Hold on to modesty and
moderation because it adds beauty to our whole life. For he acts nobly
who preserves due measure and order in his life. This is decorum and
is closely connected with virtue. For what is seemly is virtuous and
what is virtuous is seemly.
Virtue is like the health and
soundness of the body; decorum is like the beauty of the body. Beauty
seems to stand out more than health but, in truth, beauty depends on
health. Thus, decorum is noticed first, but it depends for its
existence on virtue.
Virtue, therefore, is health
in mind and heart and soul; it is health in our good works and
undertakings. Decorum is what is noticed outside, which is
conspicuous, but it had its roots in virtue. Rooted in virtue, decorum
flourished and even bears its own flower; separated from virtue, it fails,
droops and disappears into uncouthness.
A priest must be clothed
well. When God made the first man, He created him with a good figure
and a noble appearance. "Let all things be done decently and in
order." Women are told to "dress properly" and
"cover their heads" and to pray with promises of purity and good
St. Ambrose: Duties
of the Clergy, Chapter 45