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Bishop Vasa: Dress, demeanor, discipline show how we value Holy Mass...
"A thorough cleansing must be made within the House of God--the Church. Women shall not receive My Son dressed as pagans, naked and without absolution! " - Our Lady of the Roses, December 31, 1974
The following article by Bishop Robert Vasa (Diocese of Baker, Oregon), appeared in the June 30, 2000 issue of the Catholic Sentinel:
Several years ago I had the opportunity, while visiting Washington, DC, to observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
I was so struck by the simple, deliberate elegance of the ceremony that I stayed for extra minutes simply to watch the young man march to and fro with that same simple, deliberate elegance. The uniforms were absolutely impeccable, the shoes shined to pure gloss, the faces of the guards set like granite, the measured steps precise, the entire person focused on the job at hand. It was clear from all of the above that the young men knew that what they were about was serious and important.
I have reflected repeatedly on the Arlington experience as it relates to what we do in our Catholic Churches. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most significant event in the world. As the priest and ministers enter the church and proceed down the aisle, there is not the expectation that they imitate the guards at Arlington, but it would be most appropriate to do so. The guard at Arlington processes solemnly in front of a tomb of national significance, and he is rightfully dignified. Every altar in every Catholic Church has eternal significance and deserves a regard greater than that demanded by the national tomb.
I am not advocating a religious solemnity devoid of joy or humanity, but it appears that Arlington may have something which the Catholic Church needs. The dignity manifested by the guard points towards and accentuates the dignity of the place. Silence is observed at the National Tomb. Silence is a sign of respect for the place and the meaning of the place. Silence is appropriate and enforced vigorously there. Order is enforced there.
As I stood watching the guard making his seemingly routine and non-variable march, he suddenly broke out of line two steps at an angle to his right. He removed the rifle from his shoulder, held it in his hands, and said very forcefully, "Stay behind the barrier!" A couple of seconds later, he repeated the command, at which a woman who had crossed into forbidden territory to get a better picture retreated to the area reserved for visitors. He then returned to his line and resumed his march. No apology, no explanation; the sign said "No Trespassing"; what part of "No" was not understood?
The trespass onto sacred secular soil was deemed unacceptable. The dignity of the place demanded order and an observance of that order. Once again, I do not advocate this kind of rigid, cold enforcement, but the dignity of our churches needs to be fostered and preserved. The dignity of this sacred place will be lost as the sacredness of the area around the tomb would quickly be lost, if there is not a decided effort to preserve it.
Wouldn't it be cute if four or six little 5-year-olds dressed up like Marines and marched back and forth with the guard? It might be cute, but it would not befit the dignity of the place or the solemnity of the occasion. Yet time and again, we try to introduce people and behaviors into our churches which are deemed "cute" and therefore somehow mandatory. I suggest that "cute" has its place, but Arlington National Cemetery is not one of them, and neither are our churches which house Jesus Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Several years ago, the Holy Father reinstituted a dress code for the churches of Rome, his diocese. No one in shorts or sleeveless shirts was to be admitted into the church building.
An American sense of rights and freedom rebels against such rules, calling them absurdities. Yet it was done and it was enforced. Tourists who had traveled across an ocean to see a church were turned back at the door unless they were properly attired. This was only to visit a church while no other liturgical action was going on. The Holy Father saw a need to institute a policy aimed at restoring, in a very concrete way, a proper sense of reverence for the house of God.
I have often heard the argument that the administrators of churches should be pleased to see that people come, regardless of how they are dressed. The other side of that is that people need to demonstrate in word and deed the proper disposition and attitude. I am certain the American people would be rightfully chagrined if the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were to show up in plaid shorts, a tank top and half-laced tennis shoes. It is hard to imagine that he could have a proper interior attitude to the job at hand were he to come to "work" dressed like that.
Our liturgy is a sacred "work". How we come to that work is probably as important as the fact that we come. We must recognize that we come to church for sacred work, sacred worship. This demands a decorum commensurate with the dignity of the work to be done. Even if that "work" is to utter a private prayer, it still demands an appropriate decorum.
The soldiers at Arlington know the sacredness of the work which they do. Their dress, their demeanor, their discipline all speak of their recognition of that sacredness. Seeing them is a source of pride for me.
I am proud of what they represent, proud of the values which their discipline bespeaks, proud of the country which at heart still knows that honor and fidelity are worth defending.
For these values people live, and for these values people give their lives. The dress and demeanor of these troops says that they truly honor and respect the life and death of those represented at the Tomb of the Unknown.
Catholics likewise need to know the sacredness of the liturgical "work" which they do. Their dress, their demeanor, their discipline, ought all to speak of their recognition of that sacredness.
Seeing the dress and demeanor of Catholics in Church ought to be a source of pride. They ought to manifest a genuine respect for Jesus present, as well as for the values of the Catholic Church. For these values, saints, declared and not declared, gave their lives; for these values each Catholic must be willing to dress in a fashion which shows recognition and respect.
"Like pagans, you dance down the aisles during the Holy Sacrifice! Like pagans
you come undressed, My children, to the Holy Sacrifice! You conduct yourselves
without respect or love!" - Our Lady of the Roses, April 9, 1977
"I repeat, My child, that much discipline will be needed. The manner of clothing that We see being permitted by the parents to be worn by their children is an abomination in the eyes of the Father. They are sinful, they are degrading and they lead others into sin. Cover your bodies for they are temples of the Holy Spirit.
"Men shall not dress as women and neither shall women dress as men! Shorts, slacks shall not be worn in the Presence of My Son!
"There will be no rationalization accepted for the commission of these acts of impurity." - Our Lady of the Roses, July 25, 1974
"Parents, how dare you allow your daughters to be looked upon with lustful eyes! Have you no shame? What is your example? Are you pagans?" - Our Lady of the Roses, May 30, 1972
These prophecies came from Jesus, Mary, and the saints to Veronica Lueken at Bayside, NY, from 1968 to 1995:
A WAY OF LIFE
"I ask that a task force be set upon the world to eliminate the products of the forces of evil that seek to debase, destroy the souls of your children. Remove from your homes the corrupters of souls: the pornography, the infernal box—your television—and the destructor of souls, modesty and purity—the nakedness of the body.
"Parents, you shall be judged for the destruction by permissiveness, of your children's souls. Clothe them in goodness, holiness, and piety, and make modesty a way of life for the young." - Our Lady, August 21, 1975
EXAMPLE OF QUEEN
"The world must follow the example of the Queen of Heaven. Modesty, purity of heart and purpose." - St. Michael, December 7, 1973
SACRED TEMPLE OF
"Impress, My child, upon your world the existence of hell that man seeks to deny. There are fires of hell. These fires will be felt on those who have lost their modesty to modernization, who expose the sacred temple of God, placed when their spirit entered their body—expose them to ridicule! The flames will burn every inch of that which is exposed." - Our Lady, November 20, 1971
AS BEFITS A WIFE
"Women shall not approach the sacred Body dressed as pagans, exposing the temples of their spirit to shame! Cover yourselves, My children, or you will burn!
"I repeat: women will dress as befits a wife and mother, clothing themselves with modesty and holiness. Children will follow the example of their parents. Therefore, if your example is poor, your children will be your thorns. The sins of the parents are surely visited upon the children." - Our Lady, March 18, 1975
ARE YOU PAGANS?
"Parents, how dare you allow your daughters to be looked upon with lustful eyes! Have you no shame? What is your example? Are you pagans?" - Our Lady, May 30, 1972
DO NOT LEAD YOUR CHILD INTO DANGER!
"Mothers, why are you permissive with your children? Do you not recognize the plan of satan? Do you wish lustful eyes cast upon the innocence of your young child? Do not lead your child into danger!" - Our Lady, June 8, 1972
CHAIN OF EVIL
"Foolish virgins! Why do you choose to live in this world of earth? Have you become blind to modesty? Has vanity invaded your hearts? Woe to those who cause the downfall of Our dedicated by their examples. You are all following the evil circle, My dedicated; for it is like a chain of evil, link by link. By your example you build a solid chain to hell. For woe to those entrusted with the souls of the little ones, and who lead the little ones to hell!" - Our Lady, November 21, 1970
"As parents your duty is manifold. You must teach your children within your homes. You must safeguard their purity. Modesty! Mothers, your daughters—do you permit them to expose their flesh to lustful eyes? Are you stripping from their young souls modesty and purity of purpose and spirit? What kind of example are you giving as parents in your homes?" - Our Lady, October 2, 1975
"Nakedness! Abomination! Aberrations have become the way of life in your country. Nakedness! Have you no shame to expose your body and cause another to fall? Mothers, you allow your daughters to sin and cause others to sin in your permissive attitudes. Have you no protective instincts for your children? Do you subject them willfully to the ravages of satanic agents?" - Our Lady, March 25, 1972
EYES: MIRROR OF
"Modesty must be retained. Modesty must be taught to the young. Keep pure and holy thoughts in your minds and the minds of your children, for your eyes are also the mirror of your soul." - Jesus, May 18, 1977
"You see, My child, you use the word 'Marylike,' but the word is truly 'chastity,' 'modesty.' It is a word, chastity, the word modesty, soon forgotten on your earth." - Our Lady, June 15, 1974
Directives from Heaven...
D1 - The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass PDF
D128 - Modesty PDF
D178 - Head Coverings PDF
D210 - Purity PDF
Amarillo Bishop calls for modesty in dress--fight the "battle for purity"
Women will not dress as men: 1960 letter by Cardinal Siri
Pastor speaks out against immodesty of dress
Modesty of dress: “Beauty is never in exposure”
Directives on Christian modesty
St. Padre Pio and modesty
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On February 1, 1974, Our Lady said, "My children, know the value of these sacramentals. Guard your children well. You must awaken to the knowledge that you will not be protected without the sacramentals. Guard your children's souls. They must be surrounded with an aura of purity. Remove them if necessary from the sources of contamination, be it your schools or even false pastors."
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The sin of omission... "The sin of omission shall condemn many to hell, be they layman or Hierarchy. I repeat: not the sin of commission, but the sin of omission will commit many to hell." - Our Lady of the Roses, October 6, 1980
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