Not going to Confession immediately


Does a person who doesn’t go to Confession ASAP after a mortal sin commit another sin (the sin of sloth)?


It depends on how you define it. What is ASAP? To me as soon as possible means by Saturday night, and I try to go at the next session offerred.

Regardless people should not partake of the Eucharist until they confess.


Yes, if the only reason you don’t go to it is because you are lazy. But if you just can’t make it, then no.


Its stupid not to go to Confession as soon as possible but in itself it is not a sin.
Who told you that not going is the sin of sloth. That’s nonsense.




It certainly can be sloth. If someone is lazy on their faith and chooses not to go to confession because they’d rather play games or sit at home or do some other extracurricular it would most certainly be sloth.


That is nonsense. Not going to Confession is not the sin of sloth and is not in itself a sin of any kind. Its simply stupid not to go as soon as possible.
Show me in the CCC where it says not going to Confession is a sin of sloth or even a sin of any kind!


Really. None sense! How on earth do you define sloth???

This is sloth:

Consider, for example a man who is a workaholic. Now suppose too that this man has a wife and children. A man in this position has some very significant gifts and duties beyond his career. He is a husband, a father, and the spiritual leader of his home. He is also a disciple, whom the Lord has summoned to new life, to the great discovery of God, and the deepest meanings and realities of his life. He also has the awesome dignity to announce these truths to his wife and children.

But all of the duties and glories of his vocation overwhelm and even scare him. It all seems so irksome and the task too open-ended. Frankly, he doesn’t want to reflect too much, because it might summon him to ponder things he would like to avoid considering, such as moral questions, or priorities, or whether he is really spending enough time with his wife and children, or whether his life is really focused on things that matter most. No, its all just too irksome, too ridden with uncertainty to enter more deeply into the spiritual life. Work is easier, and at work they call him “sir” and do what he says.

So, he buries himself in his work. And this helps him to avoid prayer, and reflection. Of course there is “no time” for mass or for praying with his wife and children. There is no time for scripture, retreats and the like.

This man is not lazy, but he is slothful. In the end his workaholism is sloth, for it is sorrow and aversion at the gift that the Lord offers him to come out into the deeper waters and lower his net for a catch. His sorrow for spiritual goods, in this case, is manifest by a kind of avoidance rooted in fear. By sloth he is not joyful at the invitation of the Lord or the Church. Instead he is sorrowful and averse to what he sees as toilsome, and possibly as raising uncomfortable things he would rather not look at. He does not hate God or the faith, but it is all just too much.

That said, sloth does often manifest as a kind of lethargy, and kind of boredom that can’t muster any interest, energy, joy or enthusiasm for spiritual gifts. Such people may be enthusiastic about any number of things, but God and the faith are not among them.

To a great extent boredom is elevated in modern times and this fuels sloth. In effect we are hyper-stimulated in the modern world. Our frantic pace, endless interruptions, and the rich abundance of entertainment, fast-paced movies, video games, all are a feast for the eyes but they hyper-stimulate. From the time we awaken to our return to sleep there is almost never a moment of silence, or a time when we are not being bombarded by images, often flickering and quickly changing.

This hyper-stimulation means that when we come upon things like quiet prayer or adoration, or are asked to listen for an extended period, or when the imagery is not fast changing we are easily bored.

And boredom feeds right into sloth. The “still, small voice of God,” the quiet of prayer, the simple reading of Scripture and pondering its message, the unfolding of spiritual meaning through reflection, the slower joys of normal human conversation in communal prayer and fellowship…none of this appeals to many who are hyper-stimulated, and used to a breakneck pace. Sunday, once the highlight of the week for many (due to the music, the beauty of the liturgy, the hearing of the sermon, the joy of fellowship and the quiet of Holy Communion), is now considered by many as boring and about as appealing as getting a flu shot; a necessary evil at best. Thus, sloth is fueled by the boredom our culture feels at anything not going 90 miles and hour.

Peter Kreeft says that

Sloth is a cold sin, not a hot one. But that makes it even deadlier. [For] rebellion against God is closer to him than indifference….God can more easily cool our wrath than fire our frozenness, though he can do both. Sloth is a sin of omission not commission. That too makes it deadlier, for a similar reason. To commit evil is at least to be playing the game… Sloth simply does not play God’s game, either with him or against him….It sits on the sidelines bored….Better to be hot or cold than lukewarm [Back to Virtue, P. 154].

**Sloth of course gives rise to many sins whereby we do not pray, attend mass, GO TO CONFESSION, or read Scripture, we do not grow in our spiritual life and whereby we fail to become the man or woman God has made us to be. ** In some sense every sin contains an element of sloth for when we sin we indicate a kind of aversion to the perfecting graces God offers us. Rather than see the moral law of God as a great summons to freedom, we sorrowfully reject that call as too much trouble.


1457 According to the Church’s command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year."56 Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.57 Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.58


Would you say it is not slothful to remain in mortal sin for weeks or months and thus not receiving the Eucharist???

