You can Break Your Porn Addiction

Porn is the biggest, yet unspoken, health crisis of our time. Porn use is prevalent among most criminals and terrorists. Please don’t act like a criminal or terrorist by using porn. The article below will help.

—————————————————————

Internet Custody of the Eyes: A Way to Break Gripping Porn Addiction

Internet Custody of the Eyes: A Way to Break Gripping Porn Addiction

July 27, 2016

Custody of the eyes is the ancient practice of keeping the eyes averted so that they don’t stumble upon impure or otherwise inappropriate images or, once stumbling upon something impure, quickly averting the eyes. For example you might see a young lady or young man dressed in immodest attire and you quickly avert your gaze.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori said that:

“To avoid the sight of dangerous objects, the saints were accustomed to keep their eyes almost continually fixed on the earth, and to abstain even from looking at innocent objects.”
Although custody of the eyes is something usually discussed among men because men are so visual, women should be vigilant as well.

What is Internet Custody of the Eyes?

What I’m calling “internet custody of the eyes” is the act of doing whatever it takes for your eyes to not land or linger on inappropriate images and video.

I first learned the importance of internet filtering software when my 8 year old and I stumbled upon a bestiality image on the computer. I was absolutely horrified and I really couldn’t think of how to explain it to her. I pray that God wiped that image from her mind.

The horrific thing is that porn is so pervasive that 32% of boys and 18% of girls have seen bestiality online.

Here Are Some More Troubling Statistics About Children & Porn

83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online
9/10 boys are exposed to pornography before age 18
6/10 girls are exposed to pornography before age 18
9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
The first exposure to pornography among men is12 years old, on average.
71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
28% of 16-17 year olds have been unintentionally exposed to porn online.
20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-oldshave received a sext.
Porn addiction in Marriage

You would think Christians are not affected by pornography. Think again.

64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.
70% of wives of sex addicts could be diagnosed with PTSD.
A study by Proven Men Ministries found that 7% of males admit to viewing porn several times a day, compared to one percent among Christian females.
Men who struggle with purity find themselves in a cycle of shame, confession, hope and shame again. They pray and pray but find themselves falling into the same porn addiction repeatedly. This greatly affects the relationship between the addict and the spouse who is trying to make it work. It is a cross.

Of Phone And Porn

To make it worse, pornographic imagery is not only available through computers, but adult content black iphonesites are easily accessible through smartphones. It’s a bit easier to hide what you’re doing on a phone because you could be doing a variety of things including texting, playing games and shopping. It is common to be on one’s phone late into the evening, while in bed. Lots of kids have phones under the age of 10.

So What is a Struggling Catholic Porn Addict to do?

Fortunately, there are products on the market that help with control and accountability when it comes to internet porn.

Filtering software

Filtering software blocks inappropriate content based on age range. It can also be used for adults too.

Parents can easily adjust the filter’s sensitivity as their kids grow older, meaning the Filter grows with them.
Adults can have the Filter Guardian set the Filter to block only highly mature websites as an extra layer of protection, and can even ask for override rights.
Accountability Software

What if you could send a report of your Internet activity to a friend or mentor so you could discuss your online struggles? Would you like to see the sites your kids visit, the YouTube videos they watch, and the search terms they use? That’s possible too.

This type of accountability is obviously good for discussions with children, but it also helps deal with pornography use within marriage. If a partner knows he will need to explain why he went to a site, he is less likely to click on inappropriate material. It builds trust with the non-addict spouse, that the porn addict is willing to work with the spouse to fight this temptation.

Where Can I Get This Type of Software?

If you’ve been thinking about buying internet accountability software, you should check out Covenant Eyes below. They are a Christian company and are a great contributor in the fight against porn addiction. The software makes internet custody of the eyes a no-brainer.

Want to find out how to obtain Internet Accountability And Filtering Software?

Covenant Eyes Learn More Button

Other Resources

I will be adding more resources to this page, so please check back periodically.

Free E-book Downloads memorae

The Porn Circuit: Free E-book on the Science of Porn Use
Understand your brain and break porn habits in 90 days.
Pornography Statistics
250+ Facts, Quotes, and Statistics About Pornography Use (2015 Edition)
Parenting the Internet Generation
A Blueprint for Teaching Digital Discernment

Advertisements

Porn is ruining your life

If you are watching pornography or are addicted to it please get help.  It is a mortal sin and destroying your life, your soul and your family.  Find a Catholic Priest and go from there.  We recommend contacting and consulting with a Catholic psychologist named Dr. Peter Kleponis and his seven step recovery plan.

You can get out from under the dark cloud of porn using all the tools the Catholic Church has to offer.  God created the Church for you to help you overcome these type of sins.

—————————————–

http://www.thecatholicthing.org/2015/11/21/pornography-our-greatest-ongoing-spiritual-threat/

Pornography: Our Greatest Ongoing Spiritual Threat

The bishops of the United States gathered together last week for their annual meeting in Baltimore. One of the issues that they chose to address this year concerns what is perhaps the greatest ongoing threat to the spiritual and physical health of the Catholics in United States. It breaks up marriages, kills the state of grace, and in many cases destroys the possibility of vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life. It is a plague and its name is: pornography.

Pornography brings huge profits to those who make and market it commercially. Much of this kind of pornography issues from Los Angeles and unfortunately has spread not only throughout our nation but throughout the world, lending credence to those like Islamic extremists who denounce the West’s decadence. Although pornography is overwhelmingly marketed to and viewed by men, a substantial number of women also sample it out of curiosity and generally are disgusted by it (although a small number fall into the trap of using it themselves).

