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Q. I am male. Is it a serious sin for my brother and I to undress in front of each other? I worry it may be a serious sin against modesty. My brother is not concerned, but I am.

A. No, it is not sinful or against any standard of modesty. It is common behavior and practice with siblings. Nudity is not against the commandments of God. It is a natural state, and there is nothing fundamentally disordered with nudity. You are probably feeling a little more self-conscious as part of your own growth and development. This also is a natural development and feeling and not an indication of sin.


Q. I am preoccupied with restitution issues. I have recently returned to Catholicism after a few years of nonpractice, and I am aware that I was not as careful as I might have been and as honest as I should be as a Christian. Any guidance in this matter would be helpful.

A. I advise you to avoid this scrupulous trap. Scrupulosity tends to propel a person into the future with worry and anxiety about what might happen or repel people into an imagined past, where people always come up short and something is missing. Your anxiety is not about reparation for sin, it is the anxiety of scrupulosity, plain and simple. Resist it.

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