Most Catholic Chastity speakers talk about intimacy; after all, Chastity itself calls upon all to remain chaste and pure; and it is certainly needed that people today, (young AND old!) need to learn how to be chaste and modest.
But unfortunately, in the Catholic Church today:
- No one seems to know what that means exactly, or even what being “pure” means.
- No one seems to know what “dressing modestly” means.
- No one even seems to know what it means to be chaste in other circles aside from the intimate.
This is a big claim, yes, I know, but it has to be said. Have I evidence or any proof of my claim?
Let’s start with
No one seems to know what that means exactly, or even what being “pure” means.
Catholics who attend Catholic one-word-titled”spiritual high” events such as “LIFT” or “ENCOUNTER” or “SEEK”, and who also promote their Catholic faith (if in name only) on the Social Media seem profoundly misguided.
Even though Chastity Speakers talk about being “pure” as, not-engaging-in-marital-intimacy, and being nice to people, and loving them as Christ loves them, because “we are all made in the Image and Likeness of God.” Sure, great, very true. Where is the problem? The problem is that, the slew of Catholics who are taught this, still use terrible profanity, (whether in person and/or on Social Media) still watch dirty movies, still promote and listen to terrible secular musicians such as Beyoncé, who promote vulgarity, fornication, anti-Catholicism, nudity, etc. They still bash others with their words; usually other Catholics who do not think as they do; and not just their point of view (which isn’t a sin in itself) but condemning the person themselves. They still dress in bikinis, mini skirts, leggings, low-cut shirts, booty shorts, etc.
Tell me again… how is this being pure? Aside from the fact that we are all sinners and are still learning and growing in faith… are ya’ll learning and growing away from these bad habits? These impure practices?
The CCC states that purity isn’t just not fooling around;
“2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. the alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.
2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.”
And it doesn’t just stop there, pre-Vatican II Catechisms & information are just as legit as they were before V2:
Catechism of St. Pope Pius X:
8 Q. What must we avoid in order to preserve ourselves chaste?
A. To preserve ourselves chaste we must shun idleness, bad companions, the reading of bad books and papers, intemperance, the sight of indecent statues or pictures, licentious theatres, dangerous conversations, and all other occasions of sin.
257. What are the chief dangers to the virtue of chastity?
The chief dangers to the virtue of chastity are: idleness, sinful curiosity, bad companions, drinking, immodest dress, and indecent books, plays, and motion pictures.
258. What are the chief means of preserving the virtue of chastity?
The chief means of preserving the virtue of chastity are to avoid carefully all unnecessary dangers, to seek God’s help through prayer, frequent confession, Holy Communion, and assistance at Holy Mass, and to have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Catechism of the Council of Trent:
Other Sins Against Chastity Are Forbidden
But that every species of immodesty and impurity are included in this prohibition of adultery, is proved by the testimonies of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose; and that such is the meaning of the Commandment is borne out by the Old, as well as the New Testament. In the writings of Moses, besides adultery, other sins against chastity are said to have been punished. Thus the book of Genesis records the judgment of Judah against his daughterin-law. In Deuteronomy is found the excellent law of Moses, that there should be no harlot amongst the daughters of Israel. Take heed to keep thyself, my son, from all fornication, is the exhortation of Tobias to his son; and in Ecclesiasticus we read: Be ashamed of looking upon a harlot. In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication; Fly fornication; Keep not company with fornicators; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you; ” Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.
Means of practicing purity:
….Avoidance of Idleness, Temperance, Custody of the Eyes, Mortification, Frequenting the Sacraments, ….
Avoidance Of Immodest Dress:
Too much display in dress, which especially attracts the eye, is but too frequently an occasion of sin. Hence the admonition of Ecclesiasticus: Turn away thy face from a woman dressed up. As women are given to excessive fondness for dress, it will not be unseasonable in the pastor to give some attention to the subject, and sometimes to admonish and reprove them in the impressive words of the Apostle Peter: Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel. St. Paul likewise says: Not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire. Many women adorned with gold and precious stones, have lost the only true ornament of their soul and body.
