20 Ways for Young Women to Claim the Respect They Deserve

1. Dress in a way appropriate to your dignity. As Crystalina Evert, an awesome chastity speaker puts it, “Don’t walk around sending the message that your body is the best part of you—implying that your heart, mind, and soul aren’t so important. Instead, say with your modesty, ‘I’m worth waiting to see.’”

2. Give the gift of yourself in sex only to your husband. THIS IS A PRECIOUS GIFT that you will never regret saving for marriage, and by waiting you are loving your future spouse even now. The respect you will have for yourself doing so, and the respect that men (both your future husband and any men you will date before him) will have for you will set a strong foundation for a wonderful marriage someday.

3. Don’t wear degrading T-shirts with messages like “Who needs a brain when you have these?” (now discontinued because of protests). Consider refusing to buy from stores or manufacturers that make and sell these things. And don’t wear pants or shorts with writing across your bottom unless that is where you want to draw every pair of eyes that looks at you!

4. KEEP YOUR STANDARDS HIGH FOR WHO YOU WILL DATE. A real man will rise to meet your standards, but if you stoop and lower yours to his, you’ll have much to regret, and he will not be challenged to be a better man. You may be discouraged, but amazing men do exist. They are having just as hard of a time as you are (probably harder!) at living purely in an impure world. So don’t let your future husband down, and PRAY for him that he is fighting the uphill battle for you!

5. Pray to be more like Mary. Was there ever a woman more beautiful and dignified than the Mother of God? Pray 3 Hail Marys a day for purity of mind, purity of body, and purity of heart.

6. Confront any guy who ogles you with his eyes or touches you inappropriately. Rather than laugh at it, firmly (but respectfully and perhaps in private) let him know that this is completely unacceptable. You will be doing him and yourself a favor.

7. Don’t be duped by the media’s promotion of fake standards for physical beauty. Look online for the Dove® Campaign for True Beauty’s short film “Evolution” for an example of how much computer editing is required for a woman to appear physically flawless!

8. Don’t go to restaurants where the women (or men) servers’ bodies are put on display to attract customers.

9. DO let a guy be a gentleman. As long as he is holding the door or pulling out your chair with the right spirit, he isn’t saying that you aren’t capable of doing these things yourself. He is saying that you are worth so much that he wants to honor you with his actions.

10. Avoid clothing (even prom dresses or swimsuits) that seem as if they were made for the purpose of tempting men to lust after the parts of your body that are set apart for something incredible and holy.

11. Say a prayer every time you see a woman dressed inappropriately, whether in person or on TV, etc. Pray that she will recognize her true worth, and pray that men will not be led astray by her.

12. Treat each person you meet with respect. Don’t let your kindness or attention depend on the other person’s (girl’s or guy’s) popularity or physical attraction. If you do, you could miss out on amazing and beautiful relationships.

13. Be GENUINE. There will only be one of you for all of eternity, and there is a place that only you can fill—fearlessly be yourself. Your genuineness will be a noticeable quality that will bring others to respect you. St. Catherine of Siena once said, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire.”

14. Treat your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus bought you with the price of His blood spilled on Calvary. Don’t make light of that supreme gift by degrading your body through drugs, alcohol, or premarital sex. Be careful not to put yourself in situations where you might do something you’ll regret. Alcohol makes you vulnerable, and there are many girls who have been raped either by choosing to drink or even by having something slipped into their drink. Please, don’t think that it can’t happen to you.

15. Refuse to believe the lies. Satan and the world will whisper lots of them in your ear. (You need to lose 5 more pounds before he will consider asking you out. Your parents don’t understand ANYTHING. You’re just not good enough to be loved.) Sound familiar?

16. Become the woman God made you to be. Work on virtues like gentleness, patience, and courage. As Proverbs 31 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting, but the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

17. Show the world that modesty doesn’t equal frumpiness. You can dress cute AND be modest. It may take some extra effort, but don’t let anybody tell you it’s not possible.

18. Be grateful to be a woman! Women have incredible gifts, and you have qualities and talents unique to you that are needed to help a hurting world know beauty and goodness. Glorify God by developing and using the gifts you’ve been given.

