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."

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