ways to prepare this advent//3 ways

A little late with this, but there’s still ample time to prepare. I just stumbled upon this infographic from Our Sunday Visitor with great ideas to do with your family.

From Our Sunday Visitor

I don’t have children, but I’m super excited to implement these things into my future family’s way of preparing for Christmas during Advent. For now, I took to seek some inspiration not only from this graphic, but from Pope Francis’s words from earlier today regarding his appeal to end global hunger (read more about it here).

idea #1//blessing bags

One thing I’m going to try this Advent is something called blessing bags. These are simply plastic Ziploc bags that you keep in your car to pass out to those you see who may need it while you’re out and about. There are many variations of these all over the internet, but I’ve come up with my own ideas on what want to put in them. I plan to put some travel sized toiletries like toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, a toothbrush, tissues. Maybe a protein bar or some other non-perishable food item. I’d also like to put in a pair of gloves or socks. I really love this idea and can’t wait to go to the store tomorrow to pick these items up!

idea #2//go to confession

I was once asked by a priest, “If our Blessed Mother told you to do something, would you do it?” I without any hesitation said, “Of course!” He then proceeded to tell me that though the Catholic church requires one to go to confession at minimum once a year, Our Blessed Mother asks that we go once a month. I know, weeks fly by and before you know it, it’s been a couple of months or more since you’ve received the sacrament. What better time than now to truly prepare the way for the Lord into your heart by going to confession? Many times, I start to  feel weighed down and sad… then I know it’s been too long! If you’d like to find out when a parish near you is offering confession, go here and type in your zip code. A little inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas which really hits the nail on the head for me:

In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.
–St. Thomas Aquinas

idea #3//set a daily goal of forgiveness

This one is especially hard for me. When I find myself struggling to let go of something, I remember one line from the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That really gets to me! I have to show forgiveness to others as I would want the Lord to show to me. To better prepare for Christ’s birth, I’m making a daily goal to really focus on showing grace and mercy to everyone in my life; even when they hurt me. This is something I hope to carry on permanently, but… baby steps! I feel like it’s a great time to really begin a focus on this because if it wasn’t for the birth of Jesus, I would not have the opportunity to be forgiven in the first place.

Murillo: The Return of the Prodigal Son

Those are the 3 things I’m going to try this Advent. What are you trying? Anything new or old you are implementing into your life this Advent?

December 8- Wear the Veil day!

Photo from Veils by Lily

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to start wearing a mantilla/veil at mass. Coincidentally, I just found out today that tomorrow is a global Wear the Veil day! Hearing this made me super excited. Women wearing  a veil at mass has become a little controversial. Gerard’s mom started wearing veil over a year ago and I’ve heard her say people have asked her if she wears it for attention or why she wants to support women being submissive to men in the Church (see: Women and being submissive).  So far, I haven’t experienced anything like this, but I don’t doubt I will one day.

Unfortunately, this beautiful act of reverence has been misconstrued to be something bad and demeaning. I actually wanted to write a post on my experience with wearing a veil after I had been doing it for a while, but with tomorrow being wear the veil day, I think it’s appropriate to touch on the subject.

Though women wearing a head covering was explicitly required according to the 1917 Code of Canon Law (see Canon 1262), it is no longer a requirement according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law which is what is being used now.  I personally feel like it is  great opportunity to humble myself before the Lord and to outwardly show my reverence for Lord as He is truly present. It also helps me to remember that when I go to receive Jesus’s Body and Precious Blood, I am participating in a wedding and walking up to receive my groom. Lately, I’ve found myself to become very distracted with those around me at mass, so when I pull it up really high on my head, it falls down right beside my eyes… I think of it as my little blinders! 🙂

Wearing a veil isn’t the only way to show this reverence.  A woman just simply needs to cover her head. I’ve seen some YouTube videos of women simply pulling a scarf over their head or a hat when they enter a church and participate in mass. A man should not wear a hat in church, but a woman can if she chooses. It doesn’t have to be anything as intricate or fancy as a lace veil. I’ll admit that because it’s so new to me, I do feel nervous to put it on. I have to remember that I’m not doing it for anyone else, and it really doesn’t matter what the other parishioners at my church think of me. 

If you are interested in wearing a veil or mantilla, I invite you to do so! Or if you’d like to use something else to cover your head, that’s great too! Especially tomorrow, know that you won’t be alone. If you’d like a recommendation for a place to purchase veils, I recommend Veils by Lily. I’m very happy with the veil I ordered from her a few weeks back. 

Here’s a short video about Wear the Veil day that I really enjoyed. Please note that though it is expected for women to cover their head at the Extraordinary form of the mass (the Latin mass), it is not required, just as it is not required for the Ordinary form of mass.

So tell me, what do you think about covering your head in church? Is this something you’d be interested in trying? If you already veil, how do you like it?