Penance Problems



I went to confession today and was given one of those “deferred” penances, to be completed later, online. Of course, I can’t find the thing I was supposed to do online and now I can’t do my penance. :mad::mad::mad:


Well, that stinks. Since you can’t do the penance assigned, perhaps you can do another one until you go to Confession again and can talk to the priest. Don’t ask him outside of Confession, he can’t break the seal. But you are still forgiven and absolved.


I ended up giving myself a prayer related penance and did that. The penance I normally get, but it just isn’t the same :frowning:


I was once in a similar situation and could not ask my (now ex-) regular confessor, the priest who assigned the penance to me, to advise me because he was out of town. I was told by a priest whom I trust, who knows the priest who was my regular confessor at the time and whose orthodoxy is sound as far as I can tell that God does not ask the impossible of us, so if a penance is ultimately impossible we aren’t required to do it. Whether your penance is actually impossible or not, I cannot tell you. In my case it was, thus I was not obligated to fulfill it.

This didn’t prevent me from being frustrated about it, but I offered that frustration up to God and moved on.

God bless!


Of course, the validity of the sacrament isn’t dependent on doing the penance, but still it is really really frustrating. Fathers, give quickly doable penances! Please!!


I’m confused…how can you do a penance online? I’ve never heard of such a thing! :confused:


Father wanted me to go to a certain website for the info there. Unfortunately, the info he wanted me to access is not on the website he sent me to. Either they’ve updated the site since he was last on it and the info has been removed or he was thinking of one site and gave me the address to another. Either way, I couldn’t do my penance, which is very annoying.


Once I got an impossible Penance from the priest and stewed for a whole week over it. What a waste of energy. It really can be frustrating when they do that. You have my sympathy.



If you’re able to contact that priest, you may want to let him know that the info is no longer there. I don’t think that deferred penances are the problem, but having them be dependent on a source no longer available is.

As for deferred penances, I’ve only had several and they were very fruitful for me personally. Once I had to do a good deed for someone without them knowing why- I asked God to help me with that and He presented an opportunity right away. I’ve also had a priest assign me to do 3 days of self-denial- he didn’t say what I had to give up, but gave some suggestions and left me to decide. I loved it.

Personally, I love it when priests think outside the box when it comes to penances instead of always assigning the same penance. Padre Pio used to do that a lot, I believe. Bless their hearts. :slight_smile:


I don’t know who the priest is, unfortunately.


What is it? Maybe we can help find it?


Thanks, but that would reveal my sin… :blush:


Do a search (google, bing, insert your favorite here) on what he wanted you to look up. Might get the information you were suppose to look up.


:thumbsup: Good idea


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