According to pious tradition, Our Lady gave 15 promises to those who would pray the rosary with real devotion. Three of those promises are signal graces, an armor against hell, and the destruction of vice.
To overcome my addiction to pornography I needed the Mother of God to keep all three of those promises.
In October of 2014, I looked at porn for the last time. In my customary shame and regret I went on a frantic search—as had become my habit—for a cure. This moment in time coincided with my conversion to the Catholic Faith from the Calvinist wings of Protestantism. I was discovering something new about the Catholic Faith and Catholic spirituality every day. It was on this day in particular that I read about the power of the rosary and the miracles wrought by Our Lady in the lives of so many through this form of prayer. As a meager act of faith, I decided to take Mary up on her offer.
A Dedication to Praying the Rosary
I was skeptical but hopeful. I dedicated myself to praying the rosary, on my knees, daily. When I got the urge to look at porn, I would drop to my knees again and start the whole thing over.
I never had grand mystical visions nor did this prayer take me to the heights of mystical contemplation. Often times praying the rosary was a little bit like drudge work. It was hard to stop for 15 to 20 minutes per day to say this prayer. But I always thought to myself, “Is liberation worth this 20 minutes of my time?” The answer was always “yes.”
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about the disease of alcoholism being “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” This is true of our other addictions, too. Pornography messes with the brain in a bad way. We get addicted to the “high” and our mind and body become hooked on all the chemical reactions in the brain when we get our fix. It’s also very hard to get the pornographic images out of our mind—and all of this has the spiritual element of that Great Adversary who is always looking for ways to keep us enslaved and as far from God as possible.
Turning My Eyes from Addiction to Christ
The rosary is such a good antidote because it draws our mind out of the addiction and into Christ. It draws our mind to His life and it draws us in to remember His power. I think that Mary holds this devotion out to us as such a powerful weapon against our sins and addictions because it is her primary mission to lead souls to her son, Jesus. In exchange for our minds—which she dutifully turns to the face of Christ—she offers us freedom.
I can’t promise you that if you start to pray the rosary every day all of your problems will disappear. Nor can I promise you that it will provide immediate freedom from whatever struggle it is that brought you to this place. But what I cannot promise, the Mother of God can. Jesus has given his mother the power to crush Satan. There is a reason the demons fear her!
Pick up the beads today and watch what spiritual power is unleashed in your life.
“The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”
– Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Charlie lives in sunny Florida with his small (but growing!) family. He holds a B.A. in Religion and Apologetics and has a passion for writing about recovery and the Catholic Faith in his spare time. Charlie’s 12-step experience has been in overeaters anonymous, but he finds joy in “working the steps” in every aspect of his life and sharing those tools with others.