More Important Things

Today I told my confessor that I’d rather not talk about homosexuality every single time I’m in the confessional. If I say I looked too long at an attractive person, he doesn’t need to ask whether it was a woman or a man. A sin is a sin, and the gay ones aren’t special.

I said it gently and I hope I said it humbly, but my stomach still turned over slightly at the feeling of telling a priest his job, telling him: No thank you, it’s fine, I don’t want your help. Yes, it’s a cross; No, you don’t have to tell me that there are therapies available.

I vastly prefer the approach of Father T, who first asked me in the Confessional, fifteen years ago — not “Are you seeing a therapist” or “Have you ever dated a woman” — but just: Do you want to talk about it?

Oh boy, I sure did, then. Now, I’d rather think about more important things. That has always been the point.

5 Comments on “More Important Things”

  1. Steve:

    In my own view — and I’m not meaning to second-guess anything your confessor says — you are doing it right.

    For one thing, the confessor doesn’t need — or want — to have all the details. And one of the ways our sinful nature shows up, even in the confessional, is when we decide our sins aren’t ordinary, but somehow remarkable accomplishments only we could come up with. It’s a good experience of humility to realize that, even in our sins, we are much more like everyone else than we realize. Or, as a priest-friend observed once, “sin is boring.”

  2. K.C. says:

    Hi Steve….thank you for your “more important things”. I have always resisted telling well meaning Christian brothers about my 40 plus year journey in same sex attraction. They could never convince me that my witness would be powerful to move hearts and change people. It always felt like an unnecessary spotlight which would leave me always defined in the eyes of others in such a narrow way. I am so much more complex than that. I am so many other things which the average person may think of as boring but are very important to me. I understand totally not wanting to hear the same words about my struggle falling from my mouth. I’m over it. Others have things a lot worse.

  3. savo says:

    A contrite heart bears the facts of sin by silence. Silence in the confessional is the Grace of God, understanding the path of our sins. Thank you for this post, reminding me of God’s mercy.

  4. Terry Nelson says:

    Steve, I agree with Fr. Fox. In my own ‘experience’ this is exactly right. I think you have a very healthy spirituality. God bless you.

  5. DPC says:

    Oh Steve, I cannot thank you enough for posting this. On my way to a church across town that had hours for confession today, I stopped by another church to pray. The message from my prayers was that today wasn’t my day for confession — that I wasn’t ready. After reading your posting, I now know that I am ready. Thank you, and God bless you.

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