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MarysLittleFlower

Modesty

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MarysLittleFlower

Hello :)

 

Lately I've been thinking about something...but I'm not really sure who to talk to about it. I thought of asking in another forum area of phatmass but I've mostly spoken to people here in VS, and I was afraid of starting a debate... since some of this is related to my discernment, I hope that in a way it belongs here too so I'm not breaking forum rules lol :)

 

To put it shortly: over the past couple years, I have went through some changes in regards to how I dress, etc, some related to discernment (being drawn to dressing more simply to be more detached from clothing, though I've failed in this a lot) - and some just to modesty. I also began to cover my head at church, partly due to St Padre Pio (a whole story about this) and partly because I like the Latin Mass and women there often wear mantillas, so I got used to it.

 

I'm trying to avoid getting any prideful thoughts about any of this because I don't do a very good job anyways, and if I made any good changes that's only thanks to God, and I'm not "better" than others.. in fact, I wouldn't say I'm a great Catholic and I struggle a lot. I know many who are better Catholics than I am. I also am not really in a position to tell other women how to dress, etc, since i'm not a priest or anyone else with authority or a prophet or saint. Furthermore I don't want to judge others based on how they dress. My point is: if you'll disagree with what I'm going to say next, - I'm not here to debate at all, - if you disagree, please still feel free to reply with any thoughts, and if you have any questions I'm sure this is a good prayer topic :) I'm still praying about many things related to modesty, vanity, etc.

 

Anyways......... currently, though I didn't always (and I didn't grow up Catholic), I try to emulate Mother Mary more in how I dress. I also try to dress in such a way that I would get into St Padre Pio's confessional ;) (if you know the story about this!). I wear skirts, they're all longer, no low cut tops, no shoulders showing, a bit longer sleeves, etc.. I also stopped wearing makeup for some reasons though I used to wear a lot of makeup every day. Again, I'm not here to debate or give a dissertation of my reasons for this, though if anyone is interested, I can share. :) Some of this is related to discernment, because I wanted to be more simple so I can break some of the attachment I have to clothing and appearance (I have a big attachment to it..). With makeup, I just didn't want to change how God made me and to be more natural, and less vain as well (I'm not calling you vain if you wear makeup, but I'm vain).

 

My difficulty is that although dressing in this way makes me happy (I don't have to worry about being immodest, and I feel at peace about it, especially at church, and in a way I feel closer to Mary) - I'm often afraid of it because no one around me is doing the same thing. Again, I don't want to judge others, or think I'm "better" or "more devout" than them, and many of them are much better Catholics than I am. But I see that typically my Catholic friends dress in a way that is more culturally accepted, I guess, than I do... I don't know if I really stand out, I try to make my outfits match and look normal, I don't think I act "not normal" either. Hopefully.. lol. In the end, if this is God's will for me, I'd want to follow where He led me to. However, I'm always the girl who's wearing a long skirt, and I guess I feel a little discouraged and it's a little lonely sometimes. I saw some modesty websites and people who started wearing skirts full time are saying how great it is, etc, and yes there are really good things about it, and I do feel peace with it. But sometimes, I realize that I'm kind of the only one (unless I'm at the Latin Mass), and I wonder, am I doing this right?

 

I was just wondering.. is there anyone who can relate? or if you don't do these same things, how would you deal, in general, with doing something that's not really popular or widespread? I don't do this for attention or to appear more "devout", I hope, and I hope my primary motivation is simply to obey what I felt in my heart would be pleasing to God. I'm not saying I'm more pleasing to God than others. Although I'd be happy to see a return to this kind of clothing in general society, I know that I don't have the power to convince through argument.

 

Any thoughts? :) sorry for this enormous post... :O

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VexillaRegis

I wear only skirts and modest clothes, I actually dress pretty much the way you described in your post. For me, it is not related to discernment ( I am 99.9 % sure I am called to marriage) but it's the way I was taught modesty when I converted. I know that this type of clothing is uncommon in the modern world but you must not fear the thoughts of others. The world is never going to agree easily with Christ's teaching but this is no valid reason for us to look away from His example. We must not be scared of being mocked or ridiculed for the sake of His law as He consented to being mocked and ridiculed for us.  

