Alright, we are halfway through Lent. How is everyone doing with their sacrifices? I gave up meat for Lent. It may not have been the biggest sacrifice I could have made becuase I don't eat a lot of meat to begin with, but my life right now is stressful enough and I didn't want to go crazy by giving something up like chocolate or alcohol, and if you have my job, sometimes a glass of wine with a big box of chocolates is a necessity. However, I am craving an Italian sausage sub right now. I was talking about Lent with my classmate, Amanda, and she said, "My friends make fun of me. I am the Mormon who gave up coffee for Lent!" Well, if you're a graduate student, coffee just flows through your veins like blood. I don't understand why she hasn't had a nervous breakdown yet.
I have not been very good keeping up with my daily Lenten reflections. But I have been able to attend the Stations of the Cross at my church and at least 30 minutes of Adoration.
I had an interesting confession a few weeks ago where the visiting priest made a comment about my mantilla. Yes ladies, I am one of those weirdo's who veil and I personally find the story of why I veil to be kinda funny. About three months ago, I was praying after I had received the eucharist, and I am asking Christ to help me understand. After being away from the church for about five years, I was still going through a difficult time in my spiritual development and my faith was low. I had just finished reading a book called 'The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything' and I was trying to take a new turn in my sprituality.
As I was praying I heard a distict voice say, "I want you to cover your head in my presence". My eyes flew open and I thought to myself, 'Cover my head? Are you insane! I am not the submissive type and I may be slightly conservative, but covering my head is over-the-top!"
Then that same voice replied, "Will you not obey me?"
Immediately I started freaking out becuase there is a whole chapter dedicated to obedience in 'The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything'. So, I did something I have never done before, I e-mail my Deacon and he called me in for some one-on-one time. I did not relish the fact that I had to tell my Deacon that I was hearing voices. I had images of him tying me up to a stake and watching me burn like a campfire while all of his Deacon buddies sang Kum-Ba-Ya! Instead, he was very encouraging and said that there have been a few women, young women around my age, who have decided to take up the veil as well. So, I wear a lacy thing on my head everytime I enter the sanctuary.
So, as I told the priest this, he commented that maybe one day I will feel that God is no longer calling me to wear the veil. What is up with that!? Here I hear the call from the Holy Spirit to return to tradition, and this priest, I felt, down played that and in a round about way told me he doesn't approve of women veiling.
Veiling is an old tradition that went away in the 1980's becuse the church stopped enforcing the veiling rule. Some people say that the requirement itself never went away, but that women should be encouraged, not forced, to veil in the Presence of Christ. If a woman feels she is called to veil, she should be encouraged to by priests and deacons, not discouraged. I thinking bringing these traditions back is a good thing becuase it is a physical and visual expression of our Catholic identity. You won't see a Presbyterian woman wearing a veil to church.
Ok, time to go refill my wine glass and open another box Junior Mints.