The Manly Catholic’s Arsenal to Battle the Temptation of Sexual Images
We live in a world of sexual temptation with a growing barrage of sexual images plastered everywhere: on billboards, on vehicles, in movies, on T.V….and most troubling, the almost infinite abundance of sexual images on the internet beamed to men in phones and computers. Add to the virtual images, the increasingly sexualized dress of women’s fashion that is increasingly main-stream and men are in a major battle. A life and death battle.
Here’s what Jesus says (Matt 5:27-30):
“You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.’
But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
Do you think Jesus is serious? Pluck out your right eye? Cut off your right hand? (Perhaps a reference to masturbation). Your whole body to go into hell?
These are powerful words, damning words, the Word that accepts no compromises with sin.
At the core of these sexual barrages, is the Evil One’s desire to turn men into luring animals, drooling dogs who are in a constant state of Pavlovian agitation.
What’s a Manly Catholic to do in this never-ending battle? Man must with the Grace of Christ learn to discipline his eyes.
Sam Guzman over at the Catholic Gentleman (a great site that is growing by leaps and bounds) offers a template: Custody of the Eyes: What it is and How to Practice It.
I would add the emphasis of turning to regular Confession. At the core of the Battle is to return to Christ, over and over and over again, in repentance and forgiveness for our sexual sin of objectifying women.
If you truly wish to break the Pavlovian bonds of being controlled by sexual images, you must make the manly decision to change. And then you must act. There can be perhaps no greater help to a man to overcome sexual addiction than to go to Confession often. Here is something to try if you really wish to break the bonds of Satan: for the next month, make a commitment to go to Confession weekly with the explicit desire to obtain Christ’s help in overcoming the temptation of sexual images.
Through the Holy Spirit, Christ will strengthen the Manly Catholic who truly wishes to gain custody of his eyes.