In our time, we can often hear the objections of sensitive people to the indecent dress that can be seen everywhere in our churches as well. When to name a dress inappropriately? How can we be sure to dress with chastity, which pleases God? What are modest Christian dresses that please god?
Pope Pius XII often said, “The greatest sin of the modern generation is that it has lost all sense of sin.” He once stated, “Many women … have succumbed to the tyranny of fashion, to such an extent that it is already quite obvious that such dress is indecent. They have lost the very notion of danger: they have lost their innate sense of chastity. ” These words uttered 50 years ago resonate even more true today (and not just for women). In today’s society, indecorous and inappropriate clothing has become the rule, even among devout Catholics. There is a great ignorance of Christian chastity and the Church’s teaching in this area.
Modest Christian Dresses and Cultural Upheaval
Where does this ignorance of chastity among the pious come from today? We have gone through a cultural revolution to destroy the Catholic culture on which Western civilization is based. Styles changed for the worse even after the First World War, but the real coup came 40-50 years ago. Little has been done to preach against non-Christian fashion movements that have become the benchmark. A cultural upheaval involves a reversal in styles in which a ‘careless,’ ‘relaxed’ equating, and vulgar way of dressing and behaving occurs, which should replace the existing order and values nurtured by Christian civilization.
Even Conservatives Have Succumbed to This Direction
Today, we can see that this equalizing revolution has produced profound changes in people’s mentality – even conservatives. Clothing is changing in strongly imposing gender equality (same clothing for both sexes) and equalizing social classes. An entrepreneur and a lawyer no longer wear suits, a professor looks like a student, and a doctor looks like his gardener. The consequence of this coup’s covert philosophy is creating a vulgar and sexually liberal culture that should replace Catholic culture. Catholics are called to be a counterweight to this anti-Catholic cultural revolution. We could and should do this to choose clothes that reflect our Christian faith.
There Are Two Forms of Christian Chastity:
Avoiding opportunities to be an occasion for sin for another.
- To be filled with the spirit of chastity, inspired by a deep love for the virtue of purity and a true understanding that our clothing’s purpose is to elevate the human body’s dignity.
In no way do both types of views exclude men, but they are of much greater importance to women. Because of the natural differences in the sexes, women are more susceptible to being on sinful occasions. Because they are the “weaker sex” (1 Pet. 3: 7), they are treated with a lack of dignity or respect. With proper dressing, this can be overcome to a considerable extent.
Former Archbishop Albert G. Meyer said the following (from the Pastoral Letter to the Priesthood): “To fulfill the task given to us as your shepherd whose duty it is to protect the flock from the enemy and as the overseer of God who must speak with clear and explicit warnings. Otherwise, the sins of those who sin will be imputed to him (Ezekiel 33: 8-9).
In Terms of Modest Christian Dresses, Modesty Requires Two Things:
1) taking care that cleanliness is not hindered by oneself or others by one’s own way of dressing;
2) prudently but strongly oppose styles and habits that are a danger to purity, no matter how popular or accepted by others … We must emphasize in the strongest possible way that Catholic doctrine, based on the unambiguous words of Christ himself, that indulgence is unclean thoughts and desires are a serious sin. To provoke such impure thoughts and desires by dressing … is to have a share in the grievous sin of temptation and complicity.
What Lady of Fatima Said About Modest Christian Dresses?
Our Lady of Fatima, in 1919, said to Blessed Jacinta Marto: “Certain ways of dressing will be introduced which will greatly offend the Lord. Those who serve God should not follow such a fashion. The church does not know fashion. The Lord is always the same. ”
Many women are not aware of how strong a reaction men have to dishonest dress. For this reason, Pope Pius XII. stated, “How many young girls who see nothing wrong with following certain shameless styles are like the sheep. They would surely blush if they only knew what impression they leave and what feelings they have for those who watch them. ”
Dear Catholic women, you must clearly understand that although not all men are tempted in the same way or to the same extent, yet generally bare thighs, bare belly, shoulders, back; deep neckline, thin or see-through blouses, and shirts, dresses with long slits are sources of temptation. Therefore all this should be absolutely avoided to avoid serious sin. Even when the body is covered, be aware that the same source of the attack is clothing that clings too tightly to the body and reveals a woman’s contours. Pants follow body shape more than dresses and skirts (especially when squatting or leaning). Tight jeans – so popular today – arouse temptation most daringly.
Strong Warnings From the Saints
The necessity of chaste dress has been the constant teaching of the Church over the centuries. (from the apostles, St. Paul (1 Cor. 11: 5-6), to St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, etc., all the way to Padre Pius who, when women would come to confession in dresses of the too deep neckline or in too short, he would send them back, denying them the Sacrament.)
Sv. John Chrysostom says: Now that you have committed another sin in his (man’s) heart, how can you say that you are innocent? Tell me, when do judges punish in court? The one who drank the poison or the one who prepared and served it? You have prepared a disgusting cup, you have provided a deadly drink, and you are a greater criminal than those who poison the body; you do not kill the body but the soul. And you do not do it to your enemies, nor are you forced to do it by anything, nor did it cause you trouble, but you do it out of pure crazy vanity and arrogance.
The gospel must be proclaimed “whether convenient or inconvenient” (2 Tim. 4: 2), and there can be no compromise. These words will help us take the right view: “The welfare of our soul is more important than that of our body; we must put the spiritual well-being of our neighbor before our personal bodily pleasures. ”
Men Are Weaker in Terms of Sensitivity
Christian women should remember that although men are stronger than women in physical strength – they are weaker in terms of sensitivity. If it is the duty of a man to protect a woman with his superior strength and not endanger him, it is the duty of a woman in the area of sensitivity (by her dressing) to help a man remain chaste. Christian gentlemen must keep in mind that women usually dress with a desire to please gentlemen. Therefore, they must be careful not to express their approval or words of approval to women who dress in a way that would not be pleasing to God. It can be helpful to compliment those who dress with due consideration.
The Second Kind: The Spirit of Chastity
The second aspect of Christian chastity — being filled with the spirit of chastity — does not refer to the danger of mortal sin (if we become an opportunity to sin against purity), but to the fact that we must learn to dress in a way that suits Christian dignity. This means that the purpose of dressing is not only our comfort and pleasure but also to respect and build our neighbor and be a healthy yeast in the dough of society and, above all, to please God. For many, this will mean sacrificing one’s own desires, comforts, and habits and sacrificing opposition to the popular ways of dressing brought about by the Cultural Coup.
Modern man attaches little value to tradition (both cultural and religious), perhaps because of advances in technology that make us superior to previous generations, so we lightly reject tradition in favor of calculation, comfort, or even the desire for innovation.
The Need to Differentiate
First, we notice that men’s and women’s traditional clothes are different; their clothes are clearly different. There is a dangerous effort to reduce or eliminate the differences between men and women in contemporary culture and their complementary roles. Isn’t the most common and favorite way of dressing for both men and women reduced to jeans and a cotton T-shirt? Yet God “created them male and female” (Gen. 5: 2); therefore, although they are equal in dignity, they are still designed to be different from each other. So much so that the Bible says, “A woman shall not put on men’s clothing, and a man shall not put on women’s clothing. Whoever would do that would be an abomination to Yahweh his God … ”(Deut. 22: 5) Father William C. Breda writes about this in the article“ Appropriate clothing makes us human ”in The 1981 edition of The Wanderer. :
“There seems to be a misconception among many that we dress to protect ourselves from the weather and the cold, and when the warm weather comes, we can move around naked and half-naked. This thinking is superficial … Without proper clothing and a variety of attire, we are not human at all. By the way, we dress, present ourselves, express our masculinity and femininity … reveal our beliefs and convictions, and our intentions and intentions, and show our tastes and aspirations.
Clothing Represents a Service
Why is a dress more dignified for women? Chesterton points out that because such clothing is more dignified, “when men want to be confident in their impressive performance as judges, priests or kings, they wear robes – long stretched garments of female dignity.”
It is clothing that signifies a special part of their service, and it inspires respect in others. A police officer might complain that it would be more comfortable for him to work in a T-shirt and jeans. But if this were allowed, he would not be recognized as an official, nor would he be given due respect for that service. That is why police officers wear uniforms and are respected and esteemed as law enforcement officers. In the same way, women could say that their pants are more comfortable and simpler, but in that way, they would be less respected and recognized as women. They are treated like other men, and when they are perceived as women, it requires respect for men as they celebrate their God-given femininity.