19. Be an example to all of the young girls you know—your sisters, cousins, and neighbors. They deserve better than what the world is offering, and they’re depending on you to model truth and real beauty to them.

20. Most important of all, make Jesus your Best Friend. He’s the only One who is always faithful, and He’ll encourage you as you strive to stand up and claim respect. He’ll give you strength to become who He made you to be, and He’ll pick you up every time you fall.

These 20 suggestions were written by Kristie Wellman when she was a young woman trying to claim respect herself. She is now Kristie Evers and so happy and blessed by God to be married to and raising a family with a man who loves and respects her very much.

Copyright 2014 One More Soul www.omsoul.com (800) 307-7685

REPOSTED FROM THIS WEBSITE

Reverencing Our Bodies – Alice von Hildebrand

“If little girls were made aware of the great mystery confided to them, their purity would be guaranteed. The very reverence which they would have toward their own bodies would inevitably be perceived by the other sex. Men are talented at reading women’s body language, and they are not likely to risk being humiliated when a refusal is certain. Perceiving women’s modesty, they would take their cue and, in return, approach the female sex with reverence.”

The Privilege of Being a Woman (Ann Arbor; Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2005), 91.

Cover photo: https://vimeo.com/88923671

Alice von Hildebrand: “Man and Woman”

Modesty is Annoying

Modesty is Annoying

by CHRISTINA MEAD

Modesty is annoying. That’s right, I said it.

And not just little brother level of annoying. It’s like stand-still traffic, spilled hot coffee, only AM radio, and little brother in the back seat level of annoying.

I really, truly, feel this way. Dressing modestly is not easy. You have to search longer when you’re at the mall. You can’t always embrace the new fashions without a little (or a lot) of modification.

And sometimes being modest is hot. Not like, ‘Oh, I’m sexy, look at me’ hot. I literally mean it’s hot. Adding layers to supplement an insufficient (but adorable) piece of clothing is a sacrifice especially in the summer months.

Let’s not forget to mention that it’s hard to be the odd one out when everyone else is in booty shorts, see-through and ‘draping-off-your-body-to-show-off-your-under-garments’ shirts, bikinis, and other styles that are barely anything.

I think it’s fine to just admit that it’s annoying. Go ahead, you can say it too. In fact, let’s go stand in the middle of the mall and scream it together. ‘Modesty is ANNOYING.’

Of course after we scream this, let’s follow up with a nice, printed handout that we’ll give to all the men who are staring at us screaming in the middle of the mall. It’ll say:

‘But we’re making this sacrifice because:

We want to be appreciated for the people we are, and not the bodies we have.We want to dress modestly because we don’t need attention to feel validated.We want to make this sacrifice because we care about you and your purity as our brothers.We want to give the gift of our bodies to our husbands, not every man we pass on the street.’

. . . Or something along those lines.

Girls, I could commiserate all day with you about the annoyances and frustrations of modesty; but let’s also talk about how we’re not going to give up. When you’re tempted to throw your hands in the air and give up, remember these reasons why. Let’s help each other stay strong. It’s so worth it.

I’m praying for you.

Is This Too Short?

source – MEGAN FINEGAN

Is this too short?

I’ve been asking myself this question since I tried on my new dress in the store. It’s really cute, figure flattering, a new style, and exactly what I’ve been looking for. It seemed like a good enough length since it’s longer than most dresses. It could use a few more inches of fabric but it’s close enough. Besides, it has a high neckline so that evens it out on the modesty scale, right?

It’s all too easy to justify a cute new outfit. “Better than most,” though, is that really what I’m going for? I can’t help but think that’s not a good reason to buy a dress. Yes, it’s cute and I really like it, but every time I try it on I can’t get myself to commit to keeping it by ripping off the tags.

Would I want another woman to wear this in front of my (future) husband? No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t appreciate it if another woman was in front of my husband or boyfriend for that matter in a dress that seems “modest enough” until they bend over or sit down and the fabric might no longer cover what should be covered. So since I don’t want this from another woman, I need to show the same respect to them.

So, is it too short? The very fact that I’m asking myself this question means I already know the answer. Yes, my dress is too short.

