Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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A dear friend of mine, (twenty three years old) is having some difficulty overcoming pornography, and has almost become addicted to this rubbish portrayed and made easily accessible over the dreaded internet. I have advised him to flee from temptation, cry out to God and see his confessional father at regular intervals. I have also told him about the spiritual, physical and psychological debilitating, detrimental effects this can have on him. How can I help him and many others suffering from the same problem?

Unfortunately, nowadays a lot of youths are struggling to overcome this grave sin. This is truly an addiction, no doubt about it. To overcome this addiction a person must be convinced that it is a sin and admit that he is addicted to it. He needs to know that although it gives him pleasure, it does hurt him more than he realizes. As any addiction it controls the mind, takes a lot of his time, and does not serve any purpose except fleshly excitement and sinful desires. Once he really decides to stop this sinful habit, he should pray to God to help him fight these temptations, having faith that "With God all things are possible" (Mt 19:26). The most important thing is to stay away from the computer as much as he can. Unless he has to do a certain assignment, he should not even be a room where there is a computer that he can use at his leisure. Whenever the temptation comes to his mind he must dismiss it at once and not fantasize on it, but remember the Lord instantly and ask Him to chase these thoughts away from him, repeating what we pray in the ninth hour "O You Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You..." He must fight these thoughts with all his strength and never give up nor be discouraged even if they repeatedly keep on coming back. Your role is to encourage him always and keep close to him so that you can give him the support he needs; during this crucial time. It would be very helpful if you could stand and pray together privately that God may give him the strength to fight and let him always repeat to himself "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13).
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