Problem with my penance


Long time lurker, first time poster.

Here’s my issue:
I went to confession again today and described some internet-related issues with sin I’ve been having. The priest asks me to start using my parental block shield on my computer to protect me from such abuses as penance for my sins.

So I run it again, in order to fulfill my penance. And it’s not working well with my computer, even after setting up settings(blocking sites it’s not supposed to, including Catholic forums). And in all honesty, the incident I described to my priest was a one-time only thing.

How do I deal with a penance that simply doesn’t work (I’m pretty sure my priest isn’t quite a technophile)? Will I be sinning if I don’t complete this digital penance? Is this kind of penance binding long-term (he just told me to use it)? :confused:

One confessor (a wonderful Ukranian Catholic priest) suggested that in response to problems with pornography, I should tape an image of Christ crucified over my monitor. This had an obvious practical problem that I couldn’t get anything at all done with a piece of paper over the monitor. I modified the penance and settled on making my wallpaper an image of Christ, so that whatever I was doing on the computer, I would be constantly reminded of my penance.

I don’t have any concrete ideas for your situation, although you could certainly try setting your wallpaper like mine, that would be a start.

In this situation, this situation being your penance which is necessary for the completion of the sacrament of reconciliation, you should go back to your priest and tell him what is going on and ask for clarification. Don’t mess around with penances.

Also, not to be mean, but don’t make excuses. It doesn’t matter if it was a one time only thing or the 156th time, it is all the same. I like the idea of putting a pic of Christ crucified by the computer, but not as a penance. (It would definitely be a deterrent for me.)

You have tried your best in tweaking your system and failed. Try checking the web for other possible solutions, it can be tricky sometime with all this different web browsers. Guess the main idea here is your desire to change and on how committed are you in achieving this. Only God knows your heart. Keep fighting a good fight!


Another thing you could do is go to a site like, which has a real-time webcam of The Blessed Sacrament. That might help as well :thumbsup:

Try other things…it is good to have…one never knows what sort of thing will pop up by mistake…I once when to a Catholic site…and well mistyped it and go bad stuff popping up. You can get a good blocker like safe eyes etc. Very good to have --I really suggest getting one.

As for the Penance…you can have it changed … by him or another (in confession explaining things)

In the mean time your intent was to do the penance…so no worries (your sins are absolved…the only problem would have been if right then you decided not to do so…)…but it should be done or be changed…and clarified…and depending on when he intended you to do so…do it soon…

No, this isn’t the case. The Sacarament is completed with the Absolution, it is not dependent on completing the penance. How can it be, when a penance can be anything, including the reading of a book, as once described on another thread?

If the person accepts the penance and finds he is unable to do it …the absolution is still good of course…but they need to have the penance changed …if one were to reject a penance prior to absolution that is another story (for it is part of the sacrament)…

and if one were to reject a penance (not willing to do it) later then it would this would be sinful…

Are you sure he didn’t mean “over” as in “above”? :wink:

Try out other free software. You’ll probably have to try out a few to find one that doesn’t block the Catholic sites.

This seems the most reasonable way to do it. The OP’s penance is to get the sites that present a near occasion of sin blocked. This doesn’t mean he’s tied to the first way he tries. It doesn’t mean he can’t spend money to get a way that works. He just has to find a block that keeps him from that particular near occasion of sin.

“Satisfaction is not, like contrition and confession, an essential part of the sacrament, because the primary effect, i.e., remission of guilt and eternal punishment — is obtained without satisfaction; but it is an integral part, because it is requisite for obtaining the secondary effect — i.e., remission of the temporal punishment.”

I misspoke…er…mistyped. Yes, the sacrament is done with absolution; however, “…absolution restores him to the state of grace. He is nevertheless under obligation to continue the performance of his penance until it is completed.” I just see the penance as completing the job, meaning that the sins are forgiven by absolution, but the temporal punishment of the sin is removed by the satisfaction imposed by the priest. There has to be satisfaction made to God at some point either here on earth or in purgatory.

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