Going before the King of kings

CATHOLIC MORAL DRESS CODE

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that search his testimonies that seek him with their whole heart.” (Psalm 118)

Being a Catholic, a practicing Catholic, means living a life in accord with the Laws of God (Commandments) and the Church (Magisterium). Catholic is a way of life. We are not just members of a religious group. In fact, at one time the world could pick us out of a crowd. But today, I don’t think so. There have been a lot of changes since Vatican II that have made Catholics virtually invisible. There is one change that has really been a thorn in my side for some time. It is something that I see when I enter the church for Mass on any given day that sometimes has almost brought me to tears. Oh, the sin! I’ll do my best to explain what I mean.

There are many different ways in which we can sin or cause others to sin such as: our words, actions, neglects and immorality; however, in this day and age the most frequent way we cause ourselves to sin is by our immorality by being immodest in our manner of dress.

Sexual self-consciousness, shame and the covering up of the body followed the Fall in the Garden of Eden (Gn 2:25; 3:7; 3:10-11). The wisdom of biblical literature warns against the snares of feminine shamelessness (Prov.2:16;5:3; 7:5-27). In the New Testament modesty in looks, words and general behavior is inculcated (Matt. 5:28; Eph. 5:3-20; 2 Peter 2:14). General sexual modesty – “a gentle and quiet spirit” – should characterize the Christian(Catholic) woman (1 Tim. 2:9-12; 1 Peter 3:1-6)

Saint Thomas treated modesty as a part of chastity, not a distinct virtue from it. All kinds of things could be and were considered in St. Thomas’ context – words, looks, touches, embraces, kisses, fantasies, the nude in art, dress, reading, bathing, dancing, theatrical shows, now in recent times, movies and television shows would certainly be included. Remember before Vatican II, each year we had to stand up in Church and make a vow to God not to go to indecent movies which consisted of anything that was on the Banned List at the back of the Church? This List would now have ratings such as: PG, R, X, XX, XXX. Is there even a mention of these vows being made in any Church now? I don’t think there is a TV program or movie these days that isn’t in one of the rating categories. This type of viewing is on going because the producers are given the impression that that’s what we all want to see. Did you know that every time an indecent program is watched it’s a sin against purity? You might say that you watch it for the comedy and don’t pay attention to other things. Well, by watching you put before your eyes all that is base and unpleasing to God. Movies and TV are constant weapons used against us and especially the young by Satan. We become accustomed to it and don’t fight against it. Satan’s ploy of chipping away, chipping away weakening our morals and virtue.

You are probably wondering what all this has to do with what I see in church? Keep going, it will all come together. Television, movies, magazines, they are all a huge influence on the way men, women and children act and dress. Celebrities are held up as icons, kings and queens that dictate on how we should conduct ourselves. All you have to do is look around you and you will see the influence they have on especially the young adults and teens, not to mention those pre-teens. Have you noticed all the advertisements on T-shirts, jackets and sweat shirt when you are Mass? We see everything from Veterans of Foreign Wars to the local bar and pub, not to mention rock groups.

There is a saying, ‘that in proportion to the amount of flesh’ mortal sin seems to increase. This being the case, one would assume that at least our Catholic men and boys, women and girls would have the good sense to ALWAYS wear clothes that tend to conceal, rather than reveal or call attention to the body. This moral dress code should be Universal, just as our Church is Universal or Catholic. There should be no excuse for moral dress codes being different just because a person lives in a different country, state or county; either a person is dressed decently or not! True Roman Catholics should wear decent clothes that would show they are conscious to the fact their bodies are “temples of the Holy Ghost”.

Women often deny that their semi-nude attire is the source of serious temptations to the opposite sex. Some reject any responsibility for leading others into sin. The culture these days seems to be one of sex and money and that’s what rules so many lives. Others try to cover their own guilt by such statements as: “He must have a dirty mind. Scanty attire in men doesn’t affect me at all. Why should men be tempted by the scanty attire of women?” When a woman is dressed immodestly, she becomes the temptress for men. Remember Our Lord’s words to men who fall prey to such allurements: “Whoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28) Directly, immodest woman are cooperators with the sins of men. God has made woman beautiful and attractive to men so as to fit with His plan for procreation but only in lawful wedlock. Now men, don’t sell yourselves short. Many of you dress to attract attention to your bodies as well, thus causing the same reactions of women toward you. This sin is a two-way street. As a result of Original sin, mankind must constantly struggle to regulate this attraction. Unless both men and women fortify themselves by prayer, sin quickly takes over and enters their immortal souls.

