Today was another gorgeous summer's day - brilliant blue skies filled with soft cotton-candy clouds. I attended Mass at my "other" parish, which is to say it's straight-up Novus Ordo and hold the felt banners.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I do wear a head covering even at a Novus Ordo Mass. I was convicted about this when I read about another Catholic woman doing the same thing. (Forgive me, I have forgotten the blog's name.) She usually attended the Traditional Latin Mass but one day had to attend a regular NO. She concluded that covering her head for one type of celebration while not another was rather inconsistent with the purpose of the headcovering. So, she wore her mantilla to the Novus Ordo.
I pondered that one. I realized God was presenting me with an interesting challenge. It had taken me years to finally be open to embracing this teaching from 1 Corinthians 11. I was able to finally joyfully offer this up to God in worship when I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass on my own. It felt very right to me to do so and I was encouraged to see younger women embracing this practice.
But in a "regular" Mass? Despite being a little hesitant, I decided to do it. However, instead of wearing the mantilla draped across my head, I tie it in a little scarf. Today I tucked the end in the back to create a snood-like effect. I liked the look.
What does it do for me? I can't speak for my other headcovering sisters, but will share my own experience. It humbles me before the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 11, a covered woman honors her husband and clearly sends a message that she understands the hierarchical authority that God has ordained. Even though I was the only woman in a congregation of almost 500 with her head covered, I didn't regret it for one nano-second.
I don't cover my head for anyone's approval. I cover it because I am convicted by 1 Corinthians 11 and it is a sign to God that I'm giving obedience some thought and effort. When my head is covered, it is as though it is an intimate veil that reminds my spirit we are now on holy ground. Distracting thoughts do flit about my head, but the veil usually keeps me focused. Sometimes I'll say inwardly, "I'm not here to think about this right now. I'm hear to focus on God." My headcovering is like the lines of a highway - it keeps me on track.
It also softens me. Now some who are my acquaintances may say I'm pretty soft already, but my husband could tell you a different story. After all, the man lives with me and sees me in my good as well as not-so-good moments. When I wear a headcovering, it challenges me to reach a little higher, persevere a little longer, and give a little more. Those who wear headcoverings are already attracting attention, and much of it is critical. When you know eyes are upon you, it is certainly a strong deterrent for un-Christlike behavior. (I need to say this is exactly why my car doesn't have any Christian bumper stickers. I still drive like an idiot and I certainly don't want God to get the blame for that one.)
One thing I have noticed is a subtle appreciation from men. I know they understand the submission to Scripture in wearing a headcovering. I'm not sure though, if they understand how it breaks a woman's pride to do so. Maybe they do. All I know is that we humans are a prideful bunch. God breaks the pride of man in many ways. For women, the headcovering is part of that breaking.
But it is such a good breaking! Because only after we have fully submitted ourselves to the Potter's hands can He create anything useful of us. Being pliable is part of the process.
So this is how wearing a headcovering has affected me. I've been doing it now for four months and I feel just as passionate about it, if not more so. I know it's not an easy decision for a woman to do, but I would like to ask any woman who has questions about it to pray and ask God for understanding. I admit I'm pretty hard-headed when it comes to obedience and many times, have said grudgingly to God, "Well, okay...if You insist...I guess I'll try it." (Like I'm doing Him a favor. Yeesh!)
But thank God that He is so loving and patient with us! His generosity knows no bounds! Whenever I've given Him just a fraction of willingness, He quickly releases so much grace to not only embrace what He has called me to do, but the very passion to do it - that I can only bow before Him; humbled and shocked that He still puts up with me.
Our Heavenly Father is like that. Totally committed to shaping us into the likeness of His Son. Isn't that just the most incredible thing in the world?
I hope you had a very blessed Sunday and loved on Jesus in a big way. :-)