KJN had a great post yesterday about her decision to start wearing a chapel veil. Apparently she has done so in the past, but was shamed out of it by some helpful and progressive souls.
For me it's not about whether or not a woman ought to wear a chapel veil. Nobody wears such thing where I serve. Not even the religious sisters I know and work with wear veils!
For me the story spoke to how we use our labels and factions in the catholic church to tear each other down. When we see someone praying in a certain way we put a label on him or her. And we have a host of labels: liberal, conservative, progressive, neo-con, restorationist, radical, traditionalist. And by these labels we are tricked into ignoring the simple fact that the person we are labeling is praying at all and struggling to express some devotion to God.
What would I say in my heart if I saw a woman wearing a chapel veil? Would I think, "Oh my, this one is a traditionalist!" or, "Well, here's someone who has internalized the patriarchal culture of oppressing women!"
Or perhaps would I see someone who was trying, in her own way, to express her reverence and devotion for our Lord? Even if it isn't what I would do, do I take up the challenge of seeing the grace of God in her devotion, or do I dismiss her with a label?
The devil uses these handy labels to help us to dismiss each other, so that we might not see the grace of God, especially if it's a grace that we don't understand or wouldn't want for ourselves.
Just for the record, people make fun of me for wearing a zucchetto.