The Devil is taking men of God out of the fight. He sets many traps for us, but I think the biggest trap out there is pornography. Pornography destroys true masculinity. We are called to love, to be strong, to be courageous, to be holy, to be selfless, to be faithful, to be honest, to be gentle, and to be pure. In one hit, pornography manages to damage all of these virtues. And for the Devil, pornography has the added benefit of creating some brilliant post sin fallout: Guilt, shame, disgust with ourselves, and the feeling that we are pathetic.
This great evil of our time is now everywhere.
100 years ago pornography wasn’t available.
Around 50 years ago pornography started to be legalised [in 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalise pornography], and porn magazines began to be sold in shops.
20 years ago pornography could be downloaded from the internet on computers.
Today, anything that can access the internet, can access what is effectively an unlimited amount of pornography. Any computer, any laptop, any smart phone, any tablet. Through the internet, the Devil is now able to set this trap in almost every home, in peoples’ pockets, on peoples’ desks, in peoples’ bedrooms…
Snares and traps are most dangerous when the quarry doesn’t recognise that there is any danger present. Sadly this is the case with pornography. The very real and very present danger of it is rarely spoken about which allows it to spread and ensnare even more people.
Create In Me a Clean Heart breaks this cycle by identifying the danger of pornography and bringing it into the light. The booklet is not afraid to speak clearly and honestly, but it doesn’t simply say why pornography is wrong; it explores the beauty of God’s plan for human sexuality. When we even begin to see the beauty of chastity, we see pornography as the twisted shadow of love that it is.
Because the light that Create In Me a Clean Heart brings pornography into is the light of God’s love, it comes with the call to repentance, the assurance of God’s mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation, the promise of salvation, and the hope that through God all things are possible.
One thing that really struck me in the booklet was the emphasis on God’s power. Pornography can have a huge hold over people, but it is nothing compared with God’s power. As his sons and daughters, God longs to fill our lives with the power of his love.
Create In Me a Clean Heart is written for a broad audience which is impressive considering its size. It is written for men and women of all ages who have struggled with pornography, people who have been involved in making and distributing pornography, and it is also an excellent resource for parents, clergy, teachers, youth ministers… In fact it is an excellent resource for everyone, because it identifies the reality and the scale of them problem of pornography. Something that every adult in the Church should be aware of.
Create In Me a Clean Heart has excellent advice on breaking the chains of pornography, but those who struggle with pornography will want to follow this booklet up by getting hold of a detailed battle plan to fight pornography. The booklet refers readers to a USCCB website with additional resources, but there are some other incredible projects that are not listed. I would personally start from the Chastity Project.
Will Hince is the founder of True Survivor, an organisation which teaches wilderness and spiritual survival skills. True Survivor runs courses for teenagers and courses for men and women. Find more also on their Facebook page.