Saturday, June 3, 2017


Going through some old photos of me in my younger years, I came across my fresh out of seminary photo of me flush with youth:

All bright-eyed and bushy tailed and not one confession under my belt yet. Today, I'm a hardened priest, heard all the sins of the world and want to shut my eyes and shake my head at most of them.

I think I can share this confessional story because it happens every once in awhile. Someone comes in and I wait and wait..."Bless me, Father..then, silence. "I forgot my sins, Father Tom. I had them all memorized so I wouldn't forget them. Once I even wrote them on the inside of my cuff except I couldn't spell a name I called somebody."

"Do you remember it now?" I asked. "If you do, whisper it in my ear." I lean forward. This is the most excitement I've had all day.

I listen. Holy carp. It was quite the sin-filled name.

That was his only contribution to his weekly wrap-up of unholy transgressions.

"Any more sins?" I ask, hopefully.

"Sorry, I can't think of any more," he confesses..

"There's always next time," I say.


Lots of people forget or they get tongue-tied or they have no sins to confess but come to see me anyway.

I just can't keep people away, nor would I want to. They love me. Except when I have to mete out penance. Then, I'm a ... the name my young friend couldn't remember.

Sins have a way of aging people. Just hearing them has made me age ten years and dirtied my paws.

Have your sins catapulted anyone toward old age lately?