Many men and women will say they wear the modern fashions because they are more comfortable, and the weather is hot (Remember, it is very hot in Hell too!). Why is it so necessary to follow the latest fashions, especially when they are so degrading and sinful? Unfortunately, we are living in times that have lost the sense of sin and, as a result, we see around us an eruption of styles of dress which are, in every way, contrary to Christian modesty. Catholic people must not allow themselves to be carried along by the spirit of the world but must firmly resist such deviations… Jacinta Marto, one of the little seers of Fatima, although she was only a young child at the time, had a wisdom taught her by the Mother of God. Our Lady also said to Sister Lucia at Fatima: “There will be fashions which will greatly offend My Divine Son”. Today’s fashions prove Our Lady’s words true, for these fashions are occasions of sin, occasions of serious sin, by reason of the sinful thoughts, desires and actions which they provoke.

What about the children?

Our daughters should be pursuing lady-like activities and hobbies which will prepare them for marriage and their proper role as mother and wife. They should be learning to sew, embroider, knit, crochet, cook, proper house cleaning, how to make rosaries, sing good Catholic songs and other decent, patriotic songs, play musical instruments, paint and draw. Above all they should be learning to talk, dress, sit, walk, stand, kneel, stoop and act like a lady at all times. Our girls have many options open to them with the constant changes in day and age, if they will only pursue them in a moral decent manner; instead of being bombarded with music, soap operas and magazines that can only lead them to sin by all the suggestive material portrayed in them. They pursuits are for things that are not for them because they seek to be like men, and oh my, men seek to be like women. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is standing in front you at Mass. There is no sign of differentiation between man or woman.

Have parents lost their sense of purity? Unfortunately for many, I feel the answer to that question is yes. Parents are the first teachers and examples that our children learn from in regard to everything… the way we dress, walk, talk, pray, if there is even any type of family prayer. Children are the products of parents, not just in the biological sense, but also of the effort or lack of to teach them what a Christian is or how to conduct themselves according to the Churches teachings.

Our Immaculate Mother, whom God has presented to us as the Perfect Model of Modesty and Purity, is terribly saddened by the immodest and the impure. However, it has not all happened by accident as I said before; it is Satan’s plan, just as he has done with such evil movements as Freemasonry, Atheistic Communism, Socialism, Modernism and Liberalism, so also he has planned out a program of gradual destruction of the sense of modesty and purity. A mere look at the past 50 years or more shows us very plainly how gradually it was all done, first by apparently innocent abbreviations of garments, by slight revelations of bare flesh, by subtle little displays of the figure, and then, as protests died down, by more and more abbreviations and displays until the crude immodesty of our day has become the norm and a shocking reality.

Many of us living today have seen it all happen before our very eyes. We have lived through it and, if we have manage to retain our God-given moral sense, we find the barbarian immodesty of this day intolerable and we look upon it as a sin crying to Heaven for the vengeance that must inevitably come if sinners continue to refuse to amend their ways.

Those who taught or spoken out against immodesty.

Several Popes, Prelates and Religious Men have spoken out with authority on the subject of modesty. Read on and see what they said then and how it still applies today:


**Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) and his two successors, Popes Pius XI and Pius XII, have promoted modesty in dress. These are a few words of Pope Benedict XV: “One cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and station. Made foolish by a desire to please, they do not see to what degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for such apparel as for a grave fault against Christian modesty. Now it does not suffice to exhibit themselves on public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of churches, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Holy Altar, where one receives the Heavenly Author of Purity.” (January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council)

**It is necessary for us to promote standards of attire for Catholic women and girls, standards such as Pope Pius XI had in mind when he said: “A dress cannot be decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breath under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.” Ladies, men, girls and boys should always wear underwear and no beige material (it leaves the impression at a distance of having no clothes). If a skirt is snug, it should reach well below the knees; no shorts, no bathing suits, and no pants (for females).

**The opinion which allows custom to dictate the question of modesty was refuted by Pope Pius XII in one short sentence: “There always exists an absolute norm to be preserved.”

Custom, of course, pays no attention to absolute norms; but, it is a follower of this false principle: “… the majority cannot go wrong.”

To say that “… modesty is a matter of custom” is just as wrong as to say that “… honesty is a matter of custom. “What about those who teach “What is customary does not affect us?”

Pope Pius XII calls this application of an ancient principle to the virtue of modesty, “the most insidious of sophisms.” He calls attention to the fact that some people use this sophism “…in order to brand as ‘old fashioned’ the rebellion of honest people against fashions they consider too bold.”

