“Catholic Guilt” is a term used to describe the belief that all Catholics to some degree suffer from guilt that is above and beyond normal guilt. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Guilt is something everyone with a conscience experiences. Excessive guilt is an indication of depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Our Catholic faith teaches simply: repent, confess serious sin pronto (minor mistakes can wait), and move on. No ruminating allowed.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal put it bluntly. “When you fail through cowardice or infidelity, be not disturbed, make no reflection, humble yourself in meekness and confusion before God, and then lose no time in rising up again…”
Quote from the Selected Letters of St. Jane Frances de Chantal (Translated by the Sisters of the Visitation, Harrow). London: RT Washbourne, Ltd., 1918).