Theology of the Body and Recovering from the Harm of Pornography

“Every man who enters a brothel is looking for God.” This quote, attributed to G.K. Chesterton, is one of the foundational concepts of Saint John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” which is a collection of talks the pope gave on human sexuality. Theology of the Body (TOB) teaches that in the Garden of Eden…

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Mercy and Glorification in the Wounds of Christ

As I write this, the thought that comes to mind is: “How do you put something so vast, infinite, and truly marvelous as God’s mercy and love into words?” For those of you reading this who may not know me or my story, I am a revert to the Catholic faith. I attended Catholic school…

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The Value of a Catholic Approach to Recovery

Michael Murphy, Ed.D., writes as a Catholic psychologist with more than three decades of experience combining clinical psychology and the Catholic faith. He writes regularly for CIR on topics related to addiction recovery, mental health, and Catholicism. As we witness the emergence of Catholic in Recovery, I find myself excited again at the thought of…

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New Freedom, New Hope

I remember it clearly. I was a freshman in high school and an older teammate from the football team was having a “kegger” party. This wouldn’t be the first time I tasted alcohol, but it would be the first time I drank heavily and liked it. It was only one night but it was an…

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A Step One Reflection: Relinquishing Our Self-Appointed Kingship

  Step One: We admitted that we were powerless over [ ] – that our lives had become unmanageable.   I like to say I walked into overeaters anonymous looking for help with my “diet” problems and walked away with something else entirely. Step One was a jarring experience for me. I found it much…

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Allowing God—Not Us!—To Order Our Steps Out of Addiction

As I started looking back on my grace-filled release from the bondage of porn, I tried to understand and explain to others my escape route. Many have asked me over the last two years what the “secret” is. After almost 40 years of being trapped, now being at the point of no longer fearing my…

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What Sobriety Has Taught Me About the Purpose of Confession

When many of us in recovery approach Step Four (make a “searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”), it often seems like a daunting task. Most of us living with an active addiction do not spend a lot of time looking at ourselves in a critical way. For many in recovery, approaching Step Four comes…

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The Rosary Killed My Porn Addiction

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…

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You’re More than Just an Addict

A few years ago, I was at a 12-step meeting when one of the members called for a “group conscious.” These are periodically called for in order for the group to talk about the vision, structure, and policies of the group. The “group conscious” must be agreed upon because it allows the group to function…

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