I am unshakeably convinced that there is nothing more important in this life than helping others live in accordance with God's will. Nothing. And it's definitely not part of His will that we regularly waste our time watching paid actors have loveless sex. That is why, for the third time, I'm sharing this essay again after a major revision.
Our eyes are the gateway to our soul. Of all our senses, our sight has the most potential to benefit or damage our spirit. Whatever we see goes straight into our thoughts; our dominant thoughts inevitably bring forth action. And needless to say, our actions define who we are.
Take the adulterer, the glutton, and the saint for instance. The adulterer wouldn't have been guilty of adultery if he didn't lay his eyes on his victim with lustful intent to begin with. The obese person wouldn't have committed gluttony in the first place had he not turned his head to glance at his coveted, mouth-watering junk food. Similarly, the saint wouldn't have become holy, if, at the beginning, he didn't firmly fix his eyes on the Word of God.
We've all been told that we are what we eat. But, we must realize, we are also what we frequently see. We nourish or hurt our body through our mouth just as we nurture or corrupt our soul through our eyes. A health-conscious man wouldn't open his mouth on foods that harm the body. Likewise, he who is concerned with his soul would purposely close his eyes on things that may cause its defilement. We can literally have a glimpse of someone's heart by what that person regularly looks at. This undeniable truth prompted Saint Alphonsus Liguori to exclaim, "Oh! How many are lost by indulging their sight!"
Everything I've just mentioned can be summarized in 2 Latin words: "Custodia Oculorum." It's an ancient Christian practice which means "Custody of the Eyes."
Now, I have something shameful to admit. I'm not proud in saying that, 7 years ago, I didn't have any idea what this practice was all about. I was totally reckless with the things I allowed my eyes to see. In short, what I'm trying to say is—like countless other people—I struggled with pornography.
Pornography is Satan's perfect tool. It's almost irresistible. It's convenient, free, and very accessible. It also enticingly offers variety, anonymity, and privacy. Millions, if not billions of minds have already been perverted by this demonic activity. The notorious serial rapist and killer, Ted Bundy, even revealed that the one common denominator among serial killers is addiction to pornography. It is one of the leading causes of today's families' destruction—as it creates and proliferates the diabolic delusion that women are nothing but objects of pleasure. It insidiously makes its viewers shallow, undisciplined, lustful, unfaithful, immoral, and barbaric. It can slowly, yet certainly, turn man into a beast.
If there is one thing I regret doing in my life, that is taking part in this kind of inhumanity. If I could just turn back the hands of time, I wouldn't participate in an activity that dehumanizes another fellow human being.
Thankfully, after many failed attempts to break free from pornography, I was able to destroy the evil habit when I finally decided to go to confession.
It was miraculous. I'm not exaggerating. What I struggled to overcome for a long time was conquered instantly. I was like the leper who came and knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” To whom our Savior replied, "I am willing. Be clean!"
I was cleansed instantaneously. My lustful craving for porn was immediately replaced by utter disgust. The transformative grace that our Lord bestows through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is real. It is absolutely real.
Having been able to break—by God's grace—the satanic habit of porn consumption for more than 6 years now, I can already say with great confidence that my view of the opposite sex did dramatically change. Whenever I see a woman, I do not just see a body; I also see a soul. I do not see a mere flesh; I also see someone's daughter. Most importantly, I know I'm laying my eyes on someone made in the image of God—someone who holds the life of future generations.
Now, I cannot find a better way to conclude this than with the words of our Redeemer: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully, has already committed adultery with her in his heart."