 

When I am afflicted by this kind of fear, I think of the words of Our Lord on the mount :  "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

 

 

 

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MarysLittleFlower

Thank you for your post, and I'm always more encouraged when I talk to others to felt led to this too :) I agree that we shouldn't fear... in my reason I agree, but of course in my emotions, I'm often fearful and timid. :( I don't feel that discouraged by how I dress when I see people who are not religious wearing really revealing clothing, because I know they are following the world's fashions and they probably don't know about modesty or haven't been taught about it... I mean, God knows people's hearts and if they are doing this on purpose or not, but our times are so confusing that many people grow up with the wrong or incomplete teachings. In that case, I feel sorrow for the situation but I don't feel discouraged, mostly, (though in my worst moments I do because I get fearful of following Christ :( ) because we know the world has sin in it and unfortunately it's very easy for us all to get influenced by it, and by the media. However, the times I do get discouraged, is when I see my Catholic friends (who are great Catholics!) dress - not in such immodest ways, but - not this standard. And then I doubt and ask myself, is my standard too high, am I trying to appear 'holier than thou', am I judgemental, and am I just "weird" for what I do? The only times I see people dress like myself is at the Latin Mass, and I guess I would associate myself with the Latin Mass community as well, since it's my favourite liturgy and spirituality, but since other Catholics don't dress in these same ways, I get confused if I'm on the right track here. I'm not saying I'm not, or rejecting it, because if God led me here, I don't want to reject it. And like I said, I'm not trying at all to judge  my friends, who are great Catholics, and who don't dress immodestly compared to the rest of society. But because their clothing is more mainstream, and mine is kind of not, I question myself.

 

I realize I can't compare myself to a Saint... but one of my favourites is St Gemma, who always wore a simple black dress, that wasn't very "fashionable" in her day either. I think people tried convincing her to wear something else, but she didn't. She also chose a very simple hat that wasn't "fashionable" either. I really see her as a great example of many things like humility and love for God, - her biography is pretty amazing - and I notice that she didn't really care so much about the world's opinion. I think she was very courageous. She was also MUCH closer to God than I am (understatement!). But sometimes I think of her, and I hope what I'm doing is correct, and with humility, like what she did, and not prideful.

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MarysLittleFlower

I think maybe what I'm trying to describe, is how when I see good Catholics who dress in a more 'mainstream' way, I second-guess myself because I'm not a better Catholic than they are, so I don't understand why God led me to do this. I understand that God leads people in different paths, and I honestly have no idea why I came to believe these things, and it doens't make me better, but when it seems like it's just  me, I get afraid. I don't reject it, but I just get a little confused. Does that make any sense?

Edited by MarysLittleFlower

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Kayte Postle

Firstly, take what is weighing on your heart to Jesus, and to Mary. Ask for the knowledge and peace that you are following Christ's will. Prayer, prayer, prayer.

 

I think that holding yourself up to others may not be the best thing right now. We all have our "holes". For you vanity might be a place where you need much growth, so you feel a call to dress more modestly. Another person might struggle with sloth, and therefore they are called to take on more activity to grow in that area. Much like how one person may be called to a devotion to Divine Mercy, while another may be called to a devotion to Pro-life work. We are all growing towards holiness, and some people need more growth in one area than another. It doesn't mean that one person is better or lesser because of their holes, it just means that we grow in different ways. It most certainly doesn't mean that one calling or another is "more holy". (I hope that made sense)

 

I personally struggle with vanity and pride immensely. Christ in His loving care however has been gently calling me to dress more modestly, and He has been giving me more and more opportunities to be humble, putting others before me. Having these things in my life is helping me to (very slowly) grow towards holiness.

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MarysLittleFlower

Thanks for the advice! :) of course it could be that I'm more vain than others and so need more help in this area :) and if I was helped in some way to be more modest than I was before, of course that is only by His mercy, and I believe through the intercession of Our Lady. I'll pray... I do feel like today's fashions are often immodest... but as to how I came to want to be more modest, I don't know why me, but it must have been God's grace  because I never cared about this before.

Edited by MarysLittleFlower

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MarysLittleFlower

Maybe also it's a way of doing reparation/penance for me. I was very immodest as a teen and before my conversion, and maybe I especially need to do penance for it.

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Kayte Postle

I think also sometimes God calls us to certain things so that we can share them with others. Perhaps He put this on your heart now, so that you could reach out to others and talk to them about modesty (in charity of course) . I know I never thought about my clothing choices until I read a few books about the topic and I saw the example of several young women at my university parish. I never realized how much of an effect we women have on our brothers, and what kind of message we send out in the way we dress. Maybe there are a lot of women who never even think about it, and they might start to give it more thought because of your example.

