How do I confess? I can't speak


#1

Greetings all. I’ll try to be brief…I have a pretty severe case of stammering and blocking. I had to drop out of school because of it, and it affects my life very much. The problem is that I can’t talk in a normal way to people, especially when I initiate the conversation; this problem even occurs when I speak to my own mother (sometimes I have to physically jump around just to be able to say something). Very often I will be blocked completely, which means that when I try to speak my mouth feels like I have no control over it and all I can get out is strange sounding noises.

I really want to go to Confession, but I know if I went I’d just sit in silence and not utter a word, as much as I’d try. So is there any other way I can confess, or absolve my sins? Is it alright if I write it on paper and hand it over to the priest (isn’t it usually dark in there)? Or are there any alternates to Confession?

Thanks. :slight_smile:


#2

[quote="Kasmalim, post:1, topic:309591"]
Greetings all. I'll try to be brief..I have a pretty severe case of stammering and blocking. I had to drop out of school because of it, and it affects my life very much. The problem is that I can't talk in a normal way to people, especially when I initiate the conversation; this problem even occurs when I speak to my own mother (sometimes I have to physically jump around just to be able to say something). Very often I will be blocked completely, which means that when I try to speak my mouth feels like I have no control over it and all I can get out is strange sounding noises.

I really want to go to Confession, but I know if I went I'd just sit in silence and not utter a word, as much as I'd try. So is there any other way I can confess, or absolve my sins? Is it alright if I write it on paper and hand it over to the priest (isn't it usually dark in there)? Or are there any alternates to Confession?

Thanks. :)

[/quote]

Yes. Certainly! Just write it out but also write down that you have a handicap that prohibits you from speaking. That way the priest will understand what is going on. You might write down that you can hear fine and would welcome any counsel that he can give. You are just unable to speak. It reminds me of Zechariah writing John the Baptist's name on a tablet because he couldn't speak.


#3

make an appointment to talk to your priest. if you cannot talk in person, write it down. explain your situation and he will advise you.


#4

Thanks a lot everyone. The next time I go I'll write it down and also take a pen with me. :p


#5

Just don’t text him during his sermon;)


#6

Does your parish have face-to-face confession?
If not, then definitely make an appointment to see your pastor for an appointment.
I don't stammer, but currently I likewise have voice problems. My record for laryngitis is 2 months with 6 weeks of that being total. Since then, there have been times during my life during my life when I have lost my voice. I have undergone 2 endoscopies in the past month.
I have 1 week before my winter break ends and I return to work. That leaves me one more week of speech therapy to help me relearn how to properly use my voice.

Don't forget to get your throat blessed on St. Blaise Day.


#7

Kasmalim: I'll pray for you, to regain proper use of your voice, and to find a good, compassionate priest to hear your confession.


#8

Possible methods a person with speaking or hearing problems may use to confess are sign language, writing or a trustworthy assistant. Cf. therealpresence.org/archives/Q_and_A/Q_and_A_020.htm


#9

Kasmalim, I would suggest emailing your priest explaining the problem completely and see what he suggests. It would be better for you to schedule an appointment for confession since it will likely take a while if he’s says it’s okay to write things down.

I will pray for you. :byzsoc:


#10

Thanks guys. Actually my speech has been improving a lot since the past two years, but I’m still unable to initiate conversations; though I’ve been able to fool most of my friends and they just think I’m very quiet (or sometimes, rude).

I’ll keep you in my prayers Deb, I’ve had to relearn to speak a bunch of times in my life so I know how you feel.

And that’s a good idea Catholic-Wife, I’ll do that asap.


#11

[quote="Kasmalim, post:10, topic:309591"]
Thanks guys. Actually my speech has been improving a lot since the past two years, but I'm still unable to initiate conversations; though I've been able to fool most of my friends and they just think I'm very quiet (or sometimes, rude).

I'll keep you in my prayers Deb, I've had to relearn to speak a bunch of times in my life so I know how you feel.

And that's a good idea Catholic-Wife, I'll do that asap.

