I used to wear a mantilla to mass more often than not.
And then I stopped. For a variety of reasons.
I wear a mantilla nowadays every now and then.
Tonight was a then.
Candlemas. Mass in the Extraordinary Form. And as I climbed out of the car, late, rushed from work, sweating unladylike in the heat, wearing a short skirt and pink pigtails…well, in that one second something nudged me and I reached into the glovebox of the car and grabbed my black mantilla.
Wearing the mantilla in mass reminded me of why I used to enjoy the wearing of the mantilla….I felt like my eyes were forced to concentrate on Our Lord, on Holy Mass…and not on shoes ( my far too often mass preoccupation) ..
Another case of those externals helping the internal..the internal disposition to prayer.
Of course, who knows when I will wear a mantilla again. God forbid that I become a mantilla policeman, making rules for myself, sticks with which to beat myself.
But the mantilla was a reminder, an encouragement tonight.
Sometimes, I deal with sour expressions, usually on other women, when they see me with my veil. I have a method for dealing with this: smile, nod and acknowledge them quietly “hello”. The smile you wear underneath the veil goes a long way towards placating those who think the veil is a throwback to some legendary era when women were slaves. Why veil