The First Step: Eliminate the temptation
Scripture Meditation: Twice in Saint Matthew’s Gospel Jesus addresses in the same words how to overcome sins we recognize today as addictive sin. First (Mt 5:27-30) in reference to adultery, in the second (Mt 18:5-9) in giving scandal. The advice is this:
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two
hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes
you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter
into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.”
The only way to be set free of internet pornography is to eliminate the temptation!!! This cannot be stressed enough! It must be completely removed; eliminated, eradicated, abolished, done away with! “Oh, but I can’t be without the computer because……….(insert any excuse such as work, e-mail, etc.)” First determine whether this is a truth or a lie of the Devil. Most of us can in fact be separated from the internet, but if you determine it is necessary for work, then limit access. What lengths are you willing go to be free of this?!? When you eliminate the near occasion of sin, then you can begin the healing of thoughts and memories; and then work on virtue!
Seven Steps to Freedom:
1. Eliminate the temptation.
2. Limit your access to the Internet.
3. Go to Confession
4. Don't do it alone: get help.
5. Increase your desire to be holy.
6. Pray always.
7. Don't presume/don't despair.
Contact a priest at
How to eliminate the near occasion of sin?
One way is through Time Limits:
Most, if not all, internet filters can control the amount of time you have access to the internet. The internet filter account would have to be established with someone other than you as the “account holder.” Meaning, you have to have your wife, accountability partner, priest, or sponsor to change any settings you set.
A time control allows you to schedule the time of day you have access to the web. Let’s say you struggle with pornography in the evenings or night. Limit your access to only 8am-5pm; or perhaps you only need to be online to check messages and just a small amount of work on the internet in the day. You might set the time limit to be only an hour or two a day. (for example: http://www.internetsafety.com/monitor-internet-usage-with-time-limits.php )
Once you have established a long period of sobriety from looking at pornography (3-6 months), then you can slowly increase the amount of time. Any relapses would result in an immediate return to strict access time until you are stable. Limiting the amount of time or even which days you have access is one of the best tried and true ways of creating a period of sobriety so you can work on prayer, relationships, and healthy entertainment, thus eliminating any need to be impure.