Q. I live in a rural area of the country where the spiritual resources available to me are very limited. Are there resources that you would recommend and that I might easily access?
A. The single most helpful resource that I recommend is this monthly newsletter, Scrupulous Anonymous, which has been published continuously for more than fifty years with great pastoral care and concern. It is also free of charge to subscribers. The archives of the newsletter are available for your reference at Scrupulousanonymous.org. The Facebook pages of Understanding Scrupulosity and the companion page Managing Scrupulosity are also very helpful. The Facebook pages often link to other helpful resources as they become available. Another source is the book I wrote, which I updated in 2017, Understanding Scrupulosity: Questions and Encouragement (Liguori Publications, 825279).
To purchase the book, please visit Liguori.org or
Q. Am I imagining things or is one of the benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic that we have received a refresher course on how we might be dispensed from spiritual obligations? Perhaps it is not as difficult as I once believed.
A. I agree with you. The dispensations routinely offered by the bishops in response to the pandemic have been far-reaching. In addition, people have been and are encouraged to rely on their own decision-making processes in the application of announced dispensations. I do not think it would be an exaggeration to also note that they are encouraged to be generous in their application and to resist the urge to apply them rigidly. The pandemic has been a life lesson for all of us.