263 Avoidance Of Impure Conversation, Reading, Pictures
Next to the sexual excitement, usually provoked by too studied an elegance of dress, follows another, which is indecent and obscene conversation. Obscene language is a torch which lights up the worst passions of the young mind; and the Apostle has said, that evil communications corrupt good manners. Immodest and passionate songs and dances are most productive of this same effect and are, therefore, cautiously to be avoided. In the same class are to be numbered soft and obscene books which must be avoided no less than indecent pictures. All such things possess a fatal influence in exciting to unlawful attractions, and in inflaming the mind of youth. In these matters the pastor should take special pains to see that the faithful most carefully observe the pious and prudent regulations of the Council of Trent.
Top Catechist, Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon (who was asked by Pope St. John Paul II to write a Catechism) says this about Chastity;
Giving into one’s lustful drives is irrational. Chastity is more than prudent self-control. To practice chastity there must be chastity of the eyes, chastity of the ears, chastity of thought and chastity of desire.Modesty is a pre-condition for chastity, and chastity is the pre-condition for the culture of life.
Conclusion: If Chastity speakers deign to take on the important role of teaching Catholics and non-Catholics “Purity”, it is best not to glaze over anything. The bad example of Catholics, whether poorly educated or not, can be detrimental to souls!
No one seems to know what “dressing modestly” means.
Again, at all Catholic Conferences, Articles, websites, Social Media platforms, modesty is talked about quite a bit in a few places. But the problem is that the focus on constantly on, “When you want to get down the heart of modest clothing it is best to remember that modesty is truly not about a hemline.” “Modesty starts in the heart” “Modesty is usually referred to clothing but it is also about the heart..”
Over and over in different worded paragraphs this sentence is repeated. It is very rare to find a Catholic person/speaker/website that talks about what is literally, IMMODEST DRESS and what isn’t. The reason for this is that, perhaps they themselves probably do not even know? The Catechisms talked much about immodesty in dress, as well as may Popes, Fathers & Doctors of the Church, Our Blessed Lady, and many Saints! And yet, Catholics today who decide to talk about immodest dress all seem to have a different approach to modesty – what it looks like. No one can agree on anything, except for the fact that “Modesty is important!”.
Beautiful and very Catholic groups the promote Catholicism often times have a “quote picture“, but on it there is a girl who is very immodestly dressed. This isn’t the best example given!
It is certainly fine with this modern day (and I mean MODERN day) teaching of Modesty but it is never taught in its entirety! And if ever “guidelines” to what is modest is brought up, it is usually just for women, and it never adds up. (See my other article Modesty Hypocrisy for a few examples of this) Modesty in dress always comes down to it having to do with literal inches, or how a man feels about it. But all men have different temptations when it comes to this issue. The logical and prudent way to go about this would be to research what the Catholic Church says about this. And no, I do not just mean the “definition of Modesty in that one Catechism.” I mean the modesty standards that were set out from the Vatican. When it comes to any other issue concerning the Church, does it always just come down to reading what it says about it in one Catechism? Disregarding the other Catechisms as if they were illegitimate…? Disregarding the Popes and the Vatican Standards? Disregarding any (prudent) information concerning this issue?
If we truly want to do our best; serve God best, do we always go by other Catholic’s personal opinions concerning something as important as Modesty? Or do we research this carefully, prudently, finding good sourced information?