I write as a priest who hears thousands of confessions every year. When I was first ordained, the pornography that people confessed to using usually arrived at the person’s door in the form of magazines delivered to the house. Nowadays, virtually all pornography comes online, easily available to whoever wants to use it. The men addicted to it in this country number in the millions, and live in a fantasy world degrading to themselves and, in many cases, to their wives and girlfriends.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us as Christians to be on guard against pornography. We are not only to avoid seeking it out and using it, but also to reject any image or thought that we may accidentally encounter – for example, when we innocently go to a movie that surprises us with an explicit sex scene.

What can be done? Perhaps the bishops will have some “micro” recommendations for individuals to adopt as well as “macro” recommendations for society-wide approaches. Pornography, of course, like other categories of sin, is nothing new and probably will exist until the end of time. However, the extent of the problem, the difficulty of avoiding contamination, and the threat it poses to the innocence of children is an unprecedented byproduct of our era’s technological progress and moral regression. It is a good sign that the Church in the United States is wrestling with this deadly product that kills souls by the millions here and abroad.

no-porn-porno-sex1

All Catholic families that want to bring up children with a healthy love of the goodness of sexuality, motherhood, and marriage should do everything possible to make their own homes pornography-free. In addition, all Catholic institutions of learning at every level should not neglect their duty to preach the beauty of chastity to their students, helping them to understand that the gravity of the abuse of sex is a consequence of its signal importance for God and for mankind: The attraction of male and female for one another, properly directed, allows human beings to participate in God’s plan of conceiving, bearing, and rearing human life. Part of God’s plan for peopling the heavenly realms with saved souls is the beauty of pure love and the holy marriages that come from such love.

I look forward to seeing how our bishops will handle this topic in the future. Using pornography not only harms the soul but also turns the user into a criminal, stealing something that does not belong to him. Consuming pornography causes many people to become addicted to it, and similar to other addictions, this one generally goads the addict into continually upping the dose and frequency to attain the same effect. It is no surprise, therefore, that pornography use can in some cases lead to rape, child abuse, and molestation.

Because consumption of pornography is often addictive as well as a sin, the addict of this deadly disease of the soul should not only confess this sin, but also seek professional help that can support their efforts to become porn-free.

As far as general methods go, we combat this kind of sin as we combat others. We begin by confessing our sins, and then, in the state of grace, we can receive the strengthening presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Devotion to the Blessed Mother is also a great help in combating impurity of all kinds. We should also take care to avoid the occasion of sin by putting a filter on our laptop or phone to prevent our accessing porn. Another aid is to never use a computer unless there is someone in the same room with you.

These are just a few ideas offered for those enmeshed in this kind of sinful behavior. Above all, as we approach the Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis and beginning on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, repentant consumers of pornography, like any and all other sinners, should never despair of God’s mercy and forgiveness. They should never lose hope of the possibility of successfully freeing themselves from this enslavement, with the continuing help of God’s grace.

Pornography and Acedia – by Reinhard Hutter

Please read the article below to help in your growing toward Chastity.  Also, work towards joining the Angelic Warfare Confraternity ASAP!

——————————————————————————————————

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/04/pornography-and-acedia

Pornography and Acedia

by Reinhard Hütter

A uniquely toxic combination of the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh has become an almost normal component of everyday life: the perturbingly pervasive use of pornography in general and internet pornography in particular, with its dangerous addictiveness and its lethal effect on the Christian spiritual life. To comprehend the spiritual roots of this crisis, we need to recall an all-too-forgotten vice, acedia, usually called “sloth” but better rendered as “spiritual apathy.” It is the very forgoing of friendship with God—which is the fulfillment of the transcendent dignity and calling of the human person—and the embrace of the self-indulgent deception that there never was and never will be friendship with God, that there never was and never will be a transcendent calling and dignity of the human person. Nothing matters much, because the one thing that really matters, God’s love and friendship, does not exist and therefore cannot be attained.

Acedia creates a void that we try to fill with transient rushes of pleasure—primarily venereal pleasure—to ward off the ennui of life bereft of its very center. But the simulacra that promise the rushes of pleasure we seek betray us. They cannot fill the void created by the loss of our transcendent calling to the love and friendship of God. Rather, they only increase the craving to fill the void we cannot fill, breeding compulsion and intensifying spiritual apathy, thereby encouraging acedia’s most dangerous shoot to spring forth: despair.

Christian spiritual wisdom has always regarded acedia as a vice that, unchecked, will eventually prove deadly to the Christian life. For spiritual apathy first leads us to despair of God’s love and mercy and eventually issues in a sadness that will always cause problems. For, as St. Thomas Aquinas observes in On Evil, “No human being can long remain pleasureless and sad.” People engulfed by the sadness to which their indulgence in spiritual apathy led them tend to avoid such sadness first by shirking and then by resenting and scorning God’s love and mercy.

This vice’s post-Christian secular offshoot, an unthematic despair posing as boredom, covers—like a fungus—the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional life of many, if not most, who inhabit the affluent segments of the Western secular world. The old vice of acedia, of spiritual apathy, is the root cause of the typically bourgeois ennui, boredom.

Eventually the collective ideological, cultural, social, and political aversion to the divine good previously received and embraced will issue in a collective spiritual state of acedia, which eventually turns against any remnant of or witness to the transcendent dignity of human persons and to their calling to friendship with God. This is the very story of modern secularism. The flight from sadness that begins with avoiding and resisting spiritual goods and ends with attacking them describes with uncanny accuracy the specific ressentiment and aggression typical of a secular age.

In a seminal phenomenological study, originally published two years before the outbreak of World War I, the German philosopher Max Scheler offers an astute analysis of this distinctly modern negative spiritual attitude. Ressentiment, he claims, arises from the weakness of the will and issues in contempt of those moral values one despairs of achieving oneself. This ressentiment characterizes not only the modern secular individual but also the most influential strand of modern secular moral theory.

Ressentiment, Scheler argues, motivates the whole modern subjective theory of moral values, an approach to ethics currently best known as emotivism. If moral values amount to nothing but subjective phenomena of the human mind without independent meaning and existence—a position held by a variety of naturalist, positivist, and pragmatist philosophers—one never can be found lacking in light of an objective standard of moral values. As a subtle form of ressentiment, the emotivist theory of moral values fails to understand the profoundly problematic nature of pornography. Unable to name an objective standard of moral values, emotivism will in the end find a way to exculpate its production and consumption.

Scheler helps us understand ressentiment as the distinctively modern practice of the vice of acedia. The typically modern secular practice carries the inner logic of spiritual apathy further, to the complacent contempt, even under the guise of moral theory, for what imposes itself as truly and objectively good. Ours is, arguably, not a culture of tolerance but a culture of deep-seated ressentiment that makes possible the amorphous yet broad social and political acceptance of pornography. The vast numbers of persons who, unbeknownst to themselves, are indulging in acedia , despair of and eventually come to resent the very dignity of the human person that pornography treats with contempt.

This spiritual apathy breeds other vices. In his overquoted but understudied Moralia in Job, Gregory the Great famously assigns six daughters to the vice of acedia: malice, spite, faintheartedness, despair, sluggishness with respect to the commandments, and—most important for our concern—“the roaming unrest of the spirit,” as the Thomist philosopher Josef Pieper aptly renders it in his book The Four Cardinal Virtues. This roaming unrest of the spirit takes initial shape in another vice, one hardly recognized as such anymore, because modernity all too often confuses it with intellectual inquisitiveness: vain curiosity, or the lust of the eyes. Fueled by ennui and ressentiment and elicited by the roaming unrest of the spirit, vain curiosity takes the first allegedly innocent step that all too soon leads to the regular, then habituated, and eventually compulsive practice of pornographic voyeurism. When considering the vice of vain curiosity, Thomas Aquinas offers in the Summa Theologiae a brief but profoundly pertinent remark: “Sight-seeing [inspectio spectaculorum] becomes sinful, when it renders [one] prone to the vices of lust and cruelty on account of things [one] sees represented.”

Christian spiritual wisdom has long taught that the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh feed each other. The concupiscence of the eyes inflames the concupiscence of the flesh, and vice versa. St. Augustine offers in the Confessions a first step to understanding why the consumption of internet pornography can easily lead to the slow destruction of moral self-possession. “The truth,” he writes, “is that disordered lust springs from a perverted will; when lust is pandered to, a habit is formed; when habit is not checked, it hardens into compulsion. These were like interlinking rings forming what I have described as a chain, and my harsh servitude used it to keep me under duress.” Concupiscence indulged and habituated gathers such strength that it takes on the nature of a certain kind of necessity that compels the will in such a way that the attribute “free” becomes increasingly vacuous.

What seems most characteristic of the compulsive consumption of pornography is that the consumer no longer finds any pleasure in looking at the simulacra. All he has left, when the act is completed, is a craving for stimulating a desire that will always remain unsatisfied. What is to be learned from the testimonies of pornography’s users is the important fact that, contrary to prevailing cultural assumptions, the lust of the eyes is not a “hot” but rather a “cold” vice. It arises from the roaming unrest of the spirit rooted in a spiritual apathy that, again, despairs of and eventually comes to resent the very transcendence in which the dignity of the human person has its roots. The lust of the eyes that feeds on Internet pornography does not inflame but rather freezes the soul and the heart in a cold indifference to the human dignity of others and of oneself.

The consumption of internet pornography harms the one who does the consuming; those whose dignity, health, and often lives are consumed in the production of pornography; and those who have to suffer from the dissolution of conjugal and familial bonds of fidelity, intimacy, and trust. Into that night of moral errancy, the Catechism of the Catholic Church sheds salutary light by reminding all persons of goodwill of a truth that to right reason is self-evident, that pornography offends against chastity:

Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of the spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

The Catholic Church’s teaching on the evil of pornography is anchored normatively in the dignity of the human person and in the intimately conjoined virtue of chastity. Chastity is not (as current stereotypes insist) prudishness, the fearful contempt of sexuality as a “necessary evil,” unavoidable but ultimately subhuman. It is the virtue that both expresses and preserves the dignity of what is a genuine and surpassing good: the dignity of the human person in sexual matters.

In order to understand chastity rightly, and especially its indispensability for proper human flourishing and the enjoyment of true freedom in all relationships, it is crucial to see how this often ridiculed and misunderstood virtue is intimately related to another virtue in need of recovery: temperance. Temperance is one of the so-called cardinal virtues, which can be described as the four habits of excellence that enable human beings to realize the human good. The first of them, prudence, identifies and commands the appropriate specific act; the second, justice, attends to the good of others and hence gives them their due; the third, courage, overcomes the fear of whatever threatens our bodily integrity and existence; the fourth, temperance, protects our inner order from the ever-present power of our internal sense appetites.

Temperance—or better, “selfless self-preservation,” as Josef Pieper felicitously renders this virtue—has nothing whatsoever in common with some bourgeois, lukewarm moderation in matters of food and drink. Rather, temperantia is the virtue that preserves the inner order of the human being, directing the most elementary forces of human self-preservation, self-assertion, and self-fulfillment: As Pieper writes, “The discipline of temperance defends [the human being] against all selfish perversion of the inner order, through which alone the moral person exists and lives effectively.” Chastity is nothing but the realization of selfless self-preservation in human sexuality.

Let me use an image. Prudence is the helmsman who directs the ship of our moral agency through the treacherous waters of moral quandaries and spiritual temptations. Our helmsman can operate properly only if we are properly formed in justice, courage, and temperance. An inordinate desire for sensual pleasure, brought about by the absence or failure of temperance, weakens and obstructs the ability of our helmsman to direct the ship. The selfless self-preservation of temperance protects the inner order of the person against the encroachments of powerful sensual desire and thus allows our helmsman to do his job. Without selfless self-preservation there simply is no true and perfect prudence.

