Lanternarius Press

DRESS FOR MASS

This is the month of May, the month of Mary. It is a time when we could reflect on how much we are emulating our Holy Mother. Since children take after their parents, we should take after our Mother in her virtues of patience, modesty and faith.

Modesty is not only a set of rules on what not to wear. It is also a virtuous method of presenting who we are and what we stand for, representing our bodies and our souls, equally, in a nonspeaking communication. It is a way of presenting ourselves that assures no one is roused to impure thoughts based on what they see. I read a good saying: “Everything precious is covered. A woman dressed modestly is like a pearl in its shell.” (This is not the same as agreeing with shariah law where a woman can only expose her eyes. Moslem law insists on that because they see all women as sinful, not precious.)

There is a balance required amongst us Catholics. Women are very important as mothers, caretakers and keepers of the home fires. Yet, very enticing when they present themselves to the extreme, they can destroy all of their important roles. The Blessed Virgin did not flaunt herself. As a matter of fact, at Fatima, she warned that more people go to Hell due to sins of the flesh than any other cause. One can only look at colleges and high schools to see that may not be so far-fetched.

Going to Mass is a sacred duty as well as beautiful prayer. We do well to prepare ourselves for this special hour every week. Yes, it is the same place every week, but we must teach our children to dress for a special occasion when we go to Mass. But a top hat and tails is as much out of place as a ratty old tee shirt, for boys and men. And, equally, a prom dress is not better for a girl than a swim suit top and shorts. Perhaps a hierarchy of clothes should exist again. I was taught that one did not go downtown shopping without donning a dress. Those times have disappeared, but the thought that one outfit can fit all occasions is not any better.

If you should be so lucky as to meet the Queen of England, you would dress in your best outfit, have your hair done and instructed your children in decorum. How much more should you have respect for the King of the World, the Creator of all, Whom you go to visit on Sunday mornings! How much would you be willing to show respect for His Mother by dressing in a way that she would expect of us.