the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of
Antioch, 1st c. A.D
How to Acquire the Virtue of Temperance
So far, we've
looked into Prudence, which governs the intellect, and into Fortitude,
which governs the irascible passions. Now we look at Temperance, the
cardinal virtue that moderates the concupiscible passions --
i.e., pleasure, pain, desire, avoidance, love, and hate -- which result
from our responses to goods that pertain to our natural, bodily needs
(such as food,
drink, sex, etc.). While Prudence rules the head, and Fortitude the
heart, Temperance can be seen as ruling "the belly."
Temperance calls on our senses of shame and decency to help us avoid
the sins of gluttony, insobriety, lust, immodesty, pride, inordinate
cruelty, and the sort of curiosity that gets us into trouble, such as
acting on an inordinate interest in the occult, nosing into our
neighbor's business, the incessant yearning for new experiences, etc.
The world says "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die";
Temperance says "eat some, drink some, and love God and neighbor for
tomorrow you may be
judged." The world says "dance like no one's watching"; Temperance says
"dance like God's watching." The
world says "He who dies with the most toys wins"; Temperance says
"get a few toys, have some fun with 'em, but don't think that's
the purpose of life." The world says "Do what thout wilt shall be the
whole of the law"; Temperance says with St. Augustine "Love and do what thou wilt" which
precludes doing evil, which can't be born of love. In other words,
Temperance calls on us to become
pretty much the very
opposite what the modern world tries to mold us to be as we walk the
tightrope over that sweet spot between the angels and the animals. As
humans who are spirit like the angels, and body like the beasts, we
have to keep one eye looking up toward our heavenly goal, and one eye
looking down toward fulfilling our temporal, bodily needs. It's a
tricky place to be in that "flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the
spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so
that you do not the things that you would" (Galatians 5:17). But good
habits can help.
Pleasure is Good
Because the Church teaches the value of Temperance (especially,
because the Church teaches that sex belongs only inside marriage), the
world often sees Her as being against pleasure. But the Simpsons got it
We're the Church of a thousand feasts. We're the Church of wine, beer,
large families, sumptuous vestments, gold chalices, stained glass,
glorious illuminated manuscripts, Christmas
puddings, Easter breads, Martinmas goose, and pastries shaped like St.
Agatha's breasts. We're the Church that teaches what Aquinas said
introduced pleasure into the operations that are necessary
for man's life. Wherefore the natural order requires that man
should make use of these pleasures, in so far as they are necessary for
man's well-being, as regards the preservation either of the individual
or of the species. Accordingly, if anyone were to reject pleasure
to the extent of omitting things that are necessary for nature's
preservation, he would sin, as acting counter to the order of nature.
Now, he goes on to write of the good of giving up certain pleasures for
the sake of penance, the religious life, etc., but the point remains:
good -- in fact, rejecting
pleasure can be sinful. Taking pleasure, playfulness, the ability to
joke around and have a laff, playing games -- Aquinas calls our ability
to do these things after we've taken care of business a virtue in
itself, a virtue called "eutrapelia" (Summa II:II-168). But our
pleasures have to be moderated the way
a mature adult moderates them, not the way a child would. In fact,
Aquinas calls intemperance "childishness" in that it wants what it
wants, now, and lots of it, with no thought of purpose and the future.
If it doesn't get its way, it stamps its foot and acts surly. But give
in to that childish intemperance and it'll have you eating candy for
breakfast, lunch, and dinner for years on end, then getting diabetes
and dying an early death. Fail to rule your passions, and those
passions will come to rule you.
And those who have the power to sate those passions will rule you as
well. Parents (rightly) use access to pleasures to control their
children (e.g., "No TV for you tonight, young man!"), and pimps use
heroin to keep "their" women compliant and on the streets; now think of
how your cravings give others the power to control you in the same way.
And consider that, for some habits, those with the control are not good
people. Addicted to TV? Hollywood producers control you. Addicted to
illegal drugs? Drug cartels control you.
Addicted to porn? Whores and pornographers control you. Addicted to
social media? People like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey control you.
Now, we're interdependent in a million ways, and rely on others all the
time; we need farmers,
factory workers, truckers, road crews, and sales clerks just to get a
loaf of bread. That's all fine and good. But you should be angry about the idea of evildoers -- most of Hollywood,
whores, drug cartels, and social media moguls -- having power over you,
especially when what they're able to control you with harms you and the world.
