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Q. I canít find a confessor who understands what it means to be a scrupulous person. How am I ever going to get the help that I need? I am at my witsí end and very frustrated. Do you have any suggestions?

A. I suggest you widen your search for a companion to help you. That help needn’t come from a confessor. You need someone like a spiritual director, counselor, friend, or support group to encourage you as you take the many small steps in your daily routine to learn to manage scrupulosity. A confessor who is understanding and trained may well be an ideal choice, but sometimes we’re unable to secure the ideal confessor and need to work with someone who is available. Your mental health community can suggest where to look for help. They’re certainly eager to help you find the help you need.

Q. I feel the burden of sin everywhere. Everything seems to be a sin, and I am never sure if I am in a state of grace. Even asking this question of you makes me wonder if I am guilty of the sin of despair. When will it end?

A. The tone and content of your question suggest to me that you have perhaps moved from a spiritual struggle to a mental health issue. Life is not a burden. But if that is the way that you feel, then you need to seek help and direction. Depression is a serious illness, but thankfully there are all sorts of effective therapies that can be applied to help you feel more like yourself. Please seek the help of a medical professional.

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