And consequently, without chastity, the expression of temperance in sexual matters, there is no true and perfect prudence in the sexual life either. Without chastity, the helmsman cannot safely and confidently steer the ship safely through the treacherous waters of the sexual life to its proper destination. The result is a severely hampered moral life and consequently a great diminishment in human flourishing.

Thus chastity is a virtue not only indispensable for the realization of the virtue of prudence in sexual matters but also for the undisturbed proper operation of prudence in general. In other words, where the virtue of chastity is feeble and frail, the virtue of prudence will be encumbered and possibly corrupted. Those who are not chaste will not be truly or fully prudent.

This has fundamental meanings for the preservation of human dignity. If we want to protect human dignity in sexual and indeed all other human matters, we must exercise true and perfect prudence. If we want to exercise true and perfect prudence, we must seek chastity. But before we can exercise chastity in its proper sense, we must practice a more general virtue of chastity, a spiritual chastity. For it is this virtue that addresses the spiritual root of the problem: acedia. What is spiritual chastity?

“If the human mind,” writes St. Thomas in the Summa, “delights in the spiritual union with that to which it behooves it to be united, namely God, and refrains from delighting in union with other things against the requirements of the order established by God, this may be called a spiritual chastity. . . . Taken in this sense, chastity is a general virtue, because every virtue withdraws the human mind from delighting in a union with unlawful things.” This spiritual chastity arises directly from faith, hope, and charity, which unite the human mind to God. Spiritual chastity preserves the union with God and thereby offers the most salient protection against acedia.

The single most important practice that fortifies our spiritual chastity and simultaneously protects us from acedia is an active and persistent discipline of prayer. Yet because of the unique and distinctly modern attack on the moral integrity of the human person by way of subtle and omnipresent temptations to indulge in the lust of the eyes, the restoration and protection of chastity requires practices more pointed and radical than the individual practice of prayer alone. False self-sufficiency is best overcome communally.

Note well, the practice of prayer is a spiritual discipline categorically different from and not a substitute for the counseling or therapy advisable for those experiencing what clinicians increasingly diagnose as gravely compulsive behavior or addiction. Because the root of the problem is a spiritual one, the healing from the addictive behavior will ultimately be overcome only when the negative spiritual root, acedia , is eradicated. It is the latter that the practice of prayer addresses.

In conclusion, therefore, I propose one such communal practice and discipline. One highly pertinent spiritual initiative that most directly addresses the pressing contemporary problem of Internet pornography—not at its shiny electronic surface but at its hidden spiritual root—is the Angelic Warfare Confraternity promoted by the Dominican order.

The Dominican theologian Brian T. Mullady explains that it “seeks to foster the connection between chastity and the other acquired and infused virtues, especially charity; which enables one to love and reverence [one’s] own body as well as the bodies of others.” The members of the confraternity engage in a disciplined practice of daily prayer and support each other in prayer while drawing upon the intercessions of the Seat of Wisdom, the Mother of God, and of St. Thomas, the confraternity’s patron saint.

Far from being an outlet for pious and prudish impulses, the confraternity’s practice of prayer reflects a pertinent theological truth about the efficaciousness of prayer. As St. Thomas states: “Since prayers offered for others proceed from charity . . . the greater the charity of the saints in heaven, the more they pray for wayfarers, since the latter can be helped by prayers: and the more closely they are united with God, the more are their prayers efficacious.” The prayer that the members of the confraternity pray daily is directed to the one who has the power to protect and to liberate man from spiritual apathy, ennui, ressentiment, and the lust of the eyes:

Dear Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and especially that of chastity depends on the power of your Providence. Without you, a mere creature can do nothing. Therefore, I beg you to defend by your grace the chastity and purity of my body and soul. And if I have ever imagined or felt anything that can stain my chastity and purity, blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers, that I may advance with a pure heart in your love and service, offering myself on the most pure altar of your divinity all the days of my life.

The discipline of prayer sustains the spiritual union of the mind and heart with God and with everything that is consonant with the will of God. By exercising spiritual chastity and thereby sustaining spiritual union with God, the discipline of prayer protects us most effectively from falling into spiritual apathy and its secular offspring, ennui and ressentiment. For the one who prays—truly prays—is never bored or resentful. The practice of prayer might commend itself as the apposite, grace-initiated preparation for welcoming the virtue of chastity into the human mind and will.

Such welcome is gravely important. For the virtue of chastity is the prime protector of human dignity. In the order of action, conjugal chastity realizes one’s own human dignity and acknowledges the dignity of one’s spouse. More comprehensively, it is the chaste person whose gaze can genuinely behold and affirm the dignity of the other. It is the chaste person who is free from the lure of the enticing, the titillating, the demeaning, the base, and who consequently can exercise true and perfect prudence.

Reinhard Hütter is professor of Christian theology at Duke Divinity School.

A Message From The Repentant Murderer of St. Maria Goretti

Last weekend in Michigan, we saw the relics of St. Maria Goretti and we were moved to tears to be in the presence of the body of a saint.  Words can’t describe the emotions that come when one is near the body that used to house a soul that is now with our father in heaven.  St. Maria Goretti is just a sweet sweet person that will help you if you seek her assistance with our dear lord.

Below is a great post from the Catholic Gentlemen that contains a letter from Alessandro Serenelli the man that murdered St. Maria in her own kitchen when she refused his sexual advances.  The letter is very powerful.  Please note the reference to pornography and the role it played in leading Alessandro to murder St. Maria.  Please do not let your children watch porn!  Be mindful of their souls!

—————————————————————————–

http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/10/choose-the-right-path-a-message-from-a-repentant-murderer/

Choose the Right Path: A Message From a Repentant Murderer

by Sam Guzman (aka The Catholic Gentlemen)

Yesterday, I had the privilege of venerating the first class relics of St. Maria Goretti, the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church. While the time with her relics was brief due to the crowds, it was still a powerful experience to see the body of this young girl who had more virtue at the age of 12 than most of us will ever have.

