Clothes (blog)

Posted: 10 Dec 2019 09:00 PM PST

Excerpt from the SPIRITUAL CATÉCHISME OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION, VOLUME II, Composed by the RPJJ SURIN, of the Society of Jesus:


What should you watch out for when getting dressed?

To necessity, convenience, and ornament.

What does the need demand?

Let us have regard to propriety, and to the necessity of being armed against the insults of time. The spiritual man confines himself to these views, and thereby cuts off all superfluity, without, however, neglecting the order he finds established, and the ordinary usages of those of his condition who live regularly. For what is convenient in this way, to a religious of St. Francis, who puts his glory in poverty, would not suit a Secular Priest; it may be said of him that he is satisfied with what is necessary when he wears in his clothes only the least that men can wear.
The same can be said of the quality people who live in the century. A lady who practices piety, may have nothing superfluous in her clothes, without giving in any inconvenience, and without being able to say that she lacks the proprieties of her state. It is not even to the Princesses who can not be clothed simply, without the wise people becoming formalized, as soon as they realize that it is by piety and modesty that they use it in this way . It is true that these people need a lot of generosity to renounce pomp and worldly vanity. A Magistrate, a Gentleman, who will behave by the same principle, can be reduced to the necessary without being accused of singularity,
However, the modesty and contempt of the world do not dispense with propriety. It would not be proper for a woman of quality to wear a coat of fat, because it sufficed for necessity; but she will be very laudable if she does without expensive stuffs, and is satisfied with the simplest, because she will only follow the example of several persons of her most remarkable sex, who are satisfied from the approval of God and his servants, have put themselves above the censure of the worldly to conform to modesty. In general, one can say that perfection of this kind consists in being satisfied with what is necessary.

Why should you pay attention to convenience?

To avoid a defect in which several persons of sex who fall into delicacy fall under the pretext of convenience. Some ladies can not be said to love pomp and magnificence; but one does not know what to think of the excessive care they take to always have the finest linen that can be found, and the finest stuffs, to be more at ease. Would not it be better to suffer a little than to distinguish oneself in this way? This affectation to seek its commodities does not come from the Gospel, nor from the spirit of the Cross, which must be dear to all the Disciples of Our Lord. There are scarcely any young people who must establish themselves in the world, to whom we can allow to add to the necessary, not only the convenience, but also that which contributes to the ornament.

What is the point of ornament?

It does not suit men to look for adornment and ornament in clothes. There are, however, ceremonies, public festivals, pomp, and solemnities, which have nothing against propriety, and which authorize some extraordinary crew in those who are obliged to attend. But except in these cases, there are no other reasons which can exempt men from the modesty of which we have just spoken. However, most young men, as soon as they have no intention of entering into religion, like to distinguish themselves by the nature and the magnificence of the clothes; and to satisfy this species of ambition, they give in inexcusable excesses.
Disorder is even greater in young girls and in several married women, who always wish to appear under precious stuffs, all shining with gold and precious stones. And if it is represented to them that nothing is more contrary to Christian humility, they answer that they would be despicable if they were not superbly dressed: as if their honor consisted in not giving it to anyone in sumptuous clothes. We sometimes see ladies in our churches kneeling on velvet tiles, so enriched with gold and so beautiful, that there would be nothing better to do than to ask the Blessed Sacrament if we wanted place it as it deserves.
They say to justify themselves that they only follow the custom, and conform to the other women of their rank. But they do not take care that it is the conduct of wise and virtuous persons who must found the custom, and regulate the propriety of the condition, and not the example of some women who are vain and filled with the spirit of the world. We see, in fact, persons of the first rank who are shut up within the limits of modesty and Christian simplicity, without exposing themselves to contempt and without incurring blame, and who even find a subject of confusion in this magnificence and this superfluity. worldly where others put their glory; which suffices to show that the custom and propriety of the state are a frivolous excuse which can not be seriously alleged,
We must not go back too far to be even more convinced that it is the corruption of the century that has made common among sex workers, the use of rich ornaments and precious ornaments. People who still live, have seen the time when there were only Queens and Princesses who brought after them these magnificent tiles of which we have just spoken, and fashion has not been introduced in the lower conditions, only by people who had nothing more remarkable than their vanity. The same can be said of most other ornaments which are ostentatiously displayed, and to dazzle the eyes of men. Nothing more common than to see these kinds of ornaments, condemned in the holy Scriptures, blamed by the Saints and the Fathers of the Church. The people,
There is another kind of ornament which deserves our indignation even more, because it shocks modesty, and scandalizes good manners. It is not only to give some luster that some women cover their throats with a clear and transparent cloth. Would not they say that they intend to show with more affectation what they pretend to hide?
From all that we have said in this chapter, it is easy to conclude that the age and the condition which sometimes allow the sex-workers to go beyond the bounds of necessity in the way they dress, never allow them to do so. to do nothing against the modesty which must always break out in their ornaments, and to which they must always have more respect than