Last month I shared from my heart about my journey back to my childhood faith, Catholicism. I received some very lovely comments, and a number of beautiful emails too after that. Emails that opened up sharing of personal and spiritual journeys, which was very wonderful. I've been asked if I will continue to offer more here about my Catholic and spiritual experiences. I may from time to time--my life is spirit-oriented, and always has been. During the past couple of weeks I showed some head coverings/scarves I've been making and wearing. I thought I'd share the deeper meaning behind that today--the veil.
Veiling for women is often an act of devotion. Through the centuries--up to present day--veiling has religious as well as cultural significance. Traditionally, the veil symbolizes a woman's voluntary acceptance of her place in the divine order of things. Not all Catholic women veil. And there is much debate surrounding the topic--both positive and negative. When I made the return to Catholicism though, I was drawn to veiling. I didn't begin until Lent this year, though. It took me a little time to pray on this--to discover how I could offer up this special intention. God wanted me to, so that was the best place to start!
I often wear a lace veil at Mass. This is one I made myself...
Here is a detail of the beautiful lace. This veil is a simple, long rectangular shape. The short ends I've trimmed with another, narrow lace edging.
These are "finer" veils I wear at church, most made of lace. (The chaplet--a one decade rosary--is one I made myself of rose quartz and light pink Swarovski crystals. The book is a prayer book in Norwegian--so I can learn prayers and Mass in Norwegian. At home though, I pray mostly in English.)
At home I often wear a head covering of some kind--a kercheif, a long or short scarf, a cloth headband...
A few of my "everyday" head scarves, bands and veils... Many I've sewn or crocheted myself, but a couple were purchased online.
I've taken to wearing a headband or bunched up headscarf when out & about. Like this one, which I shared already. Mini veiling, of sorts. I am aware of it on my head all the time. I reminds me of my gift and responsibility of being a woman, and a daughter of God.
This one--a favorite short veil--is one I purchased online from Garlands of Grace --a Christian family-run business that specializes in handmade headcoverings off all kinds for women & girls. (They aslo have a shop on Etsy Garlands of Grace Etsy.)
When I veil... the world falls away and God is very near, gathering me to Him. This simple gesture of veiling daily reminds me of God calling me back to Him. A small offering to Him. Which brings to mind Rumi's beautiful phrase, "What you seek, is seeking you." Seek, and ye shall find...
P.S. During these many months of my reconversion back to Catholicism, I began considering my gift and role of being a woman in a new way, like I hadn't before. Hence the veiling... Re-examining my feminine nature as given by God and how I am to conduct myself in the world to best reflect His wishes for me. I could write very much on this--this is huge! But I will close by quoting/paraphrasing from some lines in a book I lately read, My Sisters the Saints by Coleen Carroll Campbell, which very much mirros my own personal, feminine understanding and journey at this time:
"intergrated/balanced life of the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and practical... merge and connect faith to everday tasks. Prayerful surrender to God amid daily life suits a woman's soul, Edith Stein says... this surrender represents the highest fulfillment of all feminine aspirations..."