Monday, December 5, 2016

Ten Reasons Not To Go To Confession and Ten Quick Replies

St. John Bosco Hearing Confessions
I am writing this especially to the community at Boston University because we have our Advent Confessions available tonight at Marsh Chapel from 7-8:30pm, but it also applies to everyone else as well.

Reasons why you should not come to confession tonight and my replies:

Reason One: I am really busy because it is the end of the semester.

Reply: Lame.

Reason Two: I've committed some really big sins.

Reply: That is why Jesus gives us the Sacrament of Confession. When we go to confession, God's mercy obliterates the power that these sins appear to exercise over us.  The alternative is to allow these sins to exercise mastery over us. When we go to confession, we experience freedom from the tyranny of these sins.

Reason Three: I'm embarrassed to confess my sins.

Reply: Committing sin is embarrassing. The embarrassment becomes a weapon that sin uses to keep us enslaved.  Confessing the sin is an act of strength and brings an amazing freedom.

Reason Four: The priest might think less of me.

Reply: I'm sorry to disappoint you, but your sins really are not that interesting. Besides, the most privileged thing in the world for a priest is to be entrusted with the ministry of absolving sins.

Reason Five: I really don't sin.

Reply: You definitely need to go to confession. I mean like right now.

Reason Six: I had a bad experience once when I went to confession.

Reply: I had a bad experience once when traveling. I still travel.

Reason Seven: I haven't been to confession in a long time.

Reply: Isn't that a reason to go to confession?

Reason Eight: I don't remember how to begin the confession and/or I don't remember the Act of Contrition.

Reply: I don't remember the Gettysburg Address or the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, but I still vote.

Reason Nine: I feel confused, lost, or guilty.

Reply: God loves you. He wants to tell you so in the confessional.

Reason Ten: I am dead.

Reply: That's a good reason. When we die, then it is too late. Until then, we should go frequently.


  1. Perfect for students, and the rest of us.

  2. I go every week. The priest hasn't hit me with a shoe horn yet.

  3. What if you have an addiction that you don't expect to be able to or plan to stop? Be it alcohol, pornography, or gambling, if you expect to continue in a certain vice, what's the point of going to confession?

    1. While I don't want to give confessional advice here, I'd still encourage a person who is experiencing an addiction to go to confession. The quick reason I'd offer is that an addiction could seriously impede a person's freedom to act well. I'd strongly urge a person who was suffering from an addiction to find a good confessor (in addition to finding someone who can help them deal with the addiction).

  4. As a parishioner of St. Mary's (Fr. Barnes' former assignment), I can testify to the fact that those encounters in the Sacrament of Confession were some of the most important and spiritually significant experiences of my of life. Don't waste such an opportunity. GO!