Sunday, March 7, 2010

Some notes

Dear Bat,

I've been thinking.

Our beloved Mother Church, last Sunday, in the words of Paul, reminded us that coveting is a kind of idolatry. Of course, coveting can be incited by another's gloating, boasting, or immodesty.

I have usually tended to think that immodesty was the visible counterpart of pride. After all, a proud person may well tend to gloat and boast, and such; but since I started considering modesty of dress, I've tried to put together how modesty and modesty might be akin. And while there is certainly a great deal of immodest dress out there, and more than in relatively recent history, it's not clear to me that there's so much more pride w.r.t. our individual forms except in rather narrow circles.*

Today, I'm inclined to describe immodesty seemingly by its effects, instead of its motivations: specifically, I'd like to say that the virtue of modesty is the habit of encouraging proper reverence in others by discouraging their distraction. That is, the defect of immodesty is its invitation to remove another's (or one's own) due reverence for God, by drawing that attention to oneself, whether by boasting, or ostentatious costume, or over-gladly receiving undue praise.

This doesn't mean it is necessary to conceal one's talents or natural beauty, but rather it leaves them in their proper place, and uses them to glorify God; which is only fitting as they are His works.

I'm curious what thoughts you might have, or any of those you will share this with.

the philosophophile

* PS: of course, I may well be wrong about any of these anecdotal generalities.


Post a Comment