It’s what comes from within that defiles

It’s what comes from within that defiles

On the topic of the “immorality” of women wearing pants, I’m let wondering if some people didn’t hear last Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23):

“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

Another way of putting it might be, it’s not the clothes you wear that defile you, but who you are as a person. There are plenty of women lacking in modesty who wear clothes that cover up their figures and plenty of modest women who wear pants. Yes, there is a line that can be crossed in which we say, “That outfit is immodest,” but it’s where we draw the line that is the cause of controversy.

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  • Not a Biblical scholar or graduate of a Catholic University, but… 

    We are not talking about eating our clothing, are we?  For our clothing does not enter into us.

    So, in your logic:  Looking at pornography is OK, since it is going INTO a man through his eyes?

    Our Lord, if you read the quote in the ENTIRE context, not just the edited lectionary version, was speaking of how the Jews by putting their tradition ahead of the commandments made the commandments of God void[Mark 7:13 RSV] .  The case He describes is telling one’s parents that everything they give you is from God, so you need not honor the parents (Fourth Commandment).

    However, if inappropriate dress is causes others to lust, the Lord has futher words.

    RSV Luk 17:2
    It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.

    Our Lord also said unless we become as little ones…  So, this causing others to sin, applies to us all.

    Tatoos fall into my interpretation of immodesty for both men and women.

  • You’re overliteralizing the Scripture. I didn’t say that looking at pornography is OK, so I’d prefer you didn’t put words into my mouth.

    What Christ is saying (and I would have hoped your priest would have said this last week) is that slavish adherence to rules regardless of our behavior is not doing the Lord’s will.

    If I fast on Friday’s in Lent only because it’s a cultural condition and then act like a gllutton on Saturday to compensate, I’m missing the point of fasting. Fasting, like other things, is supposed to be an external realiztion of an interior reality, while simultaneously being an external act that influences my internal reality.

    Obsessing about the clothes we wear without looking at our intentions and motivations is missing the point.

  • “While the faster you describe may merit little, they still do obey the Lenten requirement and that is an important consideration.”  (Don)

    This is not accurate.  There is no “Lenten requirement” to fast on Fridays.  Catholics (from 18th through 59th birthdays) have a “requirement” to fast on only TWO DAYS of the entire year—Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Good Friday is not a Friday in Lent, since it is now referred to as part of the Paschal Triduum that follows Lent.

    What IS required on each Friday in Lent, though, is abstinence from eating the flesh of mammals and fowl—except for Fridays on which Solemnities fall (e.g., March 19 and 24, St. Joseph and Annunciation).  Abstinence is also required on Ash Wednesday.  This pertains to people aged 14 or more.

    In some parts of the world, Catholics must abstain on EVERY Friday of the year.  That is not true in the U.S., where the bishops, with Vatican approval, have allowed for the substitution of an alternate penitential (or charitable) practice, to be chosen by each individual.  Relatively few American Catholics even know of this serious obligation, because most of the clergy have failed us by keeping silent about it (perhaps because they are ignorant of it themselves).