Leaving Sodom: On The Virtue of Modesty
Sunday Sermon for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
by Father Louis J. Campbell
(Prefaced by a foreword from Thomas A. Droleskey)
[Publisher-Editor's Foreword: As readers are aware, defending the Virtue of Modesty is something that is near and dear to the Catholic hearts of the Droleskey family. Two recent articles on this site,
Gradually Accepting Naturalism's Informality and
Revolutions Have Consequences, part two, have dealt with this subject that so many Catholics all across the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide believe is irrelevant to them, that we "just have to get with" the times and that it is "prideful" to dress too differently than others around us as we might make them "feel" bad or inferior by doing so. Fashions do change, right?
[No. Fashions may change. The enduring Virtue of Modesty does not change. There are absolute norms that govern how we dress. Pope Pius XII noted this very clearly in an address to the Latin Union of High Fashion on November 8, 1957:
This second virtue, modesty - the very word “modesty” comes from modus, a measure or limit - probably better expresses the function of governing and dominating the passions, especially sensual passions. It is the natural bulwark of chastity. It is its effective rampart, because it moderates acts closely connected with the very object of chastity [...] Yet no matter how broad and changeable the relative morals of styles may be, there is always an absolute norm to be kept after having heard the admonition of conscience warning against approaching danger: style must never be a proximate occasion of sin. [...] An excess of immodesty in fashion involves, in practice, the cut of the garment. The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already corrupt society, but according to the aspirations of a society which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire. [...] It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization. (Pope Pius XII, Address to the Congress of the Latin Union of High Fashion, November 8, 1957; as found in Norms for Modesty, which is on the website of the National Coalition for Clergy and the Laity, which also includes links to
Rome's Decrees on Modesty in Dress and
Cardinal Siri’s Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn by Women. Pope Pius XII's entire address may be purchased for fifty cents at MIQ Center Catholic Books: Papal Decrees, Encyclicals.)
[One of the worst aspects of the false religion of conciliarism is how the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service has resulted in the gradual acceptance of gross indecency of dress as thoroughly acceptable in the context of putative offerings of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Some of the attire that is worn--or not worn, as the case might be in many instances--in the Novus Ordo world make some of the pagans of yore blush with shame. Offense is given to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in churches where He was once housed sacramentally and scandal is given to the little ones whose purity and innocence is so precious to Him. This Novus Ordo spirit has infected many Catholics, perhaps even some of your own family members or friends, who are immersed in the make-believe world wrought by Summorum Pontificum.
[The false spirit of conciliarism is such that the compromises that are necessary to accept having "the Mass" offered in "communion with the 'pope'" lead to compromises in the lives of many of the Catholics who go to Motu Masses (or simulations of the Mass in those instances where presbyters are the officiants). "Relax." "Don't be too strict." "Just go along with the times." "Things change, you know." Really? Try telling that to Saint John Mary Vianney, the Cure of Ars, or to Padre Pio or to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, who had to stare down gun-toting Nicaraguans who were upset with her insistence upon exacting standards of Modesty in the tropical climate of that Central American nation. The compromises necessary to "have Mass" to please the local non-bishop in accordance with Summorum Pontificum have seen not a few priests and presbyters in the indult/Motu world called on the carpet for attempting to insist on Modesty in their chapels.You want a Motu Mass? You do what the local "bishop" says, and if the local "bishop" believes that strict standards of modesty are too "harsh," well, then, that's just one more part of your Catholic integrity that you will have to sacrifice to be in "communion" with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Too bad for Catholic truth. Too bad for the honor and glory and majesty of the Most Blessed Trinity. Too bad for the good of souls. Too bad.
[Very sadly, of course, the spirit of the world with which the counterfeit church of conciliarism has made its "official reconciliation" is such that even a lot of Catholics who assist at Masses offered by priests who recognize and accept the canonical-doctrine that those who defect the Faith in even one thing are no longer Catholic and cannot hold ecclesiastical office within the Catholic Church legitimately feel free to scoff at the Virtue of Modest as they dress in scandalous attire that truly shocks the conscience.
[What's the point of going to the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in such a venue when one is unwilling to divest himself or herself of the worldly attitudes that have been embraced and propagated by the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the Novus Ordo?
[What is the Catholic rationale for any truly ordained priest to refrain from exhorting the faithful to adhere to strict standards of Modesty for the sake of their own souls and those of others? What? The "fear" that they will go elsewhere? Isn't that the tired refrain that is used by so many in the conciliar church ("We don't want them to stop coming to Mass, you know.") What's the point of going to Mass if one is committing, in the objective order of things as subjective culpability is left solely to God, Who alone reads the hearts and minds of us sinners, sins against Modesty and are serving as a near occasion of sin for others? What's the point? There is none.
