Interior Trials: Part II
Let us begin with the torture which it costs us to have to do with a confessor so scrupulous and inexperienced that he thinks nothing is safe: he is afraid of everything, and doubtful about everything, as soon as he sees that he is dealing with anything out of the ordinary. This is particularly so if he sees any imperfection in the soul that is undergoing these experiences. (Teresa of Avila: Sixth Mansions: Book One)
The scrupulous spiritual guide is ineffective in dealing with “out of the ordinary” spiritual experiences. They obsess over minor details of what they consider right and wrong. They view non-traditional or unusual experiences as unsafe. Out of ignorance, they’re quick to attribute these experiences to the devil, mental health problems, or a runaway imagination.
While some “out of the ordinary” experiences do not come from God, many do. The scrupulous spiritual guide fears nearly all unusual experiences. Consequently, their counsel pains the recipient and can do long-term damage to the spiritual health of others. Their spiritual misdirection multiplies when the scrupulous spiritual guide sees an imperfection in our soul. They fixate on correcting minor issues and miss God’s work.
For more on this issue see: Cheap Food, Cheap Art, and Cheap Ministry