|Friedrich von Amerling [Public domain]|
,via Wikimedia Commons
Truth be told, I hate the question. "Veils," I say, "headcoverings for church and prayer." Then, I wait to see which of the predictable responses will follow -- stiffness?, a sudden break of eye contact? Will she stand up taller, square her shoulders, think of her grandmother who fought for women's rights, and give me glaring, angry eyes? Will she display incredulousness?
Once, I got a sweet Catholic lady in her fifties. She smiled, excited, and reminisced, "We used to wear those when I was a girl." Phew...that was a great day.
Ultimately, I do not give much thought to these reactions, beyond the immediate moment. They are based on assumptions and inaccurate or incomplete information. I know the women for whom I handcraft veils. I create headcoverings with prayer, because whether I have met or spoken with the women who will wear them or not, I know these women by their choices. These women are not demeaned; they are devotional. They are not property; they are prayerful. My ladies are not timid; they are triumphant--not enslaved, but Spirit-filled.
It is not a weak woman who presses back against a tide of progressive cultural pressure to hold firmly to the cherished tradition of an earlier time. A frail woman does not stand firm to the call she's been given against the overbearing weight of popular judgment and even scorn. She is not a bit of fluff. She knows her mind, and she knows her God.
She is a woman reverencing an all powerful and loving God who offers her a place in the Kingdom and calls her "daughter." Of this woman, and of the sign of dignity and honor she wears upon her head as she approaches His Holy Table, I am not ashamed.
God bless ladies who veil and ladies who don't.
God bless ladies who show respect and kindness to those who prayerfully make choices different than their own.
We are loved by an Almighty and Infinite God.
Pax Christi dear ones,
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