Modesty: Gods Call to Purity
Modesty in dress is a challenge for women. With the fashions of today pushing for us girls to expose as much as we are legally allowed to, we find ourselves unsure of what to do. The real issue is that society tells us that a modest girl is conservative, unattainable, and usually the one that is always in the background. The women we see on magazines dress provocatively, so as to reflect the false ideal of feminine beauty and how ‘showing skin is in’. Truth is, showing too much skin is also sinful.
Purity is threatened when modesty is ignored. Scandal is brought about when people dress immodestly. Dressing inappropriately can lead to lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes. Even causing people to think lustful thoughts (though sometimes out of our control) is wrong.Immodest dress lures our brothers to sin within their hearts. Christ says in Matthew 5 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The Catechism states:
“Modesty 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 inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet” (CCC 2522).
The Media wants to make us think that beautiful is showing more. They want us to believe that men will be more attracted to you if you let them chase you, that men will only be attracted to you if you make your body more available to the eye. This is a false statement meant to lure us to sin. This is a statement that pushes the sins of the flesh and of the heart in order to gain temporary pleasure. Modesty goes beyond the flesh, too. The Catechism states that:
“There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.“ (CCC 2523)
Society wants to corrupt love and our created purpose from God as much as possible. It tries to make what is good bad and bad good. In pursuing modesty, though, so many things come our way that will not only help us with our neighbors, but also help us in our relationship with God.
Respect: The way people will approach you and communicate with you will change. You’ll be seen as a daughter of God, deserving of true love. You’ll also be seen as confident and focused
Saving Souls: In truth, by trying to prevent people from sinning, you will be doing them a great help. Whether they know it or not, you will be doing your part in keeping the hearts and minds of your brothers in Christ pure.
Love of Self: You will really feel your own worth. You will care more about yourself and how people see you as a woman.
Love of God: You will love God for making you YOU. We will be focusing our lives on God and not on the matters of the world.
Modesty is beautiful. Women are beautiful. A woman that glows with a love of God is beautiful, who treats her body like a Temple worthy and open to the love of God. In conclusion, I leave you with a quite from Pope Pius XII: “The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. . . If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.”
Please check the resources that provided me with awesome information on this topic.
The Church Militant on Modesty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWKipaNH83E
Catechism on Modesty: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a9.htm
Check out Orthojulie’s Blog on Femininity! =D