What Catholics Can Do When They Are Tempted By Pornography

by Sexuality and Chastity, Sin

What are some practical spiritual methods Catholics can use to combat the temptation to consume pornography? 

Go To War

First, a key tool in the evil one’s toolbox is luring us into a false sense of isolation. Temptation to consume pornography only grows without taking action to rectify loneliness. 

Combating this temptation and isolation has a remarkably simple solution: Remember the truth that you are never alone. Jesus is always there to listen, receive you, and meet you where you are in that moment. 

Initiating this process can be done by praying the rosary. The Rosary is a tremendous weapon against evil. Every Saint has had a devotion to Our Lady, as She who is the Mother of Jesus is incredibly powerful against the assaults of the infernal foe, due to her humility. Satan has no effective weapon against humility, and it is the weapon of the Rosary that empowers us to humbly go to the most beautiful woman ever, invoke her fair name, and enlist her help in this battle.  

“But I’ve never prayed a Rosary before.” That’s OK. Pray one Hail Mary, really slowly, focusing on the words. You will find peace and strength where before there was none. Then move to a decade the next week. Then the following month, take on praying the whole enchilada. (For a visual guide to the rosary, click HERE.)

Add in a prayer of protection of St. Michael the Archangel and a deliverance prayer – such as a perimeter prayer – and these will help keep temptations at bay. 

If you want to change a habit…

Second, utilize a key strategy: if you want to change a habit, change your environment. You must physically change your situation. Call your family, phone a friend, go to Adoration, and, if possible, go to Mass. Physically removing yourself from the situation of isolation can help focus your mind on those around you, and most importantly, on God. 

I’m bored

Third, boring people make more boredom occur. Once it occurs, alleviating said boredom usually manifests itself in the vice that affects a person most frequently. For an increasing number of people, it is the consumption of pornography that is their drug of choice.

Don’t be a boring person. Keeping things vanilla or beige so as to not offend people, or by striving to be a “nice guy or gal” does not make for a good disciple of Christ. We are called to holiness by God, and this often means shaking things up! Thus we must take steps to strive to be saintly is the first change in mindset that must occur. 

Thus make the decision not to be boring: do something virtuous and holy to reflect this change in mentality. Go worship the Lord in Divine Liturgy or Mass; if unavailable, go worship Him in Eucharistic Adoration. Get involved with a parish group (ask your parish secretary to help connect you), serve at a local food bank or pantry, or get a group together for a bible study.

I can’t get no satisfaction

Satisfaction from viewing pornography is fleeting and degrading for all parties involved. When seeking real satisfaction, we can look towards the clear redemption in Jesus’ words in the Gospel account of “The Woman at the Well”:

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

– John 4: 11-14

It is not wrong to want to be satisfied; it simply matters how you want to do this. It is only in God that we will be ultimately fulfilled. Ask Him for help and He will give you grace to strive for holiness and become the saint God wants you to be. 

Attending Mass regularly is necessary for pursuing the satisfaction for which we long. In the liturgy, we encounter God in a profound way, and are given marching orders in how we are to live our lives for God’s glory. This includes bringing others to experience this same satisfaction is the natural outflow of our pursuit of holiness (cf. 1 John 1:4). Thus, invite your friends and family to Mass! Even if they may have fallen out of practice, you can be a means of putting them in touch with an experience of God’s truth, beauty, and goodness. 

Lex orandi…

All that has been listed here can be summarized with the following long-held Christian dogma: 

Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi; or the way that we pray is the way that we believe is the way that we live.

Thus focus your life away from temptation and toward God through intentional prayer. Doing so, you will find ultimate and everlasting satisfaction: the redemption of all your desires in Jesus. 

Looking to go deeper in finding lasting freedom from pornography and unchaste behavior? Check out freedom-coaching.net and be set free forever.

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