Lent is a time for soul-searching, conversion

On Ash Wednesday, we will begin our 40-day Lenten journey. During this time, God will call us to look carefully at ourselves and identify our weakness and sin. In so doing, we can undergo a change of heart and draw closer to the Lord Jesus.

The church suggests that this is accomplished through prayer, fasting and sacrifices. I pray that your Lenten journey will be a time of blessing and new life.

As we begin Lent, we look at our society and identify ways in which we are tempted to stray from the way of the Lord.

I wish to identify one: pornography.

It has become common in our society and darkens the lives of many. Children can become challenged and addicted. This Lent in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, we are inviting parents, parishes, schools and all organizations to learn more about this common struggle and to protect ourselves and others, especially our children.

We are calling next weekend “Safe Haven Sunday.” Your parish has resources that will be given out to you on Safe Haven Sunday and throughout Lent to address this issue.

One of those resources is the book “Equipped,” a parenting guide written by the archdiocese in collaboration with Covenant Eyes, a Michigan-based company that for nearly two decades has been at the forefront of internet accountability by equipping people to protect themselves and their families from online dangers.

Covenant Eyes has dealt with many questions that people face. How can I teach my children to use the internet with integrity? How do I guard my own heart and remain pure online? How do I serve as an example to my family and church?

The book “Equipped” is a parenting guide that discusses the sexualized culture we live in today. Pornography is one of the temptations people experience in our culture, and we pray not to be led into temptation.

Some may wonder why we are making such an emphasis on pornography. I don’t think it is overstating things to say that “porn has become the norm.” Some school children are addicted by the time they are in the seventh or eighth grade. The church must address this issue in order to fulfill its ministry. Many parents are not aware their children view pornography. We can help them.

This educational awareness and prayerful focus on pornography will be ongoing. Plans already are being made for the resources and guides for next year.

May Lent be a time of conversion and new life as we seek God’s mercy. May your 40-day Lenten journey be blessed.

Please pray for the success of our important pastoral initiative.

Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to clarionherald@clarionherald.org.

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