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I have multiple friends whose marriages have been ruined because of sexual addiction.
While heartbreaking for them, their spouses, and their children, it is no surprise that lust is wreaking such havoc on marriages and families. The number of men who admit to regularly lusting after women via pornography is staggeringly high, and it is likely that the actual numbers are even higher.
Catholic men are not immune
Ideally, Catholic men would be immune to this vice, but the reality is that they, too, are viewing pornography and masturbating in high numbers. In spite of this fact, men are afraid to talk about it, and it is rarely discussed.
Recently, at a Catholic men’s group I am in, a Catholic priest on the video program we are going through talked about lust and pornography. An uncomfortable stillness descended over the room of Catholic guys. After the talk was done, each table had discussion questions to go over about lust and pornography, yet at my table (and most others), the main topic was avoided and tangential subjects were instead focused on.
The shame runs deep. I get it. I’ve been there, addicted to lust and looking at pornography every single day. We don’t want to talk about it, yet it is an elephant in the room, a “widely known secret” that we studiously don’t want to discuss.
Out of the dark
In John’s Gospel, after speaking with Nicodemus and declaring that God so loved the world, Jesus said:

The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God (John 3:19-20).

Pornography and lust are evil. Men learn to use women as objects for their own sexual gratification, committing adultery in their hearts. The Church teaches us the opposite: people are meant to be loved, and our sexuality is for us to give ourselves as a gift to our spouses.
We must expose pornography and sexual addiction for what they are and shine the light of truth upon them for every man. Don’t let them hide in plain sight and gain power from the secrecy surrounding them.
The bishops speak
The United States bishops recently released a pastoral letter responding to the plague of pornography and lust in our culture. Called Create in Me a Clean Heart, the letter is a good introduction to the problem, the Church’s liberating teachings about sexuality, and what men and women can do to grow in chastity and break free from the slavery of this sin.
They highlight Pope St. John Paul II’s landmark work on the theology of the body, a masterful piece of writing that has been made more accessible over the past fifteen years by an excellent translation as well as through practical books by popular Catholic authors on the subject (Matt Fradd’s Delivered is a great example).
This letter from our bishops is a good start, but we need much more. We need Catholic men everywhere to confront this vice directly. We need Catholic men to start groups at their parishes that provide a place for them to discuss this embarrassing subject and support and encourage one another in their struggles with it. We need more men to speak about it and more conferences and talks to provide resources to help men grow in chastity.
Vistory is possible
By availing myself of the arsenal of weapons that the Church gives us, I have been able to conquer this vice and grow in the virtue of purity. I make no brag about that; it was God’s grace alone that did it.
But that is the good news: you can overcome this evil in your life with the help of God’s grace. The fullness of the means of salvation are found in the Catholic Church, which means you have access to the strongest antidotes to the venom of lust.
Many men have written me over the years asking for help, so I recently created a short, powerful video course to help Catholic men gain the victory over pornography addiction. I synthesized all the best strategies, tools, and ideas that I learned over the past fifteen years and distilled them into the course.
What I learned from my own struggle, and the battles of many Catholic men, is that no one tactic or way works for every man. Instead, different tools and strategies are most effective for each person, so trying out several ones and finding out which help you most is essential.
Of course, some “weapons,” like confession and Holy Mass, are indispensable for every Catholic man in his battle against lust. But in addition to those sacraments, a myriad of other resources are available to aid men in purity.
I cannot describe the greatness of joy from being freed from the slavery of lustful sins. It has been a great gift not only for myself but also for my wife and family, and it is a gift that I want every Catholic man to receive.
The Son can set you free, and you will be free indeed. Be not afraid to get the resources and help you need to defeat this vice, and remember that God has given us the Holy Spirit, a “spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Written By Devin Rose

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

8 Comments

  • Nellie says:

    Almighty God is perfection and being creator of all things means He makes the rules whether we choose to believe in Him or Not… at least you have freedom of choice to decide meaning your opinion scientific or otherwise of whether he exists or not does not change him being our Creator. We can all agree to disagree… why should I believe evolution and scientific explanations which to me are more incredible and fag fetched than believing One True God who created heaven and earth.
    Again freedom of choice I choose to believe from what is in the Bible, my own spiritual experiences the existence of God. I’m not worried about proving anything to non believers because you have made your choice and even when there is proof of God existing and the truth of it you will still deny it to be true… that is your choice which God has given us all the freedom of choice to decide for ourselves…:)

  • Joe Larocque says:

    Patrick, you always have to have the last word, don’t you. You won’t dissuade those who believe and know the truth, I will pray for your conversion. go ahead, reply. I promise you, I am not monitoring for your comment. God Bless.

  • Emmanuel says:

    Patrick may The LORD JESUS CHRIST who died for the sins of the whole world touch by the End of this year and may HE use you to save many Souls and trust me you will encounter the Almighty GOD your creator soon. Thanks and hope you ready for HIM.

  • stallon says:

    There are many people who want to criticize the Holy Catholic Church. A humble request to those….please instead judging the Church from being distant…walk near with her and taste her sweetness….Mother Church is the only organization more scientific pragmatic and can direct the human race in the Eternal truth

  • victormusara says:

    [sigh] at least you were joking. Patrick, in quoting Blaise Pascal I was just trying to show that he was Catholic not because he was forced. I was not trying to persuade you to believe his ideas; and as I said, he was a *radical*, a Jansenist who taught the Doctrine of predestination-which, in case you come across such radicals, I advise that you distance yourself from their kind as much as you can.
    By saying that you have more faith than I, I had wrongly assumed that you firmly believe that God does not exist; I am sorry. Now that you have said it is just because you do not know if he exists or does not exist, I would assume that it is a good sign that you are affiliated to religious platforms like this one. You are more closer to God’s call than you know. I do not want to refer you to the miracles which happen every day in God’s name because I do not know what you make of them-maybe sorcery. But why do you not try “The Philosphical Works of Descartes” volume I to start with. He does not qoute the Bible or anything related to the Biblical texts, but by the foundations and principles of Philosophy he has laid, he *might* somehow convince you that God really exists.
    “…If there are finally any persons who are not sufficiently persuaded of the existence of God and of the soul by the reasons which I have brought forward, I wish that they should know that all other things of which they perhaps think themselves more assured (such as possessing a body, and that there are stars and an earth and so on) are less certain. For, although we have a moral assurance of these things which is such that it seems that it would be extravagant in us to doubt them, at the same time no one, unless he is devoid of reason, can deny, when a metaphysical certainty is in question, that there is sufficient cause for our not having complete assurance, by observing the fact that when asleep we may similarly imagine that we have another body, and that we see other stars and another earth, without there being anything of the kind…” (The Philosophical works of Descartes volume I [can be downloaded as an ebook for free; together with volume II] ).

  • Richard says:

    So stop masturbating dude, and dont forget to wash your hand.

  • victormusara says:

    Patrick, it seems to me that you always have a case against the Catholic Church and other sects of Christianity. If not God who do you Love? Science?
    I am surprised by your ignorance, Patrick, since I have come to realise that you read and comment on these articles more than most Catholics.
    Do you not know, that Faith is a gift whose mystery far surpasses our conception? Love, Patience, Humility, Mercy-they are all gifts. This article is just telling us to ask God of those gifts. I know that explaining such to you is just futile, and can make you insult me-as has been the case for many Catholics who have tried to explain to you-but I just want to take my chances.
    People like you try to apply the principle of reversibility (of light) on the Bible and Science. Your folly! You try to use Science to explain the Bible / to prove it wrong, which is wrong, and in this case reversibility. The Word of God is greater than Science, yet you try to equate them on the same scale. Try to traverse through the Bible then to Science, the harmony will surprise you. Lest you ignore the fact that impressive architecture, metallurgy, art etc are all described / acknowleged in the Bible. It might surprise you when History proves to you that Luke was a physician. That Joseph was a carpenter. And that Geology is summarised in Ecclesiastes…that Sir Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Rene Descartes, Leonardo da Vinci…were all Christians.

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