Meditate to Exterminate Pornography Addiction

This post is for Catholic Men.

Guys, I’m excited to share with you a “secret” to conquering porn and growing strong in purity that I have been learning about.

Tell Me the Secret Devin

The “secret” is to start practicing meditation (also called mental prayer).

Meditation is an ancient Catholic practice which all the saints did on a regular basis. It is not Eastern mysticism but firmly Catholic in nature.

In meditation you pray silently, without words, lifting your heart and soul to God, while you train your mind upon some truth of God.

That truth might be Christ’s Passion and Death, His Resurrection, God’s omnipotence, His goodness, His love, His justice, His mercy, His Church, some aspect of Christ’s life, His saints, and so on.

Start with just 5 minutes per day, then build up to 10, then 15 minutes.

What’s the Catch?

There is no catch. But while it is simple, it is not easy. When I meditate, a hundred distracting thoughts invade my mind: about my work, my family, what I’m going to eat for dinner.

And suddenly I’ll feel the soreness in my neck and back and get distracted from prayer; I’ll be thinking about the game I plan to watch, and get distracted again!

But you simply catch those distractions, put them out of your mind, and train yourself back onto the topic of your meditation. God, who gives grace to us, will help you as you do this.

I haven’t had a miraculous meditation yet, where I was lifted up to Heaven and saw visions–nor do I expect that to happen–it has been pretty ordinary overall, but I have faith in God and in the lives of the saints that this practice is powerful in growing in holiness.

What should you do to go further about this and learn more about conquering porn? Sign up right here for the webinar:

How to Raise Chaste Catholic Men

Impossible task? Some say it is so.

With so many men, including Catholic men, addicted to pornography and lustful vices, the idea that parents can rear a chaste (read: self-mastered) Catholic young man seems impossible.

Not so, says Leila Miller, Catholic mother to many, including virtuous Catholic sons. What are her secrets? Read on!

Raising Chaste Catholic Men

Leila is an old friend of mine and sent me an early draft of her first book: Raising Chaste Catholic Men: Practical Advice, Mom to Mom.

I flew through the book: it’s written in down-to-earth language with straightforward advice that is instantly applicable to your parenting. Also, as a now-Catholic man who is now-chaste, I was able to read the book from the perspective of someone who had to fight to discover the truths Leila talks about.

What are her priorities when rearing sons:

  • Make moral formation top priority
  • Logically explain beliefs and principles
  • Make discussions open to any topic

Moral Formation

Moral formation, says Leila, trumps teaching kids to be financially shrewd, socially popular, or even academically successful.

We want our children to become ultimately successful, which means they become saints, so moral formation with the truths of the Church is top priority.

Logically Explain Catholic Beliefs

Faith is supported by reason; the two go hand-in-hand. So when a child asks “why” we believe a certain dogma, do not say “that’s just the way it is, I’m not sure why.” Be ready with reasons to support the belief.

Examples include areas where the Catholic Church’s teachings contradict those of our modern secular society, e.g. contraception, divorce, pre-marital sex, etc. but also truths of divine revelation like the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ.

No Holds Barred

Nothing that you children bring up is taboo. Of course, Leila wisely cautions that our responses need to be age appropriate and divulge just enough information to satisfy, but the important point is that your children grow to trust you and know they can bring up sensitive topics with you.

Later on Leila talks about respecting the latency period, or “years of innocence” as Pope St. John Paul II said: 5 years old til puberty. This means not disturbing this period with unnecessary information about sexual topics.

Being careful to guard them during this time means being vigilant not just of what they see and hear in your own home, but also via movies, television, videos, music, and their peers. They may go over to a friend’s house every week whose parents are MIA or oblivious to all of these things.

So Many Good Guidelines

Leila teaches you how to answer questions your children will face from the culture on sexuality, then also dives into uncomfortable topics like masturbation and pornography and how to help your children see through their emptiness.

