Blog Post Content
Text

Every year we say it: “This year I will [fill in the blank].”  Let’s make a New Year’s resolution that will have an eternal impact, improve our relationships, and draw us closer to the Lord. This year I challenge you to break the cycle, live in freedom, and be delivered from the addiction of pornography. 

Here are five steps for your 2020 resolution of freedom:

1. Identify It and Ask For Help

Throughout Sacred Scripture, Jesus performs many miracles. He gives sight to the blind, the mute speak, the deaf hear, the crippled walk, the lepers are made clean, and the dead are given life again. One thing that remains consistent in these stories is that these individuals, or someone on their behalf, recognizes that there is an issue and they ask for help. Upon asking the Lord for help, he hears the cry of his children and performs a miracle. The God of yesterday is the same as today. What he did then, he can and will do today. 

2. Accountability

It wasn’t a coincidence that the Lord sent the seventy-two out two by two. We are made for community. As people, we are more likely to be successful at our mission when we are journeying with someone else. This New Year, share your resolution with someone else: a close friend, mentor, spiritual director, etc. Do not go on the journey alone. 

3. Establish a Prayer Routine

Start your day with prayer. At the beginning of the day, ask the Lord for the grace that you need throughout the day to remain pure and chaste. Pray in the middle of the day. Set an alarm on your watch or phone that reminds you to pray. A good habit is to pray the Angelus at 12:00 p.m., or whatever prayer works for you. And of course, end your day in prayer.

The hope is that by praying throughout the day, you sanctify your day, keep God at the forefront, and recognize that he can help you in the midst of your struggle.

Also, make prayer be the last thing you do before going to bed. Commit to ending your day and stopping all tasks after you pray. A really good option for ending your day is to do a daily Examen of Conscience. Reflect on your day and think about times that you loved the Lord well, kept his commandments, and how you remained close to him throughout the day. Also, reflect on the moments that you may have fallen a little short of God’s grace and what you could have done to make better decisions. 

4. Schedule Your Time

We all know the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail." Let’s be proactive and make a plan for our day. You don’t have to have every minute of your day planned. In fact, I highly suggest that you don’t do that. Plan the main parts of your day. Start with the beginning and the end. Plan a wake up time and a bedtime, work/school, when you will pray, when you will eat, exercise, etc.

I know for me, any imprudent decision I make is because of being idle for too long of a time. Though every second of the day doesn’t have to be filled, too many hours of the day without a plan will not be beneficial. Leave a couple hours free with no plan. Sometimes it is good to be bored, it allows for creativity but if you find your mind wandering to something that doesn’t glorify God, take a minute or two to pray and focus on what is holy. 

5. Celebrate and Do Penance

It is good to acknowledge your success and to make note of it. Celebrate your victories by giving praise to God for having given you the grace to not fall into the temptation of pornography. Do something special to celebrate each week, month, and year of victory. Cook a special meal, do something fun with a friend, buy yourself something, ask your parish priest to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving for you (you don’t have to tell him why, just say for a special attention).

If you find that you have fallen short of God’s grace, don’t beat yourself up over it; rather, seek out the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible. Do something to make amends, pray an extra Rosary, give alms to a good and holy cause, fast, pray a little bit more and most importantly, trust in God’s mercy. 

2020 is Your Year for Victory 

2020 is your year. This is the year of victory! Getting over the addiction of pornography is a process, and sometimes a long one, but it is not impossible. You can do it. Don’t lose hope. Pray with an expecting faith, and know that you have a merciful God who loves you more than you can understand and whose grace is perfected when you are weak.

Resource
Victory App

The Victory App by Life Teen

Description

A Catholic app that provides a strategic battle plan for victory in the struggle against pornography. It records setbacks, victories, and confession. It has an accountability button where people can be notified to pray for the person. The app also has resources with daily inspirations and articles.

Paul Albert is the Haiti Parish Specialist for Life Teen. Paul recently moved back to the United States after 6 years of evangelizing the youth of the western coast of Haiti, with his wife and 4 children. He now serves stateside with Life Teen with the goal of developing youth ministry in more parishes in Haiti. Paul likes beatboxing with his kids, attempting to write Christian rap songs, attending a good prayer meeting, and all things manly. Nothing brings Paul more joy than Jesus, his family, and buffalo chicken.