Friday, November 12, 2010

Immodesty is more than just how much flesh you show: And it will send you to hell.

From the Prophecies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Book 7, Chapter 27:

To   a   person   who   was   wide   awake   at   prayer   (St. Bridget) and   absorbed   in contemplation - and while she was in a rapture of mental elevation - Jesus Christ appeared; and he said to her this: ”Hear, O you to whom it has been given to hear and see spiritual things; and be diligently attentive; and in your mind beware in regard to those things that you now will hear and that in my behalf you will announce to the nations, lest you speak them to acquire for yourself honor or human praise. Nor indeed are you to be silent about these things from any fear of human reproach and contempt; for these things that you are now going to hear are being shown to you not only for your own sake, but also because of the prayers of my friends.

For some of my chosen friends in the Neapolitan citizenry have for many years asked me with their whole heart - in their prayers and in their labors on behalf of my enemies living in the same city - to show them some grace through which they could be withdrawn and savingly recalled from their sins and abuses. Swayed by their prayers, I give to you now these words of mine; and therefore diligently hear the things that I speak.

[...]

Moreover, know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering. Wherefore, know that two sins, which I now name to you,are being practiced and that they draw after them other sins that all seem as if venial. But because the people delight in them with the intention of persevering, they are therefore made mortal, and the people in the city of Naples commit many other abominable sins that I do not wish to name to you.

The first of the two sins is that the faces of rational human creatures are being painted with the various colors with which insensible images and statues of idols are colored so that to others, these faces may seem morebeautiful than I made them. The second sin is that the bodies of men andwomen are being deformed from their natural state by the unseemly forms of clothing that the people are using. And the people are doing this because of pride and so that in their bodies they may seem more beautiful and more lascivious than I, God, created them.

And indeed they do this so that those who thus see them may be more quickly provoked and inflamed toward carnal desire. Therefore, know for very certain that as often as they daub their faces with antimony and other extraneous coloring, some of the infusion of the Holy Spirit is diminished in them and the devil draws nearer to them. In fact, as often as they adorn themselves in disorderly and indecent clothing and so deform their bodies, the   adornment   of   their   souls   is   diminished   and   the   devil's   power   is increased.

O my enemies, who do such things and with effrontery commit other sins contrary to my will, why have you neglected my passion; and why do you not attend in your hearts to how I stood naked at the pillar, bound and cruelly scourged with hard whips, and to how I stood naked on the cross and cried out, full of wounds and clothed in blood? And when you paint and anoint your faces, why do you not look at my face and see how it was full of blood? You are not even attentive to my eyes and how they grew dark and were covered with blood and tears, and how my eyelids turned blue.

Why too do you, not look at my mouth or gaze at my ears and my beard and see how they were aggrieved and were stained with blood? You do not look at the rest of my limbs, monstrously wounded by various punishments, and see how I hung black and blue on the cross and dead for your sake. And there, derided and rejected, I was despised by all in order that,   by   recalling   these   things   and   attentively   remembering   them,   you might love me, your God, and thus escape the devil's snares, in which you have been horribly bound.

However, in your eyes and hearts, all these things have been forgotten and neglected. And so you behave like prostitutes, who love the pleasure and delight of the flesh, but not its offspring. For when they feel a living infant in their womb, at once they procure an abortion by means of herbs and other things so that without losing their fleshly pleasure and further wicked delight, they may thus be always absorbed in their lust and their foul carnal intercourse. This is how you behave. For I, God, your Creator and Redeemer, visit all with my grace, knocking, namely, at your hearts, because I love all.

But when you feel, in your hearts, any knock of an inpouring - namely of my Spirit - or any compunction; or when, through hearing my words, you conceive any good intention, at once you procure spiritually, as it were, an abortion, namely, by excusing your sins and by delighting in them and even by damnably willing to persevere in them. For that reason, you do the devil's will, enclosing him in your hearts and expelling me in this contemptible way. Therefore, you are without me, and I am not with you. And you are not in me but in the devil, for it is his will and his suggestions that you obey.



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