Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Sermon on Modesty in the Mass

http://www.colleenhammond.com/catholics/sermon/sermon-on-modesty-from-fr-dominic-mary-at-ewtn/


Now, there are some things about his sermon that I am not sure are orthodox, but the points he makes are VERY poignant.

Seeing my fellows dressed immodestly before the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is like seeing nuns shun the habit. One thing that is so important to realize is that the Eucharist is the Wedding Feast of the Lamb! Recall that those who arrived at the Wedding Feast in the improper garb were thrown out into the darkness "where there was wailing and gnashing of teeth." The Wedding Feast is DIFFERENT from normal every-day life, it is sanctified life, and we should dress in a way which affirms that conviction.

I am very glad he also addresses the topic of men dressing appropriately for Mass. Men have a standard of modesty as well and need to give glory to the Eucharist in the way they dress. Guys really shouldn't dress for Mass like they are going to a beach party afterward.

I disagree on his concrete standards for modesty, however we must realize that he is speaking to his particular flock, and therefore it is completely within his place to make these regulations for his parishioners.

I do want to say something about modest dress in general, though, and not just before the Holy Anaphora.

A certain young man once said to me that to intimidate know a woman's beauty is something that no man has a right to, it is a privilege that is given in Marriage. He made it quite clear to me that he didn't want to see me or any other women in a way that was anything less then uplifting to my person, and wanted me to treat him with dignity. How? By dressing modestly. He told me that there is a double standard for men these days; a standard which expects men to be impure and encourages women to exert power over men by dressing however they want to. This young man expressed extreme frustration for a world that bombarded him with temptation to impurity and then told him that it was a crime to look at a woman's chest.

Yes, men are fully responsible for their virtue, but tell me, if you saw neon letters framed in black, wouldn't you look at it? Now realize that those letters are situated on the front of a very tight-fitting shirt and ergo, you are looking at a woman's chest. Ouch. Same goes for text on the seat of someone's pants. Our eyes are drawn to cut-off lines, drawn to text. Girls! Why do we play with purity, even subconsciously? Attention from guys in this way is not worth it; it gives lame guys the wrong idea and sends great guys who are actually concerned with their virtue running in the opposite direction. Don't we want sensitive guys?

I have heard a lot of girls say: "Oh, well if you don't like it, then don't look!" Okay, so don't be surprised when they turn around and run. After all, you've made yourself a near-occasion of sin. Am I pointing the finger? HEAVENS NO. Just ask my dad, and he will tell you some stories of my struggle toward modesty that could curl anyone's whiskers.

When dressing, let's dress with love and with dignity. I can always tell someone is Muslim by the way that they dress. Why can't that be said about Christians, and especially Catholics? Let's reclaim modesty and sanctify it, like we transformed Christmas and Sunday. Let's go on a mission!

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