Dressing with Dignity
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
"When a woman veils her body in modest clothing, she is not hiding herself from men. On the contrary, she is revealing her dignity to them."
With the summer days rolling in, the call to modesty is ever increasing. The summer apparel is shockingly immodest and the "norm" for bathing suits is basically nudity. I firmly believe that if women knew their worth, if they truly understood their dignity, immodesty would not be an issue. However, this is precisely the problem. Women are thirsting for love and they are looking for it in all of the wrong places and choosing all of the wrong ways to find it.
Men have an innate desire to protect the sacred. This is how God created man, to protect and admire His creation, specifically the woman. "At his best, every man wants to be a hero. He wants to provide and protect. He wants a woman to protect, one worthy of the laying down of his life"*. This is what the Good Lord desires. God desires the man to be holy and pure, heroic and noble. We have only to look at Our Lord Jesus Christ to see what God desires man to be. However, man has distorted their own heroic image by their folly and sins resulting in becoming less than noble gentlemen. However, this doesn't change the fact that men are called to cherish and respect the woman and likewise the woman to respect and cherish the man. With this innate desire to protect the sacred, it is most fitting that the woman uphold their dignity by dressing in a way that reveals their sacredness. Likewise, the man understanding his role as protector, safeguard the woman's beauty.
"An emotionally healthy woman wants one man to cherish, protect and respect her."*
I don't believe men find immodest clothing genuinely attractive. They may superficially and sinfully enjoy it, but deep down I don't believe their spirit is at peace with seeing woman degrade their sense of worth. With their innate desire to protect the sacred, it seems fitting that women who dress provocatively do not rouse up the heroic and protective side of man. If they are seeking to attract the attention of a good man, they are not attracting the man they are hoping to attract, but rather those who are not seeking genuine relationships but superficial pleasures.
"Dressing modestly and beautifully draws attention and respectful admiration, but publicly displaying one's flesh hoping for a 'fix' of attention is the definition of superficial."*
So, how does one dress with dignity? If ever I wonder how I should be dressing, I only have to look at the Blessed Mother. Of course, being in the 21st generation it is not expected to dress in exactly the same way, but it is most prudent to follow the guidelines that her apparel sets. Her clothing is most elegant, simple, loose fitting and feminine. Her chest is covered, her legs and arms. Her dress reflects the purity that she possesses and merely looking at her brings peace. By invoking her, the Holy Spirit will enlighten our minds into all wisdom, thus knowing and understanding what will please God the most in all of our actions, in all of our choices.
Our whole purpose, our whole reason for existence is to know and to love God. If this God who created us out of mere nothingness to know and to love Him wants you and I to dress modestly, why would anyone not adhere to this loving invitation? For God only desires our good and so everything He commands is for our good. For He is Goodness Itself. Dressing with dignity must be the fruits of a pure heart. And a pure heart is obtained through reconciliation and union with God.
God has called you and I to live in this time of history. He has entrusted to us the cause of holiness for ourselves and for the world by bearing His sacred Image upon our souls, and shining like lights in the darkness. Let us draw after Him, who first draws after us and be examples of holiness for our brothers and sisters.
"Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire."
St. Catherine of Siena
Mother most pure, pray for us.
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By: Michael P. O'Connor