A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You should know how to behave

Yesterday, a talk radio host who also happens to conduct Jewish services, was talking about the importance of proper attire when gathering for worship. On one level, this seems to resonate quite well with today’s first reading (1Timothy 3 :14-16):

You should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.

Of course, there are many levels to what St. Paul is saying here and some people may think that proper attire at Church is rather low in relative importance.

To be sure, as members of Christ’s faithful, we are always in the household of God and therefore should behave fittingly at all times, especially so that we may be good witnesses of our faith.

Even when we are just “among ourselves” – e.g., in Church - we need to continue to give witness to each other by our good behavior.

Good behavior, of course, includes both what we do and what we say.

Good behavior also includes what we wear. This is easiest to see in the reverse extreme: walking naked through a shopping mall is not good behavior nor is wearing a shirt with obscenities on it.

Wearing proper attire, on the other hand, is good behavior. While not as practical as a good deed nor as clear and direct as an explicit word of faith, attire is a practical means of communication and proper attire is part of good behavior.

For one thing, proper attire signifies respect: for others, for the particular occasion, and for oneself.

Being sloppy in what we wear is very much like being sloppy in what we say or sloppy in what we do. Even if “our hearts are in the right place”, such sloppiness can send wrong signals and cause bad effects.

What does our attire say to others, to our fellow Christians, to our fellow worshipers, to ourselves?

May we always be good witnesses of God’s truth and God’s presences: in what we do, in what we say, and even in what we wear.