This column was written by our parish Youth Minister, Aaron Hostetter, to be published by lifeteen.com. It is republished here with permission:
I want to write you this letter as your brother in Christ who loves you and cares about your soul.
Do you know how amazing you are? I’m constantly in awe of the power you have to inspire us men to greatness. When you hold high standards for yourself, it unlocks something greater in guys.
You deserve a man who will learn to pursue your heart and fight to preserve your dignity.
“Since a woman is loved, it follows that the nobler a woman is, the nobler a man will have to be to be deserving of that love” (Bishop Fulton Sheen).
You are an amazing gift, made in the image of God himself.
Satan is the father of lies, and he’s constantly trying to keep you from knowing the dignity and power you have. He’s trying to warp the truth of what makes you good and beautiful.
You’re in the middle of a battle and every Halloween I’m reminded of it. Want to dress up? Your choices are the “sexy” “sultry” “hot” “adult” or “naughty” nurse or superhero or zombie. The message is loud and clear: “If you want to have fun, this is what you have to dress like on Halloween.”
Here’s the thing. I know you love having fun with friends for Halloween, and love getting dressed up and looking cute. But you can still do that without the skimpy costumes. They rob you of the great dignity you have!
It takes you from the powerful, inspiring, and awesome person that you are to a mere object of lust. You are already beautiful and deserve better than that. When you show cleavage and your legs with mini costumes, it is those parts of your body that are emphasized (by design).It sends the message that the most valuable thing about you is the body parts you’re putting on display.
My dear sisters in Christ, you are worth SO much more than just your body! And as a man fighting to uphold your dignity, I am outraged by it. The message that you have to look sexy on Halloween has a big impact on you whether you realize it or not. Check out this quote:
“Girls are not passive recipients of these cultural messages. Girls are active agents. We know from developmental cognitive psychology that young boys and girls, once they know what their gender is, are very motivated to be the best example of their gender. And if the examples of femininity around you are a sort of tarted up, pornographied sexuality, then that’s what you’re psyched to be.”
In other words, if the culture around you shows you that the social norm is to get dressed in skimpy outfits and go to parties with alcohol on Halloween, then that’s what a lot of you will subconsciously measure and compare your actions to that day.
One part of that quote really sticks out to me: girls naturally strive to be great. The desire to emulate something beautiful is good! But what the pop culture sells you is like a fake diamond: a shiny and flashy version of beauty that’s all appearance but not reality. It carries the look of greatness but if you look at it closer it’s just a cheap imitation. You were made to shine like a diamond, and have the power to impact every room you walk into (one way or the other).
What kind of man do you want to fight to win your heart? Do you want someone who’s only after your body, or someone who is going to respect your dignity as a daughter of God?
Do you want to know what true beauty is? Every Halloween, the Church celebrates all “hallows” (holy ones) eve. We look at all the saints from the 2,000 year history of the Church and celebrate the lives they lived proclaiming and defending the truth of our faith in Jesus Christ.
I want to invite you to look at the many holy women in the Church’s history and find out about their amazing stories. They’re not stories of quiet, boring women kneeling in a chapel with a halo. The saints are from all walks of life and they vibrantly lived out humility, grace, fortitude, and courage. They’re bold, radiant, and filled with grace.
We have to fight against the the constant stream of bad examples with good ones. Let the example of their lives set yours on fire this Halloween!
I will be praying for you this Halloween. The saints, whom we venerate as a Church, will be praying for you. I pray you enjoy amazing company, good times and that you may give glory to God in all that you do!
Love, your brother in Christ,
Mary the mother of God,
St. Maria Goretti,
St. Catherine of Siena,
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,
St. Gemma Galgani,
St. Catherine of Bologna,
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
St. Gianna Beretta Molla,
St. Teresa of Avila,
St. Therese of Lisieux,
Blessed Mother Teresa,
PRAY FOR US.