Modest Christian Dresses Reflect the Respect of the Female Body
The reason why “the inner need for exaltation … of honor is much stronger in women” Franciscans explain: “The female body is in a sense holier than the male because her body can bring life, a new human person created in the image and likeness of God a soul that will last all eternity. Since the female body has this power and dignity, it needs to be treated with respect, and it must be ‘veiled’ with chaste clothing. Indecent clothing profanes his sacred character. ”
Former Cardinal Giuseppe Siri explains the effects that women’s wearing of trousers has on the family and society:
1) it affects the woman herself by changing her inherent female psychology;
2) affects a woman as a spouse, spoiling relations between the sexes;
3) affects a woman as her children’s mother, violating her dignity in the children’s eyes. ”
Continues to Elaborate on Each of These Points:
Regarding “women’s inherent psychology,” he explains that “what encourages women to wear men’s clothing is always imitation, moreover, competition with a man who is considered stronger, less constrained, more independent.” Even the slightest knowledge of history reveals that the desire to “be like a man” motivated women to start wearing pants. Today, this can hardly be considered a conscious motive for women to wear pants. Most wear them because they are considered acceptable but also for convenience. Yet the cardinal emphasizes that “the clothes we wear require, impose and change our movements, attitudes, and behavior to such an extent that even though they are worn only externally, they impose a certain mental structure from within.” Therefore, wearing pants is “a visible help in building the inner attitude of ‘being like a man’ and to some extent” shows her reaction to femininity as inferiority. Still, in fact, it is just a question of difference. ”
How many women, and thus the whole society, are actually affected by this, even unconsciously?
* Are they still the heart of their families with a desire to stay home with their children? * Do they still submit to the authority of their husbands as faith teaches us?
* Have they become more independent and want to be in the world, compete with men, be breadwinners and head of the family?? All the evidence suggests that these movements have already significantly altered women’s psychology in society. How will Catholic women fulfill their God-given female role if they do not preserve their true female identity?
Women as Mothers of Children
Regarding “women as mothers of children,” the cardinal says that “all children have an instinctive sense of honor and decency of their mother.” So, although “a child does not know the definition of exposure, rudeness or infidelity … he has an innate sixth sense to recognize it when it appears, he suffers from it and can be bitterly hurt by it in his soul.” In this, we see the need to preserve female chastity’s dignity in public and within the house church.
Obviously, the cardinal’s concern is not to give women what is forbidden but to help them preserve their beautiful, refined femininity so crucial to family health and a healthy society. God made them male and female; oh, how the world suffers when it loses that feminine element! And it is said, “The hand that sways the cradle rules the world.”
Further in his letter, Siri continues: Out of mercy, we fight so that our world does not get lost; we fight against attacks on those differences on which the complementarity of man and woman rests. When we see a woman in pants, we think not only of her but of all of humanity; what if women become completely masculinized? No one will benefit in a future ruled by uncertainty, ambiguity, and flaws.
The Damage Will Not Manifest Itself in a Short Time
The cardinal continues that despite the current damage caused by “indecency,” the damage caused by women wearing trousers “will not manifest itself in a short time” but will be slow and imperceptible. In the last 40 years or so since this warning, trousers have become more and more the rule for women. So the distinction between masculinity and femininity and their complementary roles is disappearing. Unfortunately, these 40 years have been enough to make us aware of the disturbing consequences that the far-sighted cardinal hinted at with fear.
In its last open letter to the United States’ bishops, the Catholic Health Association explains that gender identity disorder is a major reason that causes a predisposition to a state of same-sex attraction. Everyone is born male or female but must learn (especially from same-sex parents) what it means to be male or female. If this child does not learn and grows up with a weak gender identity, there is a high chance that he might develop a same-sex attraction. Catholic psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg (in his book The Battle for Normality) says that in cultures (even the most primitive and pagan) where there is a “clear distinction between girls and boys,” homosexuality is very rare, or even non-existent.
The Church’s Reflection on Women’s Modest Christian Dresses
It is clear from the mass abortions that today’s society is “decadent,” so if society approves the wearing of trousers by women cannot guarantee that it is perfect, worthy of women’s honor, or pleasing God.
Pope Pius XII says that people who are often “too pliable” or “too lazy” to make critical judgments themselves often “accept first what is offered to them and only later become aware of the mediocrity and indecency of a particular fashion.” That is why we understand his warning “… this also applies to individuals whose dignity requires them to be free from imposed pre-determined tastes, especially those questionable in terms of morality.”
Therefore, it seems quite clear that the Pope is asking women to “react strongly against” the wearing of trousers (as well as against other novelties in modern dress). Instead, they should continue the tradition of wearing long dresses and skirts.
Temples of the Holy Spirit
Sv. Paul says:
Or don’t you know? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. Because you were bought ransom, therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6: 19-20)
Positive Effect on Society
Fashion expresses the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to experience a shipwreck in dissolution or maintain itself at the level to which religion and civilization have elevated it.
By zealously adhering to traditional dress, Catholics will have a positive, moralizing impact on the pagan world around them.
These standards may seem outdated, but Pope Pius XII. assured us that although there may be great differences in the ways of dressing, “there is always an absolute measure to be guarded,” which cannot change with time and customs. The “justification” of obscene fashion, calling it something “we are accustomed to,” is “the most insidious of sophisms.” to vote for the party for which the philosopher in question was). Catholics should encourage and admonish each other to dress appropriately in a chaste manner.
