Zeal for Thy House Consumes Me
Postings like the one below seem perfectly appropriate the day I post them. The next morning make me feel like I'm kicking a puppy. I mean, here's poor Quoque, just trying to do his best, all excited about the vision of Christian life presented by Dressing with Dignity... and here I am, raining on his parade. How mean and nasty I am.
(Well, this is no news to the good Lord, actually. More time in the Cell of Self-Knowledge for me.)
But when I point out that there are plenty of people out there who would tell the traditional ladies that their mantillas are immodest head coverings, I'm not joking. It's something that people I know well might indeed be forced to say, at least for themselves. They have chosen to practice Orthodox Judaism in all seriousness, and thus are busy hiding their hair from everyone but their husbands. I wouldn't do it myself, and certainly I would prefer them to practice the fullness of the Covenant over here across the Tiber. But I honor their dedication.
But then, I can honor them because they're not sitting around telling me that I must cover my hair, my wrists and my ankles. They're not even saying that to other Jews or Orthodox Jews. They're practicing it for God and their own good. They aren't condemning me for not taking on the same burden. Similarly, you can be a nun without insisting that everyone wear a habit, or a Florida-people pantsuit, just like you. In fact, that's kinda the point of being a nun.
Telling all women that all pants are all immodest is putting an unjust burden on other people. I have no objection if someone chooses not to wear skirts, or not ever cut her hair, because she feels it's a better or deeper way to live her Christian faith. I do have an objection to being told, even by implication, that I'm a hussy if I don't do likewise.
I am living well within divine, human, and canon law where clothing modesty is concerned, and I know my rights and duties as well as any Christian alive. If you try to tell me otherwise, I will laugh in your face. If you call me to live my faith more deeply through the clothes I wear, I will be more likely to listen. But frankly, modesty is not an issue that concerns me, because clothes and dating don't concern me much. Dressing plainly is already second nature to me. If I bought myself a whole new wardrobe of determinedly modest clothes, that's when I'd be flaunting myself.
I'm a lot more worried about my intellectual lack of modesty. I'm reading The Imitation of Christ for the next few Saturdays over on my audioblog, and hooboy, is it topical for me.
If men used as much care in uprooting vices and implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems, there would not be so much evil and scandal in the world, or such laxity in religious organizations. On the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived.
So I think I'll shut up now.