How Can We Overcome the Slavery of Pornography?

Priests and Laymen Must Establish a Profound Spiritual Life to Combat the

“Famine of Love” In Our Modern Culture

Father James Farfaglia-Today, men are addicted to pornography at an alarming rate.  Catholic priests and laity are struggling with pornography, especially internet pornography.

As I wrote in my recently published book Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men About Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life , “Lust is a very powerful sin and it destroys human freedom.  Lust is a real problem for most men.  Lust is more powerful than an addiction to drugs or to alcohol.”

Many affirm that celibacy is the reason why priests have sexual addictions.  But our pastoral experience tells us that the amount of married men that are addicted to pornography is staggering.

After more than twenty-two years as a priest, I am convinced that the capital sin of lust is not the only reason why men continually struggle with pornography.  I believe the addiction is primarily driven by a disorder in our emotions.

Dr. Conrad W. Baars, M.D. called it an emotional deprivation disorder.  Mother Theresa called it the famine of love.

The on-going struggle with pornography, which usually includes masturbation, is rooted in the fact that modern man feels unloved, isolated, and alone.  We are all part of this modern culture.

The emotional disorder of today is caused by the following factors:

  1. The unborn child that was unwanted and unloved by his or her mother
  2. The infant that was not breastfed
  3. The infant that was left in day care
  4. Mothers who work outside of the home
  5. Fathers who have abandoned their families
  6. The infant and the child that was not held enough by their mother and father
  7. The infant and the child that was sexually and/or psychologically abused
  8. Children of alcoholic parent(s)
  9. Children of a parent or parents who are addicted to drugs
  10. Children of divorced parents

After reading this list, you can see that most of us have been damaged by a very dysfunctional society.  What then is the solution for this serious problem?

Catholic spirituality has always placed great importance on mortification to control and integrate our sexual desires.  Without a doubt, concupiscence will always be something that we will have to deal with until the resurrection of the body.

However, because of the pathology of the emotional disorder that we suffer from, it is of great importance that we focus our attention on how to love correctly and how to existentially experience that love within our emotional world.

When this happens, the disorder will be healed and so will the urge to view pornography.

So, let us take a look at the action points for your emotional healing.

  1. Maintain a profound spiritual life.  Live your life before the Eucharist.  Get into contemplative prayer. You need to experience God’s awesome love for you on an emotional level.
  2. Connect with your family.  If your family is dysfunctional find someone in your family that you can connect with.  The experience of some kind of connection with your family or a family member is very important.  There may be some sad situations where this may be impossible, but for most people, they can at least connect with one or two family members.
  3. Have good, solid friendships. Many of us live alone in a rectory.  We do not need to have many friends; we need at least one true friend.
  4. Love your parishioners.  Connect with your parish family.  Develop a strong community and be involved with everything that takes place.  Connect with your people.
  5. Enjoy life and laugh a lot.

I am totally convinced that if you put these action points into practice, joined together with a serious life of mortification, the struggle with pornography will diminish or disappear.   Laymen can apply the five steps too by taking into account their state in life, and then making the corresponding changes to the list.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have Mercy on Us.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Us.

P.S. – Would you do Courageous Priest a favor and share this info with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Email right now? We truly appreciate it. Or leave a comment, we would love to hear what you think.

3 comments to How Can We Overcome the Slavery of Pornography?

  • Mary Lou

    I believe people are the delivery vehicle/system for the love of God.

    This is how we know His love — through other people.

    I don’t know if it is just me but I think it would be very difficult to.experience the love of God without others dedicated to being in relationship with me… esp since I did not grow up w strongest parental relationships.

    I think a drep.experience of being loved is needed.

    And spiritual dedication to GOD AS THE CENTER Of YOUR LIFE Is Important.

  • Eli

    Hi, thank you for the articles. But it is not as you describe it. You take too much things from the worldly psychology. The root problem is not that we have lacked smth but the deeper question of worship. Whom we will worship in our hears? The idol of lust or the true God. This is the question..

  • Lauren Wright

    i think that spiritual life is much more important compared to our earthly life.,~*

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