Just being “better than most” does not make it modest. Modesty is not a competition. It’s also not easy. What would be easy would be to wear the dress, fit in with the trends, and pretend it’s long enough. Here’s the thing though: In making the extra effort to dress modestly through raising my standards in the way I dress, I have more freedom.

I’m not going to have to constantly check or readjust what I’m wearing. I’ll be free of all these worries because I’m going to find a dress I can throw on, know I look fabulous, and am completely comfortable in without showing too much skin. There aren’t going to be nagging questions in the back of my mind.

I’m going to return it and try again. Because there’s no reason I should need to question if what I’m wearing is too short.

Modesty: Formation of New Families

Article 66 – Modesty: Formation of New Families

First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, July 2016

The Happy Themes Of The Spring Of Life

We have been looking at Pope Pius XII’s address to the Latin Union of High Fashion. This pope, contrary to what the world would have us believe, is no prude. He says, “This penchant for the adornment of one’s own person clearly derives from nature, and is therefore legitimate.”

There is nothing wrong with dressing stylishly and well, and the pope continues, “Over and above the function of clothing which hides physical imperfections, youth asks for clothing which has an attractiveness and splendour that sing the happy themes of the spring of life, and which facilitates, in harmony with the rules of modesty, the psychological prerequisites necessary for the formation of new families. At the same time, those of mature age seek to obtain from appropriate clothing an aura of dignity, seriousness, and serene happiness.”

Attractiveness and Splendour

Read again that piece about young people. “Youth asks for clothing which has an attractiveness and splendour that sing the happy themes of the spring of life”. Once more we see a beautiful, almost poetic expression in a papal address which recognises the joy of youthfulness. But the pope points out that this desire for adornment in youth has a purpose, which is to facilitate marriage for the formation of new families. Children come into the picture yet again, the great blessing of marriage and family life and the primary end of marriage.

Those who Marry for the First Time, should be Virgins

The secondary ends of marriage, which include that mutual attraction between the sexes, are ordered towards the primary end of marriage which they serve. That is, to increase God’s kingdom through the begetting of children within marriage and for whom God creates a new and unique soul of immeasurable value and worth. How young people dress should also serve marriage and family life, and it is obvious how immodesty, which tends to lead on to impurity in both mind and body, constitutes an attack on marriage. Those who marry should arrive at the church on the day of their marriage as virgins. The likelihood of this happening in a culture where immodesty is rampant sadly, becomes very slim.

Immodesty in Young Women Commonplace and Hard to Avoid Seeing

I recently had to collect two of my sons from a friend’s house shortly after ten o’clock at night. There must have been some party going on somewhere for, as we approached the roundabout near the town, a group of about twenty or thirty mostly young ladies in their late teens were crossing the road. It would be easier to describe what they were not wearing than to describe what they were wearing as there was so little of it. I had to avert my eyes and to tell my youngest daughter who was in the car with me, not to look as the girls were dressed immodestly. When I collected my two teenage sons, I drove home by another route to avoid the scandalous spectacle.

Those who uphold Modesty are thought Mad

In today’s society, I guarantee you that most people would think me mad, and would probably say that there is no harm in it, that the young ladies are just having harmless fun on a night out. But we cannot totally blame these young ladies for how they were dressed because nobody gives instruction with regard to modesty any more. How many of their fathers have instructed their daughters in the art of modest dressing? How many of their mothers are like the mother’s mentioned by Fr Mateo when he said “Today they smile, careless of the consequences; tomorrow, alas! their tears will choke them!.”

When I was researching this subject of modesty I came across an article by a Father Thomas G Morrow titled, “Revealing dress exposes women to objectifications”. Fr Morrow relates a story about Monsignor Roncalli who became Pope John XXIII.

“When Eve ate an apple, she realized she was naked”

“Msgr. Angelo Roncalli once found himself seated at a banquet next to a woman who was dressed with little regard for the virtue of modesty. Others observed him, wondering how he would deal with his predicament, given his moral convictions and his reputation for diplomacy.

After the dinner, Msgr. Roncalli took an apple and offered it to the woman in question. She declined his offer. Nonetheless, he persisted in his offer, to the point that the woman asked why he was so interested in having her eat the fruit. He responded with a twinkle in his eye, “Because when Eve ate an apple, she realized she was naked.”

