Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clothed in Glory, or not?


For those of you obsessed by dressing up, or down, here is something to get your teeth into it is from Homiletic & Pastoral Review, written by Fr. Kenneth Baker S.J. He speculates on what we will wear in the life to come. Unfortunately he appears to deal only with those who stand amongst the Blessed, not those who damned themselves or those amongst the clergy who have sold their souls for prelatial purple.
I remember meeting a now dead Bishop to the Forces who was just about to go to the annual Low Week meeting, muttering, "Hell is other Bishops."

I found the following on Creative Minority Report.
1) They will be clothed. When the resurrected, glorified Jesus appeared to his apostles, he was clothed. The Gospels do not affirm that but they assume it. When our Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes and to the three children at Fatima, she was clothed in white—we know that from the images of her that the visionaries described. In the past, when saints and angels appeared to human beings on earth, they too were clothed in white. That makes sense for the sake of modesty, given our present sinful state. In the Book of Revelation, the saints before the throne of God are “wearing white robes” (7:9; see also 3:5; 4:4; 6:11; 7:13). But St. John did not see resurrected bodies because the universal resurrection has not yet taken place. The commentaries say that the white robes are symbolic of victory, joy and resurrection.

The glorified bodies of Jesus and Mary are clothed, but what is the nature of their clothing? Is it a glorified fabric, similar to a glorified body? What style is it? Jesus and Mary seem to appear in the clothing they wore in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

2) They will not be clothed. Adam and Eve were naked before their fall into sin. The New Jerusalem at the end of the world will be like a return to the Garden of Eden. Since there is no concupiscence or attraction to sin, it would seem that the resurrected do not need clothes.

When Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday morning, he left the shroud in which he was wrapped, plus the cloth for his face (see John 20:5-7). Was he covered with glorified clothes we know nothing about?

11 comments:

Basil R. said...

One thing can be certain of: the blessed will wear what they are supposed to wear, nothing more and nothing less.

Perhaps, too, in another place (hopefully escapable) there will be those who inappropriately donned the rubini trimmings and those who didn't wear the right things saying "We have not worn those things which we ought to have worn; And we have worn those things which we ought not to have worn; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders."

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I had a lenthy argument with a very devout Anglican friend once about clothing in heaven. I said one day that I looked forward to all the lovely things to wear that one sees in those gorgeously coloured Flemish paintings of the fifteenth century. Deep blues studded with silver flowers and gold tracery, branched 'broidery...all that nice poetic stuff.

She scoffed and said that if we were to make it to heaven, there surely would be no need for clothes, still less for sartorial vanity.

Then I read a very nice passage in the Little Flowers of St. Francis describing the vision of one of the holier brothers of a gorgeous procession of the bless'd in all their cloth of gold, and sparkling raiment of samite.

Lots of mystics talk about how nicely everyone dresses in heaven and I think a case can be made that when we are finally free of concupiscence we will be completely free to enjoy the loveliness of beautiful clothes without vanity entering into it.

But then, I'm just a girl, and I like nice clothes.

Laurence said...

I like the pictures of great Saints of the Church clothed in the vestments of the Church, talking to each other in Heaven, or gazing and adoring God. You know the sort.

bobd said...

A Nudist colony in heaven. Who Knew?

gemoftheocean said...

Well, apparently the bishop was familiar with Sartre!

Personally, I don't much care WHAT I wear or don't wear should I make it to heaven...I'm relieved the artist hasn't stuck all the women with veils. Apparently he doesn't want to stick us all in burqua land like St. Paul. May whomever does the laundry up there puts starch in his jockey shorts.

Seriously, from the accounts of the transfiguration, they indicate the garments of Jesus became "fuller's white" - virtually a prefigurement -
and the fact that disciples and apostles had a hard time recognizing Him after the resurrection, eg the guys on the road to Emmaus didn't know Him until he broke bread with them, elsewhere when Jesus comes almost ghostlike amongst the apostles - He eats and drinks almost as a way of proof that He's there in the flesh.
Ditto the breakfast by the Sea of Galilee. [I find it curious that Jesus keeps coming and going like that!]

Frankly, I don't care, but I want to be comfortable. [I expect people from heaven don't appear buck nekkid, either because they aren't, or if they are, they don't want to frighten you!]

Anonymous said...

In wedding garments, surely?

Romulus

Terry Nelson said...

As the psalmist says:

The Lord is "clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe." - Ps. 103

Most visionaries have described the clothing of Our Lady as light - which emulated clothing. (Fatima, Lourdes, for example.)

And as St. Paul said, "Eye has not seen" the glory to be revealed. We are thinking as humans do when it comes to these things, and not as God does.

Ken said...

Thou hast put on praise and beauty. And are clothed with Light like a garment. Psalm 103

Maybe we'll be "clothed in light" if/when we get there. A common light that covers all things, a seamless garment proceeding from the train of God Himself.

Laurence said...

I like the picture Father, its like a 'Where's Your Patron?' competition.

Keith said...

Thank you for these thoughtful writings. I am gaining a lot learning from the fine bloggers exploring the different aspects of our faith.

pelerin said...

Back to the subject of clothing I see! I could not believe my eyes on Sunday in Lourdes when I saw several French priests processing from Mass to the Grotto with trainers peeping from under their (very plain non patterned)Kermit green Mass vestments !