Have I comitted a sin?

Hello Everyone,
I am a 16 year old male, and basically I am worried about Sloth.
Well heres my general day, I get up at 7am, get ready and leave for school, have the whole day at school, walk home, when I get home I eat dinner, then feed my dog while my parents wash up, after that there generally isn’t much to do. So I find myself spending roughly 4 hours on my laptop either playing video games or watching films and such and then I go to bed.
And on weekends I pretty much spend most of my time on my laptop as well with the exclusion of Church and dinner, my personality isn’t the kind that enjoys spending time outside shop corners and there aren’t many youth clubs in which for me to go.
And I realised Sloth is laziness and I’m not sure as whether my lifestyle is laziness, I mean I ask my parents if they need a hand with anything and they say no.
So Am I committing Sloth by living my lifestyle, I mean most of my real friends are pretty much doing the same thing and we talk to each other.
But can anyone tell me if I am committing Sloth and if so is there anything I can do about it, because I’m not exactly and outgoing sort of person and I’m not sporty so sports clubs are out of the question.
Does Sloth just mean lazy with faith or in general? I pray every morning and night and go to Church on weekends. Point is can anyone tell me if this is Sloth or what Sloth actually is.
Any answers would be appreciated.

Edit: I also procrastinate, I mean I have exams I know I should study, but I can’t just sit down and just read a book and take in the information I end up getting bored and when I’m bored I end up day dreaming, I wish I could just revise but I always end up getting side tracked or distracted.
I mean sometimes I leave my homework to that last minute and things but, the major ones like my Course Work for GCSE’s and AS levels I get done earlier. I’m not failing my classes getting mostly B’s and C’s nothing lower than a C but I don’t know I don’t like procrastinating but I can only revise for say 10 mins before getting side tracked

I would say no. You’re going to church, praying, going to school, and asking your parents if they need help. This is pretty much what I do. I’m 17. Don’t worry, you’re fine! At least IMHO :slight_smile:

Thanks for your answer, it’s just I look at my day and there isn’t really much I do, I mean with washing up (We don’t have a dishwasher) my parents say it’s fine they’ll do it, and I rarely clean my room as I am rarely in there, I am usually in the living room with my family. I just thought because I generally don’t overly have that much to do wasn’t sure if it counted as Sloth.

Frankly, what you describe does sound to me like sloth.

Sloth does not mean total inactivity (to the degree total inactivity is even possible for a living human being, that is). At it’s core it means neglecting the things one ought to do, but this is usually done by multiplying or expanding other activities at the expense of more important ones, and at the expense of true leisure.

Now, from what you describe it sounds like you are performing your essential duties (school, church, as much work as your family wants you doing). That’s great and its better than many people could say. But you are filling up your “free” time with mindless wastes of time.

I’m not saying you should never spend time on the internet or watching movies (or watch TV; it amuses me that you don’t mention this. A cultural shift is happening). In principle video games might even have a legitimate place in your life, though it’s hard for me to enter into that idea personally. But all these activities should be fully deliberate, and deliberately limited.

From what you describe it sounds like these are instead just things you use to fill up time. Surely there are better things you might do with this time than what you are doing. Perhaps its time to try and discern what those things are.

Also there is the principle of leisure. Leisure is not the same as sloth, and indeed sloth is an enemy of leisure. Holy leisure means stepping back from the business of life, living more reflectively and humanly. The person mired in sloth is generally as perpetually busy as the workaholic, always on that computer or whatever. You might benefit from not only limiting your electronics use to a smaller part of each day and filling in some of that time with more useful tasks like prayer and getting a head start on homework and studying, but also by breaking that cycle of constant activity and giving yourself some breathing room between tasks.