Many Catholics fail to deal with Immodesty

Fr Morrow goes on to point out something that I have noticed myself. This is the fact that many Catholic groups are not willing to deal with the matter of immodesty in the way that the Church has dealt with this subject. Fr Morrow mentions several Catholic groups and says that, “the concept of modesty seems lost on just about everyone, including some of these very same people”.

He then makes another point similar to one that I made in an earlier article.

We are Prolonging the Denigration of Women

“If we promote chastity out of one side of our mouths and, by our silence, give tacit approval to the immodesty in our midst, we are kidding ourselves. By saying nothing about the immodest dress among women (not to mention among men) we are perpetuating the image of women as objects of enjoyment. We are prolonging the denigration of women.”

So why are so many Catholics silent on this most important of topics, or dealing with it in a way that does not seem to teach the full truth? Again, I mentioned that how we dress is a very personal matter which if not understood correctly becomes closely connected with our vanity, and we are liable to take offence and to react in a personal manner to someone who points out any errors in how we are dressing. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a bad reaction to personal correction, and most people, naturally, would like to avoid provoking such a reaction.

To Advance Your Salvation

Another priest I came across who gave a sermon on this topic, a Fr Hathaway, began his sermon by saying, “But let me preface that I did not wake up this morning thinking, ‘I wonder how I can ruin their day?’ I do not want to make you mad, but only advance your salvation. Our dress can be a touchy topic… but all of us should want to correct errors should they exist.” Fr Hathaway seems to have some experience of how people react when their immodesty in dress is brought to their attention.

But we must be very careful to heed God’s warning in the scriptures. I am referring to the book of Ezekiel chapter 3 verses 17 to 18

I Will Hold You Accountable

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.”

We Catholics, have a moral duty to speak out against immodesty. We have a duty to promote the virtue of modesty by how we dress ourselves, and to teach others, particularly the young, about this virtue. If we are truly merciful we will not be afraid to admonish the sinner and to instruct the ignorant in a manner both charitable and true.

In my next article, I hope to go back once again to the garden of Eden to summarise the lessons God teaches us from this journey.

© John Lacken 2016

These articles are free to download, to print and to distribute provided that authorship is acknowledged and contact details for the author are provided as follows.

Author: John Lacken

Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family

E-Mail: john@truedevotions.ie

Website: www.truedevotions.ie

Cover photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/orchardlake/519117680/in/photostream/

Father Patrick Peyton, also known as “The Rosary Priest“, was an Irish Roman Catholic priest and promoter of the Rosary. Peyton is the founder of the “Family Rosary Crusade”

It’s Not All About Skin: Modesty and Our Desire to be Seen – MADDY BERNERO

by MADDY BERNERO – see original article here

You want to be noticed…

“That backless dress is gonna look really good at a summer pool party.”

“This string, fringe top bikini is sexy. Beach week here I come!”

“These high waisted, jean cutoffs look perfect. I knew all those squats were worth it.”

“I need a black lace bandeau to go under my sheer cream tank top. Everything’s covered right?”

“As long as most of my stomach is covered, we are good.”

These are the thoughts of young women everywhere as we battle a culture that tells us skin is sexy and you can never show too much of it. Mottos like “flaunt it if you’ve got it,” allow our perceptions of our bodies to define our dignity and worth. Sex appeal reigns supreme and dictates our fashion choices. “Dress to impress,” has taken on an entirely different meaning.

I think every one of us has experienced walking into the mall, searching through the racks of shorts and finding that they have been cut two inches shorter than last year. We look through the summer dresses and see the cut-outs in the back have grown larger. The crop tops are shorter, the shirts are more sheer, and the bikinis are stringier.

Is this your normal? Are these the thoughts and experiences you deal with on a daily basis, at school? With your friends? Do you wonder why the clothes described above are not modest? And why modesty is such a big deal? What is modesty really? And what is the point?

You are in the middle of the struggle…

Now, some of you may be saying:

“Who is this woman and who gave her the authority to make these calls?”
“Why does she get to judge me, based on what I am wearing? She doesn’t know my life! Finding modest clothes can be IMPOSSIBLE!”

First, I am not here to judge you. I know the struggle is real! I feel your pain.

