Picking Your Nose and Confession

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Picking your nose is something no one has to teach you. I know. I have 4 children, ages 5 and under. No one teaches them this craft, they just immediately recognize that if something is in their noes, they should get it. Sense boogie. Get boogie.

At times, I’m worried that one of my sons will actually pull out his brain or pop a nasal sac. Their ferocity, focus and persistence is admirable. Similar determination would likely benefit them if they were ever air-dropped in the middle of the Amazon. I just hope it gets them a scholarship to college.

No one teaches you to pick your nose. In our culture, we teach you not to pick your nose. Culturally it is faux pas and just plain unhygienic. Which made me think about other things we might be inclined to do, but our culture trains us to ignore.

Matthew 7:5 says:

“Hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine eye, and then thou wilt see clearly to cast out the mote out of the eye of thy brother.”

Isn’t it outrageous that the guy misses the fact that he has a beam in his eye? Imagine what this would look like:

“Hey bro”

“What’s up?”

“Dude, you gotta beam in your eye.”

“A what?”

“A beam, you know like a large piece of wood.”

“A what?”

“Reach up and touch your eye”

“Dude! I don’t know how I missed it. Thanks.”

[dude takes beam out of eye]

Like nose picking, beam picking is taught out of us. We are conditioned to think that so many sins, so many *grave* offenses against charity, faith, chastity, you name it, are just our struggles. Even worse, sometimes we buy the lie that “everyone is doing it”, and thus go around with a huge beam in our eye and call it our Louis Vuitton accessory or our way of “keeping it real”.

Unlike a boog in your nose, sin requires a lot more than a tissue. It requires a bath–and sometimes with a fire hose. Through Baptism, we receive our initial cleansing from what we inherited from Adam and Eve. Yet we continue, against what is obviously in our best interests, to place beams back into our eyes. We are insane and gluttons for self-mutilation. We don’t quite see it this way because we are more into being members of this world, and less into following Christ in and with His Church. We should remind ourselves of St. Peter’s words:

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul” 1 Pet 2:11

Don’t pick your nose.

Get to Confession. At Confession, we are reminded that a beam is a beam, and that if we have no intention of taking it out, it won’t get out.

“I refuse absolutions for certain sins, when one goes from confession to sin, and from sin to confession. That soul needs to place itself on the right road.”


A good scrubbing is what you need, but you have to have the will to be clean.”
-St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Like what I had to say? Hate it? Check me out at my blog where I discuss why I’m Catholic and other things about that @ www.almostnotcatholic.com

Brent Stubbs

Brent Stubbs

is a father of five (+ 1 in heaven), husband of one, convert, and a generally interested person. He has a BA in Theology, studied graduate philosophy, has an MBA, is a writer (or so he tells himself) and prefers his coffee black. His website is Almost Not Catholic. His Twitter handle is @2bcatholic. His favorite color is blue.

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10 thoughts on “Picking Your Nose and Confession”

  1. Avatar

    Haha! Too true, and too funny. What about that stage where you’re old enough to know to stop picking your nose, but still cop a guilty pick when you think no one is looking? Perhaps the dying gasp of a conscience that, after all, is hard-wired to clear out the boogies [sins]…

  2. Avatar


    You are right! It isn’t until we remove our beam that we are able to help our brother remove the speck from their eye. Notice the contrast. Our perception of others faults is always greater than our own, when in fact we have the beam and they have the speck!

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