If you don’t know St. Maria’s story, she was a young Italian girl born in October of 1890. She lost her father at a young age and had to mature quickly to help take care of her siblings while her mother earned a living. Due to their extreme poverty, the Goretti family had to move in with another family, the Sarenelli’s.

While Maria was only 12 at the time, Alessandro Sarenelli, who was 22, began making sexual advances toward Maria, threatening her if she told anyone. On July 5, 1902, while the rest of the family was away, Alessandro approached Maria with a 10 inch knife, threatening to kill her if she did not do what he said. He intended to rape her, and it came out later that he had tried twice before. Maria refused and began to fight him off. In a rage, Alessandro stabbed her 14 times. Eventually, Maria died from her wounds, but not before completely forgiving her attacker and stating that she wanted him to be with her in heaven.

A Repentant Killer

While Maria’s short life was a beautiful testimony to God’s grace, what struck me especially was the conversion of her killer, Alessandro Sarenelli. His story, too, is a witness to the power of conversion, and that no one is beyond hope.

Six years into his 30 year prison sentence, Alessandro was at the brink of despair. How he could he go on knowing what he had done, and knowing the best years of his life would be spent rotting in prison? Then, something extraordinary happened. Maria appeared to him holding a bouquet of lilies and lovingly handed them to Alessandro one by one. This gesture of forgiveness from the girl he murdered transformed Alessandro completely. For the first time since the crime, he was truly repentant. As he later said, “Maria’s forgiveness saved me.”

Once freed from prison, Alessandro began a life of penance. He met with Maria’s mother and begged her forgiveness. He also accompanied Mrs. Serenelli to Christmas Mass in the parish church where he spoke before the stunned congregation, acknowledging his sin and asking God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the community. He eventually joined the Capuchin Franciscans as a lay brother, working as a gardener and general laborer. In 1970, he died peacefully in Christ, loved by all who knew him.

After his death, the Franciscans found a spiritual testament among his belongings, written in the form of an open letter to the world. Here is what the one-time murderer and attempted rapist wanted to say to the world—and to you.

I’m nearly 80 years old. I’m about to depart.

Looking back at my past, I can see that in my early youth, I chose a bad path which led me to ruin myself.

My behavior was influenced by print, mass-media and bad examples which are followed by the majority of young people without even thinking. And I did the same. I was not worried.

There were a lot of generous and devoted people who surrounded me, but I paid no attention to them because a violent force blinded me and pushed me toward a wrong way of life.

When I was 20 years-old, I committed a crime of passion. Now, that memory represents something horrible for me. Maria Goretti, now a Saint, was my good Angel, sent to me through Providence to guide and save me. I still have impressed upon my heart her words of rebuke and of pardon. She prayed for me, she interceded for her murderer. Thirty years of prison followed.

If I had been of age, I would have spent all my life in prison. I accepted to be condemned because it was my own fault.

Little Maria was really my light, my protectress; with her help, I behaved well during the 27 years of prison and tried to live honestly when I was again accepted among the members of society. The Brothers of St. Francis, Capuchins from Marche, welcomed me with angelic charity into their monastery as a brother, not as a servant. I’ve been living with their community for 24 years, and now I am serenely waiting to witness the vision of God, to hug my loved ones again, and to be next to my Guardian Angel and her dear mother, Assunta.

I hope this letter that I wrote can teach others the happy lesson of avoiding evil and of always following the right path, like little children. I feel that religion with its precepts is not something we can live without, but rather it is the real comfort, the real strength in life and the only safe way in every circumstance, even the most painful ones of life.

Signature, Alessandro Serenelli

Our Lady of America and Pornography

Did you know that Mary appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem in Rome City, Indiana in 1956?  We sure didn’t!  Based on her message it’s obvious the Blessed Virgin Mary wants America to be a leader in spreading purity around the world rather than the filth of pornography.

Its high time for Catholics to fight against the culture because its only the Church that can move the world!  Please read the informative article below by Father Heilman.

———————————————————————————————–

http://www.romancatholicman.com/pornography-destroying-our-nation-god-sent-our-lady-of-america/

Pornography Destroying Our Nation – God Sent Our Lady of America

Pornography Destroying Our Nation – God Sent Our Lady of America

 

“I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives.” – Our Lady of America

1953 – The Birth of Mainstream Pornography

Working as a copywriter for Esquire, Hugh Hefner left in January 1952 after being denied a $5 raise. In 1953, he mortgaged his furniture, generating a bank loan of $600, and raised $8,000 from 45 investors, including $1,000 from his mother (“Not because she believed in the venture,” he told E! in 2006, “but because she believed in her son.”), to launch Playboy, which was initially going to be called Stag Party. The undated first issue, published in December 1953, featured Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot and sold over 50,000 copies (Hugh Hefner: The Ultimate Lifestyle Entrepreneur). Thus the pornography industry was unleashed on America. Pornography is the foundation of our destruction in this nation. Here’s why … (From Aggie Catholic) ADDICTION:

SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE: It isn’t as widely accepted as some might make you think.

  • 76% of U.S. adults disagree that viewing hardcore adult pornography on the internet is morally acceptable;”
  • 74% disagree that “viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet provides, generally, harmless entertainment;”

MEN:

  • According to a survey published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, 86% of men are likely to click on Internet sex sites if given the opportunity.

WOMEN:

  • 34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn.

MARRIAGE: According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
  • Diminished trust between intimate couples
  • The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
  • Belief that promiscuity is the natural state
  • Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy
  • Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
  • Belief that marriage is sexually confining
  • Lack of attraction to family and child-raising

*According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:

  • Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce
  • Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
  • Infidelity
  • Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices
  • Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing
  • An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior

*The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (divorce lawyers) reported that the most salient factors present in divorce cases are as follows:

  • 68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
  • 56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
  • 47% involved spending excessive time on the computer.
  • 33% involved excessive time spent speaking in chat rooms.

