Start with the Prayer of Abandonment
“Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person” (Sirach 26:15). How do you practice modesty, in both words and actions? There is a time and a place to be “naked and not ashamed” – but a certain amount of mystery, especially when it comes to grooming and hygiene, is a good thing. Even in marriage (or perhaps “especially in marriage”) there is such a thing as TMI.
A few weeks ago I had a chance to catch the movie version of Anita Diamant’s historical novel, The Red Tent, which captures the Old Testament story of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter by Leah (Genesis 34). I was fascinated by this “world of women,” where no man dared to set foot — not just because of the “uncleanness” but (let’s face it) most guys would be only too happy to escape the messy mood swings of “that time of the month.”
Mystery is at the heart of both marriage and faith. “The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy, so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer (CCC #2558).
Modesty, on the other hand, “protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet” (CCC #2522).
How are you going to add a little mystery to your relationship this week?