I am highly qualified to grumble with you ladies, because I can whine with the best of them. As a 5’ 10” woman with curvy hips and legs that seem to go on for a mile, finding a skirt or dress that hits close to my knees can be more challenging than running a marathon – and I have run two marathons.

In the middle of the search, we can be tempted to give up and give into thoughts of, “these booty shorts are fine, everyone else wears them. I will blend in,” or “this bandeau, under a sheer tank top is not scandalous, because it is summer and it’s what everyone is wearing,” or “I’m only wearing this bikini to beach week because I need to work on my tan lines.”

When we start to sacrifice modesty for trends or tan lines, we have lost sight of the bigger picture. I want to offer you a new way of looking at modesty.

You live in a broken world…

We live in a pornified culture. An over-sexualized culture reliant on images and immediate gratification. Our society gives us a distorted view of our bodies and their purpose. We tend to look at our body with an extreme lens, either hating it for it’s flaws and imperfections or worshiping and idolizing it, neither of which are healthy or holy. This distorted view of the body is the result of original sin.

The creation story in Genesis helps us understand the true beauty and inherent dignity of our bodies. Adam and Eve were created with, what John Paul II refers to as, Original Innocence. In his Theology of the Body he said, “they see and know each other with all the peace of the interior gaze, which creates the fullness of the intimacy of persons” (TOB 13:1).

This means that they could look at each other and see the other as God the Father saw them. How would you like to look at a person and see them in all the glory and splendor that God the Father does? Pretty cool right?

You want to be seen…

Before the fall Adam and Eve, “were both naked, and not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25 RSV).

Because of our brokenness due to sin, it is necessary that we veil our bodies, in order that we may reveal our person with dignity. Because of the nature of sin, when we walk around dressed scandalously, people pay attention to the skin that is showing and not the person who is standing in front of them.

This speaks to one of our greatest desires – to be seen. Not to be superficially seen, but to be deeply seen, known and valued.

You are a mystery to be revealed…

The body should not be covered up because it is ugly, or because our nakedness is something to be ashamed of, no. We cover our bodies, we veil ourselves with clothing, to preserve the mystery of our human person that is only meant to be revealed in the context of a relationship that reflects the original relationship between God the Father and humanity.

We, especially as women, are a great treasure and mystery. Great mysteries are meant to be revealed, given the appropriate context. There is nothing mysterious about wearing immodest clothes, we have left nothing to the imagination. In fact when a man looks at a woman wearing very few or skin tight clothes, they see more of our body and less of us.

Dressing modestly protects our dignity and allows us to be truly “seen,” which honors and respects us as a daughter of the Most High King. I am not saying wear a full length burlap sack. Not at all! That would also not reflect the precious mystery that is to be revealed. There is a happy medium. Start with this website or this blog.

So go conquer that sale rack! Buy a new dress! But make it a reflection of the way God the Father carefully designed you.

There is so much power in the gift we have been given – our beauty – to glorify God the Almighty who created us.

Soap Out That Mouth! the Usage of Bad Language – William L. Esser, IV

 (SOURCE)

by William L. Esser, IV

DESCRIPTION

In this article, William Esser explains, with quotes from Scripture, the harm done to oneself and others by the use of bad language. He divides bad language into three categories and states why it is wrong to speak in such a manner. He also gives some suggestions on how to break the habit.

LARGER WORK

The Catholic Faith

PAGES

24-26

PUBLISHER & DATE

Ignatius Press, March/April 2000

What did you just say?!?! You Come Here, Right This Second!! Now, you march yourself off to the bathroom, take that bar of soap, and wash your mouth out until it’s good and clean. And don’t let me EVER hear words like that coming out of your mouth again!”

So little Ralphie (taken from that modern holiday classic “A Christmas Story,”— “You’ll shoot your eye out”) is sent off to contemplate the mysteries of life over a mouthful of Ivory. Meanwhile, we sit downstairs lamenting and wondering where in the world he could have managed to pick up words like that. And just as in the movie, the culprit is often staring back at us from his silent vantage point on the other side of the mirror. The same words that shock us coming from children seem to flow without a second thought from our very lips. Why is that?

“I assure you, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 18:2. It is time for us to get some soap of our own.

