Letter From a Young Catholic Man on Modesty

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For all the mothers of girls of any age out there:

 Three of my four sisters recently attended  a talk billed as being on the subject of modesty and I was thinking what a great opportunity for lots of girls to hear about how important modesty is in the world today. Unfortunately, the talk ended up being more about fashion and much less about modesty and dressing responsibly to reflect one’s true image as a child of God.

 I am writing as a 19-year-old guy to tell you from the point of view of a Catholic man why modesty is so important. Girls and women out there of all ages (mothers included) should be aware that they can be responsible for leading so many guys astray just by how they dress. I’m talking as a teenage guy and believe me when I say a man struggles more than you could ever imagine with impure thoughts at any age (just ask your father or your grandfather). These impure thoughts can lead men into sin very easily, and those sins are of no small matter.

 We all see a world today where rampant infidelity has led to the heartbreak of divorce and broken families, promiscuous lifestyles and a huge pornographic industry easily accessed by the Internet. Today, immodesty surrounds us in society at large. Even at church there are women and girls who knowingly or unknowingly compete with Jesus for the attention of guys by dressing in an immodest way in the most holy place where it’s the least acceptable to God! Please, don’t try to steal the attention of men by your choice of immodest clothing at church. Our focus is suppose to be on Jesus, not you.

 So this is why I ask you women out there to be aware of the power and responsibility you have – simply by the way you dress – to make our world a more pure and holy place.  By the daily decision of how you dress, a girl or woman can really decide to show she belongs to God not only by not tempting those of the opposite sex, but also because God has already made her beautiful in her own right and there is no need to go further by revealing that which God doesn’t want revealed.

So my advice for you is: Please, don’t allow your daughters or yourselves to follow the world’s example and wear: bikinis, tight clothing of any kind, short clothing of any kind (shorts, skirts, dresses), miniskirts, or low-cut shirts. To me, and any man that loves God, I would rather look at a girl’s eyes without being distracted or tempted to look at any other part of her body. The way a guy looks at a girl is different from the way a girl looks at a guy. While most girls look at a guy and see the whole person, a guy will look at a girl and be tempted to view them in parts. The parts of a girl’s body that a man gets distracted with are the legs, breasts, and butt. So please, DO NOT make these parts of your body the main focus of yourselves unless you want to be leading men into sin by lusting after you and treating you as an object instead of a child of God. In an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima , our Blessed Mother told the children that the majority of souls who go to Hell go there because of sins of impurity.

Just ask yourself please: Would it be OK for you or your daughter to undress in front of any random guy and allow yourself to be seen in your bra and underwear?  I would hope not. Well then why would you allow guys to view you and your daughter in a bikini? A bikini is nothing more than waterproof underwear and bra. It is a huge source of temptation for guys. How can seeing a girl in her bra and underwear, not be a huge temptation for any man, no matter the age and no matter the girl? Please, no matter how “old-fashioned” this may sound, do not wear bikinis or allow your daughters to wear them.  Â

 I know the pressure to get attention and to want to look great is everywhere, but if you do not stop this, who will? Pray to God to give you His wisdom and prudence to make the right decision in how you dress. Perhaps you previously didn’t know how grave this matter is, but now that you do I trust you will do everything in your power to help us guys who are bombarded from every direction with temptations to the sins of impurity.

In Christ,

Patrick Tomeny, III


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