In the Confessional
Advice for Penitents
Confession is the best first step for Catholics who want to find freedom from habitual pornography use. This particular sin may be one that you have confessed many times without being able to kick the habit for a sustain length of time. Perhaps you have not confessed this sin before or even been to confession in a long time? Like the prodigal son you may even think that returning to the Father will be an experience of judgment and condemnation. As we read in the Gospel of Luke, the father runs out to meet him and host a banquet to celebrate because his "son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." (Luke 15:24)
We recommend several tools to help you find freedom from pornography:
- Go to confession regularly. Allow yourself to encounter Christ in the sacrament and receive the Father's mercy. This is a habit that helps us break bad habits.
- Contact the My House helpline (816) 808-6544. Talk confidentially to a layman who knows the struggle and how to get started in your journey to freedom.
- After contacting the helpline attend a My House support group regularly.
- Connect with people. If you are married or engaged you may have a lot of work to do in your relationship. Pornography kills love, but the damage is not irreversible. If you are single then healthy relationships can be a source of healing. Isolation and loneliness rarely help people find freedom from pornography use.
- Pray. Prayer is the source of grace to help us overcome life's trials and our weaknesses. Make a plan for your prayer life and follow it. You might attend Mass more frequently, meditate and read the Bible every day, pray the rosary, offer short prayers for help in times of temptation, converse interiorly with God more frequently during the course fo the day.
- Get help from a counselor and/or spiritual director if you need it. My House can provide you with a reference to a counselor who knows how to help.
Combined, these tools have helped many others to find sustained, long term freedom.
Advice for Priests
Confessors have a privileged role in the conversion and recovery of those who seek freedom from pornography. The resources below are just a few ideas about ways that priests can more effectively serve as ambassadors of God's mercy and healing. We hope to add more resources as we find them. Please contact the Family Life Office with your input or questions.
How to Begin Addressing Porn as a Priest, Fr. Sean Kilcawly
Addressing Pornography From the Pulpit, Fr. Sean Kilcawly
The Three Tiers of Recovery, Dr. Peter Kleponis
Why 12-Step Groups Are Still a Good Idea, Dr. Peter Kleponis