Sin Is So Boring!

I believe in original sin, but there’s nothing original about sin. It’s deadly but dull.

Master of the Osservanza Triptych, “Temptation of St. Anthony the Great,” c. 1435
Master of the Osservanza Triptych, “Temptation of St. Anthony the Great,” c. 1435 )

Okay, I admit it, and I’m sure every other priest will admit it too.

We get bored in the confessional.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not bored by people. I love people and am endlessly fascinated by people. People aren’t boring. Their problems aren’t boring.

But sin is boring. Really.

To be honest, there really aren’t that many sins. Satan can’t create anything. All he can do is destroy or distort all that God has made that is beautiful, good and true.

I believe in original sin, but there’s nothing original about sin. It’s dull. It’s derivative. It’s deadly.

This is one of the devil’s main lies. He dresses sin up to make it attractive and he tells us that holiness is boring and dull. Some religious people are without doubt very dull and boring, but the saints are not. The saints are endlessly alive, creative and amazing human beings.

The devil dresses up sin to try to make it attractive and seductive, but it is not just putting lipstick on a pig. It’s worse than that. It’s adding syrup to cyanide.

“Here. Taste this you’ll like it!” he says. “Just a spoonful of syrup helps the cyanide go down!”

The way Satan dresses up sin reminds me of one of these ancient hags who have had endless face lifts and have slapped on the makeup and a ghastly wig, pulled on some hot pants and some low-cut top to stand on the corner and pout. The guy pulls up thinking it is a sexy babe and she turns out to be an old harridan.

That’s why sin is not only boring. It’s sad.

What to do about it? Pray to God that he will renew your heart and mind so that you see reality. Pray that you will see sin for the sad, boring, dead-dull and distorted thing that it really is. Regard it as you would a dead rat — with disgust and horror.

However, to get to that point an inner transformation is needed. We usually cannot see sin for what it is because there is a deeper distortion and wound in our soul. This warps our vision so we look at sin and think it is delightful instead of disgusting. In order for our sin to be really be conquered the disorder deep within our soul, our mind and our memory needs to be corrected.

That can only come through self-discipline, prayer and the miracle of God’s grace working within our heart. What happens is that the distortion is corrected as we come not only to despise the sin, but more importantly, to love the truth, beauty and goodness of God.

So pray also that you will see and know and come to love the radiant beauty of goodness. Pray that you might come to know, understand and love the joyous power of goodness.

As St. Benedict has written, pray that you might run on the path of God’s commandments with your heart overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.