Catechism of the Catholic Church

604 Part Three — 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”; 314 — 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 youwould surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you. 315 2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refus­ ing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity. 2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it re­ quires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commit­ ment 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. 2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies. 2524 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. 314 Wis 15:5. 315 St. Augustine, Conf. 6, 11, 20: PL 32, 729-730. 1762 2846 2492 2354