I am finally putting forth an article for our good Queen and Mother. This is summer and in the summer, women and men dress scantily. I know this is a sore spot for many but the reality is - Our Blessed Mother comes to visit us fully clothed. The culture today is one of indecent dress and it is easy to get caught up in the fashions - especially for our youth. There are better options than short shorts and sleeveless blouses and dresses. We can make better choices without dressing like a religious in full habit.
I grew up in the 60's and 70's when mini skirts and short shorts were popular - they still are! We were never taught in school and my mom never mentioned once to us four girls that anything we wore was immodest. We wore bathing suits as well. What to do? Well - here are bits and pieces of an article written on Our Lady of the Rosary Library site. A great insight to inspire us to do what we should be doing in a world that will soon pass us by and leave us in eternity.
"In regard to modesty in dress and deportment, let us first consider what the Holy Bible has to say on this subject: "In like manner I wish women to be decently dressed, adorning themselves with modesty and dignity, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but with good works, such as become women professing Godliness." (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
If you have the virtues of modesty and purity you have something which money cannot buy and an ornament which will outlast all the fading treasures of earth. "How beautiful then is modesty and what a gem among virtues it is." (St. Bernard, Confessor and Doctor of the Church)
Let us listen to the Holy Ghost speaking to us again in the Holy Bible: "Do not love the world, or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; which is not from the Father, but from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1 St. John 2:15, 17)
Our Sorrowful and Immaculate Mother, who in all her apparitions is fully covered, is presented by Her Divine Son to us as the perfect model of modesty and purity. She is terribly saddened by the immodest and impure conduct so prevalent in our society. Our Lord speaks to us through His Blessed Mother in condemning the modern trends of uncovering the body. In fact, Our Lady came down from heaven to warn against this disrobing trend. Listen to what she revealed to little nine-year-old Jacinta of Fatima while she was dying in a hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1920: "Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend Our Divine Lord very much. Those who serve God ought not to follow these fashions. Our Lord is always the same." And she also revealed to Jacinta that "the sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh."
Ladies, men, girls and boys should always wear clothing that they would not be ashamed of in the sight of God. This would certainly eliminate shorts, bathing suits and pants for females. God's words are very clear: "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." (Deut.22:5) If God said that the sexes should not wear each other's clothes, it stands to reason there is a distinct difference in men and women's clothes. Now let us reflect again on how the Mother of our Savior has been adorned in her various appearances. Can you imagine her wearing slacks? How can we say that we have a true devotion to Our Blessed Mother and continue to follow worldly fashions and trends? Should we not follow her perfect example?
(NOTE: Blue jeans were created as a unisex garb to bring about the age of unisex. They should only be worn to clean dung out of the barn which is why they were first called dungerees )
St. Bonaventure, once speaking in Constantinople, asked this question and, giving his own answer, said: "Of all the thousands in this city, how many will be saved? How ought I to answer this question, or ought I answer it at all? Perhaps hardly a hundred. Would to God I could be certain of so many. " When St. Bernard died, a holy anchorite who had also died at the same time appeared to the bishop of Langres and told him that 30,000 had died at the same time. He and St. Bernard went straight to heaven, 3 others went to purgatory and all the rest were damned.
Father Eusebius Nieremburg, who resided at the College of Madrid, where he died in the odor of sanctity in 1658, relates the story of a noble and exceedingly pious lady, who asked God to make known to her what displeased His Divine Majesty most in persons of her sex. The Lord vouchsafed in a miraculous manner to hear her. He opened under her eyes the eternal abyss. There she saw a woman a prey to cruel torments and in her recognized one of her friends, a short time before deceased. This sight caused her as much astonishment as grief: the person whom she saw damned did not seem to her to have lived badly. Then that unhappy soul said to her: "It is true that I practiced religion, but I was a slave of vanity. Ruled by the passion to please, I was not afraid to adopt indecent fashions to attract attention, and I enkindled the fire of impurity in more than one heart. Ah! If Christian women knew how much immodesty in dress displeases God!" At the same moment, this unhappy soul was pierced by two fiery lances and plunged into a caldron of liquid lead.
St. John Chrysostom (347-407), the illustrious Bishop of Constantinople and one of the 32 doctors of the Church, had this to say about women who dress immodestly: "You carry your snare everywhere and spread your net in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not indeed by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. And much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me whom does this world condemn? Whom do the judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You are more criminal than those who poison the body. You have given the death-dealing drink. You murder not the body but the soul, and it is not to enemies do you do this nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity nor provoked by injury. But you do it out of foolish vanity and pride."
The problem of salvation is a very difficult thing; for according to the maxims of the theologians, when an end demands great efforts, only a few attain it; but not to make every effort to avoid eternal damnation and to make sure of one's salvation is something inconceivable. God wants all men to be saved. He tells us so in the Holy Bible; that He enlightens every man that cometh into this world. In a hundred places in Holy Scripture, God tells us that it is truly His desire to save all men. "I live, saith the Lord God. I desire not the death of the sinner. Be converted and live." (Ex.18-32) He provides us with all the means most proper for us to be saved.
The eminent way to protect and nourish an unsullied and perfect chastity, as proven by experience time and again throughout the course of centuries, is solid and fervent devotion to the Virgin Mother of God. St. Gregory of Nicodemia encourages sinners by assurance if they have recourse to Our Blessed Mother, with a determination to amend their lives, she will save them by her intercession. To obtain favors from Our Lady, we must perform certain devotions practiced by her servants: First, to recite at least five decades of her Rosary every day. Second, to wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Third, to have a picture or a statue of Our Lady in our home and recite her litany every day. There are other devotions by the servants of Mary, but most of all we should recommend ourselves frequently to her in prayer. "If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your salvation is certain." St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!