The Diocesan Anti-Pornography Task Force, that I am a member of, has developed a brochure for those struggling with this issue. I have some of the content below.
1. Get rid of all pornography you own. Destroy movies, magazines and dump all electronic images.
2. Stay off of the computer if it is a temptation. If you have to get on a computer, then do so when other people are around. DO NOT get on the computer for any reason, if you are alone and it is a temptation.
3. Pray more. You must rely on God to deliver you from the problem. You will not be able to stop by using your own power.
4. Frequent the Sacraments and Daily
temptations will be found here.
5. Find an accountability partner. Check in with each other frequently
6. Fast. It helps you to develop self control. You have had a problem with self control sexually, but most men have self control issues in other areas as well.
7. Avoid the occasion of sin. Think about when, where and how you are tempted. Then think about strategies to avoid these circumstances.
8. Use holy images. Your mind has been filled with unholy images; fill it with the image of Christ, Mary, and saints.
9. Ask Mary to intercede. It may sound funny, but it is hard to be tempted when asking the Immaculate Mother of God to help you.
10. Read Scripture daily. Let God’s Word penetrate deeply into your life.
11. Go to confession with the same priest frequently.
12. Do not suppress the thoughts of temptation. Redeem them. Offer them to Christ through his cross.
13. If you feel that despite your best efforts, you are unable to stop viewing pornography, seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in addiction. He or she will be able to help you determine whether or not the behavior is an addiction, and will help you get the tools you need to conquer it. (See the back of this brochure for recommendations about where to call for help).
14. If you are married and your spouse does not know about your problem, you need to talk about it. The problem must be admitted to before it can stop.
15. Use blocking software to limit access on your computer. Also, software at xxxchurch.com can send an accountability report to your accountability partner.
16. Do not drink or use drugs while trying to overcome the temptation. Drinking or using drugs can lower inhibitions, which make us more likely to act impulsively.
17. Don’t beat yourself up after a setback. The devil wants you to give up. Seek forgiveness and start again, no matter how humbling or hard it may be. God always forgives and loves.
18. Meet with a priest or spiritual director to formulate goals and learn techniques for growing closer to Christ and becoming the person God calls you to be.
19. Exercise use of the Virtues - prudence, fortitude, temperance, modesty, purity, and self-control.
by St. Thomas Aquinas
Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of your providence, and that without you a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray that you defend, with your grace, the gift of chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, I ask you, who are the supreme Lord of all my powers, to take it from me, so that I may with a clean heart advance in your love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of your divinity. Amen.
Scripture When Facing Temptation
“For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:20
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians. 4:13
“Nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
“Every athlete exercises discipline in every way … to win an imperishable crown.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
“Create a clean heart in me O God.” Psalm 51:12
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
“Go not after your lusts, but keep your desires in check.” Sirach 18:30
“I said: ‘I will confess my offenses to the Lord.’ And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
“You were once in darkness, but now you you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness.” Ephesians 5:8-11
“Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12
The Diocese of Austin Office of Catholic Family Counseling and Family Life offers counseling services onsite and also maintains a referral list of Catholic friendly counselors in various areas throughout the diocese. For more information about our services, or to schedule an appointment, please call (512) 726-0405.