What’s sad is that these people don’t seem to realize that many of the Catholic women who cover (I won’t say all because I’m sure there are some who do so because they feel pressure from other people) do so because they feel called to. It’s as if that possibility is discarded instantly, if it even comes to mind, which I actually find doubtful.
And they miss an aspect of Catholic headcovering that sets it apart. A Christian woman covers for God and because she is in the presence of God.
In the beginning I’m not sure I could even articulate exactly why I felt called to cover. In truth, I’m not sure I can fully articulate it now. It was a strong, nagging feeling that kept on and on until I finally felt as if I were doing something wrong by ignoring the call (or at least not following where it lead, because ignoring it was pretty much impossible). As many of you know, I set a date. This internal struggle went on throughout my first pregnancy and I finally made a deal with myself: I would cover when my daughter was born. And that is exactly what I did.
Now for my attempt at explaining the key points that stand out when I think of covering.
I veil as a sign of humility before God. It reminds me to do all that I can to submit to Him and it reminds me that He is there in the Blessed Sacrament.
I veil because it helps me focus on the Mass (at least as much as I can focus with my two lovely little distractions) and because to helps remind me to reset my focus when I’m distracted. It also helps me mentally set apart the time when I am at Mass from the rest of my life.
Now for a few of my favorite quotes by people who were able to say very eloquently much of what I’ve been trying to express here:
“A veil or head covering, is both a symbol and a mystical sacrifice that invites the woman wearing it to ascend the ladder of sanctity. When a woman covers her head in the Catholic Church it symbolizes her dignity and humility before God.”
-The Catholic Knight
“We veil as an act of humility before Our Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. To veil in church is to make visible what we believe in our hearts--that Jesus, true God and true Man, is present in the Blessed Sacrament in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity... and that we desire to humble ourselves before Him.”
-Lily, The Catholic Wife
“Finally, we veil that which is sacred to God. Now, each woman has the potential for receiving life within her body. This power must not be used outside of the ordinances of God. In other words, a woman’s fruitfulness is reserved to God: “My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.”(Cant. 4:12) Furthermore, women are called to imitate Our Lady in a particular way and she was the living tabernacle of the Most High. Just as women bear life within their body, so the tabernacle on the altar holds He who is Life itself, “the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.”(John 6:50) Thus, the veil indicates woman’s unique role of motherhood and the call to imitate Our Lady. We recall this during Mass in order to better understand the presence of Christ in the tabernacle. [For this last facet of symbolism, I am indebted to Alice Von Hildebrand.]
In conclusion, I hope it is clear that the chapel veil betokens not abusive male domination but, rather, befittingly recalls a rich array of truths in order to illuminate the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
-A Quote in this post by the Saint Louis Catholic