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Single Living

From the moment I took my first solo flight at age 9 to South America, my heart was set as a traveler. I was off to see the world!

Eventually I began dreaming the Hollywood dream and around the age of 18 I actually started living it.

After eight years as a professional model and actor my soul was body slammed by God and I was stunned before the Eucharist; I was called by name and transformed!

My life had a new passion – the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Two years before my conversion, Cosmo magazine had selected me as one of America’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors.

But it wasn’t true. I wasn’t such a catch; I didn’t have God in my life.

A man with God is certainly more of a prime candidate. Being “in the world, not of the world” was as hard for women to understand as it was for me to explain.

As a model I would see things in the auditions, runways and photoshoots that the world calls “sexy and hot.”

But for me, the most attractive thing was modesty!

And no, I don’t mean turtle necks and potato sacks! It’s more than just necklines and dress lengths, but modesty of dress, of conversation, of music and of lifestyle.

One day I heard the phrase “modest is hottest,” and while the word “hottest” shocked me, I couldn’t help but identify. While skimpy outfits turn my head, nothing turns my heart and mind to the person before me like modesty!

 

‘A gem among virtues’

St. Bernard of Clairvaux exclaims: “How beautiful then, is modesty, and what a gem among virtues it is.”

I echo his words. I see great beauty in women. They are gems.

Blessed John Paul II talked about our bodies revealing God to us. I also learned from him that true love and sexual union are a gift of one person to another which is FTFF (free, total, faithful and fruitful).

We are in the world, and often what I see of others’ bodies is not appropriate for me and everyone to see, but rather for the beautiful intimacy that spouses share. Our bodies are such beautiful mysteries that lose their enticement when so easily visible and accessible to any passerby.

I like how Alice von Hildebrand put it: “To dress modestly is the appropriate response that women should give to their ‘mystery.’“

When I see a woman, I sometimes picture her as my future wife and the mother of my children. I want the woman I spend the rest of my life with to be a model of chastity and purity. The imagination shouldn’t have to be so stretched in order to see that as a possible reality, but in so many cases that’s the way it goes.

 

Taking action

So what can a man do about it?

Well, after being shunned out of the living rooms and off the party invite lists of disgruntled women who don’t understand my desire for purity, one response I have adopted is to stand up – or rather, to push up – for purity and modesty.

Around the world, using the power of Facebook, I am part of a movement that is exercising as an intercession for ourselves and for others to see the beauty of purity and modesty and, in turn, to practice it.

Why?

Why not?

Fasting on bread and water has been a customary mortification of mine, but when I heard about Push-Ups for Purity, I joined the club immediately.  It requires no official ceremony or ritual. Just do the 100 push-ups daily and offer them up that chastity and modesty may become the “norm” in society.

Actually, Push-Ups for Purity was last month, this month I started a continuing event called Sit-Ups for Purity (or Abs 4 Abstinence). I am proud to be one of many men (and women) who is standing up for purity and modesty!

I am proud to do this for the love of purity and modesty, while at the same time getting our heartbeats going and muscles chiseled. It may seem superficial, but it’s a love revolution!

We don’t have to neglect our body or place it on the altar as a new deity. Balancing exercise with prayer is one way to make an offering for our society in desperate need. I need it, our future spouses need it and so do our friends, brothers and sisters.

Pope Pius XII issued a stark call to action, saying: “As long as modesty will not be put into practice, the society will continue to degrade. Society reveals what it is by the clothes it wears.”

Ouch!

Until next time, I’m offering my sit-ups and push-ups for you and me.  Honor the mystery. Make a sacrifice, offering and reparation. Modest is hottest!

Will you join me and put it into practice?

 

(This post has been read 5,101 times)

19 Comments

  1. Tanya-63933 July 19, 2011

    This was wonderful, Mario. Modesty is strength and empowerment! God Bless and thank you so very much for sharing.

  2. Arlene-637343 July 19, 2011

    I found my catholicmatch.com log in so I could comment on this blog post! :) This blog post makes me happy for so many reasons! I hope that more men will share your love for God through

    • Arlene-637343 July 19, 2011

      (not sure why my computer prematurely posted my comment) …the many ways you exemplify…. and that women will be encouraged to do their part in helping men to stay chaste as well. Anyhow, I hope everyone reading this joins the Facebook event for July and the months to come!!! Be good everyone! Live to know, serve and love God!

  3. Shurave-70935 July 20, 2011

    For every women…the example of our Blessed Mother has to be always present in our hearts and minds…..

  4. Cheryl-409772 July 20, 2011

    I wish God would zap everyone at the Eucharist! Beautiful story! Thank you for being an example now for our youth and please, please keep it up!

  5. Patti-691489 July 21, 2011

    Awesome. It makes you even more attractive. As I once heard Matthew Kelly say in one of his talks “Holiness is attractive”. He was right. You are the kind of gentleman I want my daughters to marry.I pray that for them every day and I pray for their future husband-that they are warriors for Christ. Amen!

    • Helen-450889 July 22, 2011

      Ohhh, I love Matthew Kelly’s work and lectures. He is very motivating! It was a pleasure to read your blog.

  6. Marie-575233 July 23, 2011

    Most definitely.Great blog.Spirituality is definitely more attractive.

  7. Thu-600082 July 24, 2011

    That’s great to hear such words from the ‘Most Eligible Bachelor’ :)
    God bless you!
    Wish that there are more and more youngsters share the same view and belief like you!

  8. Pat-5351 July 26, 2011

    Great article Mario and a wonderful idea!

    Everyone, I had the great privilege of hearing this amazing disciple of Christ give his testimony at the National Catholic Singles conference this past February, and I encourage everyone to seek out his DVDs, CDs and/or see him speak live (or even better, share the love and sponsor him to come to your parish or Theology on Tap or other singles groups). He is awesome! God bless your ministry and vocation.

  9. Marie-138627 July 27, 2011

    Mario, so good to see your life still proclaiming Christ after getting to know you at Steubenville! Hope you found your needed tax advice:) God bless!

  10. Isabel-699099 July 28, 2011

    Great article and what a wonderful idea Mario!
    Also, I enjoyed hearing your witness/testimony at the Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, GA last month. May God continue to bless your ministry and vocation.

  11. Jeanette-255747 August 2, 2011

    Good for you! I prefer that a man look into my eyes when I’m talking to him instead of my ‘pieces/parts!’ :)
    I’ve lost weight, but continue to dress modestly.
    Men like you give women like me hope in finding my soulmate!

  12. Denise-703389 August 2, 2011

    Loved the story you are honest and true to yourself.

  13. Ana-601403 August 3, 2011

    Awesome work! Keep up the great job… Your leaving a great imprint on our hearts and touching many lives! Great work!

  14. Mary-650491 August 7, 2011

    Praise God that you found the most important thing in your life through your trials. You will be blessed for your humility and modesty. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Mary Frances Flores :) De Colores

  15. Rita-738838 August 13, 2011

    Love it! Makes me reflect on how our bodies are temples of God and how we should be taking care of them. I agree that modest is hottest and that is exactly how I was raised. As a single mom to a growing little girl, even dressing a preschooler is hard! The fashion world has decided that I must dress my daughter as a mini adult and she is only 3! I was disgusted when I went shopping one day for shorts since it is so hot this summer and it was so hard to find shorts that weren’t extremely short!! I want to instill values in my children and sometimes it is hard to do that in our society that likes our young children to look like adults way ahead of their time! Fortunately, I was able to find some shorts for her that were more conservative, but it was a search indeed!

  16. Joseph-266633 October 30, 2011

    “…a movement that is exercising as an intercession for ourselves and for others to see the beauty of purity and modesty…” Wow. I never thought of approaching exercise from that point of view. I’ve already lost some 50 pounds since June 2011. This sounds like great motivation to lose another 50! Good column, Mario.

  17. Jillian-499599 February 12, 2012

    It is good to see a man called out of the world of sin(in particular the evils of hollywood…definately little h)..into the light of God..and then using his experience to aid with God to transform it.

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