There are many wonderful acts of love we make towards God, but many are mis-understood, and veil wearing is growing among the gossiped topics in church. All gossip and bearing false witness (claiming someone to be full of pride when they aren’t) is just horrible, but when it degrades others for their devout living, it is certainly one of the greater unloving acts we could commit against another. Sadly, many, unknown to themselves, are looking poorly upon others for their pious behaviors. This brochure can correct any false thinking involved with why women wear the veil and perhaps even inspire others, who are called, to participate in this act of love and humility.
3″ x 8.5″ brochure tri-z-fold 100lb glossy paper
Why we wear the VEIL
Why we wear the veil
Many people to have been encountering Catholic women now wearing a veil in church. This has always been a wonderful tradition in the Church. Although wearing a veil has been a tradition that seemed to be fading away, it is now making a comeback.
God created women as the lesser—not loved or valued less but under the command of her husband in God’s hierarchy of how life should be lived—because the “woman is the glory of man” (1 Corinthians 11:2) & “wives should be subordinate to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:22). During the times of Christ, it was seen as disrespectful and quite wrong of a woman, to be seen with her head uncovered; therefore, to honor both God and their husbands, all respectful women were covered all of the time.
St. Paul tells us, “any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil” (1 Corinthians 11:5-6).
St. Paul also tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So, a woman who desires to obey all of the Word will try to pray throughout her entire day. Which could be construed to mean that St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians 11:5-6, is stating that all women—who desire to obey the Word—must have their heads covered constantly, because St. Paul said “any woman who prays” will bring shame upon her head if it isn’t veiled. But is that really what St. Paul meant?
In this current day and age, the only women who wear veils continuously are nuns, Muslims, and perhaps Indians. Does this mean Saint Paul is telling women we must do something to our outward bodies—against tradition—to be pleasing and acceptable to Our Lord? Not at all.
St. Paul confirms, throughout the Word, that we most certainly don’t need to wear or do anything to be pleasing to God. It is our hearts that God reads. A veil is simply a piece of fabric. Is someone’s heart all of a sudden submissive and humble when they wear a veil? Of course not. A humble contrite heart is what God desires. (cf. Psalm 51:17). God reads our hearts, and wants a heart that is truly sorry for their offenses against Him.
When we show outward signs of our faith—such as wearing a veil—it is to help us grow in holiness, not because the outward gestures make us holy. All of the outward displays we make serve as no value if they don’t help purify our hearts and drive us to become a greater image of Christ. Saint Paul tells us to “circumcise our hearts” (cf. Romans 2:29). Circumcision in and of itself is of no value. Even though Saint Paul preached circumcision would not assist anyone in salvation, he circumcised Timothy since it could be seen as an insult to the Jews they were trying to convert, and he wanted to avoid any unnecessary offense (cf. Acts 16:3).
Therefore, if you’re attending a Latin Mass or visiting someone who strongly objects to a woman not being veiled, in order to show respect to traditions and the feelings of others—as well as to obey the laws and customs where you happen to be—wearing a veil in these circumstances would be a wonderful and correct gesture. Even though Saint Pope John Paul II changed Canon Law 6.1 n1 making veil wearing in church a personal choice instead of a law, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a wonderful act of humility.
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If that outward sign helps move someone into greater holiness—or if they believe it will inspire others to grow into greater humility—then wearing the veil is most wonderful.
Sadly, many think the women wearing veils are trying to declare they are somehow holier than the rest, which is a horrible judgement to make upon anyone who is performing an act of piety. Whether someone is publicly praying or praying the Rosary, reading the Bible, wearing a veil, kneeling to receive Holy Communion—or performing any pious act in front of another—their actions should never be judged as if they are driven from pride, looking for attention, or for the sake of praise. Judging others’ actions is an abomination against loving our neighbor. We should choose to view their actions as a wonderful sign of their devotion, and pray for them to grow even holier from their efforts.
When God instructed us to not perform deeds of righteousness in front of others, He didn’t say that so we might judge the actions of others, but so we could look into ourselves to see if our intentions are for the love of God or for the praise of man. Unfortunately, sometimes jealously or pride takes over and we look at others negatively, while ignoring our unloving behavior which is wounding Our Lord’s Sacred Heart.
Then there are those who look at the woman not wearing the veil or kneeling before receiving the Lord in Holy Communion, and judge her as unholy and disrespectful. However, God is not judging her outward gestures; He is looking into her heart. Perhaps she is in deep, humble prayer and preparing her soul to receive the Lord, and is concerned about the additional attention that wearing a veil or kneeing would bring.
We are called to not rashly judge—focus on why others are doing what they are doing—especially if they are seen as gestures of righteousness. We are called to focus on ourselves and what we can do to become a greater image of Our Lord to others. If wearing a veil helps to bring a woman closer to God, draws her into greater submission with her husband, aids her in stopping to complain when her husband doesn’t comply with her will, assists her in joyfully getting up to serve her spouse—expect nothing in return, etc., then wearing the veil is a wonderful act of love and humility. However, if someone does not feel called to wear the veil, and sees it as a detriment to their faith development, then there is no sin in that either.