Dear Parish Family:
In the second reading this Sunday, we hear Paul instruct the Corinthians that: Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
The time in which we live seeks to glorify the body, but it does so outside of any proper Christian context. If the body is to be glorified, it should be glorified precisely because it is a temple of the Holy Spirit and not for any lesser reason.
How many times has the false argument been made that it is my body and I should be able to do whatever I want with it? Nothing could be farther from the truth! That a person’s body belongs to that person and no one else is true, but it in no way logically follows that the person has the right to do “whatever he wants” because of that. We are not our own.
A person’s body is a gift from God, and it is not a gift that is given to be abused or misused. God gives us our bodies to complete our nature, and so that we can come to know God, to love God, to serve God, and to be with Him forever in paradise. Through Christ, we have been purchased at a price; we are called to glorify God in every aspect of our being, including our bodies.
We are to avoid immorality and seek godliness. Through modesty and decency, we can grow in holiness and come closer to Our Lord. There are many ways to achieve this, and each person must find his or her own narrow path that leads the person closer to a true union with Christ.
I have noticed an increasing number of ladies in our parish who undertake the laudable practice of wearing a chapel veil or mantilla to Mass. Not coming from a tradition in which this practice is common, I sought to learn more about it by speaking with some ladies who maintain this tradition. I discovered that for them, it serves as both an effective Catholic witness to modesty and holiness, as well as being a means by which the wearer can grow in her relationship with Our Lord.
We are all on our own journey to Christ and there are many ways in which we can glorify God in our bodies and many traditions through which we can grow in love and holiness. Let us all thank Christ for the wonderful diversity that makes up our Catholic family and unites us in His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.