The following comes from a December 8 Catholic Answers article by Devin Rose:

I have multiple friends whose marriages have been ruined because of sexual addiction.

While heartbreaking for them, their spouses, and their children, it is no surprise that lust is wreaking such havoc on marriages and families. The number of men who admit to regularly lusting after women via pornography is staggeringly high, and it is likely that the actual numbers are even higher.

Recently, at a Catholic men’s group I am in, a Catholic priest on the video program we are going through talked about lust and pornography. An uncomfortable stillness descended over the room of Catholic guys. After the talk was done, each table had discussion questions to go over about lust and pornography, yet at my table (and most others), the main topic was avoided and tangential subjects were instead focused on.

The shame runs deep. I get it. I’ve been there, addicted to lust and looking at pornography every single day. We don’t want to talk about it, yet it is an elephant in the room, a “widely known secret” that we studiously don’t want to discuss.

The United States bishops recently released a pastoral letter responding to the plague of pornography and lust in our culture. Called Create in Me a Clean Heart, the letter is a good introduction to the problem, the Church’s liberating teachings about sexuality, and what men and women can do to grow in chastity and break free from the slavery of this sin.

They highlight Pope St. John Paul II’s landmark work on the theology of the body, a masterful piece of writing that has been made more accessible over the past fifteen years by an excellent translation as well as through practical books by popular Catholic authors on the subject (Matt Fradd’s Delivered is a great example).

By availing myself of the arsenal of weapons that the Church gives us, I have been able to conquer this vice and grow in the virtue of purity. I make no brag about that; it was God’s grace alone that did it.

But that is the good news: you can overcome this evil in your life with the help of God’s grace. The fullness of the means of salvation are found in the Catholic Church, which means you have access to the strongest antidotes to the venom of lust.

What I learned from my own struggle, and the battles of many Catholic men, is that no one tactic or way works for every man. Instead, different tools and strategies are most effective for each person, so trying out several ones and finding out which help you most is essential.

Of course, some “weapons,” like confession and Holy Mass, are indispensable for every Catholic man in his battle against lust. But in addition to those sacraments, a myriad of other resources are available to aid men in purity.

Rose has created a video course to help Catholic men gain the victory over pornography addiction. Available here.