By Rachael Gieger
We all know that pornography is a monster whose claws grip most men in our culture. As my brother says, “In any given room, out of a hundred guys, 99 will admit they have viewed porn. The one left is lying.”
But what about us?
Ladies, we are just as subject to lustful temptation as young men are. The monster just looks a little different for us.
If you’re anything like me, you like to present yourself as the “good Catholic girl.” You dress modestly, you don’t sleep around or party too hard. You go to Mass every Sunday and wear those medals around your neck proudly. Don’t get me wrong—we are good, but we are not spotless.
We also fall at the click of a button.
For us, the monster may look like a sex scene in a chick flick that we don’t skip. A book that starts out innocent but slowly takes a turn for the worst, and we choose to keep reading. A song whose lyrics go against what we know to be right, but by golly, the beat is good—so we turn it up louder. All these things can lead our lovely, beautiful, feminine minds that are prone to daydreaming to take our thoughts down a path we shouldn’t. That is the trap.
And for some, the monster may have sharper claws than that.
The truth is—porn is so easy to access nowadays. You don’t even have to look anymore—it can pop up anywhere we turn. If you have fallen for this lie—this cheapened version of an expression of real love, this addictive trash that is considered “normal”, this digital drug—you are not alone.
And you don’t have to live with this lie anymore.
As C.S. Lewis says in The Great Divorce, “Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed.” Your addiction to lust can be replaced by a holy desire, but only if you can truly let it go. Try these steps:
1. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confess any time you have given in to lust, big or small, or any addiction to pornography.
2. Once you have confessed this, try to find the source of your struggle. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. What wound inflicted on you or what lie sold to you made you turn to pornography and lust for fulfillment?
3. Once you have found your source, renounce the agreement you made with lust and rest in the forgiveness of the Father.
Lust is a nasty one—it will try to come back to bite you. Psychological studies say that positive reinforcement is the best way to structure a habit—in other words, don’t wake up and say, “I will not lust today.” Wake up and say, “I choose to love purely today.” Let Jesus, your Beloved and your Warrior, fight this battle with you. You cannot do it without Him.
I know it feels sometimes like your heart is too far, too dirty, too hopeless to be pure again. Listen to the Psalmist as he cries: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast Spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV) Our hearts are never too far, no chain of addiction to lust too strong for our Savior to rescue us.