Modesty: Promoting the Purity of Self and Others to Glorify God
Clothes should reflect your dignity as a son of God and as such it should glorify Him. Certain circumstances require certain dress i.e. if you’re playing sports you should wear athletic clothing of some kind, swimming requires a bathing suit, attending a wedding one usually wears a nice dress or outfit, for Church you dress up to honor God, etc. One underlying thing that we should always keep in mind when we clothe our bodies is human modesty. Modesty fortifies the 6th and 9th Commandments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 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).
As Christians, we have the responsibility to keep our souls pure. The Catechism notes “purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity” (CCC 2521). Our clothing choices can affect others for good or bad. You can ask a friend if your clothing seems modest. For a woman’s perspective, you can ask your sister or mother. And ask yourself: To what am I trying to draw attention in my appearance? Do I want people to remember me, or to think of me as a thing?