I’m gonna try not to make this explicit. In terms of language at least.
In the Letter to the Corinthians this Sunday, Paul tells his listeners, US, to avoid ‘immorality’ three times. The Greek word that ‘immorality’ is translated from is ‘porneia.’ Porneia, this immorality that he’s calling us, isn’t some vague and bland immoral behavior or activity, rather the sexual kind. It’s pretty evident what modern scourge uses this same root word, pornography.
“It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.” (CCC 2354) I bring this us because I worry about our children. I am around them nearly every day and grow increasingly worried about what they see on their phones, tablets, and home computers. According to a 2019 report, 70.7% of tweens and 84.0% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature online. (www.bark.us/annual-report)). THE AVERAGE AGE A CHILD VIEWS THIS MATERIAL IS 11 YEARS OLD. ELEVEN! We’re not talking about some swimsuit model on the beach, I’m talking about vulgar and explicit images and movies which are toying with their brains. This type of imagery alters the chemical and neuropathic structure of their brain. We have to do something to save and protect our children.
We have to be aware of the dangers that not just a unprotected device can lead to, but an uninformed parent or guardian can be if we enable this scourge to claim more children. There are resources available, CovenantEyes (www.covenanteyes.com/catholic-resources) has some you can sign up for and download free e-books. Y’all, we have to do something. We have to pray for strength and wisdom and it starts with knowledge there’s a problem, research of methods, and talking with our kids, modeling to them good behavior, and teaching them particularly the virtue of chastity.
We all are called to chastity by our baptism, it's not just for someone else. “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.” (CCC 2337) It is a practice of self-mastery, maintaining the totality of the gift of each person, in freedom for our good and the good of the other.
Fr. Scott and Fr. Mark plan to trade months in offering a weekly reflection or catechesis in our future bulletins. Be sure to check out what they have to share!