"Quit thinking so highly of yourself!" My sister snapped at me.
I was stunned! I was confused. I felt misunderstood. I felt embarrassed!
I sat with those words for a while and slowly began to understand it's meaning.
A few Sunday's earlier I had answered a call that had been on my heart for many years. I had decided to wear a chapel veil for Advent. I wasn't sure how long it would last, but the promise of a new liturgical year gave me the courage to finally test the waters.
I had multiple veils at this point, collecting dust, that I had accumulated over a 3 year period.
We had just attended mass with most of my sisters for a special occasion, and I commented to one of them how I was surprised that no one commented on my new practice of veiling. Her reply was the eloquent, yet spicy response above.
The truth was, I was very self-conscious and felt as though the entire church was staring at me!
I am, what you might call, a bit dramatic at times, and I have used her pearls of wisdom often in my life. In fact, my husband and I will say this to one another with a little smirk when we think the other is making a mountain out of a molehill in what one of us thinks is an embarrassing situation.
But I digress. That is a conversation for a different blog post. I actually wanted to talk about the actual personal devotion of veiling because it is an excellent example of the mind, body and soul connection.
While most people never acknowledge my veil, I have had a few curious and sweet people ask about it. There is certainly a biblical reference to it that I find holds a great deal of weight, (Cor. 11:5). The verse before this one is the one that instructs men to remove their hat when praying, but this biblical proof doesn't do much to excite a proper devotion in my opinion.
But what does excite it is the disposition that it arouses in oneself.
Would I wear a veil to Walmart? Certainly not! It is something that is only worn in front of the Blessed Sacrament, so during Eucharistic Adoration and at Holy Mass. It is something that humbles me in front of my Lord and Savior.
It is a physical thing that I put on my body that tells my mind that we are doing something special, that helps my soul more fully engage in the reality of the mystery of the Eucharist.
My boys achieve a similar mind, body, and soul connection by wearing their Sunday best. A bride achieves this in her brilliantly white wedding gown. A widow may achieve this by wearing a sorrowfully dark dress.
It's why all seven sacraments have a physical element to them!
The rosary is another excellent example of this connection. You physically hold the rosary as you run the beads between your fingers (body), you speak the words aloud (mind), and you contemplate the mystery of the life of Jesus which draws you into deeper union with Him (soul).
I'm not rallying the troops to run out and stock up on chapel veils by any means, but in what way can you, in your unique life circumstance, draw on the powerful connection of mind, body, and soul to strengthen your spiritual life? You may be surprised how this simple awareness can reap abundant rewards!
Until next time, your sister in Christ,