Here’s a link to an article:
Good for you, that you are examining your life!
RC :slight_smile:

Reading is also a great way to spend free time :smiley:

Thanks for the detailed answer, I understand getting a head start on doing studies or my homework and such like. But other than that I do not know what else I can really do, when I am home my mother is usually very tired from her work and sleeps so I cannot really spend much time bonding, and my father is usually doing some sort of work. My friends mostly do the same thing I do, we do not usually go outside as there is little for us to do where we live. I would like to do some other things and I am in fact using my laptop most of the time to kill time as there is nothing else for me to really do. If I have no homework or no exams coming up there isn’t much for me to do, I like reading and I enjoy it. The problem with me is I am very scrupulous and I suppose that I spend such an amount of time on my laptop to keep my mind occupied, I suffer with anxiety you see and it seems that when my mind isn’t occupied I constantly seem to stress over something whether it is sinning or other things so it seems that when I am on the laptop it’s almost my kind of way of relaxing in a way. I understand what you say I mean I get home from school at 4pm, go on my laptop at 5pm and come off at 9pm then go to bed at 10pm and usually read on school nights.
I would generally really like to relax but it seems that when I have nothing to do and I am not on my laptop my mind wanders and I end up constantly thinking about different things, Sinning or my future or my health, my mind doesn’t really seem to shut off that easy, so I find it’s the simpler option too occupy it with activities.
It may sound stupid but perhaps would exercise count as a break as that is a way I kinda blow off some of my steam and forget about some of my problems and the constant rush of life. If I broke down my electronic time with exercise would that be acceptable.
As I mentioned above by my own nature I am not an outgoing person and going out to places in order to meet people makes me feel rather uncomfortable, if you have any suggestions for me they would be appreciated.
Perhaps I will talk about this to my priest and see if he could perhaps give me some suggestions, either way if you reply it would be appreciated.

As an added note I understand I could pray more but I simply do not know how much to pray, I mean on an average school day I have perhaps 5 hours in which I am free to do with in whatever way I choose but I do not necessarily know many prayers or what in fact to say. I mean I set aside a part of my free time in which I make some youtube videos in gaming, and I do that as I generally enjoy entertaining people and making people happy, would perhaps something as little as saying some prayers or having a conversation with some people if I am feeling bored be the kind of cure so to speak, as sometimes I generally go on my laptop because I am looking forward to watching a film, or some videos or playing a game etc, but when I am bored instead of merely using the internet or whatever as a means to waste time, I pray or have a conversation or just put everything down and just think about things.

I’ve always understood sloth to be avoiding the labor that you must do. If you don’t have labor that you must do and aren’t doing, if you’re not neglecting your spiritual life (we can always pray more, but I’m talking about actual neglect), then it’s not sloth.

Neither is procrastination necessarily sloth. It can be, but in general if there is something you could be doing, but doesn’t need to be done now, and so you put if off until it does need to be done, there’s no problem so long as you actually do it. And “need” is a pretty key word here, we’re talking about stuff that relates to fulfilling obligations that are real, not just stuff we think we ought to do.

Having free time does not imply sloth. You can choose to spend more of your free time doing good stuff, but you aren’t required to spend all of your free time on work.

Sloth is really more of an outlook than an action. It’s a tendency to just not care about things, or to avoid good things because they take a lot of work.


Of course not. Sloth means failing to keep up one’s spiritual life.

I see the situation is more complex and unusual than it sounded in your first post. If you suffer from scrupulosity and anxiety then you are probably not ready for the structured and reflective kind of life I described. You need to have a realistic view of morality before you can make much progress in it.

Do you know how to pray the Rosary? That kind of structured prayer may be a good idea for you. Beyond that it’s difficult to give advice, as I don’t have the same experiences as you. Exercise, as you suggested, may be a good idea. It’s healthy, especially if you are the sort who isn’t very active anyway. For some people who suffer from depression physical exercise is an emotional help, but I don’t know if this transfers to other things like anxiety. Manual labor is something that is also usually a healthy and helpful thing in one’s spiritual life, but for people who suffer from from scrupulosity and anxiety this also might be ruined for them.

