Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Journey In Veiling

I bought it on a whim, after seeing a stand at a conference with a particularly friendly lady selling them. I had seen some women at church wearing them, and ran across several posts on the topic across the internet. The idea of veiling intrigued me. They were pretty and feminine and special. And holy. And I wanted to be holy.

So I bought it and was so excited to wear it. It made me feel beautiful, like I was doing something special for God.

Then I looked around at Mass and realized there were far fewer women wearing them than I had thought. That sometimes moms would look at me funny. Their little daughters would find it amusing or odd or both that I was wearing a white veil on my head for no apparent reason.

I became a little more self-conscious putting it on. I wouldn't wear it outside my parish, where I felt safe and convinced that it's OK because at least a few women were veiling. The feelings crept in doubting my reasons for wanting to wear a veil in the first place. Maybe I did want it to appear holier than others and to show off my piety. After all, veiling is not required by the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

I kept at it, maybe going a few Sundays here and there without it, just to make sure I wasn't getting too self-righteous. I would pop into the adoration chapel without it and be perfectly OK.

Over the past nine months of having this veil, I've slowly gained confidence in wearing it, and understanding in why I wanted it in the first place.

You see, I am definitely not better than any other woman. In fact, I'm probably a lot worse than the unveiled mothers I see at Mass. They know more about sacrifice and loyalty and love than I do, due to raising children in the faith. But my veil is not about me, it's about Jesus.

I veil because it's a physical reminder and an outward sign of my submission to Him. He has authority over His Church and over my life. And He is someone who I don't mind being in submission to -- in fact, I want to.

I veil because I want to reverence with my heart and with my body the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle, and on the altar during Mass.

I veil because it helps me focus less on myself and more on Jesus. In fact, the self-consciousness is probably a good thing, as it will train me to think less of myself and to stop acting for others' good opinion.

It's taken me a while to come to these conclusions. I definitely didn't start wearing the veil having everything figured out! And I definitely don't think my veil makes me a better Catholic than someone who doesn't wear one! In fact, my family doesn't veil -- but I still respect the other women for their great faith and perpetual example to me. I've been to Mass and to Adoration without my veil, and don't feel sinful.

So why do I keep wearing it then, if even I don't think it's necessary for piety and salvation? Because I can tell Jesus is using it to teach me something. He's using it at this point in my life so I realize how close to Him I want to be. He's using it to make me feel beautiful under the guidance of His plan. To slowly learn to let go and fall into His arms completely. And so that I can remind myself of His Awesome power and control over every facet of my life.

I hesitated to share my story out of fear of what people would think, or because I'm sure people question why I feel the need to go to these great lengths just to attend Mass. (To which I'd respond that a minor humiliation or inconvenience to me in remembering to put a veil on my head is hardly anything compared to the inconvenience and suffering Jesus endured on Calvary for us.) So I guess I'll keep it and wear it to show Jesus that I love Him, as long as He wants me to!

7 comments:

  1. God Bless you! You have inspired me to have more confidence to veil more often. I usually only veil when I go to a Latin Mass. Thank you.

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  2. Such a beautiful story! I started wearing mine when I was in 4th grade or so, and have worn it ever since. I love the reasons you give for wearing it. It also veils our crowns of beauty, our hair, so to be as less of a distraction to us and others.

    In 1 Corinthians 11: 14-15, St. Paul writes, “Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to have long hair is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” In veiling, we are covering the sacredness of our feminine blessings, just as the sacred tabernacle or chalice is veiled.

    Thank you so much for sharing about your veiling experience and have courage! May God bless you on your journey!

    ~Sarah

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  3. This is a beautiful reflection. I just started vailing after my best friend bought me a long blue vail. if anyone else needs more support on this topic, the group Catholic women who vail on Catholic answers is really awesome.

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  4. I think this is great! Thanks for saying that!

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  5. veiling is beautiful. For me I think it grows my humility. Its a beautiful devotion in my life. Glad to hear another sisters perspective

    www.beautifulgoodtrue.com

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  6. Dear Liz B.
    I'm writting to You from Poland.

    I just have red this post and I couldnt't find any words to describe what I fell now... It's amazing, wonderful and marvelous post.

    Thank you very much for this story. Thank you very much for opening your soul befor us, before me. You do not even know how much you helped me. I'm at a difficult time in my life in which the relationship with God is weakened. Your experience gave me strength and showed me the sense of the struggle for this relationship - for the most importanat relationship in human life!
    You are awe-insparing!

    PS: My English is not well, I know, but I still learn.
    By the way - link to your blog sent me my english teacher;) And this post was my task for homework;) - The best homework I vave ever had!;) And I'm very grateful for my teacher for this task.

    God bless you!

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  7. And if you don't mind I would like so much to re-write this post on my blog Perly dla świata (Pearls to the world, Pearls for the word). I'm sure it will help a lot of ladys in Poland which are in similar state as I am.
    I indicate the author and the source of course. I'd be grateful.
    Alicja

    ReplyDelete

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