Use that anger to fuel your motivation to quit whatever keeps you
enslaved. Keep motivated by the fact that your allowing them power over
you feeds that evil. In other words, for certain kinds of bad habits,
this isn't just about you; it's also about serving God, serving your
neighbor, and making the world a better
And use, too, the knowledge that all the time you focus on serving your
bad habit is time you're not spending doing other, worthwhile things.
Hooked on porn? Think of all the time you could have spent working out,
learning a language, perfecting a skill, practicing an art, praying,
studying, or helping or getting to know better a family member or
neighbor instead of shaming
yourself in front of a flickering screen in a dark room, becoming ever
more humiliated, weak, and incapable of dealing with real members of
the opposite sex in the
real world. It's tragic.
Breaking Bad Habits
and Making Good Ones
Experts say that there are things you can do to make breaking a bad
habit a lot easier. Their advice:
First, in preparation, manage your stress in general (e.g., prayer,
the right amount of sleep, learning
how to work smart instead of hard, taking time to rest and play, the relaxation technique
described on the Fortitude page, etc. all may
help). Then, on the day you've firmly resolved to break your habit,
devise a ritual that marks the beginning of your fight against that bad
habit. For ex., if you're giving up cigarettes, light a bonfire and
throw your last pack into it, or if you're resolving to get fit, burn a
picture of yourself in which you look horribly fat, or if you've
decided to give up pornography, pray a novena
to St. Joseph for purity,
Second, given that some habits are indulged in out of boredom, find
hobbies, and friends, and otherwise work to alleviate ennui. Keep
yourself busy and distracted, focused on other things.
Third, identify any stimuli that tend to trigger the undesired behavior
(for ex., people who smoke too much often crave a smoke after eating
most of all), and then remove any unnecessary triggers (for ex.,
smokers can't not eat, but they can prepare for that after-dinner
moment and find a substitution. Or if your problem is watching porn
alone, you can put your computer in a public part of your home, get rid
of the browser on your phone, keep busy with friends, etc. Those who
eat too many sweets can get those foods out of the kitchen so they
don't see them, only shop from a list or use a delivery service instead
of wandering the store aisles grabbing up the cupcakes and cookies as
they go, etc.). Is there a certain time of the day during which you're
more likely to engage in the bad habit? A certain place that makes the
undesired behavior more likely? Is there a certain emotion that
triggers the behavior? Identify those times, situations, and things,
and find work-arounds.
Fourth, find the motivation that works for you. Ex., "getting healthy"
might be too vague to be inspiring to you, but "being able to walk
around Paris with the family next year without getting winded" might
keep you focused. "Being porn free" might be too wishy-washy feeling to
keep you on task, but "being masculine and free of things that enslave
me and make me simpy" or "not allowing women to control me" might work.
"Losing weight" might not do much for you as a goal, but "being able to
fit into that one dress" or "making myself attractive so I can more
easily find a spouse" might. In other words, describe your goal in
terms that are more likely to keep you motivated. Once you've found
your motivator, either write it down or come up with something to
symbolize it and keep copies of that note, or symbol, in various places
throughout the day (on your fridge, computer screen, bathroom mirror,
etc.). Use that thought or symbol as a mental motivator, bringing it to
mind when you're tempted to engage in the undesired behavior. And, as
should be obvious for Catholics, ask God and the Saints for help in
those moments as well.
Fifth, replace a bad behavior with a good one -- and know that
a good behavior that replaces the bad behavior is more effective than
punishing the bad behavior. For ex., if you want to
stop eating so much
processed sugar, replace your cookie jar and candy dish with bowls of
nuts, sugarless hard candies, and dried fruits. Or, instead of
smoking, maybe you decide to
try to keep your hands busy by knitting. Reward the knitting instead of
punishing the smoking -- perhaps by buying yourself a new outfit when
you finish knitting a blanket.