[This is why the true apostolic courage exhibited by Father Louis J. Campbell in the sermon he will deliver today, Sunday, September 12, 2010, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, at Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas, is to be applauded and supported by means of our prayers. Please do read Father Campbell's sermon with great care as he is a true pastor of souls who cares for his own eternal salvation and that of the flock who have entrusted themselves to his pastoral direction.
[I thank Father Campbell for the most kind permission that he gave me yesterday, September 11, 2010, for publishing his inspiring, courageous sermon on this website.
[Please say three Hail Marys right now for Father Louis J. Campbell. Thank you.
[Sincerely yours in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D., Publisher-Editor, www.Christorchaos.com]
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 12, 2010
by Father Louis J. Campbell
St. Paul prays for us in today’s Epistle that we may be able “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge… ” (Eph.3:18b,19a). By the word “saints” here he means those who have been chosen through the Sacrament of Baptism to become members of the Body of Christ, those who are destined for heaven as long as they persevere in God’s grace. St. Peter tells us:
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people; that you may proclaim the perfections of him who has call you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1Pet.2:9).
We do not belong to the earthly generation. They are our brothers and sisters in the flesh, and we pray that they may come to know Jesus Christ, but they are not members of the “chosen race” spoken about by St. Peter. Because they do not know the true God they ignore His Commandments, and the nations become cesspools of error and corruption.
Those who hold the power in this world have created a culture that keep our minds concentrated on the things of the flesh. They want us to live as if this life is all there is, as if there is no spiritual dimension to our existence. They want to make slaves of us all, having nothing to call our own, dependent on our masters for our sustenance, without true knowledge or education, ready to carry out their plans and to die in their wars. They have taken over our governments, our wealth, our means of production, our education systems, our health care, our entertainment, and even our Church (or so they think).
Holy Scripture tells us that the Antichrist will arise, who will cause everyone in the world to bow down and worship him. But the real master of the fallen world is the devil himself, who blasphemously called upon Jesus Christ Himself to fall down and worship him.
Many laugh at the idea of power-hungry conspirators acting behind the scenes and deceiving the general population. But consider the words of one who was in a position to know, the British Prime Minister in the time of Queen Victoria, Benjamin Disraeli:
“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
If your friends and associates are ignorant of God and spiritual things they will not respect your Christian identity. They will expect you to like the things they like, and to do the things they do – to use foul language, as they do, to live immoral lives, as they do, and to laugh at entertainment that mocks Jesus Christ and His Holy Church, the Blessed Virgin and the saints. And those who laugh with them lose all respect for God and the things of God.
We cooperate in our own destruction by watching their poisonous TV and Internet fare, which is designed to destroy us, we wear the tasteless and immodest fashions they decree for us, we allow our children to be perverted in their godless school systems where they are trained in worldly standards and unlearn their Christian principles. May it never be, but doesn’t it bother us that within a generation, unless God intervenes, the wives and daughters of America may go out, at least when permitted by their husbands or fathers, dressed in shapeless tents with two eyeholes to see through? We should shudder to think of what Europe and America may look like by mid-century.
Why am I saying these things, and the things I am about to say? Because I don’t want to go to hell! And that’s where I will go if I don’t be a good pastor of souls who warns the Lord’s flock when they are in danger. It is time for us to resist the influence of the culture that surrounds us, and to take some decisive steps. [Emphasis added.]
Those who serve God must be perfect in obedience to His laws. They must appear before Him dressed as true servants, sons and daughters of God, modest and neat in appearance. It is not fitting for women and girls to appear before God’s holy altar dressed in tight clothing, short skirts, or low and revealing necklines. Men and boys must also be dressed modestly and neatly when they attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
There are dress codes for those who are to appear before royalty, or at important public functions. Likewise there is a dress code for those who are to present themselves at the royal court of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, in the presence of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints and angels of God. If we have any sense of what is taking place before our eyes at God’s holy altar we must sober up (spiritually speaking), come to our senses, and behave as becomes the saints spoken of by St. Paul.
By next Sunday we hope to post some guidelines, so that everyone will be able to make whatever changes or adjustments are required. May “a word to the wise” be sufficient!
These words of Our Lord from the book of the Apocalypse should be taken to heart by all who call themselves Catholic:
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich, and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear… As for me, those whom I love I rebuke and chastise. Be earnest therefore and repent” (Apoc.3:18a,19).
St. Paul also has some wise words for us:
“Flee immorality. Every sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought at a great price. Glorify God and bear him in your body” (1Cor.6:18-20).
[Thomas A. Droleskey afterword: Thank you, Father Campbell! Isn't time to pray a Rosary now?]
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints