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Monday, July 19, 2021

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Pornography

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: DIGNITY)


My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...pray for us
St. Joseph...pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel...pray for us
(the patron of your parish )... pray for us
(your confirmation saint)...pray for us
 
"Freedom from Pornography" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In 79 A.D., the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under the ash of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In the mid-1700s, when the cities were discovered and excavated, we got a good look into life in the earliest days of the spread of Christianity and the culture they were up against. In the ruins were many indications of pornography in brothels and even common homes. The sexual promiscuity of the Roman culture was no secret even if the practice of it was kept behind closed doors in the name of being discreet. How much it saturated the society was a bit of a shock.

Pornography has been with humanity for an exceptionally long time. The word comes from the Greek words porne (prostitute) and graphos (to write). Prostitution deliberately cheapens the human dignity of a person by exploiting them for sexual gratification; pornography further cheapens that dignity by reducing the person to nothing more than an image with which to self-pleasure.

In 1953, we saw the eventual mainstreaming of pornography with the playboy mentality of Hugh Hefner. Within 50 years, the acceptability of pornography had grown so much that viewing it became seen as both a healthy and normal behavior. It is now a 97-billion-dollar industry that fuels human trafficking worldwide.  It is estimated that the sex trafficking trade claims 4.5 million men, women, and children as its victims.  These victims are shown pornography to learn how to "perform," and are forced to be a pawn in its production. The consumer in this evil exchange is conditioned to completely objectify the human person as a means of self-gratification. There are fewer more potent cancers in our society today than pornography.

It is legion in our society. Both in soft and hard-core versions (everything from "romance" novels to violence), it permeates the entertainment industry at all levels. It is sung about in music, lauded on TV and in motion pictures as normal guy behavior, and now, with the help of the internet and social media, has spread to the point where our children are taking nude pictures of themselves and sending it to others via texting. It influences how we dress, what we show, and the way we interact. It does permanent damage to the human brain, especially if the person starts using it in adolescence. It is known to inhibit the ability to participate in healthy adult relationships. It is estimated that even among Christians, 64% of men use pornography. In a study done on human sex trafficking, it was remarked that pornography is the gateway to prostitution.

The issue with pornography is that it reduces sex to something outside of the marital bond. It is easy adultery. It divorces sex from the marriage and trains married users how to objectify each other for physical gratification. The grim reality with porn is that it is a total rejection of God's plan for human sexuality. As the U.S. bishops wrote in their 2015 pastoral letter "Create a Clean Heart in Me," deliberately viewing pornography is a grave sin against chastity. Sexual intimacy and the pleasure that derives from it are gifts from God and should remain personal and private, enjoyed within the sacred bond of marriage alone. Such intimacy should not be put on display or be watched by any other person, even if that person is one's own spouse. Nor should the human body be unveiled or treated in a way that objectifies it sexually and reduces it to an erotic stimulant. Jesus is clear in his teaching that sexual immorality is not only a matter of one's actions, but also a matter of one's heart: "You have heard that it was said, 'you shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).

Pornography is likewise a grave sin against human dignity. As the Catechism says, "filming or taking pictures of the intimate parts of the body or of sexual acts does 'grave injury' to the person(s) 'performing,' to anyone responsible for its making or production, and to the public. Pornography dehumanizes the persons depicted, making them into objects of use. Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin. They do serious harm to the women and men who consent to be in pornographic material, often out of desperation for money or out of an impoverished sense of self-worth. Even worse, in some cases pornographers take advantage of those who cannot even give consent - children and other victims of human trafficking - which is both a grave sin and a heinous crime."

Pornography in its variety of forms (print, movie, virtual, TV, music) must be purged from a faithful Catholic's home. It must be treated as the voracious cancer it is. It may well be with us from antiquity, but its influence must be curtailed so that a renewed respect for the human person's dignity and integrity may be restored.
 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to objectify our fellow man as a means for self-gratification. We have stilled our hearts to the suffering of those who are filmed. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the scorn of the world to quiet us in our defense of human dignity and chastity. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our use of pornography in all its forms. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest-tossed boat. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever. Amen.
 
Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to the use of pornography. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of pornography have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
 
Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
 
Daily Checklist

__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)


Tobit, Chapter 6, Verse 15

So now I too am AFRAID of this demon, because it is in love with her and does not harm her; but it kills any man who wishes to come close to her. I am my father’s only child. If I should die, I would bring the life of my father and mother down to their grave in sorrow over me; they have no other son to bury them!”

 

When we are filled with the essence of Christ, we fear neither man nor demon.

