Struggling with pornography?

Matt Fradd is an Australian-born Catholic lay speaker and author who specializes in digital pornography addiction. Founder and executive director of The Porn Effect, where he promotes a pornography accountability smartphone app to young people,

Mr. Fradd was interviewed by telephone about his new book and the potential of Marian consecration to help fight pornography addiction. The following transcript of our conversation has been edited for style and clarity.

Your new nine-day Marian consecration doesn’t address pornography explicitly, but you’ve spoken in the past about Our Lady’s role fighting porn addiction in a digital age.

How can Marian devotion assist young men and women overcome enslavement to pornography?

Well, that wouldn’t be my first line of attack!

If someone struggling with pornography approached me for prayer advice, I’d want to know some other things first: Are they accountable, are they using appropriate software, are they doing therapy? Sort of human formation things.

Too often we skip human formation and jump straight to the spiritual. But I’ve heard people talk about how their devotion to the Blessed Mother has helped them regain a proper, holistic, beautiful image of women that pornography had eroded.

What does “Marian consecration” mean as you use it in this book?

Thomas Aquinas never spoke of “Marian consecration” per se, though he did speak about religious consecration.

On the ninth day, we present a prayer that Aquinas wrote in the language of “entrustment.”

So when we talk about “consecration,” we really mean entrustment, entrusting oneself to the Blessed Mother.

Thomas says in his prayer: I give to you my past, my present, my future, my body, my mind—you know, everything.

It sounds a bit like St. Louis de Montfort, but it’s not.

The reason I wanted to present this book is that while I appreciate Louis de Montfort, his way of writing never resonated with me like Aquinas.

Since there are many paths to the Blessed Mother, I wanted to put this book together for others who find Aquinas helpful.

What about this Marian consecration might challenge a young person struggling with addiction?

In the work I’ve done on pornography, speaking to hundreds of thousands of teenagers, young adults and parents, I’ve found that the topic is overly spiritualized in a way that other sins and vices aren’t.

People struggling with alcoholism and anger issues might pray, for example, but they also seek natural helps such as A.A. meetings or counseling.

But when I’d ask Catholics what they’re doing about pornography, they would give me spiritual solutions for a problem that isn’t solely spiritual. Continue reading

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