Today, we join parishes across our Archdiocese in observance of Safe Haven Sunday: Equipping the Family, Safeguarding Children. This is an initiative to help us consider the pervasive presence and use of pornography in our society, and to provide practical resources on how to protect ourselves and our children. This is not an easy or comfortable topic but a necessary one to help us grow chastely respecting the human dignity of ourselves and others.
We need to begin with prayer asking our Lord Jesus Christ to cover all of us, our families, loved ones and friends with the protection of His Most Precious Blood against all evil through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary.
All indications are that this is a widespread problem; the statistics are staggering. Studies indicate that 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to pornography before age 18; 57% of young people seek out porn once a month; 75% say their parents have never discussed internet pornography with them; 56% of divorce involves one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
The situation is such with technology today that a person through no fault of his or her own can be exposed to this material innocently. A misspelled word in a search engine can lead to exposure. Exposure can lead fairly quickly to habitual use.
In presenting this moral epidemic for consideration and reflection, we do not shame anyone about any struggle they may have. We are offering support, love, acceptance, practical help and access to God’s grace through the Sacraments.
Regular Confession, frequent reception of Holy Communion, praying the Rosary, making Holy Hours, praying the Saint Michael prayer and the Novena for Purity are all tools of God’s grace that help in the battle. And along with God’s gifts of grace, the practical resources of Covenant Eyes’ help to get a handle on how to block the unwanted websites and exposures so easily available online to everyone.
We hope that this initiative this weekend, opens the doors of communication and dialogue between parents and children, between husbands and wives. Having a very trusted and confidential friend can be a tremendous help in personally battling against this evil. We keep our eyes on Christ for in Him the victory is already won! The devil wants this kept in darkness but bringing ourselves into the light of Jesus is to share in His victory.
May we be strong men and women of purity, chaste and holy, accepting God’s graces and taking the practical steps needed to live lives of deep respect for the human dignity God has given to us.
God bless you, God love you,