 

Tobit[1]

  1. When they arrived at Media, Azariah said they needed to stop at the home of Raguel – their relative and the father of Sarah.
  2. Raguel means “Friend of God.”
  3. Azariah told Tobias he was the nearest relative and had the right (maybe even obligation) to marry her.  He would also inherit half her father’s estate.
  4. Tobias was not thrilled with that since he had heard about the seven previous husbands.  He knew his parents would be overcome with grief were he to die.
  5. Tobias obeyed his father’s request.  He left Nineveh and moved back to Ecbatan to live with Raguel and Edna.  Tobias lived until he was 117. 
  6. Before he died, he heard about the destruction of Nineveh and knew that its prisoners were taken to Media.  Tobias blessed God.

The final battle[2]

We see that Tobias is concerned about the battle. Likewise, like Tobias we are confronted with evil that wishes to destroy families for the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family

Don’t be afraid … because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue … however, Our Lady has already crushed its head

(Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima)

The Latin phrase, motus in fine velocior, is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period. I’ve heard it said that it means, “Things accelerate toward the end.” We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly could be marked as the end of an era. In the culture, we are seeing an overreach of evil never witnessed before. It is important to understand Satan’s names: “diabolos” means “he who places division or separation,” and “daio,” the root of “demon,” means “to divide.” In these final years of Satan’s reign, we have all seen how these outrageous demonic activities have caused great division in our families and communities. As Satan seductively coaxes more and more people away from the designs of God, these separated people look back, pointing an accusatory finger at those who remained with the Lord, saying, “You are the cause of division because you chose not to join the rebellion!!” … “Join us at this *new and modern* separated place, and we will find unity again!!” Of course, strong and devout Catholics simply cannot join the ranks of the separated, and so division continues to increase.

Novena of St. Ann[3]

 

Daily Prayer to Saint Ann

 

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

 

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .

 

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.

 

THIRD DAY

 

Hail, good St. Ann, who first responded to the needs of Mary, Mother of our Savior and Queen of Angels. Hail to you and to your husband St. Joachim, who watched over her infancy, presented her to the Lord in the temple and, according to your promise, consecrated her to the service of God.

 

Hail St. Ann, good mother! I rejoice in the marvels you continually perform, because they encourage all to seek your intercession.

 

Good St. Ann, by the great power that God has given you, show yourself my mother, my consoler, my advocate. Reconcile me to the God I have so deeply offended. Console me in my trials; strengthen me in my struggles. Deliver me from danger in my time of need. Help me at the hour of death and open to me the gates of paradise.

 

Eid al-Adha[4]

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) commemorates Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice everything for God, including his son, Ismael.  God became impressed with Abraham's sincerity, and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead.  For that reason, Muslims who can afford to do so also sacrifice an animal on any one of the three days of Eid al-Adha.  A third of the meat is kept, a third is shared with family members, and a third is given away to needy people. Eid al-Adha is a time of sacrifice for Muslims.

Eid Al-Adha Facts

·         Unlike regular prayers, prayers for Eid al-Adha takes place in any large, open field.  There Muslims from many mosques congregate together.  Usually, mosques collaborate together to find a field that is convenient for everyone to go to.  In the United States, Eid prayers often occur in parks.

·         Festivities begin with a prayer service, followed by a brief sermon on the morning of the first day.  During the prayer, Muslims recite verses from the Quran, lead by an Imam, prostrate to God, and send their peace to Muhammad and Abraham.

·         Since this festival occurs immediately after the Day of Arafah, many of those who go to pilgrimage celebrate it in Mina (Saudi Arabia), where thousands of animals are slaughtered for sacrifice.

·         It is customary for Muslims perform a ritual body washing shower, called "ghusl," before walking to the place of prayers.  This is in accordance with the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.

Eid al-Adha Top Events and Things to Do

·         Often, a large party is thrown by Muslims on one of the three days of Eid al-Adha.  Meat from slaughtered animals is served.

·         It is customary for Muslim men who have lost loved ones visit graveyards on Eid al-Adha.

·         It is Islamic tradition to wear your most beautiful clothes on the first day of Eid al-Adha.  A few days before Eid al-Adha, Muslim’s shop for their new Eid clothes.  Merchants in Islamic countries often hold their biggest sales before Eid al-Adha.

Daily Devotions

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 



[1]http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/tobit-and-tobias.php

[3]Blessed Sacrament Fathers, ST. ANN’S SHRINE, Cleveland, Ohio 

2 comments:

  1. Hi! I love how informative and great your articles are. Can you recommend any other Transitions Counseling blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete