Scrupulosity and The Inner Enlightenment

Due to this focus on feelings, there arise several problems, one of these issues is advice or feelings that one suffering from scrupulosity might face. Scrupulosity, stated by the OCD Foundation, is “A form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine.”[1] Think of it like a person trying to perfect themselves in their spiritual life, which seems good itself, but it’s taken to the extreme within scrupulous people. They assume that most things they do are sins, and under Catholics, they think everything is a mortal sin that will end up damming them. Even the littlest thing, something that might not even be a sin, let alone a mortal one.

Additionally, since they are obsessively seeking that “perfect” they will feel as if their prayers aren’t good enough. Thus, they will repeat them over and over. It’s important to note that scrupulosity is far from just an issue in Protestants. It’s a problem that anyone from any religion can face. Martin Luther dealt with it but also so have many saints, such as St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Ignatius Loyola.[2] The ideas on scrupulosity are not meant to point fingers at Protestants either, rather, it is meant to show how this Inner Enlightenment could be damaging to a person facing the hardship of scrupulosity.[3]

[1] “IOCDF Scrupulosity Fact Sheet.” n.d. https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IOCDF-Scrupulosity-Fact-Sheet.pdf.

 

[2] Ibid.

 

[3] Ibid

 

 

-Taken from my Theology of the Church paper, “THE INNER ENLIGHTENMENT’S PROBLEMATIC EXPERIENCE OF THE WORLD:
AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROTESTANT ATTITUDE ON INTERIOR EXPERIENCE”

Protestant Inner Enlightenment Viewpoint

The specific Protestant viewpoint that is going to be focused on is what is known as the inner enlightenment. In this inner enlightenment, God has become a “presence” in the world as well as each person; this is done by the Holy Spirit. “It is the spirit of God itself which enlightens the heart, and inspiring it, makes one ‘feel’ the truth of the person of Jesus. It is recognition by means of an inner experience.” [1] Everything becomes focused on the Bible and one’s own heart and feelings. One’s experience with God is based on “an interior encounter.”[2]

However, what happens when one can’t feel the presence of God or even thinks they are feeling His presence when in reality, one was feeling their own desires. What Christian hasn’t had those difficult moments where they are sitting praying and it’s like God isn’t there. They don’t feel like He’s listening; they don’t feel the “warm” feeling they are so used to. One could carry on with praying, but what person doesn’t doubt during those moments, or feel like giving up because what really is the point? It’s moments like these that are going to be highlighted throughout this paper. The moments in prayer where you feel so high, the moments you feel so low. How much weight should one put on these feelings?

[1] Luigi, Giussani. 2001. Why the Church? Montreal: Mcgill-Queen’s University Press, Cop, pp. 17

 

[2] Ibid., 18

 

-Taken from my Theology of the Church paper, “THE INNER ENLIGHTENMENT’S PROBLEMATIC EXPERIENCE OF THE WORLD:
AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROTESTANT ATTITUDE ON INTERIOR EXPERIENCE”

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