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Veiling Through the Joyful Mysteries

In June I shared ‘Lifting the Veil…’, a post about my decision to begin veiling. In reading the subsequent comments, I found renewed vigor in my resolve to veil and gained insight into addressing many of the questions that arose concerning my reasoning behind this devotional act. Contrary to the objection that veiling is an act of drawing attention to oneself, my logic is much more personal and spiritual. It was also edifying to note a comment relaying that, after she noting my personal reasoning, it occurred to a reader that it was legitimate to consider personal piety as outweighing cosmetic vanity. Equally heartening was a comment from the male perspective. Evidently some priests and other males see veiling as…

“one of very few symbols that manages to say something good and positive about the dignity of Christian women and girls”.

For those of us who often worry about what others think, being the rare veiler in your parish also presents an opportunity for mortification. Contrary to some popular assumptions, drawing attention to oneself is not the intent; it is actually a hurdle to overcome. Neither is veiling relevant to location. Veiling is certainly more prevalent at the Vatican, Latin Mass, or EWTN but isn’t it the same Jesus present in each and every sanctuary? With this acknowledgment comes the revelation that veiling is purely in submission to and respect for the Presence of God – wherever He is.

The reading from Ephesians we heard recently also gives great insight into this aspect of respect – as a two-way street. We wives are called to be subject to our husbands even as they are admonished to love us as much as they love their own bodies. Men are also called to honor their wives as God honors the Church. The full message is to “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ”. As our priest explained, sacred scripture is not to be taken one line at a time and misused with the intention to abuse someone. It is to be taken as a mirror of God’s relationship with us. When both man and woman (Jesus and Church), employ their proper and complimentary roles, there is equal dignity and harmony for the good of all. Therefore, when I veil, I show respect not just for Jesus present in the Eucharistic Sacrament but also for the dignity of my role as a woman.

Returning to scripture, we can call to mind how, when Saint Veronica encountered Jesus carrying His cross, she took off her veil and He wiped His face with it. When He handed it back to her, the image of His face remained and gave a special blessing to the practice of veiling. This event is still honored in most Catholic Churches in the form of the Stations of the Cross. The name Veronica – vera icon (true icon) – comes from this occasion. We can also look to Our Blessed Mother for the symbolism of humility and submission to Christ. Statues of her appear in all Catholic Churches as well and we are called to emulate her ‘yes’ to the call from God. This leads me to meditate on veiling as I pray the Rosary.

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Veiling Through the Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation (Humility) – Mary learns from the Angel Gabriel that God wishes her to be the mother of God and humbly accepts. (Luke 1:26-38)

When I first felt the call to veil, it was a tiny whisper. I didn’t know why I wanted to veil or even if my desire was pure. After prayer, discernment, and discussion with my husband, I felt ready to commit and say my own ‘yes’ to God. Veiling is not as much about the outer sign as it is about the inward resolve to be a better daughter of God, sister of Jesus, living with the Grace granted by the Spirit.

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The Visitation (Love of Neighbor) – Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth and is praised by her as “blessed among women.”(Luke 1:39-56)

When I wear my veil, I hope to be a comfort to others. I strive to display modesty and the unique feminine qualities that only women and girls possess. In a world that is stark in its lack of respect for the unique gifts of women, I want to be there for my sisters in Christ and give them comfort and solace and maybe the courage to look deeply into their own femininity and thus strive to praise God in stature, dress, and voice.

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The Nativity (Poverty of Spirit) – Mary gives birth to Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.(Luke 2:1-20)

With the dawning of every new day, we are born again to a new opportunity to live as a child of God. All distractions, failings, and fears from yesterday are gone and we are invited to strive for sainthood anew. With the donning of my veil, I say to Jesus, that I am ready to take on the challenge – of being the best me I can be, regardless of history or failures in previous attempts.

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The Presentation (Purity of Mind and Body) – Mary and Joseph present Jesus to His Heavenly Father in the Temple of Jerusalem forty days after His birth.(Luke 2:22-39)

We present ourselves to God upon entry into His house. We go there to seek Him out, to ask His blessing, to petition for our most basic needs, and to honor and glorify Him. When I place the veil upon my head, I am signaling to myself and to anyone who cares to take notice, that my intention is to humble myself in His presence.

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Finding the Christ child in the Temple (Obedience) – After searching for three days, Mary and Joseph find the twelve-year-old Jesus sitting in the Temple discussing the law with the learned doctors.(Luke 2:42-52).

We find ourselves in body of Christ. We did not ask to be brought there but are instead drawn there by answering our Father’s call. He wants us for Himself and when I veil, I find it to be a sacramental way to show that I am His.

 

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Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary – http://www.rosary-center.org/joyful.htm

Scripture references – http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/rosary/annunciation.htm#ixzz24foLoG31

About BirgitJ

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She enthusiastically serves on the Diocesan Gospel of Life Committee where she chairs pro-life events and writes pro-life articles. Birgit has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 37 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren (all age eight and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Her vibrant Catholic faith colors every aspect of her life. She also sings in the church choir with her husband and daughter. Other interests include politics, as they relate to ‘Life’, and Church liturgy as well as photography, cooking, and gardening. She can also be found on her personal blog, Designs by Birgit.

  • Catherine - Really enjoyed this post- very beautiful! I found your blog through NCR. My husband & I are both coverts and came into the Catholic Church 10 years ago this past Easter. About 2 years ago I felt that nudge to veil, did some reading and even bought a lace scarf, but never did anything about it. The past month or so have been feeling that nudge again. Your blog as well as a few others have been a source of encouragement. Thank-you and God bless!September 5, 2012 – 4:16 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected]_catholic - What a beautiful post. I love how you incorporated the practice of veiling with the joyful mysteries! I am going to use these reflections the next time I pray the joyful mysteries. 🙂September 6, 2012 – 6:14 amReplyCancel

  • Robyn - “For those of us who often worry about what others think, being the rare veiler in your parish also presents an opportunity for mortification. Contrary to some popular assumptions, drawing attention to oneself is not the intent; it is actually a hurdle to overcome. Neither is veiling relevant to location.” SO TRUE! After veiling at the traditional Latin mass we sometimes attend out of town, my husband urged me to start wearing it all the time. 9/11 is my one year “anniversary” of always veiling in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Just jump in and do it. And yes, I am the only one in my parish, maybe the only one in our 4 parish cluster. I’ve never gotten any criticism to my face except from my teenage kids, LOL.September 7, 2012 – 11:37 amReplyCancel

  • Mamabearjd - Found this post on Pintrest – you are so right about mortification. We have so few in our parish who veil, I am almost always the only one. I am so uncomfortable with the attention and yet I feel called to cover in the presence of the Eucharist. I feel like I can tell when someone is judging me sometimes and I just let my face burn and pray. It gets easier with time. Great post on a great tradition that I wish we could bring back.December 11, 2012 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Cindy - I started veiling about 8 months ago after much prayer. I am the only one in my Parrish to do so. It is humbling! I love your Joyful mystery meditations.

    I gladly humble myself before The Lord.July 7, 2013 – 5:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - I really liked this post; like Catherine, I’ve considered veiling, but since I’ve attended the same church since I was little and never veiled before, I feel that I would be looked at differently if I started now. Actually, quite a few women in my parish veil, but some are newer parishioners to our church or are older ladies that have done it for years. I wish I could get beyond my insecurities…March 6, 2016 – 9:07 pmReplyCancel

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