OCC has received an e-mail from the Holy Metropolis of Denver (USA) its Protocol 06-9 written by H.E. Metropolitan Isaiah to his Clergy, sending and article that he had found useful in discussions with teenagers. We also think of it as of great value in these days, when the youth play with the gift to transmit life with no concern for life. All the functions of man for man to survive have been accompanied with a kind of pleasure, otherwise men and women would not take up the concomitant responsibilities. In the transmission of life man is nearer to God as in no other of its faculties, he does what God is:
Therefore, we offer to our readers the article and also the Protocol of His Eminence since we consider this important for understanding the practical application of the article in our Christian life.
We have given the extra title
to synthesize its meaning and interest.
Persons or Parts: Some Modest
Thoughts on Girls' Clothing
By Celeste Thomas
A truly beautiful woman is lovely both inside and out — and it’s the outer part that should cause parents some concern regarding the wonderful young women in our culture.
The popular fashions many young women wear suggest that they’re being guided by a lie, which says: “Girls should be able to show whatever body parts they want to show, and no male person should admit being affected by this display.”
If one spends just a short while observing girls wherever they may be — at the mall, in school hallways or at sporting events — it’s obvious that many of them are wearing fashions that send out a provocative “use me” message.
Today, many young women struggle with their parents for their
“right” to dress in troubling styles, some of which, not that long ago,
would have been seen only on women in prostitution. Sometimes these styles seem
to be the only ones available —even for
Evil is real, and the devil enjoys nothing better than disfiguring the human person as an image of God any way he can —and what better way than to attack chastity through a lack of modesty? Even girls who have no intention of having pre-marital sex, but who dress as though their bodies were somehow disconnected from their good moral convictions, are sending a confused message: “Don’t get excited by the body parts I’m showing because they are only for my future husband.” But why, then, display them? A boy has no right to use a girl’s body for sexual gratification, and a girl has no right to use a boy’s fantasies and natural circuitry as a means to get male approval.
In effect, many girls harass their male peers by wearing fashions that invite the wrong kind of attention. Such girls are saying, “Look, but don’t touch!” Which leaves boys to wonder: “Why do you want me to look then? Cover yourself up and help me to think about you as a person, rather than as an object.” To misuse one’s body and then act surprised at the response such behavior generates is dishonest.
Too many girls have learned too well the message of false feminism: “It’s my body and I can do what I want with it.” But Jesus said, “This is my body and I give it up for you.” He came to show us the right order of things, which is self-donation. In self-donation I sacrifice what I want — a boy’s approving looks and comments — for his greater good: the invitation to communicate with me as a whole (from “holy,” meaning “deserving reverence”) person, not just a part (or parts) of me.
Young women need to hear about the impact fashions have and the language fashions speak. They need to be encouraged to think about the role that fashion plays in expressing who they are and what they stand for. They need help to weed out the “use me” fashions from their wardrobes. And they need to be affirmed in the truth — that they are daughters of the King, and as such are whole persons meant for holiness and respect, not parts to be misused for pleasure and ridicule.
Celeste Thomas works as a speech and language therapist in Aurora, Colorado
Public Schools. She also has a
The Pious Pastors
the Holy Metropolis of Denver
Beloved in the Lord,
I recently read the enclosed article which I am sending to you with the expectation that you will find it useful in your discussions and activities with the teenagers in your parish.
Contemporary mores seems to reflect both a neglect for propriety of dress as well as a disregard for modesty, both of which were common expectations not so many years ago.
It even seems that some our own faithful have forgotten the rule of thumb that one should dress a little better for attending church than for other activities. It appears that informal dress is becoming commonplace in church on the Lord's Day, even though the same people dress up for social events.
It should go without saying that no one is turned away from the Lord and the Church because of their poverty and appearance. At the same time, it is incumbent upon us to cultivate a sense of respect and awe for sacred places and occasions. Our clothing reflects our attitude toward those around us and toward the circumstances in which we participate.
Nowhere, however, does neglect and disregard for modesty seem to be so rampant as in the styles worn by contemporary young men and young women. I encourage you to help the youth of the Church placed in your pastoral care to become more aware of what their appearance and style communicate about themselves and what these reveal about their person and their perspective in the eyes of others.
With Paternal Blessings,
Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver
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This page was set on 2 May 2007