CHILDREN: *According to research from Family Safe Media, the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is children between ages 12 and 17. *According to a study cited in the Washington Post, more than 11 million teenagers view Internet pornography on a regular basis. *When a child or adolescent is directly exposed to pornography the following effects have been documented:

  • Lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses.
  • Earlier onset of first sexual intercourse, thereby increasing the risk of STD’s over the lifespan.
  • The belief that superior sexual satisfaction is attainable without having affection for one’s partner, thereby reinforcing the commoditization of sex and the objectification of humans.
  • The belief that being married or having a family are unattractive prospects.
  • Increased risk for developing sexual compulsions and addictive behavior. Increased risk of exposure to incorrect information about human sexuality long before a minor is able to contextualize this information in ways an adult brain could.
  • And overestimating the prevalence of less common practices (e.g., group sex, bestiality, or sadomasochistic activity).

*A study of youth between the ages of 10 and 17 concluded that there is a significant relationship between frequent porn use and feelings of loneliness and major depression. *51% of male college students and 32% of female college students first viewed pornography before teenage years (12 and younger).

1956 – God Sends Our Lady to America

Just 3 years after the launch of the porn industry, on September 26, 1956, Our Lady appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem in Rome City, Ohio, and called her children in America to dedicate their lives to her purity. She said: “My child, I entrust you with this message that you must make known to my children in America. I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders I will work will be the wonders of the soul. They must have faith and believe firmly in my love for them. I desire that they be the children of my Pure Heart. I desire, through my children in America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations. Let them come with confidence and simplicity, and I, their Mother, will teach them to become pure like to my Heart that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son.” Now is the time for us to turn to Our Lady of America. For more information, go here:  http://www.ourladyofamerica.org/.

It’s time for us to ask our Bishops to solemnly process the Statue of Our Lady of America into National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

The Credibility of Our Lady of America

Dr. Mark Miravalle gives a nice synopsis (in the first 5 minutes) of the approval status of the apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary to Sr Mary Ephrem called Our Lady of America, and the call to process the statue into the Basilica in Washington, DC.

Porn is So Evil

Pornography use is the largest public health crisis in the world right now.  Its use is rotting marriages, relationships and most importantly, souls.  Below, The Catholic Gentlemen post a sad story of a wife whose marriage was destroyed by porn. If you have a pornography problem please seek help.  We see this same story all the time in the military where pornography use is rampant.  If you have no idea where to start contact us and we can get you pointed in the right direction.  Start praying for deliverance from this scourge.

—————————————————————————————-

http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/04/porn-destroyed-my-marriage-and-i-hate-it/

Porn Destroyed My Marriage and I Hate It

  •   April 16, 2015

Last week, I wrote a post about how dangerous porn is; how it destroys your relationships with God and others, how it kills your soul, and how it enslaves you.

Perhaps some thought I was exaggerating or simply being shrill. That’s why I want to share a real-life story left in the comments of last week’s post, describing of how porn destroyed a woman’s marriage. It is shared with permission of the author. I hope that it will reinforce the point that porn is neither a harmless nor a solitary sin, but that it can ruin your life and steal everything that you hold dear.

Porn Destroyed My Marriage

My marriage was utterly destroyed by porn. I tried everything to help my husband stop, but because he had been looking at and using porn from age 9 when he found his oh-so-Catholic father’s magazines, he would not stop. I did not know he had this problem till 6 years into our marriage. We have 4 beautiful children, 3 of which are girls. Financial malfeasance often accompanies this addiction, and he was no exception. He ruined us financially and still stayed up hours every night downloading porn. He had a membership to the sex video shop, secret bank accounts, secret computer accounts…. I could go on and on. I dragged him to our priest, he went on retreats, I cried buckets, got angry, begged. To no avail. I finally had to ask him to leave. He did and I gave him six months to show me some real change and work to try to correct this horrible thing that had destroyed our marriage.

He did not change. I am now a working single mother rather than a stay at home, homeschooling mother. Our four children are now in public school. I am financially ruined, and he doesn’t even pay his child support as ordered.

THIS is the truth of what porn does to marriage. It destroyed not only my marriage, but gutted my children and my life. His addiction almost cost me my faith because the priest did no more than tell my husband he needed to stop. No real harsh spiritual counseling. I HATE PORNOGRAPHY. My husband is lost in it. He already exposed our son to it. His father, whose magazines he found is lost in it. His father progressed to molesting his own granddaughters, one of them MY daughter.

So any man who thinks that porn doesn’t kill the soul of the person using it, or that it doesn’t destroy the bonds of marriage, is a fool. It captures you, and you will give up everything and everybody for it. You will view all women as objects to be used. Your heart will become hardened to the pleas of your wife. You will completely and utterly destroy her. And your marriage.

I had to save my children and myself. I did not want to divorce, and I spent 8 soul crushing years trying to save our marriage. But at the end of the day, porn won. Lust won. Selfishness won.

My children and I lost.

And so did the man I married.

Are you a Slave to Porn? If so please read!

We here at Team Solutio see the damage porn does to lives of many many people.  It is sad but preventable.  First you must realize that you are offending God with your actions.  You must then repent.  Then you must use ALL the tools the Catholic Church gives you to beat the habit.  You are in a battle with the devil (pornography means “the Devil’s Images”) and the Church and its sacraments is your vehicle to victory.

Please read the article below from Sam Guzman.  The end of the article contains helpful resources to overcome your addiction.  We are praying for you!

