Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 things I love about practicing my faith

I'm linking up Micaela with 3 Reasons I love our Catholic Faith.
1. Gestures
One can spot a Catholic by the gestures we make. Gestures help us live our faith through everyday thoughts and actions, witnessing the truths of Christ in all we say and do.

Making the sign of the cross when beginning prayer- outwardly professing beliefs in the Holy Trinity and Christ's triumph over death;
Genuflecting in front of the tabernacle in church- respect due to the King of Kings;
Making the sign of the cross when passing a Catholic Church- acknowledging Christ's presence;
The three small crosses we make at the beginning of the Gospel reading: Jesus' words be in my thoughts, on my lips and in my heart.
Right now, I'm enjoying watching my three year old work on getting it right on making the sign of the cross. She starts off right, but goes straight to the shoulders, back and forth. So cute. Why does it pull at my heart?

2. Veiling
I have been wearing a veil to Mass on and off for over fourteen years, first re-introduced to it at The Grotto in Detroit. I remember wearing veils, or even the occasional handkerchief, from my early childhood, and was so happy to see it a custom again.
Sometimes I do not like veiling, mostly when it isn't the custom of a church we are attending, and I feel all eyes on us. I do not like to be center of attention and a possible distraction to others.
I have received wonderful comments from people about memories of their mother wearing veils, or how they think it is a beautiful sign of respect. I have not received a negative comment about it, so I know it's wrong to assume what another may be thinking. When I wear mine, I do not think I am better, or more modest, or a paradigm of anything. 
I know I need to practice humility and modesty, and share the idea with my children that going into a church is different that going anywhere else. Jesus is truly present, we owe our King of kings this highest respect in our dress, our behavior especially when present in His House. I have found wearing a veil helps center my thoughts, dress and behavior this direction.
It is also fun and a very feminine exercise to shop for veils, seeing what size, color and weight is comfortable and less of a distraction in mass. Once a comfortable veil is found, I think it does help focus our attention forward in Mass.
1 Corinthians Chapter 11:1-10 
Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.  Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head.  But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.
 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head.  The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.  For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.  Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.
For what it is worth, I don't force my girls to wear a veil. I own a few of different colors and sizes, and they know they are welcome to use them. Our parish has a box in the vestibule with veils for anyone who wants to borrow one. My two little girls like the idea, but take their off usually midway through. We discuss the reasons why they might want to wear one, we discuss modesty at mass and modesty out in the world. I believe it to be a very personal decision whether or not to wear a veil, if you are interested in looking:
Here are a couple fun places to shop for veils:
Rosa Mystica Mantilla
Veils By Lily
Headcoverings by Devorah
also check ebay for cool finds

3. Having Saint friends

Saint Apollonia      Feast day February 9, martyr in 249 AD
I met Saint Apollonia when on a search for a good dentist when my 15 month old Molly had her baby teeth eroding out of her mouth as fast as the teeth emerged. I was in a panic, and not happy with any dental advice I received about what to do for her.

Because of the frequency of dental issues in my family, Saint Apollonia and I are great friends. She has comforted my fears and been an advocate to me in my desperation and worries. When I was sitting in the dental chair this week, I thought of her, how she suffered a martyr's death, with one of the torments she endured was to have her teeth knocked out of her mouth.

I receive anesthetic, she didn't. The dentist is improving my teeth, not leaving me wounded, on the way to my death. Oh, thinking of her faith and bravery shames me. Except, as all good friends, I know she understands my fear, and is happy to be assistance for me.
Saint Apollonia, pray for us.


  1. Beautiful, Mary, yes to all of the above!

  2. Mary, once again you knocked it out of the park. My two littlest still fudge the sign of the cross, and it's just the sweetest thing. Recently I had a priest tell me that when we do the sign of the cross, we are putting on Christ's armor. Do it slowly and with intention, so the evil one knows what's coming. We are chivalrous and give him warning, but we will not be overcome. It gave me chills and I think of it every time I cross myself now.

    As for veils, I too think they're beautiful. Once last year I wore one to a Korean Mass, where about half the women (young and old) veil. I was pretty self-conscious, but I think maybe it was because it was just a scarf, and a brightly colored one at that. I'd like to try it again.

    St. Apollonia, pray for us! (We need it!)