Or are you of the type who thinks it’s ok to receive the Eucharist in mortal sin?


No one told me, I just figured it would be. Since isn’t sloth just spiritual laziness?


I highly doubt that after having read many of Thistle’s posts.


I didn’t think so either, but I cannot understand how thistle can hold that avoiding confession is not sloth?!?!


No it is NOT slothful to delay for weeks and months to go to Confession.

No it is not okay to receive Communion in a state of mortal sin, albeit I don’t understand the relevance of this particular question as its not a requirement to receive Communion every Sunday Mass. What point are you trying to make with this one.

As for your entire post I see nothing that states or even suggests that delaying going to Confession is a sin of any kind, never mind sloth!

Please be careful what you say when you use words like “are you the type”.



“Sloth of course gives rise to many sins whereby we do not pray, attend mass, GO TO CONFESSION, or read Scripture, we do not grow in our spiritual life and whereby we fail to become the man or woman God has made us to be. In some sense every sin contains an element of sloth for when we sin we indicate a kind of aversion to the perfecting graces God offers us. Rather than see the moral law of God as a great summons to freedom, we sorrowfully reject that call as too much trouble.”

Is it your opinion it is growing of the spiritual life to only go to confession once a year and not receiving the Eucharist but once a year.

And the sole reason for doing so is indifference?

The paragraph says sloth is negating our spiritual duties. It lists confession as one such duty.

Someone who chooses not to take care of his spiritual house is slothful by definition.


What is your definition of sloth.


More sources:

Today we will consider the deadly sin of Sloth. Sloth is spiritual laziness, although it includes laziness of the body, as well. But let’s not get distracted simply by physical laziness. Spiritual laziness is much more serious. Sloth is caused by a certain lack of trust in God and makes us indifferent in the use of the means necessary for our sanctification. Sloth is an aversion to spiritual effort and devotion, which leads to the neglect of grace. Its worst effect is to make us put off our return to God after mortal sin.

How many souls have neglected their Easter duty, or have fallen away from Church, or have come to accept that it is OK simply to go to Sunday Mass occasionally, or that it is OK to miss Mass once in a while? How many of us have ceased to go to regular Confession, endangering our eternal salvation because we cannot break the bonds of spiritual Sloth?

Now if we are in mortal sin. It means we are going to hell should we die. And yet, to you it is not spiritual laziness to not make effort to change our eternal condition?


Personally, I think people should receive regularly. However, the Church states that receiving is only REQUIRED once a year so neither you nor I can disparage anyone who does not receive regularly.The spiritual life of others is none of our business.

Again your quotes do not state or support your claim that it is a sin of any kind, including sloth, not to go to Confession as soon as possible.

The definition of sloth does not say anything about not going to Confession. You are simply expressing your own private opinion. The Church has not said this.


The definition of sloth is laziness or apathy of the spiritual life.

Yes the church requires confession and the Eucharist once a year. That is so people examen their consciences at least once year even if all they confess is Venial sins.

It is a minimum not a standard.

I get you don’t want to admit your wrong, but to say someone who chooses to live outside of Gods grace for extended periods of time because they are too busy to go to confession is the definition of sloth.

They are putting other things before God and their relationship with him. They are apathetic toward sin and it’s consequences.


Here is one situation when one ought to delay going to confession: when one has committed a mortal sin, has examined his conscience, and is not yet contrite. One should attempt to resolve this promptly, of course, perhaps even by speaking with a priest, but they could not make a confession until they are contrite.


Absolutely! That’s not the issue at hand though. Such a person would be either not sorry and honestly living in rebellion or such a person would be working on examining their conscience and this not slothful in their life.

We are talking more here about someone that slips opportunities for confession because they are too busy or have better things to do or they don’t want to engage their spiritual life due to apathy. Such people are likely slothful in regard to their spiritual life.


I agree; I did not consider it as a counterexample.

I agree that one can be slothful in their spiritual life for remaining in mortal sin rather than going to confession. I don’t think one could articulate this as a hard-and-fast rule about going to confession “as soon as possible.” One is obviously not required to call up the priest that day and head in. Ideally one would go on Saturday, when many parishes hold confessions. But missing even that for a week or two does not seem to constitute sloth.

If “they’d rather play games or sit at home,” as you say in post #6, when they could make a contrite confession, then you probably have sloth on your hands. It seems a bit grayer to me if they would be going to “do some other extracurricular.” Say they are meeting up with a friend they have not seen in a while.

I am a college student and for a while I was making very regular confessions, but I had to walk pretty far to get to the nearest parish. Usually I went that week when I had mortally sinned, but once or twice I missed, probably not for any particular reason. That did mean I could not receive that week. I doubt those were cases of sloth, though. It would have been sloth, perhaps, if I went a month in a state of mortal sin and became content with not receiving at Mass. It seems like in practice, sloth has to be considered holistically. Omitting a single pious action is not necessarily an instance of sloth.


I agree fully with your opinions and examples. Well said.

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