There Is Help

In the early 70s during my high school years, a handful of buddies decided to ‘hang out’ together. Since this was nearly 40 years ago, I cannot remember what we were doing before gathering at the home of one of my high school friends, perhaps it was after a football or basketball game. As we gathered in the basement, this friend of mine went behind the bar and proudly showed us his father’s hidden stash of pornographic magazines.

I remember being shocked and felt horrible seeing his son standing in front of us proudly displaying the several magazines that were his ‘favorites’ among the many that were secretly hidden by his dad. In addition to feeling sorry for my friend, I immediately thought, "What about his mother, the wife of his father? How could his dad do this?"

A recent study published by reveals that 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites, a staggering 70% of men between the ages of 18-24 visit porn sites in a typical month. While the majority of porn users are men, 33% of porn users are women. In addition, 20% of men admit to watching porn online at work in addition to their on-line viewing at home. Sadly, according to this on-line study, the most popular day for viewing porn was Sunday.

The statistic most tragic was that the average age a person first views porn is at age 11. Now because of advancements in technology all a child or teenager needs to do to view porn is go to a computer or another electronic device rather than find their father’s hidden stash. This harmful and deadly addiction leads to other sinful actions while damaging marriages and relationships between parents and their children.

Thankfully, there is help for those affected. The first and most efficacious remedy is the sacraments, frequent reception and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession and the frequent use of the sacramentals such as the holy rosary and spiritual reading. In addition to this, counseling plays an important role for many.

I am happy to announce that the clinical department at Catholic Social Services will hold an 11-week men’s purity group starting April 5 entitled ‘Integritas.’ The first session will focus on the explanation of the group’s purpose and confidentiality. The topic for the first meeting will be the definition and meaning of sexual sobriety. The titles of the following sessions are entitled, "Why are we here? What do we want? Daily renewal, actions of recovery, connection, healthy relationships, control as the problem, focus on the present moment and increasing willpower." The purpose of this 11-week group is to help move the will away from the vice of lust as it makes progress with the grace of God conjoined with the best of psychology in the virtue of chastity. Whether this leads to a future support group for men struggling with this pervasive addiction in the future remains to be seen. For those interested, please call our Immaculate Heart of Mary Counseling Center at 402-489-1834.

Please keep this most important endeavor in your thoughts and prayers as we attempt to help some of the many individuals around us move closer to God by growing in virtue. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, St. Augustine, pray for us!!

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