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Veiling? Seriously? Veiling is definitely not for me…or so I thought…
I can remember the first time I even was aware or thought about it.
I was listening to a podcast by Sonja Corbitt. Sonja is a convert to the Catholic Faith. Brought up Protestant and a lover of the Word, she now is a Catholic speaker & has a Bible Study podcast. With her zeal, southern accent, and charm she is a joy to listen to.
Anyway, a few years ago, in one particular podcast series I was listening to, she spoke about her call to start veiling in Mass.
I remember listening with some curiosity and feeling like God may be calling my heart to lean in that direction, even if I was just a convert...
She, Sonja, wanting to emulate our Mother Mary, grow in humility, and grow closer to Jesus. She was open to the possibility and that is where God finally led her.
Her story made perfect sense and silently poked repeatedly at my heart. And as a convert, I love digging deeper and learning about all the facets of our beautiful faith.
Why Veiling Is Done – Tradition, Biblical & Makes Sense
But, come on, veiling? That seemed like such a long-ago oppressive practice that really didn’t have a place in today’s modern Church. Or so I reasoned…
I did do some research and reading on the subject of and the many reasons behind the practice of veiling and that led me to a deeper desire to maybe one day, perhaps, trying it.
I learned that the veil actually is an external sign of the internal desire of a woman’s heart to humble herself in the True Presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament. The veil is a visible sign representing the Church being the Bride of Christ and her submission to the loving rule of Christ.
Plus, I discovered that the Church veils sacred things such as the tabernacle, the priest, the chalice, and the altar.
A man uncovers his head when he enters a church and as women, we cover our head as a loving act of humility.
As women, we are living tabernacles with our inherent ability to conceive and carry life, so veiling makes perfect sense. Even Saint Paul spoke about why women should veil (1 Cor. 11:5) – it definitely seemed like something I wanted to know more about.
So, after thinking & praying about it, I then mentioned it in passing to my husband. It was quickly dismissed. Not that he dismissed it, it was just sort of not on his radar and that was enough of a justification for me to forget about it…at least for now.
It wasn’t until this past summer that the idea of veiling came up again. I was reading the book Exalted by Sonja Corbitt. The book wasn’t about veiling, it actually broke down Mary’s song – the Magnificat in a way you could apply it to your own life’s song.
As I was reading through it, I came to a chapter where she started to share again about her call to start veiling and how it became part of her life song.
I did not see that coming.
My heart was touched again and began to beat a little faster – it was undoubtedly a definite nudge by the Holy Spirit…
I quickly put the book down. My daughter saw me and said, “what is wrong?”
I just looked at her and finally mumbled, “I think God is asking something of me that I don’t think I’m ready to do it…“
Praying For Guidance
I began to again pray about the idea of God wanting me to begin to veil in Church. Could it really be? It had been 3 years since it was introduced to me. I thought it was all forgotten.
Yes, I definitely want to grow in humility. I want to be as our Blessed Mother is and I want to show Jesus just how much I love Him, want to honor Him, and humble myself before Him…but, veiling? Everyone would see me…
I finally resolved that if my husband was not on board completely, that gave me enough just reason not to pursue the idea.
Because, as a good Catholic wife, I could not and would not wear a veil if my husband did not agree or was uncomfortable with it in any way.
I hate to admit it, but that was comforting for me. I knew that it may not be something he would be in total agreement with and that would be my “justifiable” way out.
So, a few weeks later, while we were away on vacation I took the opportunity to bring it up as we walked along the beach. I told him about the book and how I thought that Jesus really may be asking me to veil.
He listened and said, “this would probably be the perfect time to begin veiling since everyone is covering their face in obedience anyway, covering your head in humility makes more sense“.
I was elated and nervous all at once! Was this his agreement with the whole idea of ‘veiling‘?
Not So Fast
Turns out, it wasn’t. In the days following when I brought it up, he stated that yes, we talked a little about it, but he wasn’t sure if it was truly the right thing for me and our family.
I was disappointed, and at the same time relieved. I know, I probably shouldn’t have been relieved. But, just being honest 😉 .
I decided that if I wasn’t called to veil, I would instead become more focused on my relationship with Jesus & Mary. I began the 33 Days to Morning Glory Retreat in preparation for my total consecration to Jesus through Mary.
During the 33 days, I prayed and asked for direction. I resolved with our Lord that I would not bring up the idea of veiling again. I felt like he wanted me to do it. But, I did not want to cause any tension in my family.
I proposed to the Lord, if he wanted me to veil, it would have to be reintroduced to me and it would have to come through my husband. I was not going to bring it up again. My husband would have to bring it up in a way that I knew for sure it was what God wanted.
It had been three years since I first considered even the idea of Veiling. I struggled and prayed about the practice of veiling for so long. And I knew if God really wanted me to, he would show me clearly.
How He Showed Me Clearly
This past Sunday, just two days after Christmas, we were sitting down to lunch after getting home from Mass. My husband went into our bedroom and brought out a box for our 9-year-old daughter to open.
Another Christmas gift?
She eagerly opened the box and lifted out a package. She began to open it and said “I think it is a table cloth or something“.
I took the package and read the label. It was a Chapel Veil, actually, it was a few Chapel veils…
I felt a lump well up in my throat. My husband had bought me, and my daughters, veils. I cannot even describe the slow and winding route God had taken me through to get to this moment.
He had brought my heart to this moment and he did it lovingly through my husband. He answered my prayer…
Now The Veiling Begins
So, when was I going to start? This was another pleading prayer for sure. If you have ever considered veiling, I’m sure you have had some of the same concerns.
- What will people think?
- Will people think I deem myself better or more holy than they are?
- Will people stare?
- Will people talk?
- Nobody at my church wears one…
- What if it falls off?
Last evening, at a weekday Mass, I decided that it would be a perfect time to begin. The church would be mostly empty and I could get comfortable with the practice.
I am not going to lie. I was a little uncomfortable and felt like people were starring. (the church was fuller than usual on a Wednesday evening)
But, as I kneeled there in prayer I shared with the Lord how I felt. My feelings of being uncomfortable and worrying about people and what they may be thinking…
Actually, at this moment, the veil over my head made it feel more intimate and I found myself more focused on the Lord & in his true Presence.
He always listens and cares about even our seemingly small concerns.
It was then that the words of Saint Theresa’s ‘anyway’ poem came to mind…
“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
What About Your Girls?
Out of ten children, 5 boys and 5 girls, only 2 girls are still home with us. One is 12-years-old and one is 9. My 9 year old at this point is excited to begin veiling. My 12-year-old, not so much. She is worried about others and what they will think.
That’s okay! It will be each of their decision. Their eternal salvation does not hinge on whether they veil or not. It is a personal desire, decision, and calling between God and them.
I know that veiling may not be for every woman…right now. I mean I wasn’t ready for many years! But, as I journey along in this new ‘veiling’ way, I will share my experience and hope to inspire others to maybe consider this long-ago established, humble, and forgotten practice.
Great Information & Resource: Veils by Lily
A Catholic mom of 10 & a Deacon’s wife.
I Help Inspire Christian Women to Grow in Their Faith & Share with Others, Improve their Health, and Create Whole-Life-Wellness From the Inside Out.