—————————————————————————-

http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/04/9-reasons-to-kick-porn-to-the-curb/

9 Reasons to Kick Porn to the Curb

d364a249efafdd6e5860a67ea879f366Forget Ebola, porn is the real plague consuming our society. It is an epidemic of massive proportions and a growing public health crisis. The vast majority of men admit they regularly look at it: Lawyers, doctors, pastors, priests, husbands, it doesn’t matter.  And despite the best efforts or protective parents, every child will be exposed to it sooner or later. As one expert on the issue says, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.

I wish I could say Catholic men were better than the rest of society, but it isn’t true. Catholics, and indeed all Christians, view pornography at essentially the exact same rate as non-Christian men. This is tragic.

I could go on, but we know pornography is a real problem. So what to do about it? We need to kick porn to the curb. Mercilessly. If pornography is present in your life, you need to put a gun to its head and pull the trigger. Stop messing around. Stop tolerating its presence in your life. Get ruthless with it and take action.

Here are ten compelling reasons to kill porn in your life.

1. It hurts real women

A lot of times we get the impression that porn is harmless. We are duped into thinking that the women in porn videos are really enjoying themselves and that they are all performing by choice. Wrong. It’s a lie. Countless porn stars who have left the industry have told stories of physical and emotional abuse, coercion, self-harm, depression, violence, and attempted suicide. They say vehemently that being a porn star was miserable, not fun.

That’s not to mention the millions of women who are illegal trafficked and sold as slaves to feed the porn industry, as well as those are who are sold into prostitution to serve the fantasies of men who want to act out porn videos. Make no mistake, porn harms real life women. And every time you watch a video or look at an image, you are causing untold pain to millions of women and children who deserves to be loved and cherished, not abused and objectified.

2. It kills love

Marriages have been ripped apart by pornography. Some men sneak their porn use. Other men look at it openly. Either way, porn destroys intimacy. Watching pornography sticks a knife deep into the heart of your spouse. It causes her to lose all trust. It tells her she will never be good enough, can never measure up. It makes a mockery of your marriage vows. It plants the seeds of bitterness and resentment. It causes her deep pain, emotional and spiritual. Men, if you have any love in your heart for your wife, stop looking at pornography.

3. It causes you to enjoy sex less

A recent survey revealed that a growing number of men prefer pornography to real sex. Why? Because it’s easier. With the click of a button, you have infinite access to seemingly endless airbrushed women doing things no wife in her right mind would ever do. You don’t even have to worry about giving pleasure to another person—porn is all about you. In comparison, real sex feels like a chore. Many men are even reporting they can no longer become aroused enough to have sex with real women. Basically, it ruins your sex life.

4. It warps your view of women

The absolute fastest way to distort your view of women is to watch pornography. In porn, women are just objects, playthings. They have no emotions, no needs, no soul. They are just instruments of gratification. You simply can’t watch women being abused and objectified in the most horrible ways on screen countless times and expect to have a healthy view of real-life women. It simply isn’t possible. News flash: Women are real human beings with emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. They have a soul that will live forever. They deserve your respect and protection, not lust.

Men, do you really want to view your sisters in Christ as so much fresh meat? Because that’s what will happen if you look at porn. You will not look below the surface and see a woman as made in the image of God. Instead, you will begin to fantasize about her as if she were your plaything. This is wrong. This is evil. And it’s what porn does.

5. It extinguishes God’s grace in your soul

A mortal sin is a sin which destroys God’s love in your soul. It is a sin that is so grave, so heinous that it separates us from God, leaving your soul cold and lifeless and hellbound. You can make all the excuses you want, but looking at pornography is a mortal sin and it charts you on a course to hell. St. Paul makes it clear: Those who tolerate sexual sin in their lives “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21). You can either have heaven or porn, but not both. Take your pick.

6. It gets worse with time

Porn very quickly becomes an addiction like crack or meth. And the thing about addictions is that they always get worse. Sure, you may start innocently enough, spending just a little too much time looking at an ad featuring scantily clad women. But then you enter a Google search, and then another one. Months go by and things get boring. It takes more and more extreme stuff to get you excited. Soon you are watching things that would have horrified you only a short time ago. And no matter how much you see, it is never enough.

Those child abusers you read about? It’s easy to hate them, but they didn’t start out that way. They started out just like you, thinking they could handle the poison of porn. But they couldn’t, and neither can you. Unchecked, porn will consume your life and leave you an empty lust-filled shell of a human being—or worse yet, behind bars. Is that really what you want?

7. It makes you selfish

This one should be pretty obvious, but when you are spending hours gratifying yourself with obscene images, you begin to become obsessed with yourself. Instead of embracing the sacrifice required by true love, you begin to view others as objects designed to serve your needs and wants—just like the fantasy women on the screen. Instead of giving and serving like Christ, you become obsessed with taking and consuming. You become self-centered, angry, abusive without even realizing it. You become a narcissist that uses others instead of loving them.

8. It steals your joy

Porn leaves you guilt ridden and miserable. No matter how much we lie to ourselves, we know deep down that porn is wrong. And every time we look at it, our conscience naturally bothers us. Even if we go to confession about it a few times, the next failure leaves us discouraged and depressed and ready to despair. Soon, the devil tempts us to give up on our spiritual lives altogether. “The struggle isn’t worth it,” he whispers in our ears, “Just throw in the towel.” In short, we become like Adam in the garden, hiding from the presence of God.

This is not how Jesus wants us to live our lives. He redeemed us with his precious blood to bring us peace and joy and abundant life, not fear and shame. If you want a newfound joy in your spiritual life, reject porn.

9. It makes you a slave

Before we were baptized, we were the devils slaves. Ruled by our passions and lusts, we were driven around helplessly like so much cattle. But Christ redeemed us, and when we were baptized, he freed us from this cruel slavery and brought us into the freedom of the sons of God. If you’re baptized, you are dead to sin and alive to God. You share in the freedom of Jesus Christ, and you are “no longer a slave but a son” (Gal. 4:7).

