Monday, March 07, 2011

Doing More for Lent

Today is the feast day of Saints Perpetua & Felicity (martyrs).  Saint Perpetua not only had a nursing child, but was also pregnant when she was condemnd to death for her faith. She was martyred two days after giving birth to a baby girl. How scary it must have been, not only to face wild animals in the arena, but to leave your very young children in the hands of others to die for your faith. She is quoted to have said, "Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am -- a Christian."

How powerful is that statement?

Can our friends and acquaintances say that about us? If you were to be condemned for being a Christian, is their enough evidence against you?

This Lent, I have decided to forgo our normal homeschooling curriculum for one devoted solely to Lent and deepening our faith as a family. The 4 main sources I am gleaning from

The Lent - Easter Book

The BIG Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions

Catholic Icing

The Catholic Toolbox

Plus several other sites. There is no lack of information, crafts, activities, etc.. out there for me to look for. I really have to try to not get so excited and look at everything. LOL

Lent is a special time for Catholics. It calls us to prayerful reflection, penance, fasting, and almsgiving. Joe and I want our children to live lives of faith. We are prayerfully hoping that by devoting our homeschooling time completely to Lent, we will help our boys turn their faith into action. Yes, our children are still very young, but instilling and growing faith while they are young will help them grow to the men of faith we pray they will become.

Matthew 19:14 but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Proverbs 22:6 "Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it."

(Quotes taken from the New American Bible)

For myself, I have been prayerfully considering what to do to deepen my faith more during Lent. For those that don't know me to terribly well, I will give a synopsis of the past few years. On Easter 2003, I converted to Catholicism. It was one of the biggest decisions of my adult life. I made the decision of my own free will, and basically against the wishes of my parents, friends, and coworkers. I was given no instruction on how to receive communion. We were told very quickly to just cup your hands, and then with one hand, remove Christ, and place on your tongue. In my heart, I knew that was wrong. I did a lot of research and learned how to properly receive on the tongue. I began doing that and you will never see me do anything else.

A year later, I heard an apologist speak and during his awesome talk, he mentioned women wearing headcoverings at Mass. This is due to 1 Corinthians Chapter 11, and Canon Law. Those that know me, know not to through down a gauntlet that you do not want thrown back at you with a massive amount of research done. I did the research, and did a lot of prayer. My heart had a revelation and I found myself confessing to my friend (my future husband), that I was being called to veil at Mass. How I received my first veil was also a calling. ALMOST identically to how God blessed me with my first rosary, he did the same for my veil. I was on lunch break, and was driving down Wade Hampton Blvd, when I was told to pull into an antiques store. I had never been there before, but did as my feeling told me to. I was lead immediately to a booth, and was lead to kneel down and find a box, and to dig through this box of scarves. There at the bottom, was a chapel veil (link is similar in style). I wore it on Good Friday. I went up to venerate the cross, and as I went back to my seat, I was OVERWHELMED by the scent of roses. Now everyone I have told that story to says "Oh! Saint Therese!!" I just smile and nod, but I know in my heart that it was our Blessed Mother giving me her nod of approval.

So that is why you will NEVER see me enter a Catholic church without a skirt/dress on and a headcovering on my head. I have many types of headcoverings. I have snoods, chapel veils, a titchel,  and a mennonite circular lace bun cover (image is similar, but mine is much smaller).

Here I am wearing a black, lace chapel veil at the baptism of our Joshua:

And here I am wearing a white, lace chapel veil at the baptism of our son, John-Michael. This veil is a veil I found in one of my mother's underbed drawers when we were dismantling the bed. She used it during the wedding of one of her cousins. It is currently my favorite veil (even if it is white - i.e. not traditional for married women).

When I was working at the Diocese of Charleston, I was called to veil at all times. Prehaps this was due to working so near to the Bishop, especially when I worked in his office. I was persecuted greatly for this act. It's amazing how when you do something so near to God's heart, satan will go to great lengths to stop you.

I did stop veiling full time when I left the Diocese. I was working for the Catholic Radio Association and was growing more and more pregnant by the day. There are very few covering women here in the Baptist Bible Belt. The only other women who are covered downtown are the Daughters of St. Paul. Since people were staring, I didn't want them to think I was a pregnant nun, so after some prayerful consideration, I stopped.

For lent this year, I am going to prayerfully take up headcovering full time again, instead of just part time. At Easter, Joe and I will reflect if this is something we will still continue. Along with covering full time, I will be praying the Liturgy of the Hours full time again as well. It is a practice that has gone by the wayside while raising two boys.

Please pray for my Lenten journey, and I shall pray for yours.


The Tucker's said...[Reply]

Your are a wonderful women that I am happy will be guiding me farther in my relationship with God. I will be praying for you and Joe's Jounrney as I know you will be praying for mine as well!

kewkew said...[Reply]

I saw that you had posted about the giveaway over at Beloved and wanted to stop by. I actually grew up Catholic and I don't believe I ever saw anyone wear a veil or covering (besides nuns) until I started attending a Mennonite church. I enjoyed reading your story.

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