[/quote]

Thanks. I'm a teacher, so I use my voice for a living. I've had to take my name off the lector list for at least the next two months. I learned how to project when I was in the Army Reserves. I actually taught command voice.

I do understand difficulty initiating conversation. A characteristic of individuals who grew up as military dependents is difficulty developing relationships. Everybody you know moves away. I used to read Taylor Caldwell stories. It is interesting that she described a soldier having difficulty carrying on conversations as characteristic of his profession.
Some of us tend to be more introverted than others. When I faced the most difficult period of my life, I found writing to be the only way that I could express myself.
There is a difference between carrying on a one to one conversation and standing in front of a group of people. When I worked in a factory, one women told me, after she knew me a couple of weeks, that until we had actually started talking, she did think I was "stuck up."
In a scholarship recommendation, one of my teachers described me as "reserved but not shy." I think I like that description..


#12

Hi Kasmalim,

My understanding is that it is essential that one’s sins be articulated out loud, but they don’t necessarily have to be articulated by the sinner himself. A mute sinner, for instance, may write his sins down, hand them to the priest to be read, and then be absolved.

I am confident your priest will exercise the kind of pastoral sensitivity necessary to accommodate you. You should get in touch with him and ask about your options.


#13

[quote="sw85, post:12, topic:309591"]
Hi Kasmalim,

My understanding is that it is essential that one's sins be articulated out loud, but they don't necessarily have to be articulated by the sinner himself. A mute sinner, for instance, may write his sins down, hand them to the priest to be read, and then be absolved.

I am confident your priest will exercise the kind of pastoral sensitivity necessary to accommodate you. You should get in touch with him and ask about your options.

[/quote]

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Q. How does someone who is mute or deaf go to Confession? —Anonymous

A. A mute or deaf person can go to confession in various ways. If he knows sign language, he can choose a confessor among priests who understand sign language. Or again a mute or deaf person can write out his sins, and either personally or through someone else ask the priest to read his written sins. Then the priest, in writing may give the penitent such spiritual assistance and assign the penance in accordance with the sins confessed. Or still again, penitents can ask someone whom they totally trust, and to whom they have confided their sins, to go to confession for them. Of course the priest must be first both informed and willing to cooperate. If the priest cooperates, the assistant to the penitent may confess for the penitent; but of course this assistant is absolutely bound by the seal of confession. Finally if the above options are simply not available, the person may receive absolution from a priest, provided two conditions are fulfilled: the penitent must really want to confess his sins, and secondly he will take the next opportunity to confess his sins by way of sign language, writing or through an assistant.


#14

If you are going to write it down, bring an ash tray and lighter and burn the paper afterwards ;)


#15

This may sound stupid, but can you sing? I had some friends when I was younger, who stuttered quite significantly, but could sing beautifully and without a single stutter. It was really quite amazing to see someone who had such difficulty communicating via speaking be so free when he started to sing.

I have also had some students in the past with this problem, and we worked things out by writing things down, or simply by taking it slow.


#16

It's not stupid, I know what you mean. It depends really, if I sing when alone then I'm fine, but if someone else is there it doesn't work. Once I tried to sing what I had to say to someone, but kept getting blocked. I can also speak without stammering when I'm alone, I used to even practice speaking in different accents. What's weird is if I speak to someone in a different language (I know a little german) I don't stammer at all; I've often thought of moving to Germany just because I might be able to speak there. :p


#17

Try to find a German speaking priest. :slight_smile:


#18

Well, I haven't learned all that much german, but that what I'll probably do when I become more fluent. ;)


#19

Thanks for answering.

I am sure if you communicate your situation to your pastor, perhaps via e-mail, he will come up with a good way for you to handle the situation and receive the sacraments.

Peace,


#20

Talk to the priest at the end of service or rather write down on a piece of paper your speach difficulty and under it ask him if you can book a confession with him.Your priest will meet you with whatever you need to help you through so be it you write down your confession on paper and hand it to him he will take your lead on that. Explain you can understand perfectly well, just that you get blocked etc. Priests are usually very good at working with us, I can vouch for that or at least with current priest:D

peace
xxx


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.