Catholic recovery from porn and sex addiction
We are a small group of men, who have been free of porn and other forms of lust for many years. Here we document how we have done it. We understand how difficult its been for millions of people, particularly men, to get free of deadly sin of lust. Lust can take many forms including, Pornography, Masturbation, pre-marital sex, fantasy, adultery, using prostitution, etc.
Lust Recovery (LR) helps Catholics repair the wreckage caused by lust, and enables freedom from sexual addiction. LR builds and strengthens our Spiritual relationship with God, marriages, families, the ability to find and keep a spouse, self-esteem, the ablility to live by Catholic teachings.
We follow the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church on life, sexual morality, and family issues. Non-Catholics are welcome, if they want to live according to these principles on masturbation, contraception, marriage/divorce, sex before marriage and same-sex relations, sexual addiction, etc. There are no dues or fees. We are self supporting through our own contributions.
Why is Lust Recovery successful when other attempts to beat porn and lust have failed?
Lust Recovery is a comprehensive restoration of our spiritual lives. It also instills the spiritual discipline of accountability with daily and weekly activities, both individually and in groups.
Lust Recovery treats lust as a spiritual problem and proposes a spiritual solution. For many of us, the challenge with lust is particularly intense and chronic warranting a proportionally intense spiritual solution.
In addition to our regular Church obligations of Mass, confession, spiritual direction, etc. our program is built on 5 pillars.
The 5 Pillars of Lust Recovery
1. Spiritual Boot Camp
The Spiritual Boot Camp is an onboarding process that quickly gets the participant into a consistent state of sobriety and an accelerated start to ongoing recovery. You can get sober right away and stay sober. Boot Camp includes:
- Step Work Weekend: either face to face or remotely. Each member is led through the process of taking stock of our relationship with God, writing a history of the role of lust in our lives, our resentments and harms done.
- Amends: Writing amends letters and making direct amends where appropriate.
- Reading Articles: A review of the Catholic teaching on life, sexuality, and family.
- Silent retreat weekend: This is usually done at a retreat house in your area and includes confession with a priest. It is a time to be silent and reflect on your life and your new direction.
- Modernism course: This course looks at the philosophical presuppositions in modern culture that contribute to the attack on the traditional family, the Church and God’s vision for human sexuality. This 26-week course (1-hour week) has weekly readings and homework. Course material covers a critical examination of Epicurianism, The Enlightenment, Humanism, Modernism, and Progressivism. It presents an authentic reorientation of society, as found in the Catholic Church’s Compendium of Social Doctrine. This course is taken remotely.
2. Daily Spiritual Homework
Consistent sobriety and fruitful ongoing recovery requires getting and staying in “spiritual shape” supported through the daily spiritual homework:
- 15 minutes a day, journaling (step work)
- 15 minutes a day of prayer
- 15 minutes a day of Bible reading (from Genesis to Revelation in order)
- 5 minutes a day of reading from the Catechism
- Once a week reading news from a family friendly site
- Any amends that we need to make with family, work, etc. so that our spiritual lives continue to be clean
- Use the shield prayer whenever temptation arises "God I invite you into this temptation, remove any temptation to look or fantasize in this situation".
3. Daily Renewal Call
Living-out sobriety one-day-at-a-time is supported through the daily renewal call. Accountability has long been understood to be a pillar of a disciplined spiritual life. Each member makes a daily call to their sponsor that usually lasts 3-10 minutes. It reviews the last 24 hours for temptations, spiritual noise, near occasions of sin, and things we’re grateful for. It opens and closes in prayer and includes a check-in on how we did on our spiritual homework for the previous day.
4. Weekly Meeting
Fellowship is a powerful mechanism to stay strong spiritually and sober. The weekly meetings of 3-6 people focus less on lust and more on becoming a better disciple, which we think is the best path to recovery. Members take turns reviewing what is going on in their lives and committing to an area where they can improve. At the end of the meeting the member who's turn it is, makes a "surrender" where they commit to improving one area of their life.
The meeting is usually remote, although there may be local face to face meetings in the future. The calls usually last about 45-60 minutes and include a check in by all members on how they are doing on their most recent area of improvement.
Helping others get and stay sober from lust is a key way to strengthen ourselves. Once we are stable in our recovery, we sponsor up to 2 people. We help new members get through their step work weekend and other parts of their preparation, then we receive a daily call from each person we sponsor.
“Freely we have received and freely we give.” (Matthew 10:8)
Sponsorship helps us in our own commitment to a life of recovery.
This is a comprehensive program. It takes an initial burst of activity which settles into an average of about 60 minutes a day of dedicated time. We think that any serious disciple of our Lord should approach their lives with dedication, commitment and intentionality.
We understand the gravity of lust and how important it is to root it out of our lives from top to bottom. Half measures availed us nothing. When we think about all the time we win back from not being a slave to porn and lust, we realize that we have more time than we had before we started the program and we are more fully living the Lord’s call on our lives.
I was really desperate in 2009. I felt that I had hit rock bottom with something that was enslaving me and over which I had no control whatsoever. Thinking of sex had become an obsession since my early teenage years and for a long time I struggled but continued to slide. One day I decided to look for help and spoke to a priest friend of mine who invited me to an event on family life and human sexuality at his parish. I attended a talk by a speaker who impressed me with his testimonial of victory over the bondage of lust. It was him who got me connected to Lust Recovery. With nothing left untried, Lust Recovery has been the only initiative that has kept me sober and accountable all these years. Today, I am grateful beyond words to all of those in this amazing group. Lust Recovery is unquestionably the best tool available for anyone serious about overcoming sexual addiction. (Member)
I had a seasonal but chronic masturbation problem since my youth. Despite the intensity of my Catholic faith, I wasn't able to get free from it until I joined Lust Recovery. I've been free from any physical acting-out of lust for three years. The program has also given me the tools I need to deal with the mental aspect of lust. I'm convinced that there is a real wisdom and grace in this program. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about getting victory over lust. (Member)
This page can be accessed directly at www.LustRecovery.org