In September, our Diocese hosted a well-attended conference entitled, Reclaiming Hearts for Christ, “Exposing the Lie of Pornography.” Pornography gravely distorts the meaning and purpose of sex in our culture. Reports indicate that many Christians agree that pornography is a problem in their own homes. It has been reported that according to an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey taken in 2002, over 60% of the divorced lawyers surveyed said that obsession with pornography had been a significant factor in divorce cases that they handled.
On the one hand, pornography affects the brain in a damaging way. One’s brain quickly adjusts to the level of pleasure derived from porn, requiring a larger amount of porn to achieve the same high.
On the other hand, there is good news for persons who are experiencing pornography as a difficulty in their lives. As priests, we were offered cards to distribute to persons who come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in regard to this situation. This card, issued at the workshop, lists in a concise manner steps such as the following to overcome pornography: 1) Most important, to pray every day for the needed strength to resist temptations to pornography. I would add that praying a decade of the Rosary can be very powerful in the face of being tempted along this line. 2) Frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is highly recommended. Besides receiving the Lord’s forgiveness for all of our sins, we are offered grace and strength to resist temptations that come our way. Receiving the Eucharist as often as we can is a most powerful weapon that we can use in our struggle against the personal war of pornography. 3) Realizing that we need help is crucial as we find ourselves returning over and over again to pornography. One cannot win this battle all by one’s self. It is not a sign of weakness or inferiority to acknowledge that one needs an accountability partner and perhaps even a counselor. 4) Utilize devices that are offered to protect us from using our computers for pornography. Delete all pornographic material that is on one’s computer. We are strongly urged not to use the internet to browse when we are angry, tired, bored, or lonely. 5) It is essential to be aware that all persons, including individuals in pornographic scenes, are like ourselves, created in God’s image. Hopefully, this awareness will make a significant impact upon what we do. 6) Let’s never give up on ourselves or upon others in the struggle to overcome pornography. The Lord never gives up on any of us. As we take this to heart, we will not give in to discouragement and despair in regard to our battle and that of others to overcome the scourge of pornography.
On the card that we priests received at the conference, the following resources were offered for working to combat pornography. 1) Our Diocese has a support group that meets every month. For more information about this, please e-mail at [email protected] or call 419-214-4933. 2)The following websites are offered: FightTheNewDrug.org: This offers in-depth information on the effects of pornography. CovenantEyes.com This offers an internet filtering system. www1.k9WebProtection.com offers a free internet filtering system. ChastityProject.com offers good videos, articles and books. 3)Two Apps were suggested: Victory App – a free app that offers a plan to fight porn, with helpful tools and strategies; Fortify App: from fightthenewdrug.org
In Christ, all who want to be free from pornography are offered hope. Christ offers to take each of us where we are and to make something beautiful out of what remains of our lives. Regardless of our age or marital status, one of the Lord’s choicest gifts to us is that of our sexuality. The Lord does not call us to suppress the gift of sexual energy that has been entrusted to each of us. Rather, He offers to help us to channel or direct this gift in ways that are in harmony and in accord with His will. If we are willing to cooperate with the Lord, utilizing various ways in and through which He offers to support us in relating to our sexual energy, He would enable us to experience new depths and heights in our relationships with Him and with one another in Him that go far beyond what we could otherwise envision or imagine.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor