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
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