Bad language (also known as “four letter words”, foul language, profanity, swearing, and cursing) can be divided into three categories. First, there is the misuse of the sacred. Using God’s Name in vain, damning people and things to hell, reviling heaven, and blaspheming all fit into this category (the sacred category). While very frequently abused, this is also the easiest category to address. Simply put, the Second Commandment (“Thou shalt not use the name of the Lord thy God in vain”) prohibits any such misuse.

“The second commandment forbids the abuse of God’s name, i.e. every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2146).“Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment… The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things… [and] is in itself a grave sin” (CCC 2148).”Let not your mouth form the habit of swearing, or becoming too familiar with the Holy Name…[O]ne who swears continually by the Holy Name will not remain free from sin.” (Sirach 23:9).

Second, there are the words, which refer to the excretory functions of the body (the excretory category). In common usage, they are rarely spoken for their underlying meaning. (When was the last time you walked down the street and heard somebody yell, “Excrement!”). Instead, they are used as derogatory expletives to insult and show contempt, or merely as conversation fillers. As insults, they are forbidden by Christ’s commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). As verbal fillers, they are divorced from their meaning and fail to comport with a Christian standard of language. “Let your speech be always gracious and in good taste, and strive to respond properly to all who address you” (Colossians 4:6).

“It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him impure; it is what comes out of his mouth… Do you not see that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is discharged into the latrine, but what comes out of the mouth originates in the mind? It is things like these that make a man impure” (Matthew 15:11, 17-18).”[E]veryone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; any man who uses abusive language toward his brother shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and if he holds him in contempt he risks the fires of Gehenna” (Matthew 5:22).

The third and final category is composed of those words, which refer to the sexual organs or the act of sex itself (the sexual category). All of these words are derogatory, treating sex solely as a means of pleasure and reducing the human person to a mere object. Like the excretory words, most of them are used as insults or mere utterances devoid of any relation to the meaning of the word.

“We use [the tongue] to say, ‘Praised be the Lord and Father’; then we use it to curse men, though they are made in the likeness of God. Blessing and curse come out of the same mouth. This ought not to be, my brothers!” (James 3:9-10).”You must know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within the Spirit you have received from God… So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).”You must put that aside now: all the anger and quick temper, the malice, the insults, the foul language” (Colossians 3:8).

Now that we have defined the three categories, let’s address some of the most common reasons people give for using bad language.

I Don’t Mean Anything Bad By The Words

Well, speech is our way of communicating as social beings and words have meanings. When you casually say “Oh my God,” you’re using the divine name, whether or not you mean anything by it. When you curse using words from the sexual category, you denigrate the most intimate of unions, the act whereby two become one and God brings new life into the world.

Simply because there is no harm in your heart doesn’t make this action right. Society would not long tolerate a person constantly uttering racial epithets, regardless of the intention behind the words, and neither should we tolerate profanity. “Let not your mouth become used to coarse talk, for in it lies sinful matter” (Sirach 23:13).

It’s Just A Habit

We certainly are creatures of habit. Some of these include smoking, drug abuse, lying and a host of other things. The critical distinction is that cursing is a bad habit, one, which we should strive to overcome. Christ calls us to be perfect as He is perfect. Can you picture yourself using bad language in front of Jesus, “the Lord of all speech”? (CCC 2152). Or even in front of your parents or children for that matter? “Nor should there be any obscene, silly, or suggestive talk; all that is out of place” (Ephesians 5:4).

It’s Cool And Makes Me Popular

Popularity can be a very good thing, but only if it is achieved through good and noble deeds. As Christians, our goal is to follow Jesus, not to seek popularity. “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world” (John 15:19). Placing popularity before Christ’s commands is a serious wrong.

Oh, Come On! It Doesn’t Hurt Anybody!

To the contrary, it hurts many people. First of all, you hurt yourself. “A man who has the habit of abusive language will never mature in character as long as he lives” (Sirach 23:15). Abusing the sacred is directly sinful. Use of the excretory and sexual categories distorts our view of creation and fills our mind with thoughts, which keep us from God. “The tongue defiles the entire body” (James 3:6). For a soul is like an empty glass and bad language like pebbles. The purpose of a glass is to hold water. But as we fill our glass with pebbles, there is less and less room for Jesus, the water of salvation. “If a man who does not control his tongue imagines that he is devout, he is deceived; his worship is pointless” (James 1:26).

