Thursday, July 25, 2024

The June 29th Wedding(s), the Proverbs Woman, and the Pearl of Great Price

(Originally posted in The Hayride yesterday, July 8th) — I have been honeymooning for over a week now, as my wife and I were extended an extra day with Hurricane Beryl making landfall and shutting her place of employment down. I wanted to honor this last day of our beautiful week that started with the actual wedding day by briefly spotlighting a most coincidental collision of events and their application to today’s Scripture readings in the Traditional Latin Mass.

*Thank you to artist Del Parsons for permission to use his painting of the Virgin Mary above.

It turns out that two people much more famous than Linh and I are got married on June 29th as well, a date we were happy to choose since it is a major feast day–at least on the Traditional Calendar it is–the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul. We don’t know if 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo knew about such a powerful calendar date, but we certainly hope they experience the blessings of any prayers offered for them to God by two of Christ’s greatest disciples.

We know about the backlash Culpo has received for her modest wedding dress. Not as many people know about my own wife’s choice. But perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned here is not the choice two isolated women made, but said backlash that exposes a lot for people to learn.

And while I realize Culpo’s other choices with dress and photographs on Instagram are severely lacking in modesty and humble Christian decorum, my point here is to locate the lesson and the truth from which people can grow, not to use an ad hominem attack–as many conservatives are–to somehow discredit her. Why they would do that I have little idea other than their narcissistic need to be right. It is a topic I explore frequently in my political work–we would be wise to stop ignoring the good things people have to offer even though we find them repugnant in other areas.

If the world was changed toward Christ only by sinless people, we’d be in a hell of a predicament.

I don’t like Ms Culpo’s style typically, no. I don’t think she as a person is unequivocally the female role model parents should be using with their children. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t something to discuss to advance civilization in a direction of respect and modesty of public presentation, in a direction upon which the Blessed Virgin Mary and every good woman of faith in the Bible can smile.

The backlash is where the lesson is, not the person. As with everything in recent months and years, the true enemies of civilization are exposing themselves with stunning clarity even with this story. It is simply up to us to set our eyes upon the truth that such exposure reveals.

Here is an excerpt from one mainstream source concerning Culpo’s dress:

“I didn’t want it to exude sex in any way, shape, or form,” Olivia said. “I wanted it to feel effortless and as if it’s complimenting me, not overpowering me. There’s so much beauty and simplicity.”

When the dress and her comments went viral, she received online criticism for her choices. On TikTok, Gown Eyed Girl creator Kennedy Bingham said in a viral video the dress had “an absence of personality” and called Olivia a “pick me” for her message behind selecting the dress.

“It’s very clear that this was not a wedding,” Kennedy said in her video. “This was a conservative campaign, and it wasn’t even well done … You took this disingenuous pick me route that honestly felt more like you were thinking about your narrative than your actual marriage.”

Olivia responded, “Wow what an absolutely evil person you are. I hope no one ever tears you apart in this way because it’s extremely hurtful. I love this dress, and it was everything I wanted and more.”

Christian also responded on Kennedy’s Instagram, where the same video critique was uploaded, writing, “What an evil thing to post online. I hope you can find joy and peace in the world, the way my beautiful wife does.”

People had something to say about her makeup and Vogue’s coverage of her image. The publication read, “Culpo tells Vogue she wore little makeup, forgoing mascara and eyebrow gel in favor of a pared-back look.”

There is a definite contrast illustrated here, the ever-colliding distinction between good and evil.

Providentially for me as a writer, today’s Scripture readings in the TLM, in tribute to St Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal and Widow, speak to the beauty and treasure that lies in the modesty of a woman, of the choices the Linhs and Olivias and other women all across America hopefully are making. While my wife and I do not know if Christian and Olivia had all of this in mind when they chose the wedding dress, we know that we most certainly did. The notion of modesty, the Blessed Mother, and the woman spoken of Proverbs were a centerpiece of our discussion on what humble gift we wanted to offer to Christ as we promised ourselves to each other in Matrimony.

(Of course as the pictures show in the feature above and those below, because of a practical delivery scare, Linh ended up being photographed in two elegant and modest dresses. But the one she walked down the aisle in was blue, in honor of the Blessed Mother, and a symbolic public confession of both our pasts and a humble refusal to wear the typical white, a color of soul we both wished we could have gone back to).

Here are a few of the prayers from today’s Mass:

Introit — Psalms 118:75, 120, 1

I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear; I am afraid of Thy commandments. Blessed are the undefiled in the way; who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be…

Lesson — Proverbs 31:10-31

Who shall find a valiant woman? Far and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her.

The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like the merchant’s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens.

She hath considered a field, and bought it: with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor.

She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and purple is her covering. Her husband is honourable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chanaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day.

She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gospel — Matthew 13:44-52

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.

Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

God has made it clear what his commandments are for his people. It is right there in Scripture, all over the place, much more so than even what the TLM presents to us in Scripture today. I applaud the two celebrities’ choice of dress for their wedding; it makes me hope that they will use this as a springboard for a consistently modest, God-fearing life as husband and wife. For as the Scriptures state above, when a woman hides her beauty from the world and reveals it only to her husband, “the heart of her husband trusteth in her.”

It makes her even more beautiful.

It is a lesson well worth teaching our daughters as evil spirals all around us, as people can’t even respectfully cover their sexual parts in public without the vipers of the mainstream media coming out to strike.


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Here are a few photographs of Linh in her blue wedding dress, the one that finally showed up, below. (Gentlemen, let’s bring back the hat!). Thank you to all of my readers for your prayers and support. Please continue, as I will need them, both as husband and writer.