A while ago I was asked by a girl what makes holiness attractive and why would guys find holiness attractive. This was because she had been told this by priest, in talks she had listened to, or reading it in a book. My point is she had heard it a lot and didn't quite believe it. Her big question was if holiness is so attractive then why when she goes out, or to bars, do guys always pay attention to the "pretty" or immodestly dressed girls and ignore the modest girl striving towards holiness? I think one reason is sometimes where she's at and the guys in that place have little respect for woman, but she brought up a point that it still happens in almost every situation that the guy pays more attention to the girl who is prettier or dressed immodest. Which I thought was a very valid point. I wrote a response for her trying to explain why I thought holiness was attractive. I did this by first defining holiness and then attractiveness.
Holiness - holiness is having an understanding of God’s will and then acting accordingly. One dictionary defines it as, being “pure” or “purified.” I take this as striving to act without, or with little, sin. I also think it is having a good relationship with God. I mean having a deep love for God and wanting a strong relationship between Him and you. To be holy I feel you have to have a strong bond with God that really only comes from the mutual love between Him and you (Anybody can have this relationship though). I kind of relate it to a marriage between you and God. You are giving yourself completely to God. I don’t really know how to explain this part but that is why I think the sacrament of marriage is called “Holy” Matrimony. Holy Matrimony is supposed to be a strong lasting bond where you give yourself to the other person. A married person is giving one’s self to his or her spouse just like a person that is holy has definitely given his or her self to God. The strong bond of love that makes a marriage work, between the husband, wife, and God, is the same bond between a person and God that helps to make them holy. So I think holiness is definitely being pure in mind, body, and soul, but the motivation or desire to be pure and act according to God’s will comes from having the bond of love between you and God
Attractiveness - attractiveness is the desire of something. I think most people take it as being aesthetically pleasing or a pleasurable desire. When saying holiness is attractive in this sense, I think it is completely wrong. I think the attractiveness of holiness is more of the recognition of a person being at peace with God and therefore oneself. When you see a person who is holy, they emanate joy and happiness, and it really shows to the people around them. I think what kind of helps a person to notice this is the modesty of a holy person. Modesty keeps a person from being distracted or blinded by eros, the first level of love or attractiveness – the tight skirt / dress that is meant to show the curves of a woman and the low cut or skimpy top that is meant to show a lot of skin or cleavage, or a guy wearing tighter shirts and flexing all the time to show his muscles – and allows you to see the cheerfulness and joy and inner characteristics of a person that comes from holiness. So attractiveness in the sense of holiness being attractive, is not the pleasing aesthetics or the pleasurable desire of something, but more the recognition of the comfort and happiness that you feel not only when you are around someone that is holy, but even after that person is gone and you still can’t help but smile or feel happy and comfort from the encounter with that person and holiness and wish to encounter it again.
So in my opinion that is why holiness is attractive. Holiness allows you to see the true being that a person is and the joy and happiness that is in their life. It is something that is contagious. It is something that when you see it you recognize it will make you a better and happier person and are drawn to it.
Below are a few quotes I thought were good for defining holiness and attractiveness:
-Mary Mazzarello “true piety consists of doing the right thing at the right time solely for the love of God.”
-John Bosco “to be holy is to be cheerful, study and pray, and do good (at the right time)”
3 Levels of love or attractiveness:
Eros - Level 1 for the physical attractiveness
Platonic - Level 2 more the connection from friendship between each other
Agape - Level 3 true sacrificial love that engenders communion and bonding at the deepest level