Confession Question

When confessing sins in number and kind should we mention what we have done to stop? I guess this is more for habitual type sins.

Ex. Using profanity- I do this almost every day, but I have been saying a Hail Mary every time I swear. In general I have been swearing less.

Is a detail such as that useful in the context of confession or is it best left out?


I think that would be useful information for the priest. And it will save him from offering you the advice to say a Hail Mary only to have you say that you’re already doing that.

I think it is important to let the priest know that we are trying to improve as long as we keep in mind that we are confessing our faults and not the good we do.

But you don’t mention such things to get a pat on the back, merely to let the priest know what you’re doing to work on the sin, so that he doesn’t give you redundant advice or anything.

Just a note on profanity. It is different from vulgar language.

If you use the Lord’s name in vain in any way, that is wrong.
Making sexual references is wrong.
But sometimes vulgar language isn’t wrong. It maybe shouldn’t be used in the company of other people, especially if it could lead them to sin, but if I were walking out to my car and realized I forgot my keys and said "oh !@#$, I forgot my keys, I don’t see that as being wrong. The bad word doesn’t mean anything in that situation. Although, some may disagree and say it is still a perversion of the language that God gave us.

Profanity cheapens your dignity as a person (makes you look bad), as well as the dignity of anyone you may use profanity to.

It’s also a misuse of the gift of language which, like everything else we have, was given to us in order that we may glorify God and help our neighbour with it, not just sound off about annoyances.

A correction of my last post. I shouldn’t say whether vulgar language is wrong or not. I think it is a debatbale issue.

Take a look at this thread if you are interested.

Confession is not just on how you say it or telling your sins but it is a conversion and making a decision to avoid sinning. What’s the use of telling the whole detailed story of your sins and say or do your penance then you will do the same way again. Confession is a decision to re-new of one self. God knows your heart and He is a forgiving God. The most important thing in confession is to have a true repentance and to reconcile back to God.

God bless you,


I swore like a child born from a trucker and a sailor.:blush:

My mom (aka trucker) use to say “How did they know way back then that these words were going to be bad?”

I confessed it alot! I knew (deep down) it was wrong. But I did not know why.

So I looked up the word “profane”.

pro·fane –adjective

  1. characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.

  2. not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred).

  3. unholy; heathen; pagan: profane rites.

  4. not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons.

  5. common or vulgar.
    –verb (used with object)

  6. to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.

  7. to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of: to profane a shrine.

So basically words that mean one thing we take and “misuse” them to put someone down, to hurt, to demean someone, or treat someone or something badly.

The words themselves are not bad. It is how or why we use them that makes them bad.

Like the "A " word means “donkey” but we use the word to put someone down. We “misuse” it.

The “B” word is a “female dog” but we use it to demean women, we “misuse” it.

The other “B” word means a child born out of wedlock,we use it to shame someone, we “misuse” it.

The “F” word means in Dutch, Sweden, German language to “copulate” to “mate”. We hear it in their tongue and say it to mean something vulgar.
Sex is sacred it is holy, given to us by God Himself and we use this word to defile it, we “misuse” it.

Everything was created by God. Who are we to disrespect His creations?

To misuse is to profane. I learned that I was misusing words like a child who doesn’t know better.
I am now ashamed.
The same mouth I place the flesh of Jesus on,
I misused.

No more profanity!

Respect God’s creations = Respect for God.

Lord have mercy on me a miserable sinner. Amen:crossrc:

Thanks for the posts everyone. Very helpful answers. Just so the thread doesn’t get off track- the question isn’t whether profanity was a sin. I was just using that as an example. Maybe I should have picked a more obviously sinful act (shoplifting?). The question is should details like what you have done to stop or when you stopped stealing be mentioned in confession.



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