The Pope’s pronouncements make no distinctions for various types of garments. Pius XII states “…an unworthy, an indecent mode of dress has prevailed” without any distinction of place, “on beaches, in country resorts, on the streets, etc.” (Aug. 29. 1954) His quotation: “Vice necessarily follows upon public nudity,” applies as well to the beaches, or the streets, or resorts, or elsewhere.

**Cardinal Pla y Daniel, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, stated in 1959: “A special danger to morals is represented by public bathing at beaches… Mixed bathing between men and women, which is nearly always a proximate occasion of sin and a scandal, must be avoided.”

**Rufino J. Cardinal Santos, Archbishop of Manila, also quotes these standards as “The Church’s Stand concerning Modesty in Dress” in his Pastoral of December 6, 1959. The feminine loss of the sense of modesty was indicated by Pope Pius XII who said: “Now many girls do not see anything wrong with following certain shameless styles (fashions) like so many sheep. They would surely blush if they could only guess the impressions they make and the feelings they evoke (arouse) in those who see them.” (July 17, 1954.)

**Padre Pio: The saintly stigmatized Padre Pio was always a merciless enemy of feminine vanity: he never tolerated low-necked dresses, short and or tight fitting skirts, and forbade his spiritual children to wear transparent stockings. In the last few years of his life, his severity increased enormously, as fashions became more and more immodest.

He unrelentingly dismissed from his confessional, before they could step inside, all women he judged to be incorrectly dressed. By 1967, on some mornings, he turned them away one after another, until he ended up confessing very few. His brethren noticed this with a certain unease, then decided to post on the door of the church a warning: “By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts AT LEAST 8 INCHES BELOW THE KNEE. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them to confession.”

What does Scripture say?

Christ’s words are very clear. His teachings about wearing apparel leaves no doubt as to what He meant (“A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel neither shall a man use woman’s apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God.”) If Christ said that the sexes should not wear each others clothes and they understood Him, it stands to reason that there was a distinct difference in the men and women clothes. If the people of Jesus’ day could tell a distinction in the clothes, how much more so can we tell a distinction in the pants and dresses of the men and women of today?

Many people lament the terrible state of immorality that is prevalent in our society, wondering what can be done about it. Among other things such as praying the Rosary daily and reading the Holy Bible and the lives of the saints, we can promote modesty by not wearing the fashions of today. When we shop for clothes look for things that are modest. It may take longer to shop and find them, but they are there. You just have to look. If you have very revealing bathing suits and summer wear, discard them or make modifications to them. Let us always keep in mind that the ultimate success is gaining heaven and nothing else really matters.

We are all born with a fallen nature and, consequently, we must keep our bodies covered in order to avoid the dangers of concupiscence. This fact, a result of original sin, is deliberately ignored each time that naturalism attempts to insinuate itself into our Christian customs. Then it is that the purpose of clothing is lost sight of, and instead of being an invitation to virtue, it becomes an incitement to sin. The Church, like a vigilant Mother, full of tender care for the holiness and eternal salvation of Her children, has often been obliged to warn the faithful so that they might avoid the errors of fashion, and to take the measures necessary to ensure that the holy places and sacred things should not be profaned by immodesty in dress.

Our priests (and bishops) must try anew to apply the instructions of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, without violence or rudeness, but with firmness. They must not let persons, dressed in the styles described above, receive the Sacraments and, as far as possible, must not allow them access to the Temple of God. Furthermore, they must frequently remind the faithful of these regulations, especially now with summer just around the corner. Also, when couples present themselves for marriage preparation, the priests must tell them to inform their wedding guests of the rules for dress in church and the bride as well. People dressed in these unacceptable ways must not be accepted as witnesses to the marriage and, after due warning, they must not be admitted to Holy Communion.

It is highly recommended that the Dress Code of the Catholic Church be posted at the entrance to the church for all parishioners and guests to see. Ushers should do their duty and turn away those who are ill-clad. All of us should be responsible for the way we dress ourselves and our children. When we enter the church for Mass, we are entering the House of God not some meeting room. We should be dressed to meet the King of kings, silent and reverent, not to chat and catch up on the latest happenings to cause distractions by the noise and our poor manner of dress.

So, now do you understand why it brings tears to my eyes when I see all these things when I enter for Mass? If you truly believe Jesus is there in the Tabernacle, why do you want to approach Him dressed so inappropriately. After all, He is the King of kings.

 

 

 

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15 Responses to Going before the King of kings

  1. E James says:

    Very interesting. I can see that your Parish is very similar to the ones I attend. And now we have the warmer weather coming=at least in the colder weather we got some reprieve from clothing and dress you are referring to.
    Peace

  2. E James says:

    Happy Mother’ day. May you find peace and joy on this day and throughout the year.

