Thursday, August 1, 2013

Growing in Holiness: Modesty and Chastity

Pope Benedict XV

For meditation:
"One can not 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 Catholic 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 Eucharistic Table, where one receives the Heavenly author of Purity."  
-Benedict XV, Sacra PropediemJune 1, 1921, n. 19

For the spiritual mothers: We are not consecrated virgins, but great are the riches to learn from the writings of Pope Pius XII on Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on Consecrated Virginity.
"To prayer must be added frequent and fervent use of the Sacrament of Penance which, as a spiritual medicine, purifies and heals us; likewise it is necessary to receive the Eucharist, which as Our predecessor of happy memory Leo XIII asserted, is the best remedy against lust.[111] The more pure and chaste is a soul, the more it hungers for this bread, from which it derives strength to resist all temptations to sins of impurity, and by which it is more intimately united with the Divine Spouse; 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him.'[112]" Sacra Virginitas, #63, Encyclical )
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. In a certain way all other helps are contained in this devotion; there is no doubt that whoever is sincerely and earnestly animated by this devotion is salutarily inspired to constant vigilance, to continual prayer, to receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Therefore in a paternal way We exhort all priests, religious men and women, to entrust themselves to the special protection of the holy Mother of God who is the Virgin of virgins and the 'teacher of virginity,' as Ambrose says,[113] and the most powerful Mother of those in particular who have vowed and consecrated themselves to the service of God." Sacra Virginitas, #64, Encyclical )
Sources cited: 
111. Leo XIII, encyclica Mirae caritatis, d. 28 Maii, a. 1902; A. L. XXII, pp. 1902-1903.
112. Io. VI, 57. 
113: S. Ambros., De institutione virginis, c. 6, n. 46; PL XVI, 320.