Nov 7, 2007

Christian Modesty

Christian modesty usually seems to refer to dressing decently and avoiding arousing the sexual instinct, unless married. Another form of Christian modesty is likely even more important and deals with hiding our gifts so that not even the right arm knows what the left arm is doing.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend told me about some of the wonderful things she does for others. Later she sent me this email explaining that she should have been silent about her good works, and also quoted a recent email she herself had received from a second friend.

I received the below email from a dear friend. It was most certainly meant for me to hear because when we were talking several nights ago I errored in revealing that I had helped other people when i should have kept it to myself. Her thoughts reflect mine, she just states it so beautifully. The woman who wrote converted to the Catholic Faith at Easter, 2007. She has a depth of holiness that is exceptional.
Signed: FRIEND


I want to apologize to you for having told you yesterday about giving out those prayer books to Fr. X’s laity……first of all, it wasn’t right for me to tell anyone about what I’m doing, because by doing that, I am seeking praise from others, which doesn’t belong to me. It belongs solely to God. I should only be concerned with pleasing God and I should keep things like that secret from everyone else. The second thing I want to apologize for is that I didn’t give glory to God when I told you about this yesterday…..He’s the one who’s blessing the laity; He’s just using me as an instrument to distribute the books, that’s all. I’m ashamed for having taking God’s glory of goodness away from Him yesterday. I know better than that.

I want you to also know that I’m not writing this letter to seek any more praise, but to let you know that I feel bad for what I did. Please accept my apology.



Milehimama said...

So true. Modesty is more than wearing a dress. It is not calling attention to yourself.

Jeff Culbreath said...

Good point in general. But sometimes, perhaps, being overly concerned about how others might perceive our prideful behavior - or not perceive our remorse for it - is itself a manifestation of pride ...

Anonymous said...

I wonder, too, how we are to share ideas for bringing others to a fuller understanding of their faith if we do not share some of these things we are doing, no matter how feeble the attempt?
If a sidewalk counselor, for example, does not tell other sidewalk counselors the words she used to help convince a woman to spare her unborn child, I know prayer is our most powerful weapon but, just how are we to pass on what works? I absolutely love hearing from others what they are doing to grwo closer to our Lord and many times take these suggestions and use them to grow in my faith as well. Parents share ideas all the time regarding how they teach their children about our Holy Faith.
There has to be a difference between being prideful, and helpful. I'm not convinced it is a black line.
With utmost respect,
Feisty Muse