Gentlemen, be clothed in the Lord's majesty! By: Catholic Sunday Best

August 06, 2019

Gentlemen, be clothed in the Lord's majesty! By: Catholic Sunday Best

Gentlemen, be clothed in the Lord's majesty! 

Have you ever thought about dressing better for Holy Mass? I’m not talking about dressing for a wedding or a funeral, but EVERY Sunday Mass.

     There are two specific lines that have inspired and guided the direction of my channel, @catholicsundaybest. The first one is from St. Francis de Sales in which he encourages "devout man or woman to be the best dressed person in the company, but the least fine or splendid, and adorned as St. Peter says, 'with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.' " St. Francis definitely encourages us to be well dressed, and according to our means. We dress according to the requirements of the situation: we dress for our work, for sports or to special occasions. If we are blessed to own dress clothes, we can wear them to occasions that call for them, such is the purpose of having a "dress code." However, if we do not possess such garments, we are encouraged to dress to the best of our abilities, but be mindful not to overdress. Our best is reflected in our effort not in the lavishness of our attire.

     In all things, there is a line that we carefully navigate as Christians. We show passion or zeal without leaning towards pride. We show humility and meekness without lowering our opinion of ourselves. The former qualities are virtuous while the latter lead to sin. We must then exercise careful self-examination: To what purpose do we dress well or act modestly? Do we elevate our Lord or ourselves? Are we becoming scrupulous in our actions that we reflect ourselves or do we strive to lead others to Christ?

The second guiding principle of this channel comes from is from one of my patrons, St. John Paul the Great:

      St. John Paul's Theology of the Body describes the Holy Eucharist as the "Sacrament of Our Redemption. It is the Sacrament of the Bridegroom and the Bride...Christ is united with his 'body' as the bridegroom with the bride." (The Dignity and Vocation of Women n. 26). The Church is the Bride of Christ, meaning we, the faithful, are the bride.⠀

      How fitting it is that when a bride and groom process to the altar on their wedding day, they do so separately, as individuals, and when the Sacrament of Matrimony has been celebrated, they leave the Church as one. ⠀

       It is the same on every occasion of each Catholic receiving the Holy Eucharist. We process to our groom in the presence of the Eucharist and when we receive our Lord, we are united with Him in the most intimate way. We leave the altar "married" to our Lord. We become living tabernacles and as such, we present ourselves in wedding garments. Some women are able to demonstrate this through veiling, while men used to take of their hats. What can we do now to make an outward sign of our inner desire to be wedded to our Lord? I suggested dressing our best, in meekness and modesty.

Dressing well should not be an end but a means. The act should lead others to a more devout practice and not a measure of how much "better" we look compared to others.

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