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Scrupulosity: A Sonnet

This is a sonnet by a Scrupe Group member who has given permission for it to be shared here. It's his hope, and mine, that it will speak to you and perhaps for you as you strive to deal with this cross that we in the Group bear.

Scrupulosity

I’d fret about the rules I shouldn’t break
and made up new ones that I thought were good
and gave myself an existential ache
with fear that I would not do what I should.
I’d fret about my every thought and feeling
that didn’t match what I considered pure
and tried to crush the ones that weren’t appealing,
and it seemed that I would be damned for sure.
But while I couldn’t face that I was flawed
and that my thoughts were full of rot and death,
I focused on myself instead of God
and faith He’d pull me from my hellish depth.
My sin appeared so mighty and immense,
but it’s not God, with Love’s omnipotence.

"On my blog, the sonnet includes a photo I took that I think captures something of the feeling of the way this experience blocks our sense…

It's not just OCD. It's human nature

Martin Luther's opponents accused him of taking the easy way out when he proclaimed the message of Jesus and Paul that we are saved by grace through faith.  But faith, as Luther never tired of pointing out, is never easy. It's believing what one cannot see while rejecting what appears to be obvious. It's holding on by letting go. It's exactly what Hebrews 11: 1 calls it: "the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen." Moreover, it's trusting God for something our fallen human natures really don't want: a righteousness that comes from outside of ourselves, that we have done nothing to deserve, which we are powerless to obtain by anything we do, and which has as one if its most essential prerequisites a recognition of one's own unworthiness and helplessness.

It's not just people with OCD who have trouble with faith. It's all of us sinners. We all want, in Bonhoeffer's phrase, to "stand before God and say, '…