Veiled Words: Modesty in Speech and Thought

Caitlin Marchand

Caitlin Marchand

Caitlin Marchand is a stay at home mom of four. She is a graduate of Christendom College in Virginia and a Canadian ex-pat. She currently resides in Louisiana where her husband is stationed as an Air Force pilot.

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4 thoughts on “Veiled Words: Modesty in Speech and Thought”

  1. Good article Caitlin. I think more time should be given to discerning if the person is called to marriage or the celibate life. That way, the cart wouldn’t get ahead of the horse.

  2. Concerning modesty, there is one thing I do for myself which may be of help.

    When C.S.Lewis went to war, he thought “this is war. That’s what Homer wrote about”. The books we read, the films we watch, they are formative in the way we see, feel and do things. They are substitutes for real experiences which we no longer get to witness in our dull and self-centered routines.

    So it may not come as a surprise to many, but one thing I have realized is that the movies I choose to watch and the books I choose to read have a great importance in my efforts at chastity. At times, a single movie has often been enough to make me despair at the thought of chastity, or of virtue itself. But also, a single movie was also enough to make me pursue it with renewed vigor, knowing that it was a possible end.

    When I saw Fill the Void, a movie which can be described as a Hassidic Jew romance and which portrays traditional marriage beautifully and realistically, I got excited for about two days due to the realization that chastity is not only beautiful but also possible. Or think also of Les Miserables: how rare it is to see a story nowadays with a hero as virtuous as Jean Valjean? In a typical modern movie, Jean Valjean would have at least one concubine (such as has been done in Le Pacte des Loups). Perhaps he would be a drunkard as well.

    My point is, and I think that applies to the formation of children: it is not just about forbidding bad movies or books, but about putting better things in their places. I understand that this is the point of the author of the post, but have something to add. The lives of the saints are inspiring and may profit many, but they do sometimes seem to otherworldly and unattainable. It is also profitable to find out good contemporary or not so contemporary works which exalt or portray virtue, so that it may seem realistically attainable.

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