Sixth, make the bad habit difficult and annoying to practice. For ex.,
if you're trying to stop eating so much, adopt the habit of brushing
flossing after you eat, no matter how little you eat. When it's 9pm and
you're feeling peckish, you know you'd have to brush and floss after
you eat that cookie, which may well be a demotivator. As another
example, allowing yourself to only smoke in the garage or the bathroom
might make smoking less pleasant if you're unable to moderately use
tobacco. For some habits, we Catholics have an in-built mechanism of
this sort: if your habit is a
potentially mortally sinful one, knowing you'll have to confess it to a
priest, and willing to
do that, can be good motivation to keep you away from bad behavior.
Seventh, make any good replacement habit easy and pleasant to practice.
For ex., if you replace overeating with running, find a beautiful
place to run, get the right kind of shoes so your feet don't hurt,
perhaps find someone to run with, etc.
Eighth, generally speaking, don't compete with others when breaking a
habit; compete with yourself instead. Don't compare your progress to
that of So-and-So; compare yourself to how you were doing yesterday,
last week, last year. On the other hand, for competitive types who
truly hate the idea of being beaten, a competition may be just the
thing if that sort of orneriness is more motivating than is the idea of
being free of the bad habit: if you are competitive in that way and
have a friend who is as well and who wants to break the same habit,
make a game of it.
Ninth, having a buddy trying to break the habit with you might help,
especially if you keep each other accountable, cheer each other on,
reward each other, etc. Otherwise, just having a friend who's willing
to do some of those things for you may help, even if he doesn't share
your habit. There also might be support groups -- online or off -- for
people wanting to give up the habit you're focusing on (e.g.,
Alcoholics Anonymous). If none of the above is possible or feasible for
you, cheerlead for and inspire yourself by leaving notes and reminders
to keep you going. And remember that we Catholics have all the good
angels, Saints, and God Himself to help us! Stay "prayed-up" and
receive the sacraments as needed.
Tenth, depending on the sort of habit in question (some need to be
given up "cold turkey" -- totally and all at once), divide the larger
goal into smaller goals. For ex., if you're such a caffeine junkie that
your goal is to give up coffee forever, have your first goal be "give
up coffee in the evenings." Later, set a second goal of giving up
coffee after noon. Then focus on your use of coffee in the morning,
etc. Or if you're wanting to not eat so much, start
by cutting out dessert. Later, focus on smaller portions, then cutting
a food group that vexes you, etc. For even those habits that need to be
given up cold turkey and totally, thinking
of them in terms of smaller goals might be beneficial ("I will
give up porn for three days", then, after the three days "I will give
up porn for five days," etc.) On the other hand, some folks are better
off going full throttle from the get-go, no matter the habit; you
likely know yourself better than anyone else does, so do what works for
you. The overall point: for many habits, it's best to focus on
incremental improvement each day instead of the larger goal.
Eleventh, find any "tricks" there may be that are particular to your
habit. For ex., those trying to lose weight might be helped by using
smaller plates, smaller spoons, taking smaller bites, eating much more
slowly, taking a break between courses, not eating after a certain
time, focusing on carbs rather than calories, etc. Those trying to give
up porn might be helped by having a
picture of Our Lady as their computer or phone wallpaper, installing
blockers on their browsers, having a statue of an inspiring Saint next
to their computers, allowing someone else complete access to their
computers and phones, etc. Ask yourself what sorts of things would
stand in the way of your enjoying the bad habit, would slow down the
behavior or otherwise interrupt it.
Twelfth, if you stumble, don't give up and quit. Start in again and
don't think about the misstep; focus, instead, on the good you've
already accomplished. Your slip-up didn't take that good away; that
good still "counts."
Sometimes, a total pattern disruption might be in order, if it's
possible to pull off. Those addicted to opiates, for ex., might need
some time in rehab, or those who are heavily addicted to porn might
benefit from two weeks in a cabin by themselves, with no internet
access. If such large scale pattern disruptions aren't possible, making
smaller disruptions might help, such as painting a room in a different
color, rearranging the furniture, etc. -- something to make your
environment feel new, unlike the same place in which your bad habit
played out so many times.
And throughout all this, don't be afraid of seeking professional help
if you need it. Lots of people -- including lots of decent Catholics --
suffer from problems that can make giving up a bad habit particularly
difficult. Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, various forms of
autism -- if any of these sorts of problems afflict you, don't consider
yourself weak (or a "bad" or at least "not good enough" Catholic)
for getting any help you need, taking medications prescribed, etc.
