Central Ultreya Reflection: Modesty

A Challenger sent this reflection along on the theme of the last central ultreya - Modesty:

Last week I was extremely excited to go to Ultreya to hear the talk about modesty. As a lifetime Catholic who only recently rediscovered my faith, I am now constantly trying to learn more about my faith and become closer to God. As a result, I was very curious to learn what a fellow Catholic would have to say regarding modesty. I certainly expected to hear about what I have always thought of as the “typical Catholic” view on this topic: ensuring that our attire remains modest. However, I had hoped that the speaker would go beyond this and I would learn something about being modest not only in the way we dress, but in the way we act. It was a very pleasant surprise when, instead of going into details as I had expected, the speaker invited us to think about modesty in a broader spectrum: as a way of revealing our dignity and grace.

I have always believed that “being modest” was an appearance or state that we exude to others. It was interesting during our table discussions to hear another point of view: giving someone else their modesty. Instead of focusing on appearing modest, we should focus on showing others modesty, or in other words, giving others their own modesty. The point that really stood out for me during the discussion at my table was about not judging others based on our first impressions, but rather viewing the person as a Temple of God, worthy of love and respect. I had learned this before, of course, but it has still been a bit of a personal vice for me. In practice it can be so much easier to simply judge people, and either dismiss them or not, based on immediate impressions. However, by the simple act of reserving judgment until we get to know a person, we give that person their dignity and allow them their modesty. Additionally, this same action allows us to remain modest in a more common sense; by reserving judgment and seeing everyone as equals, it keeps us from believing ourselves to be superior in some way to others we meet.