Because of this “glossing over” or “avoiding” the real Catholic Modesty Standards or rather, any thing that pertains to dressing modestly, Catholics today on their Social Media, at Church, and with their friends, are quite indecently dressed. As above mentioned, from Bikinis, to booty shorts, etc. This sort of scandal would have never been allowed in the Church from even a bit after Vatican II – now all of a sudden Catholics are getting the idea that we are all like Adam and Eve before the Fall: able to become so pure and loving that we surpass Original Sin itself, to be able to see a naked person and not be tempted. When did this happen? Now, all of a sudden if a popular Catholic says that wearing (or not wearing) something isn’t a sin, or isn’t really much of a big deal… its OK? What about other issues of the Church; concerning for example marital-relations before marriage? Can a popular Catholic speaker just go up and proclaim that its fine because of this reason or that, and now its okay? When did the opinions of popular Catholics become something so profound that it no longer was an issue, or even needed to be researched aside from their opinion? Also, when did this give any Catholic the right to make fun of Catholics who refuse to just let popular Catholic speakers opinion on things not be enough proof for them? Is it really such a grave sin to research something according to the Church?
It is a sin to attack a person, because you think wearing sleeves that DO NOT cover the elbows is a “Grave Sin“, when it is not. Or attacking a person who isn’t as informed as you on the issue. CHARITY & CLARITY with PRUDENCE people, I beg of you! lol
The idea that being pure in heart will somehow make Catholics/non-Catholics be able to dress modestly; doesn’t make sense in itself. Without guidance, (PROPER, informed, well-sourced, Charitable guidance), ain’t no one gonna think wearing bikinis or booty shorts is wrong. Perhaps a select few will have the grace to see that it is immodest, but truly, even then, without proof.. what’s a girl to do? Everyone else is doing it! As a woman myself, I would not be able to do this alone. It pertains to the Protestant “Spirit of Vatican II” that encourages / teaches that Catholics do not need the Church to tell them what is right or wrong. That they will automatically know what is right or wrong. Sorry but,
- We are of Fallen Nature.
- We have legions of fallen angels from all 9 choirs of angels, from Seraphim to “just angel” working for our damnation; out of which even the dumbest one is a million times smarter than the smartest human being. The leader being Lucifer.
- The world, the flesh and the Devil are all against us; read anything from the Church concerning these three.
To think we are wise enough to be able to do this on our own is pretty foolish.
One woman I know, whom has intricately researched the Catholic Church’s stance on Modesty (in dress AND actions, words, thoughts, heart,etc) and still is! Has written a book on her findings, I suggest you take a look at it. It is seriously a very interesting read!
Objections? – Well, ask yourself: “Would it really do any harm to look into the matter?” Pray to the Blessed Virgin for protection and take the step; I promise you it won’t disappoint.
No one even seems to know what it means to be chaste in other circles aside from the intimate.
Potty mouths, dirty movies, doing yoga, dirty jokes, immodest dress, impure dancing, swearing, drunkenness/promotion of excessive drinking, promotion of excessive eating, shopping, etc, indecent books- movies- TV shows – language – companions – dress – photos – …. the list of sins against “Chastity” goes on. And all of these I have seen myself in “good Catholics” who attend and adhere to Catholic Speakers, Colleges, Conferences & Events.
These poor uneducated Catholics! How many of them are still unaware of how to act in accord to the virtue of Chastity? To be chaste in how they speak; no swearing, no dirty conversations, no detraction, no back-biting… To be chaste in their thoughts & mind; no indecent movies, TV shows, commercials, images, websites, friends, books, games, songs, music, custody of the eyes, avoiding indecent glances/looks… To be chaste in their actions; (all of above including) dressing modestly, avoiding indecent dances, conversation, photos, …
Being Chaste doesn’t just encompass “being pure in heart” “being joyful” “loving people” “not engaging in sexual activity.” It means so much more than this. And it is a terrible thing that Catholics – especially YOUNG Catholics, are being put at a Spiritual Disadvantage! They aren’t being taught the fullness of the Faith – the joy-love-hippie-stew of Catholicism that is being fed isn’t complete; it is lacking. Shame on any Catholic who promotes this half-truth Catholicism knowingly. God will be your judge; but I’d hate to be in your shoes.
By their words, actions and example they still move the world – the problem is being uneducated properly in the Faith. Each Catholic is a witness to the Catholic Church; if our bad example is the cause of the loss of just one soul …. yikes.
Until next time – God bless & keep it Trad!