Some inspiration: research shows that the median time it takes to
change a behavior is 66 days -- roughly 2 months and 1 week.1
Know that it's very possible you're only 2 months and 1 week away from
being free of that nasty habit that rules you like a tyrant!
A worksheet to use to help you think about all the above and break your
bad habit: Today
It Begins (pdf)
There's a separate page on this site devoted to the matter of modesty
in clothing; here, I want to talk about a different sort of
immodesty, a type that's become extremely prevalent in the past few
decades. It's the sort of immodesty we see all the time now: tell-all
blogs; people blathering on about the most intimate details of their
lives -- or the lives of their loved ones -- on talk shows or on social
media; strangers getting way too chummy way too quickly; people
recording their childish emotional outbursts and uploading them to the
internet to get sympathy or to "virtue-signal"; Tik-Tok videos of
people explaining what they demand of others in terms of their
"preferred pronouns," or which labels to use to describe their "unique"
sexuality; mawkish sentimentalism posing as "caring"; the applauding of
the factitious disorder (e.g., Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen's by
proxy) that is manifest in parents -- almost always mothers -- parading
their allegedly transgendered toddlers about; the constant bids for
constant attention on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, OnlyFans, and the
emotional displays from people who are, in essence, daring you not to act like you care;
narcissism and self-indulgence posing as victim; how every talent
contest now has to begin with the heart-wrenching details of the
contestants' backgrounds, etc.
There seem to be a few things giving rise to these phenomena: 1) the
conflation of the public and private spheres, 2) a down-grading of
thinking and reason, and a raising up of the idea that in order to be
"genuine," "authentic," and a good person, one must feel deeply and be
willing to reveal that alleged depth of emotion to everyone else in the
world, 3) the general feminization of society, and 4) the increasing
prevalence of people with "Cluster B"
personality disorders -- especially Borderline Personality Disorder
and Narcisstic Personality Disorder -- likely due to fatherlessness,
bad child-rearing practices, and the aforementioned feminization of
Women, especially, are prone to this sort of immodesty.
Put an end to this nonsense. Check any inordinate need for attention
you might have. Don't say "I feel" when you mean "I think." Never
devalue the masculine, and defend men when they are disrespected as a
group. Don't over-share. Keep your private life private, and if you
can't do that, at least keep your loved ones' lives private. If you are
prone to this sort of attention-seeking behavior, check yourself for
Cluster B personality disorders, humble yourself, focus on others'
needs, and ask God to grant you the theological virtues of Faith, Hope,
and Charity. Consider getting competent professional help if the
Cluster B disorder descriptions fit you (and if someone you love has a
Cluster B personality disorder, learn everything you can about it, how
to protect yourself from the drama, and how to deal -- and not deal -- with that person). Make
use of Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy techniques to stop yourself from acting out
emotionally in negative ways.
see this sort of behavior in others, don't reward it with attention,
"likes" on social media, attentive body language, and especially not
with verbal expressions of pity or sympathy. Don't mimic it,
approve of it, or feel compelled to join in with it lest you be
"cancelled" or otherwise shunned. Don't allow yourself to be
emotionally manipulated by such displays. Shame it. Shut it down.
Please know that I am in no way
saying there's any shame whatsoever
in expressing joy, grief, anger, or any other emotion at the right
time, in the right place, in the right way; I'm an Italian American
female, if you get my point, and St. Thomas himself writes about the
importance of sharing sorrow with friends and seeking consolation from
them. What's being spoken of here is an
inordinate, over-the-top sort of "emotional incontinence," a
discounting of reason in favor of the affective, emotional
manipulation, ploys designed
to play on others' emotions for some gain to the one emoting, emotional
blackmail, insincere emotional display for the purpose of getting
attention, histrionics, the tendency to make oneself the star of every
drama, etc. What I'm talking about, in essence, is a lack of humility.
Humility is acting in a way that is consistent with the truth about
oneself, plain and simple. It starts first with recognizing Who God is,
and who you are -- and are not -- relative to Him. If you have a
respect for this reality, deep down, to your depths, if you focus
on doing His Will instead of your own, think of others before
yourself, and fulfill your duties with patience and gratitude, then
you will have the virtue of humility.
