Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The importance of Modesty (especially for women)

Please also read
St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life: Decency in Attire
Modesty and Natural Law
Natural Law

Modesty in the way we dress is especially important today and always. How we dress can tell a very clear story about our internal dispositions toward God and the world. If we dress immodestly, showing our flesh and contour, as the world wants us to, for the pleasure of the sense and the incitement of lusts, then it is most likely that we have more love for the world.

If we dress modestly, hiding our flesh and contour, then we are rendering the task of those would look on us to lust after us so much more difficult as to make ourselves less the occasion of sin for others, no matter how attractive we may be underneath it all.

In the end, we will be rewarded by the master we loved (and obeyed) the most.

Without getting into a long winded article about the importance of modesty as it relates to our own sanctity and salvation, let us simply take a quick lesson from the Holy Scriptures on the matter.

First, we know that adultery is a sin, which condemns a soul to hell:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God."

Second, we know that to lust, even in our thoughts, is to COMMIT the sin of adultery:

St. Matthew 5:27-28: "You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart."

And finally, we know that to give another person scandal, that is to be an occasion of sin to them, lead them into sin, or encourage them to sin, is itself punishable:

St. Matthew 18:
6-7: "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh."

Finally, Scripture also advises us of the great glory of the virtue of modesty, and the importance to live and walk therein:

Ecclesiasticus 7:21: "Depart not from a wise and good wife, whom thou hast gotten in the fear of the Lord: for the grace of her modesty is above gold."

Galatians 5:22-26: "But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."


  1. What about women who expose their breast or breasts in public places(for anyone to see) when they are breastfeeding out in public,is that to be considered as them being immodest or immoral ?

  2. In the USA we have alot of people(a pro breastfeeding movement,some of them also call themselves "lactivists")fighting for the "right" of breastfeeding women to be able to whip out and expose their bare breasts wherever and whenever they darned well please in any public place for everyone and anyone to see,and anyone else who has anykind of problem with that is obviously the one with the problem and not the woman that is breastfeeding in public immodestly(according to all of the supporters of this).

    Of course exposing breasts for breastfeeding in public is totally unnecessary because there are special breastfeeding cover ups any woman can buy on the market that make breastfeeding anywhere completely discreet and modest.I saw a breastfeeding woman using one of those cover ups while breastfeeding in the hallway of the V2 parish church that I used to attend for mass.

    I have read that some women have already been doing exactly that and are doing exactly that(exposing their breasts in public while breastfeeding)(the law against public nudity in the USA does not extend to exposing breasts in public for breastfeeding) although I myself have never seen it for myself yet and I really hope and pray that I never do have to see that in a public place.