Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Snow and Modesty

Today, our farm wears it's own covering...of snow. During the night we had 2 inches and awakened to 18 degrees of temperatures. Praise be to God for answering our prayers for precipitation.

A number of people of late have talked about "undue attention" from others. Here we shall clarify modesty and the difference between "undue attention" and "edification by example" as taught by the Catholic Church.

If we dress in a manner that causes lustful thoughts, tis that undue attention that is sinful.

If we dress in a modest manner that reminds others of God's Law and the primacy of God in our lives, that is not creating undue attention; tis setting an example that edifies. We are mandated to edify others with a Godly example in accordance with both Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. When we set a good example, it is then the responsibility of the other person in how they respond.

In a society that increasingly seeks to cleanse all Christian signs and symbols from the public view, we are called to maintain our witness to Christ. Plain Catholics and some others will wear the headcovering full-time as witness to their obedience to Christ, the Scriptures, and in respect to and imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their modest dress and headcoverings represent their witness to being separate from a worldly and secular society that promotes godless temptations over seeking holiness, according to Scriptures.

Scripture References on Separation from the World

…the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. - John 17:14

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. - John 17:16

And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2

Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Be'li-al? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and you be separate," says the Lord, "and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. - James 1:27

You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. - James 4:4

…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people (a people for God's possession); that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. - 1 Peter 2:9

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any [one loves] the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever. - 1 John 2:15-17

…I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. - Revelation 18:4

The following is an excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on modesty.

FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Catechism of the Catholic Church On Purity and Modesty - Life in Christ Section

II. The Battle for Purity

Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God's grace he will prevail

* by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;

* by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God's will in everything; 313

* by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God's commandments: "Appearance arouses yearning in fools"; 314

* by prayer:
I thought that continence arose from one's own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . .that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surelyhave granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.315

Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.
Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

So-called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in
charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.

"The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the ever-present attraction of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores them in Christ."316

That's me away then.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Thank you for that post dear sister. I am not Catholic but I do dress modestly and whenever I am out in public my head is covered. I have a cap I crocheted that I wear. Works best of all the covers I tried. I have heard other sisters discussing whether by dressing so differently and covering if that wasn't calling attention to ones self but it isn't. It is calling attention to bringing honor to God and our husbands and respecting our bodies and being discreet.

PlainCatholic said...

God bless you, Michelle for seeking to honor God and walking His narrow path. Aye, indeed, there are 3 types of people who comment on headcovering sisters in my experience:
1)Those who are genuinely interested and are considering following the Scriptural mandates.
2) Those who seek to get rid of all Christian symbols in their wee, small world of political agendas.
3) Those who are pricked and feel guilty about their own lives in the presence of this sign of obedience to God.

May God bless all our sisters with the courage to don this sign of faith: tis no less important in our so-called open and pluralistic society than tis for the endangered Christians in Muslim territories who set excellent examples of courage and faith for us, even to the point of martyrdom.

Homemade Hermit said...

Last June I started wearing a small veil full time, the world needs a witness. Whether or not they agree.

I wish I wasn't the only Catholic woman in my city that wears a head covering. I have been ridiculed for it. All this means to me however is that I am doing what needs doing.

Plaincatholic I am grateful for your blog and have it listed under my favorites.

Matthew 5:16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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