My readers are awesome

A few days ago somebody wrote to ask for prayer in his struggle with porn. Now a reader very sweetly and humbly writes:

I don’t have a lot of advice to give, but I do have sympathy. I struggle with the exact same problem. It almost cost me one job, and has been my besetting sin for nearly 30 years. One thing I can definitely say is to please please please use something like OpenDNS to make it difficult to watch pornography at home. It’s not perfect, but it makes you have to work hard enough to watch porn that at the very least it makes you make a positive decision that it is what you want. Hopefully, it give you time to think over what you’re doing, and stop.

In addition, and if you think this is enabling don’t pass it on, but please get a personal phone or laptop and NEVER mix the two. A boob can cost you your job, and it is not worth it.
And please never stop trying to quit. It’s been almost two months for me, and with God’s grace I’ll make it through Lent without porn. It is sometimes the hardest thing for me to do, and I will say a rosary for your reader tomorrow. It sounds dumb to me- I mean, how hard could it possibly be to stop looking at pictures? But the fact is it is hard and it needs work to overcome.
This also seems to get left out with talking about pornography: please go to confession. It helps me sometimes to avoid pornography, and even when I fall down, it still helps to know that God forgives me, and will give me the grace to start again.

God love you, reader. We comfort with the comfort wherewith we are comforted. Thank you for your humility and charity to a struggling brother. Don’t you give up either!

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  • LFM

    I don’t know if this will help, but both of these people should know that there is, surprisingly enough (perhaps), a secular anti-porn movement nowadays. Apparently the over-consumption of online porn can lead to lack of interest in the real thing: real women, that is, and real physical contact. Who’d have thought it?…

  • Andy, Bad Person

    I think if you gathered 1000 men into a room, were able to magically guarantee secrecy and anonymity, then asked how many had some problem with porn, you would probably be surprised how many raised their hands. Or maybe you wouldn’t be. It’s a massive problem.

  • Timothy

    If I might chime in too, I am proud of both of your readers for putting up a fight. It is important to know, though, that this is a fight they cannot win by themselves.

    This goes deeper than an act of the will, and it is laudable that your one reader has exercised his will for two months.

    Neurologists have found that the act of watching porn actually “re-wires” the brain. Just like the lab-rat that knows which buttons to push to receive the pleasurable stimuli, so too, our brains make new connections and forget old ones to achieve the pleasurable high.

    The good folks in Green Bay have worked with Neuroscientists to help create a program to restore proper function of the brain (I am in no way affiliated with them, nor do I get paid to plug their product).

    I highly recommend to your readers who struggle, and as a precautionary tool for parents.

    • Steve P

      Second to your recommendation, Timothy – Reclaim has some really good resources, including those for working with your children. The more tools you can marshal in this battle, the better. Also worth checking out some of the materials by Jason Evert, which helps with the broader understanding of chastity. Prayers for all those who are in this struggle.

  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    I know the truth of all of this. It is a cross. It is a real and undeniable participation in the suffering of Christ for the redemption of the world. May He deliver me and everyone else from it one day; and if it pleases Him not to, may it somehow be joined to His suffering.

  • James

    A few suggestions to any who struggle with this
    1. Daily recitation of the Rosary. The grace that comes from this will help you to not sin.
    2. Personally, I’ve noticed that SSRI’s (Prozac, etc) can noticably reduce desire
    3. Chasteberry

  • Hematite

    God bless you guys! I’ll pray to the Holy Family for your increased chastity and my own.

  • UAWildcatx2

    So Bishop Paul Loverde of the Archdiocese of Arlington wrote an amazing and powerful pastoral letter concerning this issue in 2006, and was re-released very recently. In it, he talks about “the damage that pornography does to man’s ‘template’ for the supernatural.” I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Fr. Longenecker also has a great piece on this over at his site:
    But definitely check out the pastoral letter!

  • Tim in Cleveland

    Here’s another resource for younger readers:

    Reddit is primarily an atheist-leaning community, but I’ve never really noticed any anti-religious posts on this sub-thread.

    The thread is a good way to set goals and track your progress. It also provides a lot of support if one needs it. Best of all, it’s free.

  • hopecrolius

    As a woman who doesn’t struggle with this cross, thankfully, but has heard from several male friends who do, I have grown alarmed by the pervasiveness of this addiction. When people’s need for “the real thing” gets “satisfied” by pixelated substitutes, it becomes so clear that Satan himself is the puppet master behind it all, robbing us of what our Creator made us to do – -marry, mate, procreate, and enjoy the abundant richness of family life. Nearly every social ill today can be traced to the destruction of this basic unit! It makes me wonder if the theories that there is a depopulation agenda at work is a fact and not a conspiracy theory. Keep single people alone at their computers instead of courting a mate, and keep people with families distracted on their personal computers instead of interacting or going to bed at the same time when they might enjoy some unitive and procreative closeness…