“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
My Dear Family in Christ,
Jesus doesn’t hold back this Sunday. His words about marriage and sexuality, first heard thousands of years ago, echo in eternity and speak to us with no less relevance today. His words are radical, and they aren’t easy to hear. Nevertheless, they are His words, the words of a God who loves us, and we cannot dismiss them.
Praying with this passage, I can’t help but think that Jesus was speaking to one of the most pressing epidemics of our time: Pornography. If anything meets the criteria of “looking at a woman (or a man) with lust”, surely this is it. The striking part is that Jesus equates this with the deadly sin of adultery. I can’t stress this enough: we only put ourselves in danger by sanitizing or watering down His words so they don’t offend us.
The bad news is that this is a serious problem, for men and women, in our world, in our families, and in the Church. If you need convincing, consider these statistics: https://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/ .
Here’s the good news. If you or someone you love struggles with pornography, I want you to know that you are the furthest thing from powerless, hopeless, or alone - even if you feel like it. Like any sin, Jesus suffered and died to save us from its power and break every chain of addiction.
1. Come to confession: Whether it's been ten years or ten minutes, there is no better place to experience God’s mercy and healing.
2. Pray and fast; for freedom, for healing, and for strength.
3. Bring it to the Light: consider sharing your struggle with someone you trust.
4. Take Action: There are incredible resources available, Catholic and otherwise. Here are a few to consider:
a. Strive 21: A 21-Day Detox, developed by Matt Fradd https://www.strive21.com/
b. Forged: 33-Days to freedom, developed by Jason Evert https://chastity.com/products/forged/
c. Covenant Eyes: Accountability Software + https://www.covenanteyes.com/
d. Fight the New Drug: for more information
Of course, you are always welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to talk, schedule confession, or want help getting started with any of the resources above.
God love you,