. Ignatiius Loyola on his compulsive confessing

[Ignatius] began to have much trouble from scruples, for even though the general confessions he had made at Montserrat had been quite carefully done and all in writing, as has been said, still at times it seemed to him that he had not confessed certain things. This caused him much distress, because although he had confessed them all, he was not satisfied. Thus he began to look for some spiritual men who could cure him of these scruples, but nothing helped him....

Although he was practically convinced that those scruples did him much harm and that it would be good to be rid of them, he could not break himself off. Sometimes he thought it would cure him if his confessor ordered him in the name of Jesus Christ not to confess anything of the past; he wanted his confessor to order him thus, but he did not dare say this to his confessor.

But without his saying so his confessor ordered him not to confess anything of the past, unless it was something quite clear. But since he found all those th…