I am finally wrapping up the series of talks with one that is central to all the rest. Modesty in dress, behavior, associations, actions, and entertainment is the core to raising girls that are strong in inner beauty and principle.
We have already talked about how each of you is a special princess, God's princess. How can you tell when someone is a princess? They usually dress very special. Princesses wear lovely clothes that show how special they are. You wouldn't expect to see a princess in a stained t-shirt and ripped jeans, right? Just like royalty here on Earth dresses to show how special they are, you should do the same.
What is most special about you is who you are, the heart that God gave you, your beautiful soul, and the light of Christ that shines from you. Many people today dress in ways that don't draw attention to who they are or what they know. The fashions we see around us draw attention to different parts of the body but not the whole person. I am here to tell you that you are more than just the sum of your parts, you are more than showing off this feature or that feature. Your clothing should draw attention to you as a person and ultimately to God himself.
Some people say, "Well, what about fashion?" The Church has no fashion, it is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are called to be in the world but not of the world. So, we must always do what is right even if it isn't the most popular thing. Dressing modestly does not have to be strange or frumpy or ugly. Dressing modestly should always be beautiful. If you look hard enough and shop at places that sell clothing that is not just to shock and awe, you will find that there are many items out there that are modest and still fashionable and pretty. A longer skirt and a fun shirt or a pretty dress with comfortable leggings underneath or maybe a "maxi dress" with a bolero jacket to cover your shoulders are all good options. It is important to look at yourself in the mirror and see the whole package--does this outfit draw attention to who you are? Will you be able to be active with your friends and still be comfortable? If you turn around, bend over, and sit down, does it still fit well or do you have to pull at it a lot to get it to lay correctly?
Clothing isn't the only way that we show modesty. We also show it by how we act (Are we kind? Considerate? Helpful? Giving?) and how we speak (Do our words spread light? Are we speaking the truth? Are we talking about suitable topics? Do we brag? Do we make fun of other people?) Our actions and words are the best way to show what type of person we are. St Francis once said, "Preach the Gospel always, when necessary use words." That means let the way you treat others and behave show everyone how great God is.
In all things, remember this simple question: "If Jesus were to show up right now, would I want him to see/hear/experience what I am wearing/watching/saying/doing?" We should always be thinking of Jesus and if you would feel ashamed to have your parents or priest or teachers with you at that moment, it is probably not a good idea. Remember God see and knows all things, He is always with you. You can turn to Him at any time, but you must also serve Him well all the time.
The other moms are now going to join in for a discussion and question/answer time about how we can be modest in our lives and give glory to God in all things. If you have any questions or comments, please share them.
****Some points we discussed in our "round table style" discussion were:
-How Mary always appears covered and modest
-The way that magazines and television use computers to change how models and actresses look, so they aren't a real guide to beauty because their beauty is fake
-The standards of modesty that the Church sets out, quarter or half length sleeves, modest necklines, dresses and skirts knee length, no backs or shoulders showing
-The gift of being loved for who you are. (This is a good time to talk about how cruel the press and public can be on stars when they don't look "perfect")
-Discuss people who have true beauty from within.
-Answer questions about what to do if you can't find proper clothes or if people tease you about your clothes.
-This is also a good time to show samples of modest, comfortable, fun clothes that little girls will want to wear. (I've always wanted to do a "Dolly" fashion show with 18" dolls--maybe next time.)
If you have anything to share or questions, please leave a comment. Thanks again for stopping by. I will be wrapping up the Mother/Daughter series this week and begin to focus on building a "Little Oratory" in the home next week. God bless!