Saturday, July 25, 2015
My Journey In Veiling
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!