Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit…Modesty and Continence

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 16, 2012

Lemon – Lime… Different fruits, but complimentary… Just like today’s Spiritual Fruits!

Running quickly out of time before THE NOVENA (9 days of prayer) to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost – on Sunday, May 27th.

With nine Fruits previously mentioned…

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, GoodnessBenignity, Long Suffering, Mildness and Faith

Today we address two more Fruits: Modesty and Continence:

(10)  Modesty – Produces moderation in external actions

Companion To: Counsel

Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion.  Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. ~ CCC§2533


Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled.

Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet. ~ CCC§2522, emphasis added

Something, I’m sorry to say, is VERY MUCH LACKING in our over-sexed and depraved world. Would we put Ancient Rome to shame with our immodest-ies?

But I digress…

The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another.  Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject.

Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person. ~ CCC§2524, emphasis added


(11)  Continence – Represses the passion

Companion To: Fear of the Lord AND a Compliment to CHASTITY (still to come…)

Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God’s grace He will prevail:

{Concupiscence: The desire for sin:  “It is left for us to wrestle with [concupiscence] (see 2Cor 12: 7-10), [for] it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist by the grace of Jesus Christ.” Council of Trent, 1546}

– by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;

– by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God’s will in everything (cf. Rom 12:2; Col 1:10);

– by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God’s commandments: “Appearance arouses yearning in fools” (Wis 15:5);

– by prayer:  “I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless You grant it. For You would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached Your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on You,” ~St. Augustine, Conf. 6, 11, 20

~ CCC§2520, emphasis

Thus it can be said…

Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis [the exercise of self discipline] adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer.

“Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity.” ~ St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 29, 40.

~ CCC § 2340, emphasis added

So, if one truly considers the means of which these speak, then the understanding of the NEED to obtain each is NECESSARY to one’s life IF they TRULY DESIRE HOLINESS…

For as the Prophetic Book of Sirach reads…

Be brief, but say much in those few words, be like the wise man,[reserved in speech]… Like the lightning that flashes before a storm is the esteem that shines on modesty…  

And there enjoy doing as you wish, but without sin or words of pride.  Above all, give praise to your Creator, who showers His favors upon you.  He who would find God must accept discipline; he who seeks Him obtains his request (cf. Mt 7:7-8). ~Sirach 8, 10,12 -14, emphasis added

Recommended Reading:

Soon Arrival of Pentecost
7 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit

Removing the Restrainer

The Readings Concerning the Coming Passion of Christ’s Church

Lesson in Sacred Scripture
Part I
Part II
Part III


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