“Sunny California” is not always so sunny. Actually, some parts of California start out each day as “Hazy California." Each morning a marine layer of haze moves in from the Pacific Ocean making the early mornings in some parts of California not so sunny at all. But by mid-morning the rising sun gradually burns away the marine layer and then indeed there is "Sunny California."
The prevention and healing of pornography addiction can be effective by utilizing “marine layer technology”—letting the true, good, and beautiful burn away what is false, evil, and ugly. This could also be called, “Jesus Christ technology.” Jesus Christ was the Light of the World. Like the sun rising up against the marine layer of California’s coast, Jesus Christ came into a world darkened by sin and burned away its haze.
Restructuring How We See All Of Life
The battleground of pornography and lust, especially for men, is the arena of eye-mind coordination. It is all about the ethos of seeing. Jesus taught, “The eye is the body’s lamp stand.” Prevention and healing of porn addiction will require us as individuals and as a culture to restructure how we see all of life, particularly the human body and person. Our culture has a “marine layer” over its eyes and does not see anything clearly, especially the human body. Let’s take Hooters restaurant chain for example. What type of society makes an entire industry based on men lusting after women’s breasts? That is the original charism upon which Hooters was built and the meaning behind the very name “Hooters.”
“Aw, come on Father Tom. Hooters has delicious wings, so we take our family there.” Yes, and Playboy has “great articles,” and that’s why men read Playboy, right?
The dynamic behind the pornified vision is separation, fragmentation, disintegration. God designed creation along the lines of what artists, designers, and architects discovered and use: “form follows function.” Everything in creation is integrated. This is the principle of the “both/and” rather than the “either/or.”
Learning To See The Woman's Body
Women’s breasts are indeed beautiful and they have a function. What our culture has done is completely separated out the function from the form. We see women’s breast as purely ornamental, purely for sexual arousal. In turn, this creates a certain shame connected with that part of a woman’s body. Our vision has become so disintegrated that we have incidences in our culture of mothers being reprimanded for nursing their baby on an airplane even while sitting in the relative privacy of a window seat!
Encouraging mothers to naturally breastfeed their babies even in public would be one of the most effective antidotes against the addiction of pornography. Mothers should not even feel that they have to ‘cover up’ their babies when breastfeeding them in public.
I am not talking about a mother being showy about it. Just be natural. Men must learn to ‘see’ that aspect of woman’s body (and that aspect of life itself) through the light of God’s intent and design, through the both/and, not through the marine layer of the either/or. Besides, when a mother breastfeeds a baby, the baby’s heads covers nearly all of the mother’s breast anyway. So, what is the big deal or the big taboo?
The big deal and the big taboo is in how we see. It is not in what God has created. Who are we to come along and say that what God has designed is shameful and dirty?
If what I am saying here sounds unthinkable, it only goes to prove how secularized, pornified, non-sacramental, disintegrated, and fragmented our fundamental vision has become. There is little wonder why porn addiction is so rampant!
How To Clear Away The Haze
The sun that burns off the marine layer of our pornified vision can come in many forms. The following are some of those ways:
Put a Bible, an icon, a statue of a saint or of Jesus, his Blessed Mother, or a Crucifix next to the computer. When our eye sees these holy images it can actually deflect us from approaching porn.
Posting and also playing in our minds phrases from the Bible, or short prayers such as, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” serve as powerful competing responses to the stimulus of pornography and lust. Just the very name of Jesus has power in itself to scare away the Devil.
Interpretive Comments by Parents
When children see a suggestive advertisement the parent can say something like, “Where is the love and respect these people should have for each other? See how the commercial is only focusing on certain parts of the person’s body and not on their whole person?"
Use of Analogy
Parents can say to their children, “The Bible says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. God dwells inside of us! We would never defile a church or temple so why do that to our bodies?"
Even the sum total of all of the best psychological techniques and therapies cannot alone prevent or heal porn addiction and lust. The marine layer of the pornified vision of our culture is very thick. It will require the restructuring of our vision as a culture. This can only be done through reliance on the “Sun” of God to burn away the marine layer over the eyes of our heart and let the sun of Truth and purity shine in.
Exodus 90is a spiritual exercise for the renewal of the Church. It's a challenging, 90-day period of prayer and asceticism, supported by a fraternity of like-minded men. The experience is designed for men and is particularly effective for men discerning a vocation, men preparing for marriage and it is a step toward recovery for men struggling with an addiction.
Resource Type: Men’s Group
Cost: $9.99 / month for three months ($29.97 total)