On the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2019, the last day of my 33 Days to Morning Glory (a do it yourself retreat ), I wore a veil for the first time.
“Veiling is not for me”, I always say this whenever I see my friends who are wearing veils at mass. Veiling is extremely out of my character. Veils are for the prim and proper women who look modest and gentle. It is just so hard for me to imagine that a woman who is loud and boisterous will be wearing a veil. Veiling is for every inch of a woman that I am not.
My journey to veiling is a long and gradual discovery. It started when I fully understand and embraced that it is Christ I receive at mass. Then in 2017, I fell in love with the Eucharist when it dawned on me that the Christ’s I receive, sacrificed His entire self fully for me. In 2018, a friend made me fall in love with the Eucharist in a romantic way when she explained why she dress up on Sunday. To her, she renews her vow to Christ every time she receives Him at mass. It’s like getting married every week!
Had I not intimately fell in love with the Eucharist, never will I ever decide to veil.
My 33 Days to Morning Glory was a journey. I started the retreat because I wanted to have a relationship with Mother Mary (this is worth another blog post). A few days before my retreat ended, I strongly felt God calling me to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary.
“Totus tuus… A Latin phrase meaning, totally yours. This phrase kept running in my head.
TOTALLY YOURS. It was Mother Mary’s declaration when she said Yes to be the Mother of Jesus, a complete abandon to the will of God. It was not a half-hearted yes. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) is Totus tuus… She is totally God’s.
Mother Mary fully understands who she is and to whom she completely belongs. How is it related to my decision to wear a veil? Wearing a veil reminds me of who I am and to whom I belong. I am flawed, sinful, weak yet loved fully by God. I belong to Christ who sacrificed himself fully so I will be saved despite the many things that make me unworthy.
I am far from the attributes of Mary but wearing a veil reminds me of the truth about myself: I belong to God.
December 8 is a significant day for me because it is the day that changed the course of my journey (know the reason why in this blog post). Through the years, I came to accept that I can never go back to who I was before December 8. The brokenness and the trauma left an indelible mark in me that eventually formed my character. It’s been more than two decades but December 8 still has the power of making me feel the longing and the emptiness of that day I lost my father. When I wore a veil for the first time at mass on December 8, I heard God telling me “You belong to me”. It was a day of reclaiming my identity; even the bad and the ugly part of me belongs to God. God wanted to be part of me every day, even the saddest day of my year.
I believe that God, who is ever romantic, orchestrated everything so I will be wearing a veil on December 8 at my friend’s wedding. Wearing a veil for the first time at a wedding, may sound spiritually romantic… but I’m telling you, it was very AWKWARD! But then, after I received the Holy Communion, when I kneeled down and pray, I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. I received Christ, the lover of my soul in a white dress (it was the wedding’s motif) in full makeup, with a head covered with a veil. (No, with the makeup on and a white dress, I am not going to be a nun haha!) I now fully understand what my friend told me when she said, “Every time I receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I am renewing my vow to Him. I don’t need to wait for my wedding day to say my vow.”
On that mass, my vow was said in two words – Totus tuus.
“Totus tuus… Totally yours.” This was Jesus’ covenant when He died on that cross for me. The veil that covers my head is a reminder of my “Totus tuus…” – consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary. To consecrate myself to God is who I am and who I am meant to be.
It’s been more than a month since I started wearing a veil. I still struggle and feel uncomfortable sometimes, especially when I am surrounded by friends who looked surprised to see me wearing a veil. I can’t blame them, it is just so out of my character. But the veil that covers my head is helping me to set my eyes to no one but God alone. To be honest, I am pressured not to doze off or check my phone, to wear modest clothes – cause what’s the point of veiling if I don’t look modest?
Before I started wearing a veil, I isolated myself from women who wear veils. I honestly feel less holy ( very superficial, I know), cause I definitely cannot do what they are doing. But I realized now, the women who are wearing veils have reasons why they do so. I now understand that a woman who is wearing a veil has her version of “Why I am Wearing a Veil Story”.
When you see me wearing a veil at mass, please include me in your prayer. If the veil made me look holier than thou, it’s the other way around. I am wearing a veil so I can fix my eyes to Christ even just for an hour because I am a struggling daughter of God who needs to be reminded every day to give herself fully to her Father, like how Mother Mary consecrated herself to God. I am a struggling follower of Christ, begging Mother Mary to intercede for me that I may be closer to who God desired me to be.
‘I am all yours, and all that I have is yours, O most loving Jesus, through Mary, your most holy Mother’ – St. Louis Marie
PS: I am still loud and laugh my heart out before and after mass. It’s the truth about myself. So if you feel that veiling is out of your character, there are no qualifications to meet before you can wear a veil. Like any sacramental, if you think wearing a veil can help you in worshipping God, you go, girl! But it doesn’t make you less faithful nor less devoted if you don’t wear a veil. God knows what the human eyes can’t see. But don’t wear a veil because your friends are wearing it, it’s something you should pray about so God can lead you to your version of “WHY I am wearing a veil story”
A Catholic Lay Missionary who travels the world to share her story with God. She believes that life in Christ is a beautiful adventure.