She also devotes a chapter to navigating pop culture: movies, video games, school choices, and more. She isn’t dogmatic or condemning on these matters (e.g. “homeschool is the only way!” or “no movies or t.v., period!”) but also gives prudent warnings of the dangers your children will face from pop culture and society.

Finally, she interviews her sons on a range of topics related to purity, and they share their thoughts, proof that young Catholic men can grow up to be strong in chastity.

Raising Chaste Catholic Men is a must-read book for all Catholic parents. We are facing an epidemic of impurity and it is wrecking souls, marriages, children, and women. We aren’t doing near enough as the Church to combat it and reverse the direction, and too often Catholics don’t look much different than the culture when it comes to the statistics of men addicted to pornography.

After you get the book, consider buying my course for Catholic men to conquer pornography addiction.

Perhaps you weren’t blessed with wise parents like the Millers and fell into the pit of pornography and lust. An ounce of prevention is best, but sometimes you need the pound of cure. I did, but the good news is that the Church’s teachings are true and will liberate you from this evil.

Thanks Leila for a great book!

Stoics Paved the Way to Christianity

I just got done reading a surprising book: The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living, by Kevin Vost. It unveils the striking connection between the Stoics and Christianity.

More Than a Feeling

I admit my knowledge of the Stoic philosophers was thin. I equated Stoicism with responding to life with cold, unemotional stiffness.

Vost disabuses readers of that false notion immediately:

As we’ll see in the chapters ahead, this could hardly be farther from the truth. Their powerful life lessons live on…..They can teach us to live calmer, happier, more productive, humane, noble, and virtuous lives whether we live in Rome, Italy, in Athens Greece, or in Athens, Illinois.

The Stoics actually lived lives full of joy, peace, and meaning. Though bereft of God’s divine revelation in the Old and New Covenants, they stretched their God-given powers of reason to the limit, reaching many of the same conclusions that Christians came to regarding life, liberty, and love.

Four Stoics Walk Into a Bar

Vost focuses on the four most well known Stoics: Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius.

These men ranged from slave to Emperor and had dramatically different personalities, yet each embraced the Stoic philosophy that sought to live a worthy life, a truly human life, and so they were united.

vostVost examines the life and history of each of these men, recounts the most memorable stories (and legends) about them, then synthesizes their writings. He compares their teachings with Christianity and (in most cases) demonstrates how closely they came to the truth.

How close were they to divine truth? Musonius Rufus is considered one of the first pro-life philosophers. He praised large families, extolled fidelity in marriage, argued against abortion and contraception, and connected the purpose of marriage to procreation and the unitive value between husband and wife. Quite astounding for someone who was born a few decades before Jesus Christ.

The Stoic philosophers were not interested in pie-in-the-sky theorizing. Rather, they focused on eminently practical topics like: should a child obey his parents? How should we dress ourselves? What is the meaning of pain and hardship? Must we learn what is good and follow it?

Practical Wisdom

My wife was going through a difficult event, one in which she was fearful of what another person was going to do. Fortunately I had just read an idea in this book and relayed it to her: “you can’t control what that other person is going to do; you can only control how you choose to respond to it.”

vost1That reminder was liberating for her. And she continued to repeat it to herself when she began to worry again. I had to take my own medicine shortly thereafter with a situation that I found myself in, concerned about what someone was going to do that could adversely affect me. The Stoics faced exile and worse for their philosophy, yet wherever they were, they bore it in peace, content to be at home wherever they were sent. This detachment is quite Christ-like, an acceptance of suffering that the saints of the Church have often lived out, and spoken of.

A friend of mine a few years back told me he had left Christianity and become a Stoic. I was confused when I heard this, as I had not read Vost’s book. But now I get it more. He was a liberal Protestant before, and that watered down version of Christianity he ultimately found less compelling than the practical wisdom of the Stoics. I plan to tell him about this book, in hopes it will plant a seed for his return to Christianity one day.

Kevin Vost has written an excellent book, enlightening us about this treasure of ancient times, the Stoic philosophers, and how they came right up to the entryway of Christianity.