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Q. I know this sounds kind of farfetched, but I need to ask this question. Is there an accumulated number of venial sins committed that equal a mortal sin? It seems to me that if you keep committing the same kind of venial sins, eventually they will all add up to a mortal sin.

A. Sin is not a question of math but rather of matter, either serious matter or less-serious matter (along with the exercise of full consent of the will). Repetitive venial sin, even numbering in the thousands, for example, does not add up to one mortal sin. Less-serious matter does not and cannot become serious matter.

Q. Please name some saints who suffered with scrupulosity. It might help to see that people with scrupulosity can still be good people.

A. People with scrupulosity are good people. That is my personal experience. They are among the kindest, most compassionate, most gentle people I know. Saints associated with scrupulosity include St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and, St. Alphonsus Liguori. They may have had what is called a tender conscience, known today as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): a spiritual struggle rather than a mental disorder. there is no way to know for certain.



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