I decided to wear purple, as it's the color of the Lenten season. I just happen to have the most beautiful new Ralph Lauren sweater in the most glorious shade of purple, a gift from my fourth son's girlfriend this Christmas, so I thought I'd pair it with a simple black skirt.
Skirt: TJ Maxx
Belt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: JC Penney
Miraculous Medal: a 1998 Mother's Day gift from the best husband on earth
|Belt detail: isn't this pretty?|
|(Veil from Veils by Lily.)|
All that being said, I realize that there is nothing wrong with entering a Catholic church bare-headed, and I certainly don't judge those who do. I've gotten somewhat comfortable wearing a veil at Mass in my own parish church, where I know people are used to seeing it; but it is often an exercise in mortification for me when I'm other places. For instance, this past fall my husband and I were out at Notre Dame for a football weekend, where we attended Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Afterwards, we went behind the altar to look at the collection of saints' relics housed there, and were shocked to run into a woman who had been my husband's girlfriend in junior high school. She'd attended the same high school we did for one year, and then she'd moved away. This girl was smarter than I was (she always had the second-highest grades in the class, behind my husband) and prettier than I was (taller, better hair, better figure--you name it); yet somehow, I'd won my husband's heart and we began dating the summer after freshman year.
Well, there we were, standing within sight of the Blessed Sacrament, seeing this woman (whose son, unbeknownst to us, was a year behind our youngest son out at ND) for the first time in about 40 years. And there I was, in my black lace veil, suddenly wishing I could just rip it off my head and look like a "normal" person. I'm sure I was blushing. It was as if I was an awkward, shy high school freshman again, with a serious lack of self-confidence, instead of the happily married mother of five grown sons (and a grandmother to boot!) that I was.
When I told my husband later that I really wished we'd run into his old girlfriend outside of the church, so I could have removed my veil, he didn't miss a beat. "I was proud of you!" he said.
With a support system like that behind me, I will probably continue to have the confidence needed to wear my veil each Sunday for Mass. I think St. Paul would approve of the way that husband of mine loves his wife!
(Hmmm...Looking at the picture again, I think I might have made a mistake with the shoes. Maybe all-black would have looked better. What say you?)