10 April 2015

From Under The Veil

About a year ago, I felt a pull inside my soul. I had never quite felt anything like it. God wanted me to serve Him completely, even though I really thought I did.

I began to involve myself with more Catholic things, reading Scripture, teaching my kids, dressing more modestly, acting more modestly, and veiling. The choice to wear the veil wasn't an easy one. I am already such an old soul, it seemed that if I wore a veil in church I'd just turn into an old lady. But then, articles about veiling just seemed to begin popping up everywhere on Pinterest and on Facebook. I decided to read more about it all through Lent 2014. The veil wasn't just a thing for old ladies, in fact, it has a lot of Biblical backing. The purpose of the veil is not to hide women from men or show them as less, as I had thought, but the veil is to show how sacred and wonderfully made women are. Women are sacred because through us, God creates life. Everything in the church that is sacred is veiled (the tabernacle and the chalice). There was a large curtain (veil) separating the Holiest of Holies from the rest of the temple in  the Old Testament. To wear a veil is a very special thing. I began veiling with a scarf, and I have amassed a collection of chapel veils and scarves. Right now I am wearing a 20-peso (about $1.30) rectangle mantilla I found at the local flea market. But I also wear a rebozo, infinity scarves, or a lace kerchief I made. It doesn't really matter what I wear on my head; the purpose is to just have something there. Veiling is a very personal decision and I don't ever ask why people don't do it anymore. I just go and I do it. Sometimes I will see other women pull their scarves onto their heads, and even a couple have actual mantillas, but usually I am the lone veiler at Mass. And that is okay.

In the past year, I've written about my venture to be more humble and how much I've drawn closer to the Lord. My number one spiritual goal is to make myself smaller, lesser than others, to draw back from the world. No, I'm not going to become a hermitess anytime soon, but I have purposefully cut back on social media and on buying "stuff". I think that veiling has led to this decision. When I wear a veil, I am not trying to attract attention to myself in church. I am trying to hide myself from others. I am not there for them, or their attention. I want them to pay attention to the Mass as much as I want to. I wear a veil t help me focus on what is really important- that the Almighty God in Heaven loves me so much He gave me His awesome Church. And I can approach Him, and receive Him into me (I am not currently receiving, but the Lord is there if I were to be spiritually prepared to receive Him). That is why I wear a veil, because the Lord is above me. The Lord is bigger than I am. Wearing the veil reminds me that I am small in comparison to Creation, but that the Lord still loves me.


 

Wearing the veil does not mean that I think of myself as lesser to man; it does not make me think that men and women are not equal. I firmly believe that both genders are equal in dignity and worthy of equal respect. But men and women are different; we are not one androgynous sex. Me and women complement each other in their differences, while each being worthy of the same dignity. And as a woman, it is my unique charism to wear a veil if I so choose, and I do. I am equal in dignity to man. I am not made to veil by my husband. He does not force me to do anything I don't want to do because 'he's a man'. I veil because I am special to God, just like all women are. I do not make my daughter veil. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't. I think it is hard for her to carry on the practice as she is assimilate into the culture of another country; she doesn't have those social skills yet. She does sometimes ask to wear her veil which makes me a proud mama, but when she doesn't it is just the same. I know that God asked me to put the veil on- I would not want to force Cecilia to wear it and make her grow to resent it. Sometimes I
think that fear might be useless, but I want her to grow up feeling loved by and loving God's Church. I do not want her to fall away.

Since wearing the veil, I know have become more blessed in my life. I don't have a lot of money. I don't have a big house or a nice yard or the newest gadgets. But I have enough food. I still have a roof over my head. I have enough bravery to live more humbly every day in a foreign country, over 1000 miles from my home. Everyday I get wake up to a complete family unit that God has made for me and has made possible for me, after all of the hardships, hurt feelings, and harsh words. My veil has made me more open to hearing God, and seeing God, in my everyday life. I love God more and more everyday, and I love my veil every time I put it on.

If you have been thinking out veiling, why not try it? It might just change your life like it has mine.

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