that you gave me. In the heart of our home,
Let me serve you, my love. Sit. Do not rouse,
You’re mine to attend and I’m yours to roam.
I stomp out his ideas,
Afraid of failure, of sparks catching fire.
Weighing perils briskly in my head,
I say things I regret.
His proposals, always brought in trust and goodwill,
I should revere, regard, respect.
But how quickly fear plays out!
How swiftly words do slice.
Forgive me, I ask.
Forgive me, I spoke from fear not love.
The other week at Mass, my husband picked up our sleeping baby from the carseat before we went to receive communion. I was annoyed – let sleeping babies sleep! But bit my tongue. I’m glad I did. As we were walking to receive communion, I realized that he picked up the baby so that the baby could be blessed by the priest. Then I remembered how I’ve been praying for my husband, specifically that he would continue to lead our family spiritually and here it was! In the very action that I found so vexing was my husband’s spiritual headship! I am so glad I kept my mouth shut, that I didn’t glare at him when he woke up the baby, that I trusted. Admittedly, it is a small matter but I did not let my irritation get in the way of trusting – and that is hard! I then began to wonder how many times I’ve misinterpreted my husband’s actions, how many times I glared at him or disregarded his lead, countless I’m sure. But here, here was a small victory. I continue to grow as his wife. It is not easy but graces flow.
A being winged divine descends the spheres
And comes to speak with lady chaste and pure.
She does quake as air and angel nears,
And pales to white as light reveals once more
Eternal Love. And bearing binding news,
The angel chosen stands and swiftly speaks,
Of Lord of Lords of King of Kings of Jews
And Worlds to be renewed. The Virgin seeks
Her heart – the hinge to all eternity.
What love and grace this maiden gives our Lord,
The Son of God and man! Her ecstasy,
A garden, forms, unfolds the cloistered Word.
Within a Virgin Pure Our God now twice
Begotten lives to die, to pay our price.
I have been covering my head in the presence of our Lord for two and half years and it has brought me nothing but grace and blessings! At first, I was afraid to put the chapel veil on. I was afraid that I would attract undo attention to myself. I was afraid people would think I was “Holier than thou.” I was afraid that the priest would tell me to take it off. I was afraid that my family would scoff. I was Afraid.
But the beautiful tradition attracted me and the more I read, the more reasons I found to veil. It came to a point where the only reason I wasn’t veiling was fear. So, I got my grandmother’s old chapel veil (somehow I inherited it when she died. I am sure she was praying for me) out of my dresser drawer and took it to Mass one Sunday.
I remember putting it on my head the first time. Oh, How painful that was! How uncomfortable I felt. But I also found great peace in this action so I kept doing it. Sunday after Sunday my chapel veil came with me. And something began to happen. I began to rest in my husband’s headship. Yes! Through this outward sign of submission- I began to rest in my husband’s leadership.
And as I surrendered myself to my husband’s leadership, my husband became a stronger leader! In little ways that at first I didn’t notice, in fact, I was annoyed by some of the changes. For instance, My husband and I have several little ones and making it to Mass on time is a
scrimmage challenge. My husband said one Sunday on our way to church, “We need to get to Mass before the Procession.” I groaned and complained, “But! that means more time with our children squirming in the pews!” he responded firmly, calmly, “No, to arrive after the procession is disrespectful. You wouldn’t arrive at court late. We should be there before the Procession.” Of course, he was right but what kept me from arguing further wasn’t the fact that he was correct, it was my little veil tucked in my purse. I remembered what it symbolized, my submission to my husband’s authority and here it was right in front of me, “We need to arrive before the Procession.” I kept quiet and the next Sunday I tried a bit harder to get the children ready for church on time. My husband appreciated my efforts he thanked me and we had more time for prayer together as a family. I do not think I would have done this prior to veiling – the outward sign is what helped me.
When I enter the Church and put on my veil, my mind turns to my Lord and with this turning of mind, I have grown in my reverence for the Eucharist. I have grown in modesty as well, I am much more mindful of what I wear to Church. My children love my chapel veil too. They see my mind turn to prayer as I enter in the Lord’s house and quietly veil. They see that the Lord’s house is different from other places and they see the reverence it is due through one simple symbol, my veil.
Every Sunday now, I veil and rest in my husband’s headship. I love it. He loves it. When I began veiling, I didn’t think it would change my spiritual life but it has. I didn’t think it would strengthen my marriage but it has. I didn’t think it would teach my children reverence, but it has. I didn’t think grace would come, but, oh, what grace! It was a little gift to my Lord, my loaves and fishes and oh, how he multiplies our loaves and fishes! We need outward signs of inward grace. We need symbols to help us understand realities that are difficult to grasp. Let us embrace those simple signs. If you are thinking of veiling- let go of your fears. Take the leap of faith, veil.
socks, children, drudge, exams, loans, grind, bills, laundry, diapers, slog –
When we meet-
A skim, a scent, a sweep,
When we meet-
I also dug up these which touch on the matter. I found them helpful as mother of several daughters :
Occasionally, I have heard of husbands asking their wives to work, but mostly I have seen women assume a part-time job to “help out.” They were never pointedly asked to do so. Many times, they took on this burden through mistrust in their husband’s ability to provide. This should be avoided because their reasons were rooted in fear.
A housewife should be productive, “To have a deadbeat stay-at-home wife is a curse.” A housewife who also runs a small home-based business is not a careerist. These businesses can be a great blessing to families. They can make some money, can easily be scaled back or abandoned entirely if the need arises and they provide a wonderful learning opportunity for children.
Also, single women can have jobs outside the home and not be a careerists. They can work and still have their hearts and minds pointed towards marriage and family – but it must be done consciously.
As a mother, it is my duty to teach my daughters that being a housewife is honorable and dignified work – it is not degrading. If this is instilled in their hearts and minds, they will seek it for themselves or, perhaps, another vocation which supports these truths.