To this end, the importance of reminding yourself of your sinful nature
can't be stressed enough. The Catholic practices of making a nightly
examination of conscience and going to Confession
are so important in keeping in mind the ways
in which we fail, and the marvelousness of God's mercy. Without Him, we
and those we love are doomed to "the second death"; with Him, we are
forgiven and invited to share in His glory! Think of it! And be
Be grateful to God not just for that, but
in a general way, for
everything. Open the Book of Nature,
or just ponder it, and be glad. Think of your family and friends, and
be glad. Think of the tragedies and hardships you've endured and which
have made you stronger and brought you closer to Christ, and be glad.
Think of how much worse things could be, and be glad. Drop the buttered
toast? Be glad you have bread to eat. The toast landed buttered
side-down? Be glad you have a floor to clean. Things not working out as
you'd planned? Be glad that you've been given a mind able to make plans
and learn lessons from failures.
Given that knowing the truth about yourself is the root of humility,
it's not a sign of a lack of thereof to know what good there is about
you. There's no sin in knowing you're a great painter or singer, or
intelligent or beautiful, if you are. What's sinful is
attributing gifts and talents to yourself alone, forgetting that any
or gifts you have are from God.
Work to develop them, put them to good
use, and do so with prudence. But know that
they are not yours, and know that they can disappear in a moment. Love
to show off the fact that you have a doctorate? One cerebral ischemic
event, and access to all that knowledge can be lost to you for the rest
of your earthly days. Love to upload pictures of yourself to the
internet for others to admire and compliment you on? One car accident,
and your beauty can disappear into scar tissue (and, anyway, after the
age of 30 or 35 or so, your beauty will change to a mature sort that
attract men, so don't rely on your pulchritude to save you and bring
you attention for the rest of your life). Treasure your gifts by
treating them with gratitude and humility,
and using them to serve others and serve God.
Like all the other emotions, shame, though unpleasant, is, in itself,
is a good thing. In the same way that pain lets us know something is
wrong with our bodies, honest shame lets us know that there is
something wrong with something we've done. As psychiatrist M. Scott
Peck put it in his book "People of the Lie,"
though it may be, the sense of personal sin is precisely that which
keeps our sin from getting out of hand. It is quite painful at times,
but it is a very great blessing because it is our one only effective
safegaurd against our own proclivity for evil. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
put it so nicely in her gentle way: 'If you are willing to serenely
bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for
Jesus a pleasant place of shelter.'
You will never be virtuous if you're unable to go through the pain of
looking at yourself clearly and recognizing your propensity for evil.
Again, I insist that the Catholic practice of making a nightly
examination of conscience is key. Once you find things you are guilty
of, the cures for such unpleasant but necessary feelings of shame are
humility, making necessary apologies, making any due reparations,
resolving not to repeat the shameful act, the sacrament of confession,
and then trusting in God's mercy
after one has done those things.
Social shaming acts as a teacher and is one of the means by which a
society maintains order. Now, it may be the case that some things were
inordinately societally shamed in the past, and there are definitely
ways in which social shaming can be unjust (e.g., shaming for the wrong
things, inordinate shaming, shaming for things over which one has no
control, scapegoating, shaming that becomes gleeful or engaged in to
satisfy oneself in some way, etc.). But the problem today is that many
things that need to be shamed are not shamed at all. Blasphemy,
promiscuity, pornography use, approving of abortion, the embracing of a
victimhood mentality, racial scapegoating posing as anti-racism,
anti-male hatred posing as feminism, the sort of immodesty written
about earlier -- these things need to be shamed. Don't be afraid to use
social shaming in a way that is prudent, serves charity, and doesn't
cross over the line into judging others' souls or primarily serving
your ego. Make accurate assessments, and -- this is absolutely crucial
-- be exceedingly careful that
social shaming doesn't involve projection or
displacement on your part, or lapse into bullying or unjust judgment of others instead just judgment
of their actions.
