From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…For April 29, 2018

In college, we would call this season “The Great Undressing.” The end of the winter semester is at hand, the temperatures are rising, and not only do the winter parkas disappear, but so do a great portion of the rest of the girls’ clothes. They would go from five layers down to half of a layer almost overnight.

Many would say, “Well, just don’t look.” That is definitely an important habit to develop. Custody of the eyes is an old practice that is very helpful in developing chastity and a control over the imagination.

Clothes, though, are a form of language. We all know that people express themselves in different ways. First, there are the words we use. Then there are the nuances of tone, speed, and other qualities of our speech. Because these are missing, there have been innumerable misunderstandings in eMails and text messages. There are also our facial expressions, eye contact, gesticulations, and all the other ways we communicate with our body.

Beyond all this, it is a general aphorism that actions speak louder than words. If someone says they will do something, his follow-through has greater weight than all the promises one could make. Clothes fall into this category; clothes are a language, a way of expressing ourselves in the world. Our clothes give expression to what we hold valuable, to how much we care about ourselves and others, etc. Clothes tell the world around us something about who we are and how we want to be treated.

This is especially important for girls and women because the world in which we live has highly sexualized them. It is also important for men. How do you want to be treated by the world? Do you want to be treated as a serious individual who is going to make some mark on the world? Then dress like it. Do you want to be treated like you are just rolling through life, you don ‘t really care about much? You can dress like that as well. Do you simply want to be treated as a thing to be used by others? You can dress like that as well, though I wouldn’t recommend it.

It is funny (in a depressing way), at times, to look out on the world, and to hear people demanding with words to be listened to, demanding to be respected, demanding something more. At the same time, they are dressing like bums, or maybe one step above a bum, or sluts, or whatever. Yes, everyone should be respected, but words go a lot farther when your actions, including clothes, correlate with those words.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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