Second, you hurt those around you by leading them to use bad language. This is exactly how little Ralphie got himself in trouble. He heard bad language repeated over and over, until he began to feel that it was normal and began using it himself. Leading others into sin through example is a grievous wrong (CCC 2284). “Scandal will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones” (Luke 17:1-2).

Christ’s message to us is clear. In order to become perfect, we must give ourselves completely to Him. Every thought and word should be spent in His service, and controlling our tongues is an integral part of this struggle. “If a person is without fault in speech he is a man in the fullest sense, because he can control his entire body” (James 3:2). Now, it may not be easy to overcome the use of bad language, particularly if it has become habitual. Even the Bible acknowledges how easy it is to use bad words unintentionally. “[A] man can slip and not mean it; who has not sinned with his tongue?” (Sirach 19:15). So here are a few tips to help you gain control over your speech:

a) Pay attention to what you say and the manner in which you say it. “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from trouble” (Proverbs 21:23). The old rule of counting before you speak can come in very handy. “O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).
b) Do not allow bad language in your thoughts, for it is from the mind that words originate. The only way to kill a weed is by getting at the root, and the only way to control the mouth is by first controlling the brain.
c) Ask those around you to refrain from using bad language. By doing this, you keep these words out of your mind and help others to break their evil habits.
d) Avoid movies, television shows and books, which use excessive language. Frequent exposure to cursing is the easiest way to fall into the habit of using bad language.

Most of all, however, pray about it, for without God’s help we can do nothing. May we every day join in praying that each act, word and deed of our lives may be done in the service of the Lord. “Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:15).

William Esser is a recent graduate of Notre Dame Law School and is currently working as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He can be reached via email at willesser@yahoo.com.For those interested in a secular viewpoint on the use of bad language, he recommends the website of the Cuss Control Academy: www.cusscontrol.com.

© The Catholic Faith”, Ignatius Press, 2515 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94118, 1-800-651-1531.

This item 2802 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org

Should Catholics Cuss?

From the Catholic Gentleman

Recently, a horribly raunchy movie made national headlines because it contained over 500 uses of the f-word. Yeah, it was obscenely obscene, and obviously, that level of profanity is unusual. But the fact is, vulgarities are becoming commonplace in music, movies, literature, and everyday language.

This growing trend raises the question— is profanity a sin? Is it morally wrong to use words that are considered to be profane? Let’s examine this issue further.

Guiding principles

I’ll come right out and say it: Profanity isn’t always a sin—but it easily can be. But how are we supposed to know? Here are three principles I see in judging the morality of our speech.

The first principle is intent. What’s the purpose? For example, if you are furious with someone, and you tell them to go to hell (or worse), your intent is obviously to hurt the other person with your words. This kind of angry speech is always prohibited, even if no profane words are used. Jesus makes this clear when he strongly condemns hateful language: “But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” Of course, there are plenty of other motivations for using profanity besides anger, but the point is, examining our motives will help us determine if we are sinning or not.

The second principle is degree. It is well known that some profanities are more offensive than others, such as words that have an obviously crude and sexual connotation. The f-word is undoubtedly considered the most obscene word in the English language, for example, and I don’t see any cases in which its use can be justified. Frequency is also important. If every other word in your vocabulary is a vulgarity, it’s probably a sign of a deeper problem.

The third principle is graciousness. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,” says St. Paul— which is pretty funny since “salty language” is a euphemism for profanity. Anyway, we know what the great apostle means. Our speech should literally be grace-full. It should build up the hearer.

My take

Now that we’ve clarified that profanity isn’t always immoral, I will state my personal position on the matter. I strongly believe that obscene or profane speech should be completely avoided. Here are five reasons.

1. It is unnecessary – I haven’t used profanity in about 10 years, and I have yet to be unable to express myself adequately. In fact, there are many people who go their whole lives without using a single obscenity. So why bother?

2. Our words will be judged – Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” That’s a pretty scary thought if you think about how carelessly we talk many times. Do you really want to have to justify to our Lord why you let fly with an f-bomb? Do you really want to defend why you told someone to go to hell? I didn’t think so.

