It has been years since I first felt God quietly calling me. At first I couldn’t understand what He was asking me to do. As time passed I began to hear Him louder. My heart could feel Him tugging and before long there was no way I could deny what He was asking of me. I fought Him tooth and nail. You see, I knew what He wanted me to do was something completely outside of my comfort zone and I knew that it was going to bring attention to me; something I truly don’t like. But, He kept calling. For years I ignored Him. Of course, looking back I wonder how in the world I could have ignored Him for so long. I should have known that He wasn’t going to back down nor give up on me. God is funny that way.
After years of prayer, talking and debating with both friends and strangers, and more than a few tears, I began to veil for Mass. To be honest that first Mass was terrible. The veil kept slipping off my head as I tried to hold my newborn son, corral my toddlers and sit, stand, and kneel through Mass. I was very self-conscious and that combined with the physical struggling made me very hot as well. My face was flushed and I was sweating. I felt insecure and out of place. Surely this isn’t how God wanted me to feel while wearing this veil. Suddenly I wondered if I had heard God wrong. Maybe He didn’t want this. Maybe all this was happening to make me see that I wasn’t really supposed to be veiling. I decided I needed to pray more about it.
As I prayed I asked God to show me clearly that this was His plan for me. God reminded me that the things He calls us to do are often not easy. Often they require great sacrifice on our part. He has called me to sacrifice in many ways and veiling was another part of that sacrifice for Him. Now I just had to decide if I truly was up to accepting that call. I decided I was.
Veiling for me is a sign of humility and acceptance of God’s will in my life. It is a sign that I am willing to be His handmaid; to do what He asks of me, even when it is the more difficult path. Additionally, in the Church we veil all things that are holy. We have the Tabernacle veil, the Humeral veil, a Chalice veil, a Ciborium veil, to name just a few. When I veil it is a clear reminder to me that I am supposed to strive for holiness as well. It is one way I show God my honor, humility, devotion, thankfulness, and love.
There are some who question my reasons for veiling but to be honest I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone. I don’t feel that those who veil are holier than anyone else. I don’t feel that all women are called to veil. I know that God calls us each to do things for Him that He doesn’t call others to do. God called me to veil. Lord knows I didn’t want to do it but He asked me to. I could deny Him no longer.
We are called to honor God in our own ways. He may ask us to do so through writing. He may call us through working with children. He may ask us to go to daily Mass,; to care for the sick or poor. He may ask us to begin a ministry at our church or to pray quietly behind closed doors. God has many ways in which He asks us to show our love and dedication to Him. We have to be ready to not only hear Him but to follow Him as well, even when it is difficult.
Veiling has become a beautiful practice for me. When I don my veil I center my heart on God. It is a constant reminder of my love for God and God’s love for me. It envelopes me and pulls me into His loving embrace.
Why do I veil? I veil because God asked me to. Who am I to tell God no?
© 2013. Michelle Fritz. All Rights Reserved.