Our Insatiable Want
and Ensuing Softness
Since the so-called "Enlightenment," a combination of phenomena have
been working together against us in a deep way -- scientism, attacks on
religion, usury, fiat currencies, incessant advertising, the industrial
revolution, and a form of crony, corporate capitalism that sees endless
growth as the purpose of a business's existence. As a result -- and
we're experiencing a time of unprecedented wealth and longer lifespans,
even for the poorest classes -- we're becoming little more than
machines, endless vacuums for more, more, and ever more. More
food, more clothes, more gadgets, more tech. Bigger things, shinier
things, newer things, different things. And as soon as something is
"upgraded" or "improved," we replace the old. We are never sated.
Our always wanting more leads not only to pollution and to the waste of
natural resources, but to a softness, an effeminacy, that ends in
corruption and the death of civilizations. As the saying goes, "Hard
times create strong men; strong men create good times; good times
create weak men; weak men create hard times." The hard times are
coming; it's time to prepare by conquering any inordinate need you have for things
that serve to keep you mindlessly consuming. Some things to
think about regarding consumption itself:
Grow some of
your own food, and learn how to preserve it.
If you have any
kind of a back yard at all, consider getting two hens for every member
of your family (and treat them well!).
Cook your own
food instead of eating out or ordering in, and cook things grown
locally when possible.
Have a budget
and stick to it.
Think twice, a
day apart, before making an unnecessary purchase.
rather than digital, and simple over complex, whenever possible. When
you have to
make a purchase, get around planned obsolescence and bad design by
buying things that
have the fewest points of failure and that are made to last, even if
you have to spend a few dollars more (e.g., don't buy the electric can
opener, buy the manual one instead; don't buy "smart" objects connected
to grids and the internet, buy lower-tech versions instead; don't get
the kitchen timer with batteries, get the old-school, wind-up version
instead, buy and learn to season and care for iron skillets instead of
the non-stick kind with linings that flake off, etc.)
Buy things made
in your own country when possible. This not only supports your nation's
workers, it eliminates waste involved in shipping.
Don't upgrade if
what you have is usable.
repair something instead of throwing it out.
Learn to sew.
that are classic in styling rather than "fashionable."
Share and pool
resources with others.
and services with others.
products with homemade alternatives (e.g., use a vinegar-water solution
to clean windows instead of buying an expensive product).
Make use of your
local library and its interlibary loan system for movies and for books
you'll only read once instead of buying those things or using streaming
And as to toughening yourself up, first break those bad
habits talked about earlier, most especially any that involve sin.
Learn to offer up your sufferings
so that you come habitually to see suffering as important and
meaningful. Get into the spirit of things during the Church's
penitential times, especially Lent. Start doing things to subdue
your flesh -- nothing egregious, but little things that require
effort and sacrifice, and that keep in your mind the very concept of
self-mortification. Various practices adopted by some, at least
Engaging in a
regular work-out regimen and strength training (especially important
for men who have women
and children to protect).
showers instead of hot ones.
Giving up simple
food-related pleasures, such as taking your coffee or tea without cream
or sugar, giving up salt as a condiment, giving up dessert, etc.
Wednesdays as penitential days in addition to Fridays, as did many
early Christians (perhaps by abstaining from meat on that day as well).
of merely abstaining from meat on Fridays (and perhaps on Wednesdays).
Taking on other,
longer times of periodic fasting.
gratification: instead of giving in to your desire for a pleasure
immediately, wait for some time before indulging. (Note that the
ability to delay gratification is one of the single largest predictors
of success in life. Teach your children to work for things they want,
to have a low time preference, to be patient, to delay receiving
rewards and pleasures, etc. It's absolutely crucial to their ability to
get on well in life).
Be careful with these mortifications; don't go crazy with
them! With some, it's best if one undertakes them only after counsel:
for ex., if you are wanting to fast for longer than a day, talk to your
priest, and if you have any medical problems, talk to your doctor
first (if you're pregnant or nursing, don't even think about fasting).
No legitimate Catholic practice would ever compromise your
physical health! And if any of these are practices you can't undertake
without grumbling and becoming dour and nasty (or, conversely, becoming
prideful), desist and talk to your priest.
But know that whatever you undertake to keep your passions under
control, it will all be for naught if you don't conquer lust.
Note: Lust is not
at all a problem only men deal with. Not even close. But because men,
as a group, are more prone to using pornography than women are, as a
group (though it's women who pose for the bulk of it, I imagine), the
wording here will be directed to men. Mentally replace words as needed
to make it relevant to you if you're female.
