Internet Pornography: Practical means of avoiding the near occasion of this sinSISTER MARYSIA WEBER, R.S.M., D.O.
What are means of purifying the mind of pornographic images?
“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive
Sacraments – One of the most effective means for
• Sacrament of reconciliation
o Reveals the true nature both of sin and
Additional means of purifying the imagination
• Custody of the external senses
Additional means of purifying the memory
• Forge forward from past sins or offenses against others
Exercise ascetical principles
• Formation of the will leads to self-control, self-discipline
• Beg Our Lord for purity
• Hold onto a crucifix while in bed and say a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Avoid both the remote and approximate occasions of sin
• Move the computer to an open location
o The software tool is intended to help persons who want to bring their Internet use “into
Place sacred pictures, Scripture passages in your living environment
• Post Scripture passages/holy images in key places (e.g. computer, monitor,
Learn how to establish healthy boundaries and develop healthy relationships
• Develop friendships which strive for a mutual growth in Christian virtue
Try to identify the weaknesses or shortcomings which give an opening to the temptation
• Self-knowledge is always key to affective maturity and a life of virtue
o Take responsibility for your problems
o Seek out a counselor, formator, spiritual director or confessor
• Key to this process is honesty
The above steps may have to be repeated several times before the temptation
• It requires persistence and resolve to stop giving into lustful thoughts.
Helpful Websites for Internet pornography addiction
• Dads.org – Resources for Catholic fathers
• Bought With a Price, Pastoral Letter, Bishop Paul S. Loverde
• Blessed are the Pure in Heart, Pastoral Letter, Bishop Robert W. Finn
• Pornography, Electronic Media and Priestly Formation, Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O.
• Pure Manhood, Jason Evert – Catholic Answers
• Breaking Free 12 Steps to Sexual Purity for Men, Stephen Wood – Family Life Center
• Breaking Free Audio CD Series: Twelve Steps to Sexual Purity – Steve Wood; An Affair of
• Renewing the Mind of the Media A Statement on Overcoming the Exploitation of Sex and Violence in Communications, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
• Real Love Answering your questions on Dating, Marriage, and the Real Meaning of Sex,
• The Pornography Plague CD – Jeff Cavins
Pope Benedict XVI renews the importance of maintaining a depth in our prayer and supplications so that we maintain a clear focus. “Our petition must not sink into superficiality; ...the central point is still ‘that we be freed from sins.’ That we recognize ‘evil’ as the quintessence of ‘evils,’ and that our gaze may never be diverted from the living God.” (Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, p.168).
See also, "Internet Pornography: An occasion of sin for our time" by Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O.
Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O. "Internet Pornography: Practical means of avoiding the near occasion of this sin." Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center (March 1, 2010).
Published by permission of Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O.
THE AUTHORSister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O., a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, is a physician certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She completed her residency and a fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1989 and practices in her religious institute's multidisciplinary medical clinic, Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center. Her primary work includes assessing and treating seminary candidates, priests and religious. She has also offered numerous formation workshops on a variety of formation issues for U.S. Bishops, seminary formators and vocation directors. She presented to the U.S. Bishops in Dallas TX in 1992 on "Pedophilia and Other Addictions". She was a member of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse in 1994-1995. Sister Marysia has presented to the Curia, Vatican City State on "Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy in North America" in 2002.
Her publications include "Pornography, Electronic Media and Priestly Formation" in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, April 2008, and Significant Markers of Human Maturation Applied to the Selection and Formation of Seminarians in Seminary Journal, Spring 2009. Her paper, The Discernment of a Priestly Vocation and the Expertise of Psychiatry and Psychology will be published in Seminary Journal, Spring, 2010. Her paper, "The Age of Internet Technology in the Life of Seminary Candidates and the Diocesan Priesthood: Breaking Free from Internet Pornography Addiction" is pending publication.
Copyright © 2010 Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O.
Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.