Veiling: A Lenten Sacrifice You May Not Have Considered

What are you planning to ‘give up’ for Lent? Perhaps this year you are planning to give up social media…but why not take your Lenten sacrifice one step further with and begin uprooting vanity with – the chapel veil?


How often do you do something so that you may receive the praise of others, or at least their approval? On the other hand, how often do you do something simply and solely to please God, despite what others may think?

The saints teach us about the importance of a pure intention, and also warn us of the evil of vanity and pride:

“Without love, even the most brilliant deeds count as nothing,” (1) St. Therese of Lisieux said. St. Augustine of Hippo, the great theologian and doctor of the Church, states the evil of vanity clearly: “Lord, he who would be praised for Thy gifts and seeks not Thy glory but his own in the good he does is a robber; he is like the devil himself, who endeavoured to rob Thee of Thy glory.” (2) – terrible words, but true, for all has come to us from God, and all glory and praise belong to Him alone. And when, by our vainglorious deeds, we seek as it were to rob God of his glory, we consequently rob ourselves of the merit we might have gained had our actions been done purely to please God.


When we veil at Mass, we are acknowledging the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and our desire to submit ourselves to His will and unite ourselves to Him. We acknowledge the greatness of God in His boundless love, and humble ourselves in His presence. Though this action is very good, many women are held back out of the fear of appearing ‘holier-than-thou’. It is very difficult to do something when we fear that others will misinterpret our actions. But this is exactly how veiling at Mass can help us to overcome vanity- by doing something purely for love of God.


(1). Story of a Soul, chapter VIII.
(2). Quoted in The Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues by Alphonsus Rodriguez, p. 117-118.

One comment

  1. This is beautiful – I’ve never heard veiling linked before to an avoidance of vanity…some food for thought there.


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