That is how
powerful lust is. And I want you to get good and mad about it. I want
you to hate your lust like the enemy it is. I want you to despise it.
And I want you to conquer it.
If you are addicted to porn you are working to remove yourself from
"the gene pool." You are making yourself less marriageable, less
masculine, and weak. You are allowing pornographers (swell lot, they
are) and whores to take you away from family life. From life itself.
From eternal life. You are allowing them to turn you into a
cowering simp, afraid to deal with -- and incapable of sexually
functioning with -- a real woman in the real world. They are taking you
away from fatherhood and success. They are stealing your birthright --
no, you are giving it to them, just like Esau gave away his for a bowl
of soup. And you are giving away your birthright for -- what? Dopamine
hits triggered by digitized prostitutes.
I want you to be enraged
about this! I want you to hate
that you've handed over to others your confidence and virility, your
very manhood. I want you to grit your teeth in anger when you think of
skanks and pimps raking in the money while you sit in the dark feeling
humiliated, and your civilization collapses.
"But Western women have become awful, selfish creatures; I likely can't
get married anyway as things are, what with the easy divorce and bad
custody laws and --- " Excuses! And that excuse is still rooted in the idea that women
control you. Are you only a man if a woman is around to witness
it? Read the medieval tale of
Phyllis and Aristotle and think about how you are giving away your
power to whores. Stop it! Be a man because
what God made you to be! Reclaim your masculinity! What do you have to
show for your addiction? Nothing. Unless you count dirty, crunchy
kleenexes and the shame of feeling like a useless, ever more perverted,
out of control
coomer. Cut it out. Now. And know that with every minute and every
dollar you spend on porn, you
are helping to create the sort of non-culture in which prostitutes and
pimps are rewarded while good women and men suffer, families
disintegrate, and children grow up without fathers.
"But I don't know how to quit!" Yes, you do. You stop. You get mad,
mad, and will yourself to
never give a second's worth of attention to filth that is beneath you
and designed to enslave you and destroy your people. You use that
anger. You kindle it. You keep it alive so that when you think "porn,"
you think "they do not
control me!" instead. You put blockers on your browser. You take the
browser off your phone. You move your computer to a public room of your
house. You give someone else access to what you see on the internet so
the embarrassment would prevent you from failing. If your addiction
involves humiliation (cuckoldry, feminization, etc.), you treat your
"wounded inner child" the same way you'd want your son to be treated --
i.e., you stop the shaming self-talk, and stop coupling the feeling of
shame with sexual pleasure. You put obstacles
between you and the problem. You distract yourself.3 You
work out. You
learn something, master something, make something, keep busy. You pray
more. You have friends over for darts and beer. You rejoice at the idea
of self-mastery, of having defeated an addiction that made you weak and
ashamed. You rejoice in your newfound freedom and masculinity. And if
you stumble, you
don't cry like a little girl and quit; you get off the mat like a
raging Rocky Balboa and keep going. You reclaim what you are: a man of
God. A confident man who is in control of himself, has conquered
himself. A dignified man who can look anyone in the eye without shame.
A man who refuses to be beaten by sluts, pimps, demons, and the enemies
people. A man destined for Heaven. A man.4
1 "How are habits formed: Modelling habit
formation in the real world," European Journal of Social Psychology
Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 40, 998–1009 (2010)
Published online 16 July 2009 in Wiley Online Library
2 The phrase "libido dominandi" translates
to "the desire to dominate" or "lust of rule." It comes from the
preface to St. Augustine's "City of God."
3 When a lustful thought comes to mind,
pray the sinner's prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
have mercy on me a sinner." Then swat the thought away like it's an
annoying fly and either forget about it or think of something else.
Replace any pornographic visual mental image with an image of something
wholesome and masculine: have a "go to image" or thought mentally ready
-- it could be anything: the Allies storming the beach at Normandy, a
baseball game, your childhood train set, a math problem (e.g., think of
two random three-digit numbers and add them mentally), etc.. Play a
song in your mind (perhaps the one below). Do something else that engages your
mind and hands, and frame it all such that you're not telling yourself
that you're not trying to do
X, but that are doing Y
can't resist adding some audio
inspiration: Muddy Waters singing "Mannish