40-Day Challenge: Mystery (Day 21)

“What happened to Day 21?”

It’s a mystery … Which brings me to today’s Challenge:  the virtue of “mystery” in the heart of a both faith and marriage, the kissing cousin (so to speak) of modesty.

Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

“Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person” (Sirach 26:15). How do you practice modesty, in both words and actions? There is a time and a place to be “naked and not ashamed” – but a certain amount of mystery, especially when it comes to grooming and hygiene, is a good thing. Even in marriage (or perhaps “especially in marriage”) there is such a thing as TMI.

Anita Diamant’s historical novel, The Red Tent, captures the Old Testament story of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter by Leah (Genesis 34). I was fascinated by this “world of women,” where no man dared to set foot — not just because of the “uncleanness” but (let’s face it) most guys would be only too happy to escape the messy mood swings of “that time of the month.”

Mystery is at the heart of both marriage and faith. “The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy, so that the life of teh faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer (CCC #2558).

Modesty, on the other hand, “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 inspres one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet” (CCC #2522).

Today’s Challenge:  Patience. Moderation. Discretion in both manner and speech.  On what aspect of “godly mystery” could you improve?

Today’s Blessing:  O Divine Trinity, lead me deeper into your Mystery, that all my days would keep time with the beat of your Sacred Heart. Amen.

This entry was posted in Lent, marriage by hsaxton. Bookmark the permalink.

About hsaxton

Heidi Hess Saxton is an adoptive parent of two children, and converted to Catholicism in 1994. She is adoptive parent columnist at CatholicMom.com and CatholicExchange.com. She also writes for the Parenting Channel at AnnArbor.com. In her spare time, she is finishing up her Master's thesis at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

2 thoughts on “40-Day Challenge: Mystery (Day 21)

  1. I was just sharing about that book with a friend. Unrelated to today’s challenge, but certainly relating to the bigger picture — we need that “red tent” of time with our girlfriends/sisters/otherwomen to refresh ourselves so we can return to our husbands refreshed. We’ve somehow lost that sisterhood in today’s society — and while we would scoff at the reason for the red tent, I’m guessing we probably have a yearning for the social aspect of it.


  2. You are so right! (I’ve often thought how wonderful it would be to have a weekly “hen gathering” — Scrabble or something. It’s too easy to let life get in the way sometimes . . . but we all need our girlfriends!)


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