As we speak to our Heavenly Father in the opening prayer of today’s Mass, we say to him: “In restoring human nature you have given us a greater dignity than we had in the beginning.” Remember, in the beginning God created us in his image, according to his likeness. What greater dignity could he have given us than that? The fact is that he sent his own divine Son into our world, our history, and our human race to become one of us to be our human brother and thus to make us his brothers and sisters.
And then, during the climactic moments of his passion and death, Jesus, our divine brother and savior, further humbled himself by taking on himself the form of bread and wine which he gives us to eat and do drink.
The notion of human dignity is one that desperately needs reinforcing right now, since our human society, especially in the western world, has largely lost the awareness of human dignity. Some years ago, in one of my homilies, I spoke of the quality of refinement. A lady came to me after Mass and said, “Father, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to hear you talk about refinement. I thought that it was a quality that had been totally forgotten.” You certainly get that impression these days.
When we bemoan the moral effects of the media upon our young people, we should certainly have human dignity and refinement in mind. I think of this often while sitting in airports waiting for a plane. There was a time when people “dressed up” when traveling. Not any more! I would never appear in public—not even to put out the garbage in front of my own home—dressed the way many people fly around the country or the world. And then, look at how they dress on TV and how they behave, and the things that they say. Do they look and sound like human beings made in the image and likeness of God? Not unless God is a drug-ridden rapper or a strip-joint floozy!
And then there are the brides of today. They seem to be confused. They dress for the wedding Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and their relatives and friends as if they were getting ready for the bedroom on the honeymoon.
Let us always be aware that deliberately outrageous dress and behavior, immodesty, revealing and suggestive clothing, language, and actions are opposed to the image of God within us, and are means used by the powers of evil to lead to spiritual weakening and even death. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.