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Friday, February 27, 2015

Giving up porn for Lent


"The spiritual combat in which we kill our passions to put on the new man is the most difficult struggle of all. We must never weary of this combat, but fight the holy fight fervently and perseveringly." - St. Nilus

Has anyone given up porn for lent?  That's not just pornographic movies or magazines, its also "romance" books filled with sex scenes- books and movies like "50 Shades of Grey".

I can't help but wonder how many Catholics filled the movie theater THE FIRST WEEKEND of Lent to watch the pornographic "50 Shades of Grey" on the big screen.

Couldn't give it up even for Lent, eh?

Porn in all its forms, is addicting.

I've got my own story with the porn found in women's "romance" novels.

I gave up "romance" books when I became Catholic- actually along my way to becoming Catholic.  Prior to that, I had been reading "romance" books since I was a pre-teen and never thought twice about it. No one in my Baptist faith ever bothered to mention that women's "romance" books were not in keeping with our Christian faith.

The women in my family watched soap operas (only one of them read "romance" books).  So growing up and seeing the "romance" displayed on soap operas was my first exposure to "romance" - totally corrupt of course.  No child should be raised thinking Luke raping Laura (General Hospital) was the beginning of their "romance" and eventual marriage.  But that is all I knew of "romance" as a young child.  Books didn't come into play until my pre-teen years.

"Romance" book reading started innocently enough with me.  When I was in 8th grade I read "Gone With the Wind" and I was hooked on books that mixed history with romance.  The cover of "Gone with the Wind" was my template for locating other books to read (until I began to find my favorite authors).  If the cover had Fabio on it, I read it.  Little did I know at that time, the "historical romance" section of the book store included books loaded with graphic sex scenes.  I can still remember the FIRST "historic romance" book I read - because it was SO shocking to me as a young pre-teen it was burnt into my mind and to this day (decades later) I can still recall the story, the cover and of course the sex scenes in that book.  I read hundreds after that one and those are a blur, but the first one sticks.  My view of sex had been completely corrupted by "romance" books and my view of adult romantic relationships had been corrupted by soap operas.

My Mother, once said to me as a pre-teen, "You're too young to read that" -which only indicated to me that in a few years I would be old enough to pick the book back up again and then read it.  So that's what I did- for years.  I read "romance" books daily.  My friends and I would swap books, spend weekends at some book warehouse spending our part-time job money on romance books.  I never left home without a "romance" book stuffed in my purse.

Some time ago, Katrina at The Crescat wrote a post about a "romance" book that had been turned into a mini series. In one of the comments I briefly mentioned my own involvement with "romance" books.  Years ago, long before I was Catholic or even thought of being Catholic I had another blog.  A successful book/movie reviewing blog which focused mainly on "romance" books.  For years I wrote reviews for "romance" publishers and authors- they sent me free books and swag and I offered give-aways of free "romance" merchandise- I even created a template and header for an "exotic romance" author I had befriended.  I made lots of friends with "romance" authors who wrote "soft porn" romance and "erotic romance".  We were friends outside of blogging.  We shared about our lives, husbands, children, work etc.  I knew these women as friends.  Anything they or their publishers sent to me I would read and review for them.  These are well known authors who've sold millions of books.

That all began to change when I started my journey into the Catholic faith.  I hadn't viewed reading "romance" as sinful in anyway.  To me, "its just fiction" was how I looked at it.  I never considered it to be harmful.  It was a hobby.  I read books because it was fun and my friends and I enjoyed the "romance" in them.  Just as I had spent time cross-stitching or bible reading or collecting shells at the beach, reading romance was just another past-time to me.  It was something to do with whatever free time I had. I never thought I was spending my time in sin by reading "romance" books because my view of "romance" had been so corrupted at a young age I was blinded to it.

It was when I began (unknowingly at the time) my journey towards the Catholic faith that how I viewed things changed.  I began to question what I was reading and watching on television.  I asked myself more and more "Is this the sort of entertainment I should be entertaining myself with?"  

The guilt came.  No longer was it fun to read or review these books.  It felt wrong.  I felt guilty.  I thought, "Would I discuss this book with Jesus?  Would I sit down and watch this movie with Jesus if he walked into my house right now?"

No way!  I would HIDE the books and turn off the TV.

Then I knew.  What I had been doing for years was wrong.

I closed down the book blog, said goodbye to all the publishers, authors and other people I had met and befriended in the "romance" world.  I filled garbage bags with books and DVD's from my house and tossed them in the trash along with all the "romance" swag I had accumulated over the years.  Autographed books and photographs went too.

