Combat / confession / Sin

Let’s Talk About Porn

DespairLet’s talk about porn. I know it it’s an uncomfortable subject, but ignoring it will do no good. The fact is, pornography addiction is a massive and growing problem—especially for men. If you don’t believe me, here are some shocking statistics:

  • 12% of websites online are pornographic
  • Every second, over 28,000 people are looking at porn
  • 40 million Americans are regular porn viewers
  • 70% of men aged 18-24 regularly look at porn
  • The average age children are first exposed to porn is 11 years old

I could cite many more disturbing stats, but you get the point. Keep in mind the above statistics are at least two years old, and the rate of porn use is increasing exponentially every year. These statistics are probably on the conservative side.

What porn will do to you

It is difficult to exaggerate just how evil pornography is. It will destroy your marriage (or religious vocation) and other relationships. It will corrupt your intellect, emotions, and will, filling your mind with thousands of vile images that won’t go away. It will pull you deeper and deeper in, until you are looking at perversions you could not have imagined. It will become a need so intense you can no longer function normally without it. It will drive you to act on evil impulses, perhaps leading to sexual violence. It will rack you with guilt, driving you from your Creator and Redeemer. It will become everything to you. It will consume you. It will destroy your soul and send you to hell.

Porn is not a harmless private habit. It is a cancer that will work its way into every area of your life, corrupting everything.  I don’t say all this to discourage someone who may be struggling with pornography. Rather, my hope is that, if you are struggling, you will take it seriously and get help as soon as possible.

What to do

Yes, pornography is a big problem, but guess what, Jesus Christ is bigger. He has conquered sin and death, and he can destroy the sin in your life through his grace. Never despair, never lose hope in the power and mercy of God. I want to give you 7 things to do right now if you are struggling with pornography.

1. Don’t trust yourself – The number one way to fall in your struggle against sexual sin is to depend upon yourself. The minute you trust yourself and your own self-control, you will fall very soon afterwards. Acknowledge you have a problem and have a healthy distrust of yourself. Then, do whatever is necessary to prevent a fall.

Install filters on your computers. In fact, get rid of your computer or smartphone if they are causing you to fall. Be radical. Jesus said, “If your eye offends you, pluck it out.” Whatever you do, don’t believe you can handle this by yourself, which leads me to my next point.

2. Get help – You cannot win this battle alone. You need the support of others, and you need accountability. As hard as it might be, find a man you can trust and ask if he will be your accountability partner. I strongly urge you to also enroll in a program like RECLAiM Sexual Health. This is a completely anonymous Catholic program designed to help men recover from pornography addiction.

3. Go to confession – Guilt has a perverse way of driving us to the very thing that can heal us from it—confession. Do not let guilt or shame drive you from confessing your sins. Force yourself to go even if it is the last thing you want to do. Penance is a sacrament that gives us grace and strength, heals our souls, and bathes us in the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Cheat the devil of his victory and receive the mercy of Jesus. If you need extra motivation, study the Divine Mercy message. No matter what you’ve looked at, you can always find abundant mercy in the confessional. Who cares how you feel. Just go!

4. Receive the Eucharist as often as possible – Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist is not a reward for good behavior, it is a remedy for the sickness of sin. Never receive him in a state of mortal sin, but also don’t avoid this most powerful sacrament because you feel unworthy. Go to confession as often as possible, and then receive Jesus as shortly afterwards as possible. The powerful combination of these two sacraments will change your life.

5. Consecrate yourself to Mary – Our Lady is the refuge of sinners and the hope of the guilty. She specializes in protecting and helping her children. That’s her whole job as your mother. Consecrating your life entirely to her is a powerful method for conquering the power of the devil. Do it today, and begin the practice of 3 Hail Marys for purity.

6. Join the Angelic Warfare Confraternity – I won’t go into all the details of this powerful confraternity, but suffice it to say that many men have found participation in it to be a powerful help against temptations to sexual sin. Find out how you can join here.

7. Be patient – Finally, never give up. We have a tendency to want instant results, and if we do not see them we give up and assume freedom will never come. That simply isn’t true. While radical transformations can happen, most of the time change does not happen immediately. If you fall, do not despair. Always look to Christ and his most blessed Mother. Pick yourself up and keep fighting the good fight.