Three-quarter sleeves are allowed with the approval of the Church, and a skirt up to below the knee when the woman is sitting, fully covered chest, shoulders, and back; transparent fabrics should not be worn – lace, mesh, nylon, etc., unless a suitable base is added; clothing hides rather than reveals the figure of the wearer; does not highlight body parts.
Young ladies should understand that modest dress does not mean that they cannot be attractive. The Bible teaches, “Let not your jewels be without appearance – braiding your hair, adorning it with gold, or wearing a garment. Rather: a man of secret heart, of imperishable beauty, of a gentle and calm spirit. That is precious before God. ” (1 Pet. 3: 3-4)
Criteria for Men
Although this is much more important for women, St. Commenting on this passage, Franjo Saleški does not hesitate to note that “the same can be said for men.” Yes, men must also dress with appropriate Christian dignity. It is not appropriate for a Christian to do his daily chores in scanty clothing that covers the body only a little more than the clothing of a native.
In 1946, Canadian bishops addressed men with the following words of chastity: “Not even men can escape the propensity to expose the body; in very tight pants or very scanty bathing suits. And they begin to violate the virtue of purity. And they can be a sinful occasion (thoughts or lusts) for one’s neighbor. ”
Of course, men have to avoid tight clothing, shorts, unbuttoned shirts, muscular t-shirts, or be shirtless. They should adhere to the ideal way of dressing for men because of their Christian dignity: “Spacious shirt and pants.” Finally, it should not be noted that earrings and similar signs of femininity should be avoided.
Criteria for Children and Young People
The Church teaches that even young children should be taught proper covering and dressing of the body. In this way, by puberty, their sense of chastity will become strong, and mindfulness regarding chastity will be part of their daily lives. Let parents never allow their daughters to wear indecent clothing.
Pope Pius XII gave these strong warnings to parents: “Woe to fathers and mothers who have no strength and caution, who indulge in the whims of their children and surrender the paternal authority inscribed on the forehead of the father and mother as a reflection of divine Dignity.”
… O Christian mothers (and fathers), if you only knew what future troubles, dangers, and shame you are preparing for your sons and daughters whom you recklessly accustom to living scarcely clothed and with whom you have neglected to develop a sense of chastity, you would be ashamed of yourself. The damage is done to those little ones that Heaven has entrusted to your care to be raised in Christian dignity and culture. The Pontifical Council for the Family reminded parents:
Although socially acceptable, some speech and dress habits are not morally correct and represent a devaluation of sexuality, reducing it to an object of consumption. Parents should teach their children the values of Christian chastity, decent dress, and when it comes to trends, the necessary independence.
Modest Christian Dresses Can Be Female Advantage
In the end, it must be said that women often believe that they gain some great advantage if they turn away from their right and natural role in the family, society, and the Church. The irony of reality is that they are actually losing their most important advantage over men.
The mental attitude – to be ‘like a man’ ”is expressed not only through the way women dress but also through their search for more dominant roles in society, non-recognition of the husband’s authority in the family, and even seeking priestly ordination in the Church.
The Highly Regarded Catholic Philosopher Alice Von Hildebrand Explains the Various Roles Below:
“Men and women, although of equal dignity, are different and therefore called to fulfill different functions. Man is an active principle; women receptively (but not passively). This complementarity finds its expression in sexuality and the fact that the priesthood’s dignity is assigned to men and not to women. It is appropriate for a man to repeat the words of Christ from the Last Supper actively. While women are assigned the glorious role of holy receptivity, so strongly expressed in the words of the Holy Virgin: “May they be to Me according to Your word.” “Receptiveness,” as Von Hildebrand defines it, “is the generous opening of oneself to another, allowing for the possibility of fertility.”
True Holiness Is in Women
Ironically, true holiness — with its demand for obedience, submissiveness, secrecy, consideration, and dependence on God — requires that receptivity, which is by nature a characteristic — not of men — but women. This characteristic is why (as St. Teresa of Avila points out) many more women than men receive mystical graces. It is simply a historical fact. And unfortunately, women lose that receptivity by striving to be independent, aggressive, and dominant and demanding men’s active roles.
It seems clear that God calls women to be spiritual leaders in a certain sense without and in any way deviating from the wonderful feminine nature with which He adorned them. Following the examples of the Blessed Virgin Mary and countless saints, they will lead humanity through obedience, submission, secrecy, courtesy, trust, and love toward the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, where the Divine Will will be “both in heaven and on earth … Amen!”