 

I'm a convert, and I struggle with why God called me (of all people) to become catholic. Then I realize that He gave may have given me the grace to share what I have found with others, and to use my life to point others to His Church. He gives us things not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of His Holy Church.

 

Who knows, only God. :pray:

 

 

 

edit: I can't work these gosh darn emocons...

Edited by Kayte Postle

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ToJesusMyHeart

Hey Mary,

 

I dress how you described also (i.e. only wearing skirts and they go to at least my knee, and usually if they are right at my knee I like to wear leggings/panty hose with them). I stopped wearing pants last Christmas to better imitate our Blessed Mother, who I feel was inviting me to give up pants as a sacrifice and to dress in a way that doesn't show my figure so much as pants do. Anyway, just know that you're not alone! When I first started dressing more modestly, many of my male friends would shyly comment on how much they appreciate my new style. They said it was a good reminder for them of the true beauty of women, and an true example of authentic femininity. Then I made the decision to cover my shoulders around other people (at home, I don't care if my shoulders show, unless boys are in the house, of course), and that has been a little more challenging than the skirts have been because I live in Texas and it's really hot here at times. But the sacrifice is worth it, and it helps me be less vain and less concerned with fashion. Male friends have also commented on that, saying it is helpful to them when women's shoulders are covered up. I just want to help my brothers in Christ however I can. It's not hard to cover my shoulders, so I decided to make that sacrifice also. Padre Pio had an influence on my decision too as he did yours.

 

The cool thing was that once I started dressing more modestly, I would start to notice the other ladies in my parish who dressed like I was now dressing. Then it was easy to become friends with them and create a new sort of fellowship with like-minded women. Because I have this support group now, who feels how I feel about modesty, it is a lot easier to persevere when the days are extra hot or my promiscuity is rearing it's ugly tempting head. I would suggest that if you can hang out with the ladies at Latin Mass who dress like you dress, that should help you to feel more "normal" and less like you're a one-woman-team. You have many, many, many women who are dressing as modestly as you are, and the hard part is just finding that local group and becoming part of their social circle. But as the others have said, the most important thing is just to speak to Jesus and Mary about your loneliness in this and ask them to help you find fellowship. 

 

You're definitely not alone in your pursuit of Mary-like modesty! :)

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nikita92
So what advice would you submit, to a middle added woman who has worn jeans pretty much all her life, and who lives in a Eddie Bauer,REI kind of state that has more crummy weather than sunny warm ??!! (A prescription or OTC of Vitamin D is pare for the course here) I do pay attention to the way I dress for church functions and mass! I wish other ladies (mostly younger ones) would dress more modest at the very least while attending mass.

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Kateri89

First of all, I love the references to Padre Pio because I'm reading his biography right now and it's incredible.   :bananarap:

 

I never thought I dressed that immodestly as a teenager but then I started to read different books/articles, etc. about dressing modestly.  I tried to see it from a male perspective and once I did that, I started to change the way I dressed.  I used to wear pants a lot and I still wear them about 60% of the time but I also started to wear dresses and skirts.  I won't wear any shirts that even come close to showing cleavage (my rule is about 4 finger widths below the collarbone, maximum).  Nothing transparent or too tight.  Any dress/skirt has to come to the bottom of my knees.

 

I don't believe it's created any vanity in me or feelings of superiority.  I just feel like a lower standard of dress is an insult to God.  I don't think God cares about how fashionable or fancy our clothes are.  I think He just wants us to recognize that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be covered as such.

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nikita92
Please explain "Pantaloons". I know what they were back in the Victorian times...I have a feeling your version is abit different. I wear a lot of turtlenecks. I have a large bust and therefor covering it all up (with the proper bra..no VS) is a way better thing , than exposing what God so generously blessed me with!! Lol

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Kateri89

Please explain "Pantaloons". I know what they were back in the Victorian times...I have a feeling your version is abit different. I wear a lot of turtlenecks. I have a large bust and therefor covering it all up (with the proper bra..no VS) is a way better thing , than exposing what God so generously blessed me with!! Lol

 

PM changes P.ants to "pantaloons" automatically when you post.  I don't actually say 'pantaloons' in real life  :hehe2:  I think we're all just implying jeans or other casual p.ants

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Guest Allie

From a thread in Open Mic--  http://www.shadeclothing.com        I am pairing some of the tops with eyelet skirts or skinny jeans for Spring. Works for me.  See New Arrivals--Spring .

Edited by Allie

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