The problem is, when we become addicted to sin, we are willingly entering back into the slavery of the devil. It’s like the son of a royal king going down to the slave market and offering himself for sale. It’s insanity. Embrace your freedom as a child of God, and throw off the yoke of the devil’s slavery. Kick porn to the curb.

Get Violent

Jesus was gentle with everyone and everything—except sin. When it came to sin, Jesus took no prisoners. His advice? Pluck it out. Cut it off. No one coasts into heaven, he tells us, but rather “men of violence take it by force” (Matt. 11:12). Are you violent with sin in your life? You should be. People who have cancer don’t tolerate it. People with leprosy don’t tolerate it. People with ebola don’t tolerate it. So why on earth do you tolerate sin?

Men, if you are addicted to porn, don’t put up with it any longer. Take it down. Beat it mercilessly. Show it who’s boss. Fight it as if your life depended on it, because in so many ways, it really does.

Resources:

Reclaim Sexual Health Addiction Recovery Program (Catholic)

Fortify Recovery Program (Secular)

A Battle Plan For Fighting Porn

Fight the New Drug

K9 Web Filter (Free)

Covenant Eyes Internet Filter (Paid)

The Danger of Porn is Everywhere

Parents need to protect their kids from the evil of pornography.  Pornography is destroying the lives of many many Americans including many Catholics.  Most parents are oblivious to the damage being done to their children which is happening right under their noses under their very own roofs.  With the explosion of the use of tablets, smartphones, etc… children have more and more access to pornography.  The onslaught continues when they leave the house and go off to college, the military ,etc…

One of the few voices in the wilderness is Dr. Peter Kleponis, a Catholic clinical therapist whose apostolate is helping individuals overcome pornography addictions and begin living a virtuous life.  Heaven is the goal for all of us but we must realize we are in spiritual combat and we need to turn to the Lord to help overcome this vice.

Please read the article below where Dr. Kleponis talks about the prevalence of pornography use among college kids and details the destructive nature of its use.  He also gives advice on how to overcome the problem.

Please know the Catholic Church provides all the tools you need to overcome the terrible scourge of pornography use and addiction.  Seek help from the only institution that provides lasting solutions to humanity’s ills:  The One Holy and Apostolic Church.

Please share with your family and friends especially those with children!

——————————————————————————————

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4020/Catholic-Colleges-Must-Wake-Up-to-the-Dangers-of-Pornography-Says-Counseling-Expert.aspx

Catholic Colleges Must Wake Up to the Dangers of Pornography, Says Counseling Expert

comp

Catholic colleges and universities must learn to see pornography for the epidemic problem that it is and begin offering the necessary resources to help students escape the addictive and destructive habit, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis, a licensed clinical therapist and one of the foremost Catholic experts on the subject of pornography.

This is the second article from The Cardinal Newman Society’s interview with Kleponis exploring the grave problem of pornography among students and what Catholic universities can do to combat it.

“They need to realize that pornography is an addictive substance. This stuff is highly, highly addictive. We need to educate [students] on the dangers of pornography,” he urged. “It’s about education in the danger of pornography, number one. Unfortunately, I would say that most colleges are not doing anything.”

Kleponis continued:

I think [colleges] need to have seminars on the dangers of pornography and they should really be a part of their orientation programs. Obviously, all university computers need to be monitored and they really need to encourage students, not just men but women too, to have their computers and technology monitored. Not just computers, but tablets, iPods, cell phones, all of it. They need to encourage everyone to work together as a team to avoid this. And again, we need to offer courses not only in understanding what their [God-given] missions are, but they need to be educated on healthy relationships, healthy sexuality, and what that all means.

Noting the large scale of the problem of pornography for colleges, Kleponis said, “there are many out there that are addicted and don’t even know it simply because it’s so common among college students to view pornography, it’s perfectly acceptable.” Pornography is a symptom, a dangerous symptom that needs to be addressed at its root, he suggested.

The constant use of pornography by college students has led to lower grades, students failing out of college, the inability to have healthy relationships, lack of commitment, a rise in violence and abuse, and men and women who no longer have a desire to get married, according to Kleponis.

“Studies have shown that college men who are regular users of pornography don’t want to get married. They don’t want to make a commitment to a relationship,” Kleponis explained. “They truly believe that happiness and fulfillment in life is going to come from multiple sexual partners. What they’re learning from pornography is that violent, abusive, exploitive sex is the norm.”

However, “if you’re going to fight a vice, you have to fight it with virtue,” he advised. “Eventually it has to be about what you’re working toward, toward that healthy life, toward becoming the man [or woman] God created you to be. And that’s where virtue comes in, that’s what it’s all about.”

There are many software programs that can help in this, Kleponis noted. “The one I recommend is Covenant Eyes,” he said. Additionally, there are a lot of great Catholic websites that can lead students to the right help. “They haven’t been taught this growing up and they want the information, so naturally they’ve gone to the internet. So of course they’ve gotten wrong information,” Kleponis observed.

He therefore suggested websites such as Matt Fradd’s The Porn Effect and The Chastity Project by Jason and Crystalina Evert, as well as his own upcoming website based on his Integrity Restored recovery program (which was discussed in our first article on Kleponis’s interview).

“Counselors on good Catholic campuses should also be able to refer them to places where they can get help,” he added.

Kleponis also had a special message for those students currently struggling with pornography and addiction. “I would say first of all that [you are] not alone.” Students must realize that “they are not alone and with that hopefully they can let go of the shame that they are dealing with.”

“This is the number one thing that prevents people from getting help, it’s the shame involved,” he said. Students “need to realize that they’re not alone, that a lot of people struggle with this, but most of all that there is help available. The first step is admitting that they have the problem and then reaching out for the help.” And Catholic colleges and universities should be the first ones in line to offer that help, he proposed, because to do anything else would be a disservice to the students entrusted to their care.