  3. E James says:

    We’re into very warm weather now and the attire of some is at it’s peak as far as atrociousness. I’ve taken the time to speak to a fair amount of people. I get agreement that some attire is out of place and disrespectful, yet I don’t find any that wish to do anything about it. I’m thinking they agree out of politeness. Many responses are “what are you going to do?” I went as far as contacting someone I know in the Grand Rapids diocese. I got the same type of apathy. When I brought up that it could be brought up in the diocese and to the bishop I was told they have far more important things to work on.
    I’m very much in agreement with your position, but I don’t see an avenue to accomplish anything in this area. It’s very sad, but appears to be what is going to be.
    The Catholic church has brought me great joy(I should have become involved around 40 years ago) and some great sorrow. This area will go on the sorrow list.
    Peace

    • admin says:

      Yes, unfortunately there is too much apathy and the diocese will not take the time to make any changes or strong suggestions. When asked, “What are you going to do?” Just tell them you are going to dress properly as you ought. Be a good example and maybe it will make at least one person change their attire. I grew up in that diocese and they won’t budge. Makes you wonder how some would dress when they stand before the Divine Justice when their time comes. Hang in there, the real Catholic Church will never die.

  4. E James says:

    If it was that way then you can be assured that it hasn’t changed. I have accepted that I will dress appropriately and that I can’t change anyone=I can only help them to change if they desire to change.
    When I get a little discouraged I like to stop in here and that does help. So even though you’re not getting many stopping in here I would like to assure you that you are having a positive impact and your ideas are not going unnoticed. You are making a difference.
    If you grew up in the Grand Rapids diocese then maybe we went to school together=just different schools lol. A little humor thrown in.
    Peace & 🙂

  5. admin says:

    Stick to your guns and dress properly for Jesus and be an example for others. You might even get strange looks now and again. Who knows, it just may rub off.

    I graduated from Mount Mercy Academy in ’67. Also, attended Godwin Heights and Rogers. Nothing like dating myself, eh?

  6. E James says:

    You’re funny. Tks for the humor and see we did go to school together=just different schools. You got wood rulers and I got wood paddles… Dating yourself??? I graduated in 66=haha I’m older=just not wiser. (we’re like old-oh well) 🙂
    Yes I do dress properly=regardless of how warm it is I’m not going in shorts and a t-shirt. He suffered so much for me and I suffer so little for him it seems.
    Do you have something else I can work on that might get a little more support from others???? I am going to address the dress issue again-I’m just waiting for an excellent time.
    Peace and I hope all is excellent with you and yours’

    • admin says:

      There is no such thing as an “excellent time to do anything, unless we consider being called upon by God to do something; that is an excellent time. If you are driven to do more for the glory and honor of God, now is the time. He will give you the resources to carry out His desires. You might try asking any Sisters (if there are any) to speak with the priest asking him to say something publicly about the deplorable dress situation. Or, ask him yourself. I might suggest approaching one of the women’s societies, ie; The Altar Society, that might have some influence. But they may be some of the worst offenders. Pray about it and ask Our Lady to help open some doors and give ideas on what could be done. She warned us at Fatima about fashions displeasing her Son. Just continue to be a good example and pray for guidance and for those who dress so poorly before the King of kings.

  7. E James says:

    Peace.
    I totally agree with you. I just meant by an excellent time as being the opportunity to have more of a one on one conversation
    There is one Sister at the Parish who seems like a take charge type(humor=aren’t they all???)
    I’m not familiar with The Altar Society. I know=type in a search=that’s how I found this place. 🙂
    I have to laugh at your post of “continue to be a good example” I have never viewed myself as being a good example. I’m just trying to learn things that I should have known about 40 years ago. So much to learn and not really that much time left. No medical problems-just there have been a few years that have went by.
    Peace

  8. E James says:

    Hi & Peace.
    So much for take charge. I think I’ll find another Sister.
    I’m curious on the dress code and when it changed. What was it like in say 1961(picked because just prior to Vatican II). What was it like ten years later in 1971. When you went in 1971 had there been much of a change? How bout in 1981 and 1991. I’ve been going since around 2001 and it’s been consistently poor since I’ve been attending. I’m wondering if this has been going on for decades and is just accepted as the norm now.
    Peace be with you.

