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January 2024 Mailbox

Q. Is there a moment of transition when venial sin becomes mortal sin? Is it possible to provide an exact measurement? In seconds would be most helpful. I feel that this might be very important to understand.

A. No, there is no such measurement, since that kind of reality does not exist, except in the scrupulous mind. Venial sin does not morph into mortal sin. Something that is not gravely serious does not suddenly become gravely serious through the passage of time. Counting seconds and then doing the math is a waste of time and not required or advised.

Q. When I search for answers about scrupulosity on social media, I am confused about who to believe. Please advise. 

A. Much contradiction exists in social-media commentary about scrupulosity. One person makes one point, and another dismisses it and then makes a point that contradicts the first point. This is highly frustrating for sufferers and for myself and others in the ministry of helping the scrupulous.

Dueling commentary is an unfortunate reality. There is a theological war being fought in the trenches of social media, and unless you know and trust the credentials of the commentator, you can become confused very quickly. The best advice for the scrupulous is to not engage in this warfare. Resist the urge to gather content, no matter what it might say. Content is not the friend of the scrupulous. You have enough to contend with.

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