3. It might cause someone to stumble – St. Paul was once asked about whether or not eating certain foods was immoral. He answered that it wasn’t immoral for those who were mature enough to handle it. But he immediately added the caveat that we should never engage in liberties that might cause our brother or sister to fall into sin. Even if you’re a mature Catholic, you must consider the impact of using obscenities in front of someone who might be horrified and scandalized by such talk.

4. It desensitizes us – Back when I was in the habit of using profanity, it took a lot to shock me. I could listen to music or watch movies with the a lot of vulgar language, and it wouldn’t bother me at all. But now, when I hear obscenities, it seems so crude and repulsive. Vulgarity has a way of deadening our soul to things that would normally shock us. And there are some things we simply shouldn’t grow accustomed to.

5. It isn’t classy – Ok, I’ll admit this is the least compelling reason in my case against profanity, but I think it’s valid. If you wouldn’t walk around in public in your pajamas or wear your pants so low your underwear can be seen, why would you say things that are the verbal equivalent?

As Catholic men, we shouldn’t ask how much we can get away with. That’s an immature attitude. Instead, we should ask if our speech is fitting for a follower of Christ.

Conclusion

In writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul exhorts us to guard our speech carefully. “Let no evil talk [sometimes translated “profane speech”] come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” This is the rule that should guide us as we examine our speech.

Men, let’s strive to submit everything in our lives to Christ, including our speech. Rather than seeing how much we can get away with, let’s strive to be full of grace and kindness in our speech. Anything less isn’t fitting for a Catholic gentleman.

A Mild Form of Murder – Patrick Coffin

Read the original article here

The Inside Scoop # 18

It’s probably the most popular sin around. It’s certainly a daily temptation for many people. It ravages marriages,  families, friendships, groups, workplaces, and parishes. It’s easy to “fall into.” Oh, and it’s a mild form of murder.

What is it?

It’s gossip.

Exposing the damage of gossip has been a recurrent theme in the preaching of Pope Francis. Employing his now-famous hyperbolic style, the Holy Father has called gossip an “act of terrorism” (March 2015), and those who indulge in it are “cowards and hypocrites” (September 2013) and “bomb droppers” (February 2016).

The word of God is crystal clear about gossip. A small sample:

“And for one who hates gossip evil is lessened” (Sirach 19:6).

“A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

“He who goes about gossiping reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who speaks foolishly” (Proverbs 20:19).

” They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips…” (Romans 1:29).

“For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder” (2 Cor. 12:20).

“Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not” (1 Tim. 5:13).The Catechism of the Catholic Church, without using the word, tackles it head on:

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

– of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

– of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

– of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.”

And yet gossip remains so tempting and our attitude about it so casual. That roll of the eyeball (timed to be seen by others) when the person leaves the room. That sarcastic comment about a co-worker’s fault. That snarky piling-on when the gossip fires get kindled in the staff lounge.

Or, how about the baptized version? “Bob is cheating on his wife with the secretary, the scoundrel, and everyone knows it; we need to pray for him!”

It’s especially unseemly among fellow Christians. “Gossip is a disease that infects and poisons the apostolate. It goes against charity, means a waste of energy, takes away peace and destroys one’s union with God” (St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way).

So why do we keep doing it?

I see three intertwining motives: 1) self-affirmation at the expense of someone else: 2) a lack of courage to settle differences honestly and directly. The third is less obvious. It’s what Rene Girard (1923-2015) called mimetic rivalry. On this view, you and I will readily join in negative speech against a third party because of the strange pleasure in feeling immersed in the group think of scapegoating. When a scapegoat is identified, he or she brings the gossipers “together” in the same contempt (mild or strong) for the other party.

Voila. Gossip.

And we all do it. The question is: who many of us will stop doing it?

If you love reading brand new ways of understanding very old truths, I recommend The Girard Reader, which distills the thought of the late Catholic philosopher. It ain’t light reading but it’s filled with insights into scapegoating, grace, violence, revenge, competition, and grace.

I’d love to hear from you on Facebook. How have you overcome the habit of gossip? Do you think I’m exaggerating its effects?

Be a saint; what else is there?

Patrick