    • admin says:

      I don’t exactly remember the time line for the changes, but in the early 60s everyone was still dressing as they should. As time went on many abuses started taking place, for example, that women no longer had to cover their heads. This is incorrect. The changes in dress were accepted as normal and it didn’t matter what a person wore but that they showed up for Mass. So many bishops and priests have just let people get away with what ever they want and as you said, it has become the norm. It’s very sad that Christ doesn’t matter anymore. Don’t despair, because the reward for faithfulness will truly be rewarded. If there is a Mass near you that is offered by the Fraternity of Saint Peter, go there and if possible speak with the priest and learn about the Catholic faith. You may be surprised about how much you don’t know.

  9. E James says:

    Peace and I hope all is excellent with you and yours’.
    So it’s one of many things that did radical changes in the seventies and didn’t change for the better. We went into the feel good education system-have to feel good about everything you do=doesn’t matter if it’s wrong. Ask a child what two and two is. When they say three you tell them how great they did and they were so very close. Right… And now we have the entitled ones. So many feel they are entitled to whatever and regardless of cost. I really thought in my life that when I got into my “elderly” years that things would be better. I think we had a better world in general back in the sixties and early seventies.
    I’ll have to check on the Fraternity of Saint Peter. I attend two different churches. One had a very excellent priest, but he passed away. The other is okay, but seems to have during Mass of being more friend than priest. Maybe all the changes have impacted him in a not so good way. I always address him as representing Christ, but he seems to want it more on a friend basis. I really miss the one that died=such a wonderful person and priest… I am thankful for the time our Lord gave him to us.
    Watching the news it looks like it chilled down a little for ya. Not looking forward to the cold. Got old and don’t take the cold as well. If you don’t care for it now just wait until you’re my age=lol
    Peace and my our Lord watch over and comfort you.

  10. E James says:

    Hi. Hope all is excellent and you’re staying warm. The attire is getting better due to the cold so going to touch on another area and wonder how bad it is there.
    Looking around I see that at app. 25%+ are not using the kneeling rails. They will lean forward, but stay seated. This involves all different age groups. I realize that some people have medical situations that make it difficult, but I’m not sure all those people have some type of medical problem.
    I’m getting up there in years as you know and yes I have a few more aches than I used to. I’m 62 and due to your posts you are probably 61(remember dating yourself? Don’t hit 62-not much exciting-lol). It’s not always real comfortable to do, but what is a little irritation considering what is going on. Is this something that is also getting progressively worse?
    Just my reflections from Mass this morning. It was a very nice Mass with a visiting Priest there. Very likable. Hope you also had a very enjoyable Mass.
    Peace to you and yours’

    • admin says:

      Sorry for being so slow at responding to you last comment. I think, there has always been some who will not kneel and tend to just “sit back” so as not to cause any kind of discomfort. But of course, I’m sure that there are some who just don’t like kneeling not matter what. It has been noticed that there are more and more people who not kneel nor even genuflect before entering the pew. Oh, some will do the “token genuflection” and many times they aren’t even facing the tabernacle. So, I don’t know who they are bending or bowing to at that point. They seem to have forgotten how to make the Sign of the Cross properly too. Now, many of these are children and teens. They must have sick that day when genuflection and crossing themselves was covered in CCD class. Poorly taught parents aren’t going to teach their children and if they don’t even go to Mass, how do they know what their kids are doing. All they know is that Johnny went to Mass because he brought a bulletin home. If I were younger and able to see the terrible faults in the CCD programs these day, I would not send my kids and teach them at home letting the pastor know, and then; he could test them periodically to see what they know. Who knows, maybe he would learn something or be reminded of something that he has let pass by him un-noticed. As I said before, we must be good examples for those around us. Some will wake up and others will just go on blindly like sheep following the wolf instead of the shephard.

  11. E James says:

    Peace and Hi. You posted on October 18th-wow-I have stopped in but been a little down so didn’t reply. Still kinda down, but oh well.
    And if you were younger??? You are. Younger than I am. I think the only good thing bout 62 is that I’m not 63. Not sure what they mean by the golden years. lol
    Sounds like they need people like you to teach CCD programs. Of what I’ve seen you’d be really excellent at it. I went through the RCIA classes and they clearly stated how we’re supposed to genuflect, make the Sign of the Cross and where to face. They also covered kneeling and that if you had medical problems you could lean forward
    I remember as a child going to a Catholic Church(relatives and pre Vatican II) and being impressed with the conduct of people. Now I see the laxness in so many. Just a curiosity thing and since you’re been around for a few years now that I might gain some knowledge on recent history in the Church and changes that have been taking place in the last few decades or so. I’ll continue as I was taught and hope it rubs off. I’ll also hope that maybe one of these days someone in authority will feel it’s worth mentioning about the casual atmosphere. Right now as you say they don’t seem to care.
    I hope life is being excellent to you and yours’ and may Peace always be with you.

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