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Catholic-link.com – There’s a flu that’s spreading upon the airs of a certain selective amnesia. It affects our friends, our family, our homes, and our own interior. Few speak of it, and countless try to ignore or “forget” about it. The patients are disoriented and many question if they really want to be cured. Many in the medical community have stumbled upon the bright idea that if everyone is sick then maybe they could treat it as something “normal”. And, those who spread the flu are quite content with their 401k plans: 3,075 dollars are being spent on pornography every second.  In the US, Internet porn pulls in 2.84 billion dollars per year (the entire worldwide industry is worth 4.9 billion).

I’ll begin by pointing out a commonly believed lie: what really matters are my exterior actions; what I do on the inside doesn’t.  Thus, some might ask, “What possible harm or wrong could there be in a little interior diversion?”

The way one thinks, responds to certain emotions, or uses his or her imagination, etc… are both the roots of one’s exterior actions and are themselves actions. Let me be clear: they are actions in themselves! Thus, we are to be held responsible for such acts and must recognize that they have enormous consequences in our lives and in the lives of those around us. (Here, to be precise, I am not referring to the involuntary movements that occur within, rather to those which are the fruit of an act of the will. I haven’t studied psychology, so bear with me and please correct me if I am wrong).

Too many qualify their actions as being “good” saying: “I haven’t killed anyone. I haven’t  cheated on my wife/husband (or girlfriend/boyfriend). I haven’t done anyone any harm.” And yet, they watch pornography. They appear to believe in some type of “leave your ID at the door” policy which permits them to live a double life, a double identity, in the interior dimension. But, it must be said that this is a very bitter-sweet illusion.

 

And here is where I think the video can be very helpful when talking to others about this subject. The actions that spring and take place in one’s heart and mind are very real; they aren’t secondary or separated from the other dimensions of our lives. As illustrated in the video, just because such thoughts can’t be seen by others doesn’t remove or neutralize their presence. They are hidden from the world’s eyes, slow to be manifest, and, at times, bring about their consequences slowly; yet, still, they are very real.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘ You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mt. 5,28)” When we read these words of our Lord, do we think of an overdemanding moralizer? Or, are we able to listen to He who stitched together man’s heart with his own hands, who understands him perfectly, and does all that he can to lead him down a path of freedom and peace? Are we able to perceive an invitation to freedom in these words?

What do I mean when I say freedom? The freedom to desire the good and beautiful. The freedom to gaze at the one you love and really see him or her, not another. The freedom to love someone with your actions, your heart, and your mind. The freedom to say, “I, my entire being, love you.” This freedom is a blessing that must be fought for and held on to at all costs. There is no freedom more valuable than that of being able to love those around you.

The video here is a cut version of the original that can be found at http://www.just1clickaway.org/ which is a site dedicated to raising awareness of the danger’s of pornography.