Friday, September 30, 2016

7 Misguided Reasons to Wear a Chapel Veil

1. Because I Am More Holy than You

Many people these days look at women who choose to practice the devotion of veiling as ‘holier than thou’ – most characteristically in Novus Ordo parishes. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my personal experience, the reasons women veil are numerous. Their motivation includes emulating the Blessed Mother because she is the consummate female role model. Another reason is that, often times, sacred things are veiled – the tabernacle, for example. As life-bearers, we women, have a sacred collaboration with our spouses and God. We carry the treasure of little souls within our bodies for nine months before introducing them to this world.

2. Because It Is a Fashion Statement

There are so many ways to embellish our appearance. We wear flattering clothing, jewelry, and perhaps a bit of makeup. Yet a chapel veil is not a fashion accessory. If the temptation to look on the veil in this way, it may be wise to reconsider this pious practice. Conversely, wearing a veil is often a hindrance to fashion. That carefully coiffed head, adorned with a beautiful hairstyle may very well be flat and unflattering by the time the final blessing of Mass is given. Wearing a chapel veil can, however, affirm the recognition of our God-given femininity as complementary to the masculinity of our spouses.

3. Because I Am Stuck In The Past

Some Catholics of good faith believe that the obligation for women to cover their heads continues to be binding to this day. Others know the law surrounding veiling was abrogated and therefore, believe the practice to be passé. A quick study of Canon Law, however, confirms that, while the devotion is no longer binding, it is acceptable, and even desirable, as a voluntary practice.

4. Because It Is a Distraction

Wearing a chapel veil is, for me, a tangible way of removing myself from this world and entering into Heaven on Earth. As I clip my veil to my hair, my demeanor changes, and my soul stills. Yes, I am in communion with the others in surrounding pews but my soul is in still deeper communion with God. The distractions of life as usual fade away and my soul is transported to the Cross. There, Mary stands at my side and we ponder together this Son she bore and the Salvation He brought.

5. Because I Am Vain

Realistically my almost sixty years have left their mark. Short-cropped, salt and pepper hair that is left undyed, a body not nearly as svelte as my younger self, and creases etched into laugh lines at mouth and eyes – that is the reality of my present self. Wearing a chapel veil of the finest, imported lace would do nothing to change these realities. If anything, donning a veil when few or no others do is the opposite of vanity. It speaks of humility and a comfort with the God-given self.

6. Because I Want to Call Attention to Myself

How easy it is to seek acceptance – to be one of the crowd. When we blend in we are almost anonymous. That bit of extra weight, the charcoal hair, and unexceptional face can make for a monolithic scene. It is exactly when we step out of our comfort zone, for the sake of the spiritual, that we become different. Although this is never the intent, especially for an introvert, it speaks of a devotion that overcomes. It overcomes the trepidation of being judged and presents a vulnerability not usually sought. It could be called a childlike gift to Father God, one of the ways to show Him love.

7. Because I Want Praise From Others

“She’s such a good Catholic; look at how modestly she dresses and wears a chapel veil!” No, that is not at all what wearing a veil is about. If anything, those of us who practice this optional devotion would rather not be called out as holy women. Speaking for myself and those friends who also veil, we are a sorry lot. Our lives have taken us on many crooked paths and self-inflicted detours. We have not always listened when the Holy Ghost whispered, much less when He hit us in the head while shouting at us, like the sinful children we are, to please pay attention.

Women Who Do Veil

Women who veil vary as much as our chapel veils do. We come from all walks of life – cradle Catholics, converts, young, old, Latin Mass devotees, Novus Ordo attendees, married, single, and myriad other characteristics. Even our reasons for covering our heads are numerous. The common ground is our devotion to our beautiful Catholic faith, handed down to us directly from Jesus to his disciples in an unbroken piece of Heaven on Earth.

We seek forgiveness, sin and confess, resolve and fall – but we pick ourselves back up again, keeping our eyes on the Prize. Whether you join us in the devotion of wearing a chapel veil or not, we are your sisters. Let us truly be in communion. Let us pray for one another.

Friday, August 5, 2016

What Makes You Happy Tells a Lot About You

Happiness, it’s all the rage with the human race. We’ve always been quite infatuated with the idea of happiness – after all, it’s only human right? But what makes you happy? Have you ever really stopped to think about it? And on what level does happiness apply to your wishes for satisfaction? Is it something as simple as a good meal or the carefree giggle of a child? Or does your happiness depend on something deeper? Does it, perhaps, lead to spiritual joy?

Earthly Happiness

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, even in superficial ways. After all, God created us and gave us an amazing world in which to live. Happiness can be the silly giggle of a child when you dance to the Chicken Dance with her – while sitting in your computer chair - with the audience of an intrigued one year old. It can be knowing that your husband is in the kitchen, concocting a scrumptious meal – even though it’s meatless Friday and you’d rather have a steak. Gardening and creating and planning our dream cabin makes me happy – as does looking deep into the endless depth of one of our 9 grandchildren's soulful eyes.

