Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church gets our attention in the same sense when it speaks of modesty: "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.... 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."(2521-2524). In an instruction on December 8, 1995, the Pontifical Council for the Family speaks up against certain tendencies to immodesty in contemporary society: "Even if they are socially acceptable, there are ways of speaking and dressing which are morally incorrect and which represent a vulgarization of sexuality, reducing it to an object to be consumed. Parents should teach their children the value of Christian modesty, of sober dressing, of the necessary liberty concerning fashions, which are all characteristics of a mature masculine or feminine personality" (97)."

-- From the spiritual letter of December 18, 1996, by Dom Antoine Marie, osb. Reproduced with permission through the kindness of Fr Jacques Marie, osb.

** Dom Antoine is a benedictine priest at Saint Joseph de Clairval Abbey in Flavigny

1 comment:

aspiring... said...

I'm thankful to now be familiar with this writing; thank you, ocd sister.