Need to go to confession for this?

What if I think I have been watching too much TV instead of praying and this has been a disappointment to Christ. Since this is just about the relationship with Christ, should I bother to go to confession? I don’t want to bother the priest if I don’t need to…it seems it may be more a spiritual direction topic than something for confession. Any priests have an opinion?

It is a venial sin, of which I am guilty, but one should mention venial sins in Confession too, in my opinion.

Thanks for your reply…and if we follow this line of thought out, I’m sure I am NEVER surrendered to God as much as I should be, or as open, etc., so based upon that I should go to confession every week? I really am not sure about the line between sort of normal human weakess and sin and scupulosity, which is also not good, and a form of pride. I see a priest soon for direction so maybe I should ask him first. I really cringe at the thought of wasting a priest’s time in confession when it’s Lent and all. How do you figure out how often to go?

You are not “wasting a priest’s time” by going to confession. Especially if you go during regular hours. The priest is in the confessional for one reason, to hear confessions.

Pope John Paul II confessed once a week. And by all accounts, he was a holy man.

If your TV watching intereferes with your prayer life, it is either a form of the sin of idolatry (putting something before the Lord) or acedia (spiritual sloth).

There is nothing wrong with going to confession for that. If that’s your only sin, that confession should take about one minute at most. If you are still nervous about going for that, examine your conscience. Perhaps you committed another sin you could go to confess, then mention that above and see what the priest has to say.

Exactly - it is indeed a sin, whether it is mortal or venial in nature depends on just how much tv you’ve been watching and just how little prayer you’ve been saying.

As far as I know, the Church has never declared watching too much tv to be a “sin,” nor sleeping too much, reading too much or walking too much. Certainly, your time could be better spent but what makes you think it is a sin? There is enough sin to go around; stop looking for it where it isn’t.

wow i never knew that if you watch too much tv that is a sin… that is definitely something new that i have learned

Sloth is not just a sin but a deadly sin - and not just spiritual sloth but any sloth. MInd you the OP IS talking about spiritual sloth - spending too much time on other things and as a result not devoting time to prayer as they ought.

Sloth means laziness, a disinclination to work. How do you define sloth, then, if not spending excessive time on watching tv or sleeping too much? You’re wasting time and not working as you ought. Be it time that you should spend on prayer, or time you should spend on your work, or time you should devote to your family and friends, to doing works of mercy etc.

Your time is to be spent on God’s purposes, not just your own recreation. A moderate amount of tv or sleep is OK, too much isn’t godly. Why else would diligence be a virtue if significant failure to be diligent wasn’t a sin?

Proverbs 6:

"6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—
11 Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man. "

The other activities are just that, activities. You’re not slothful if you’re doing things (unless you’re, say, skipping work to do something less important like clean house), and reading or walking = doing things. Watching tv and sleeping = doing nothing.

The sin of sloth means spiritual sloth, as in not giving to your religious obligations as you should. If one prefers to watch tv instead of going to Mass when obligated, then that would be considered spiritual sloth. If one isn’t obligated to go to Mass and spends the afternoon watching tv, then there is no sin. Considering that hell is eternal we should spend all of our time “on God’s purposes,” but the reality is that we can’t and we don’t. Really, there is enough sin to go around; why are so many consumed we looking for it in places where it doesn’t exist???

And where has the Church taught that ‘sloth’ means ONLY spiritual sloth and not ALL sloth? And why is diligence a virtue? And why oh why did St Paul say ‘if a man will not work, neither let him eat’? Wasting time IS a sin. Why else was the lazy servant punished, the one who didn’t do anything with the treasure entrusted to him by his master?

Look, if it was JUST Sunday afternoon out of the whole week, yes, that would be fine - if it were EVERY afternoon, then no - God gave you that free time and trust me, He did NOT give it to you to fritter away all or much of it watching TV!

You SHOULD, if you have a good deal of free time, be spending at least part of that time DOING something - praying, volunteering at your local soup kitchen, perhaps doing paid work, or doing something else.

There’s sin that’s an intent or act which actually causes some harm to self and others, and then, more to the point, there’s not surrendering fully to the invitation from God for intimacy with Him. I think it depends where we want to draw the line between causing harm and not loving God with our whole hearts.

In the case I first posted, it had to do with a sense that God wants more…and to not give God as much as He wants feels somehow a different category of problem than some other things one might list as venial sins…and also somehow worse. But of course I don’t think anyone is perfectly surrendered to God in this life, so it’s something that would end up being included in every confession, and the issue there is to not trivialize it.

So, are we all guilty of sloth, since instead of "DOING something - praying, volunteering at your local soup kitchen, perhaps doing paid work, or doing something else" we are wasting our time debating this while sitting at a computer, sipping apple juice and frittering away the time until we go beddy bye?:rolleyes:

Brother - as I said, SOME relaxation is fine and even necessary, but it’s entirely possible to go overboard with TV or internet. Just as it is with food or drink.

And CAF is not a waste of time, it’s an act of mercy - we’re instructing the ignorant and counselling the doubtful (even if those ignorant and doubtful happen to be ourselves, in the end). :slight_smile:

God bless.

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.