I completely cleansed my house of everything that was associated with "romance" books and movies.  But I couldn't cleanse my mind of what I had taken in.  Sadly, that was there to stay.  You can't get innocence back once it's lost.  Be very careful what example you're setting for your own children!

A few Catholic blogs, including Katrina over at The Crescat shared a video this week, by Russell Brand about porn and how destructive it is to people.

Because porn is such a huge problem for all people today...men, women (especially all those women reading and watching "50 Shades of Grey") and children (horrible), I thought, I too would share this video on my blog.



If you're a Catholic woman still reading "romance" books, won't you please consider giving it up?

How about starting with this Lent?  It's not too late!

Go to confession and toss out all the books and start over and don't go back when Lent is over!

Give up all forms of pornography forever!



In Christ,


Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Catholic Catechism:


2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.


Links: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kvzamjQW9M

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat/2015/02/russel-brands-anti-porn-rant.html

http://www.kofc.org/en/catechism/index.html

5 comments:

Patty said...

Very accurate post about the infiltration of porn, Julie, and the casual way in which it is viewed by many - especially as 'romance' novels could now be considered as 'tame' when compared with the hard porn that saturates the culture. I've no doubt some clerics would poo poo your zeal.

I'm not sure if you knew, but a while back it came out that the Bishops in Germany were dabbling a bit:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/german-bishops-caught-in-massive-porn-scandal-why-didnt-they-listen-to-the

These are the same men in authority who are even now stating the following:

https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/german-bishops-threaten-schism/

This is the true nature of schism, Julie, and happening all-the-while under cover of authority. Even as you are rightfully fighting on the ground, doing what Catholics 'should' be doing, but are too often prevented from doing or reprimanded for doing via false accusations of being uncharitable, closed minded, unfaithful, untrustworthy of authority, or too rigorous.

I applaud your exodus from the world of romance novels in their entirety. Would that more could become sensitive to what 'sin' actually is and turn from it. Souls are at risk.

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Thank you Patty.

"Romance" books are a pornographic trap that should be avoided at all costs.

I wish someone would have kept them away from me when I was young. I often wonder how my life would have been (if at all) different had I not been so corrupted by secular society's view of "romance" and instead was allowed to grow in understanding of what romance and love is supposed to be- as God intended it to be for both men and women.


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Patty said...

You're welcome, Julie. But don't wonder too much.

If you hadn't gone the way you had,you wouldn't be able to help others by the example you set. And it's a lot harder to disregard a walking talking example of virtue embraced.

God bless.

M. Prodigal said...

At the time of my reconversion, thanks to Our Lady, I stopped watching TV for all intents and purposes. I also had some 'romance' novels in my bookcase and they all had to go. In fact I basically gave up reading all novels, and I had loved mysteries. But so many of these things are a complete waste of the time of my life. As to 'romance', it is not romance nor love for a man to rape a young virgin. That is mortal sin and a criminal offense.

Marie said...

I was largely protected from reading pornography early on because my literature teacher in school happened to be an intellectual snob. Although I doubt if she had read any herself, she thought romance novels were really, really "low brow."

Sister Rose Marie O'Callaghan, OP, a Maryknoll Missioner then teaching in the Philippines, happened to be the sister of the distinguished Fr. Joseph T. O'Callaghan, SJ, [Google him!] Medal of Honor recipient, professor of math, philosophy, and physics. I can just imagine the intellectual sparks flying in the O'Callaghan household when Father and Sister were kids.

The fact that most of her literature students were of a different culture [and were reading English as a second language] didn't deter Sister Rose Marie from drilling us in the classics [in English and English translations] - Newman's "Apologia Pro Vita Sua," "The Idea of a University," St. Augustine's "City of God," GK Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Dante's "Divine Comedy," novels by Francois Muriac, Evelyn Waugh, Shakespeare's "Richard III," Jose Maria Gironella, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, and yes, even Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemmingway, and Oedipus Rex.

I thought every Catholic bookworm in the West read the same stuff, until I met and married a Catholic Englishman whose family's most treasured heirlooms included the writings and artworks by that disgusting wicked incestuous bestialist pervert, the Catholic blasphemer-pornographer, Eric Gill. [Google Eric Gill at your own risk.]

After my husband died in 2010, I gathered all Eric Gill stuff, sent most back to England, and dumped the rest in the garbage. So there.

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