If you have access to a good priest advice, even formal spiritual direction, might be a help. Depending on the severity of your scrupulosity and anxiety medical sorts of help (therapy, anti-anxiety drugs, that sort of things) might be something to consider too. Of course you are still very young and you may be better with a few years of growth in maturity.

Having been a teen and then raising 3 people past their teens, I full understand the frustration of trying to fill up down time. My daughter was in everything that had to do with music so that filled most of hers. My other son’s where into pcs because that is what dad did for a living. But that being said, You, like they did at times- need to get some fresh air and make some friends.

I know you said sports is not your thing but if you live in a neighborhood that is safe enough- when the weather is good- go out for a walk. Its great exercise and is very health. Or a bike trail or state park. You could get a camera and take pictures - that is something I love to do and it gets me out of the house.

Prayer is great for the time that is left, an hour or two reading the Bible or a good book is great or try a prayer journal. Tell God everything that you are doing- your most ponderous thoughts lol and concerns. When He answers your prayers - record that too and soon your journal will look like the book of Psalms.

You don’t have to use up all your down time for doing stuff but using some it fun stuff that you like and that gets you out of the house is healthy and makes you feel better. :slight_smile:

Thank you for all of your answers and suggestions they have been rather helpful, at this present moment in time I will still be going on my laptop playing video games and such, but I will be spending more time revising and focusing on my studies.
After my studies are finished I will perhaps scan this forum and see if I can learn anything more about my own faith, or learn how to pray the rosary.
Or try to have some sort of vocation other than my computer such as maybe a musical instrument or something like that.
I heard that Sloth was spending time on computer or TV’s in your free time and I was completely stressing out, I will talk to this more with my priest and see if he can give me any ideas but I was thinking, as I am a quiet person my computer kinda is my relaxation and of course I thought my entire lifestyle had to change and I was worrying but thank you very much for your answers and advice, I thank you all.
If any of you like I will update you guys on how the discussion went with my priest if you like?

I think talking with your Priest is a Great idea and since you enjoy studying with your pc and you are interested in saying the Rosary here is a website that has all the prayers with the different kinds of rosaries and chaplets. Some of them are common and some are very old- look through them and see which ones you connect best with and start there.

They will have a list of rosaries and chaplets- click on the one you want- it will show you a picture of what the beads look like. Then just click on the image of the beads and it will take you to the prayers in the order of those beads. Its fun just looking through them to see what all is there. Link

You can also go to google and look for other catholic sites. I think its every week night around 9pm the catholic radio station has a lady and a man who do the rosary prayers with really pretty music, That is a way you can start and not feel alone or awkward getting started.

Hope this helps and let us know how its going. I’m praying for you too and if you like you can pray for me too cause I’m new to the church as of this past Easter Vigil so all this is rather new to me too!

So after talking to my priest, my priest said it is all about finding a good balance he said as I am at school during the day me spending those hours on the pc and what not aren’t too bad.
My priest said my lifestyle isn’t bad as long as long as I am not putting my leisure activities before that of my studies or homework.
I said to him about setting aside at least one hour a day until my exams to revise and such and he thought that was a good idea, and I also mentioned that when my exams are over perhaps doing such things as learning and instrument or exercise for like an hour a day and my priest sounded like that was a good idea, as long as you find the right balance between work and relaxation time.

That is awesome! I’m so glad you were able to meet with your Priest! Keep your prayer life active and I know the Lord will help you find the balance you are seeking,

Seek & you shall find… :slight_smile:
And I know this is the mother in me that is about to creep out but… You did Good kid! Way to Go!!! LOL :slight_smile:

Thanks for your patience I mean everyone but you White Orchid seems to have been more attentive out of everyone and I would like to thank you for taking the time to look at my questions and answer them and give me advice and support.
So from the bottom of my heart thank :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Oh, You are very welcome! Praise the Lord! :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.