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My dearest sister Florentina,

Adorn your mind with the flower of virtues.  Beautify the mind alone with holy ways because this delights the Son of the Heavenly Father; neglect the beauty of the flesh.  It is the contemplation of the Divine that renders your mind beautiful.  

You will truly be adorned if you love the the inner and not the outer;  you will be well dressed if your mind is resplendent rather than if your dress is flashy.  

Do not wear stunning clothes with pleats or those that billow.  Do not buy clothes with high prices.  Rather wear clothes that will not attract the attention of men to you or make you noticeable to them.  This will show you innocent before God.  Let the integrity of your good mind be recognized in the simplicity of your habit.  

Do not be like those virgins condemned by the prophet:  "Because the daughters of Sion are haughty and have walked with outstretched necks, ogling and mincing as they go. . .the Lord shall make them bald and bare in their heads.  Instead of perfume, there will be stench and, for coiffure, baldness. . ."

So, dear sister, let your garment conceal a maidenly decorum keeping out the rigours of cold; not those that elicit lust.  Excel other women in the beauty of your soul and not in the beauty of your clothes.  

St. Leander of Seville: "The Training of Nuns" Chap. 10





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