(If you are feeling discouraged, read St. Maximilian Kolbe’s advice on repeated, serious sin.

Conclusion

Men, please, I beg you, do not take pornography lightly. It is so incredibly destructive. If you aren’t struggling with it, thank God for his grace, for that is the only thing keeping you from it. But never pridefully assume you are immune to it. If you are struggling with it, please get help today.

Never forget, Jesus loves you with all the love of his Sacred Heart. He died for you, he is on your side, and he wants to deliver you.

Finally, let’s be strong men of purity, chaste and holy and fighting to preserve the garment of salvation we have received in Holy Baptism. May God help us to do so.

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Porn

  1. Everything he said is true. I was exposed to porn at a young age and have struggled with it for almost two decades. I got married thinking it would go away. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I began to prefer porn and masturbation to sex with my wife. It was on;y with the birth of our daughter that I realized this had to stop. My life was out of control and I realized if I kept watching porn, I WOULD have an affair, despite the fact I love my wife dearly. I started going to Sex Addicts anonymous, seeing a counselor, and talking to a confessor I trusted. I’m finally starting to get some “sobriety” from porn. It’s making me sick to think about the thousands of hours of my life I’ve wasted on porn.

    If you think you might have a problem, please get help!!! There ARE other men out there who want to stop. You can too!!! You’re worth it!

  2. I was a cronic user of this as well. When I came back to the Church, I quit this stuff cold. It is nasty stuff. By the Grace of God I don’t have a desire to look at it anymore, that has been nearly 5 years now.

    One thing that you are correct on though is you can’t get rid of all you have seen. Satan will use it against you to try and wear you down and snare you. Hold fast and pray to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, St. Maria Goretti, and your Guardian Angel to protect you. Ask the Precious Blood to wash over you. With the help of the Saints and God you can and will overcome.

  3. Thank you very much for sharing this topic. I’ve been addicted to this stuff for a very long time. It really is a shame, but I have to confess, that I grew up with it and I can confirm what you are writing: It destroys you, NOT only your soul, but also your body, your mind…. your love. There had been times when I was not able to love, except in the sense of sexual statisfaction, but I would not consider this as love at all. It’s a love the devil inspires us to. It is horrible when you can hardly look at a woman without thinking of “it”, when you just want a girlfriend because of “it” and when you cannot think of other things. It is part of my life and this fact is so disgusting and I am so ashamed, sometimes I think I will never be free. I pray to our Lord that he has mercy with me.

    • Do not give up and do not despair! Keep fighting, and please get help as soon as possible. Check out the link to RECLAiM I posted above. It is a pornography addiction recovery program. May Jesus most merciful assist you in conquering this force in your life.

  4. Good article.
    I used to struggle with pornography as well, but through some (figurative) lightning strike of God’s grace and love, I hit rock bottom. It’s been a rough journey, but kind of like removing a tumor or operating on a festering wound, the feeling of liberation and of God’s love is overwhelmingly wonderful.

    Regarding the part where the images never leave your mind; it’s true. It’s been five years, and some of those images are still burned in my mind.

  5. This is a very important post. I thought that I could maintain my purity on my own. I lasted about three weeks and then I fell.

    There is a group in the Dallas area called St. Augustine Men’s Purity Group (http://www.catholicmenspurity.com/), but it’s only a local group. I have found it extremely helpful as far as accountability.

  6. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Porn | Visionyouthmag

    • Only as wrong as losing your soul and going to hell???

      I was a addicted at a young age, but with much prayer and by the grace of God I quit shortly before Confirmation. I think of myself back before I was Confirmed, and it is almost like it was a different person, I person I am glad I no longer am.

      The effects of porn will continue to echo through your life, however it will slowly die away with time. Keep praying even after you are finished with the “stuff”. It will make you forever grow away from that ferocious evil habit, and bring God into your life. Lastly, learn to love Women the way God intended them for to be loved by a Man.

  7. Pingback: Get Married Young Man, Part 3: 5 Ways to Prepare Yourself | The Catholic Gentleman

  8. Pingback: 5 Ways to Prepare Yourself For Marriage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s