Eternal Happiness

There's also a deeper type of happiness - of a more Eternal nature. One form of happiness doesn’t preclude the other. We can find happiness – even spiritual joy – from our faith life. From knowing that you’ve delved into something that is difficult to discern and yet have come to a solid decision. Happiness is walking out of the confessional and knowing Jesus has just listened to and forgiven your sins. My happiness also hinges on the knowledge that someone I love is making good, moral decisions. Praying for those I love (and those I don’t) also brings me happiness – even joy.

What can you tell about me from my sharing? What makes you happy – earthly or Eternal? Share your happiness and let it grow exponentially as we join our happiness together.



Here we are again, joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday #fmf - a fun way to participate in timed free writing with other bloggers.

Today's #fmf prompt is 'happy'. Follow the link to check out some truly inspirational entries.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Not Voting For Hillary (or Trump): A Moral Dilemma

Last week I wrote an article for Catholic Stand Entitled 10 Reasons I Can Not Vote for Trump (or Hillary). In the ensuing days I've been called a few names, told I don't know my faith, and have been accused of shilling for Hillary Clinton. It has also been stated, in no uncertain terms, that all of my research of sources from various positions - mainstream media, pro-life sites, Catholic voters guides, and actual video footage - is based on hearsay and devious editing.

My opinion of Mr. Trump was formed long before he became one of many Republican candidates and rebirthed himself from his lifelong pro-abortion, Democrat views. Yet the accusations (against me) and the defensive measures (for Trump) continue.

Yes, I weighed the (supposed) consequences. I just don't believe Trump when his newly minted persona says he will appoint pro-life justices (after he just said his pro-choice sister would be an excellent addition to SCOTUS).

Yes, I know that the various moral choices Catholics have include voting for 'one who will do less harm'. Yet, still, here I am exercising one of those moral choices presented by the Church, reached with much soul searching, prayer, and a fully formed conscience. I don't expect to change the minds of the blindly supportive Trump supporters (just as I doubt they can change mine). What I am attempting to do is to give some solace to those who, like me, get a greasy, queasy feeling when thinking of all that a Trump presidency could very well entail.

Here, then, are my ten reasons for not voting for candidate Trump (or Hillary). For the details, refer to the Catholic Stand column.

  1. Trump is a Political Chameleon 
  2. The Lessor of Two Evils (Or the one who would do less harm) Isn’t a Valid Reason 
  3. He’s a Loose Cannon 
  4. Having Abortion Exceptions Makes Him Pro-Choice 
  5. Trump Is In It for Himself 
  6. I Am Only Accountable for My Own Vote 
  7. No, Refraining from a Trump Vote is Not a Vote for Hillary 
  8. He’s a Democrat in Republican Clothing 
  9. One Presidency Cannot Repair the Damage That Took Decades to Create 
The only Savior this world has ever seen – or will ever see – is Jesus Christ. The faulty thinking that seeks to justify a vote for Trump is impossible to realize in real life. The litany of problems faced by our nation – healthcare, terrorism, financial ruin, loss of religious liberty, commercialization of women and sale of unborn baby parts – will take decades of righteous leadership to undo. Donald Trump is not the person to begin the pilgrimage down that path.

Even if a moral champion was elected, years of Congressional failure would have to be addressed as well. Instead of placing all of our hopes in one candidate, we should address the moral failure of all representatives. Accepting empty speeches and backtracking leaders has been the norm far too long. Every vote should be carefully discerned by moral standards. Hold the feet of our representatives – from dog catcher to president – to the fire of righteous judgment. Isn’t it time to aspire to be led by those who lead us to salvation?

This would be a good to time ponder, “What would we get if Trump won?” Within the answer lies the source of my trepidation. Based on the facts garnered about candidate Trump there are certain conclusions to be drawn. What we get from a Trump presidency will not be like anything we have ever had before – because Trump is unlike any candidate we have ever had. His positions come from a position of power. Morals and ethics are not really given a seat at his table.

How terrible would it be to have the strongest pro-life/moral plank ever in the GOP platform and then have a president wh0 adhered to it even less than any previous one?


Editor Update 8-5-16:


"'You shall not murder' contains no exceptions. If there are exceptions made, there can be no equality. Which means there can be no justice. The premises for the rule of law, and any decent claim to liberty, are completely destroyed. What part of this do American Christian 'pro-lifers' fail to understand? The main obstacle to saving our country is not Planned Parenthood, or Obama, it is "conservatives" who don't seem to understand what it is that must be conserved if we are going to survive as a free, secure, prosperous people. I'm sorry if this message is offensive to some, but it's the truth. And it's a truth everyone needs to hear, and act upon in their politics, before it is too late for America and for our posterity."

-- Tom Hoefling


"...Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. His platform is straightforward: the Constitution must be upheld, ALL human life must be protected, the Federal Reserve must be abolished, and national sovereignty must be defended."