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May 7, 2019

Chapel Veils, Free Will, and Methods for Preventing Pregnancy

Fr. Josh Johnson

Today Fr. Josh answers questions about women wearing chapel veils at Mass, what to do with our God-given freedom, and whether certain methods for preventing pregnancy are permissible during times of fertility.

If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

Snippet from the Show

“Why do some women wear a veil? When a woman veils herself in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord, it’s a visible reminder of our spousal relationship, the bridal relationship between Christ and the Church.”

SHOWNOTES

Glory Story (1:26)

Fr. Josh went to visit St. Joseph’s Seminary in Abbey College (where he went to seminary for four years). He spent time with the Lord in the woods and as it started getting darker, he began to hear weird noises.

Listener Feedback (4:48)

Free Will (9:47)

Dear Father Josh, Thanks for your prayerful, joyful advice – it’s been very helpful for me. I especially enjoy when you hum and sing songs from random words you read off because if you didn’t I probably would – except without sounding as good! I wanted to comment on a previous topic & bring up a new one.

I found myself agreeing with your response about the need to make our churches more “inclusive” not in a cheap way but a meaningful way that opens even wider the gates to holiness! I was thinking about how so many of my married friends were inspired and encouraged by the canonization of saints like St. Gianna Molla and Louis and Zelie (parents of St. Therese). Although the Church teaches that marriage is also a path to holiness, not just celibacy for the Kingdom, it is a whole other level of encouragement and hope when you see brothers and sisters in your state of life joining the cloud of witnesses – it takes away a sneaking (maybe even subconscious lurking doubt) that maybe it’s almost impossible. In the same way, although I am Indian, seeing your style which is a different flavor than many other great Catholic speakers made me breathe a little easier and feel relaxed. I hadn’t even noticed that I didn’t totally identify with the style of many other Catholic speakers because I was busy being edified by their content. I realize that for whatever reason I was somewhat associating being a good Catholic with certain cultural quirks or perhaps doubtful that I can enjoy random stuff like Lauryn Hill. So thank you for being you!

Now for my question. For over a decade of my Christian life I had been trying to focus a lot on building virtues, and trusting in Jesus. Recently, in addition to both of those, through another season of renewal in the Spirit, I am realizing that Jesus also trusts ME! I know this is true not only through my personal prayer but also in that He made me (and all of us) free, the Church affirms this, and Jesus makes it plain in the Scriptures. For me, this new life of freedom has been, to be honest, kind of discombobulating! I am not just called to avoid sin but to be free to co-create with Him. Although this has brought me much joy, I am also realizing I kind of don’t even know what to do with this beautiful, true freedom. The poem about the ‘Grand Inquisitor’ by Dostoevsky has taken on a whole other meaning for me all of a sudden. I noticed that the introduction of your podcast respects your listeners’ interior freedom and you seem to have a generous amount yourself so I thought I’ll ask you: Could you share some insights on how to welcome our God-given freedom to love, to rejoice and live deeply?

-Simi

Chapel Veils (24:17)

Dear Fr Josh, I have been meaning to send you a message much sooner. I am happy that I finally got around to it now! I am quite new to the church, in fact I will be confirmed next week at the Easter Vigil. I was lucky enough to attend my first Latin Mass in Port Elizabeth in South Africa. I wore my veil to this mass and I absolutely loved the feeling of being hidden and humbled in front of our Lord. Although, last year we travelled to Portugal and I attended a Latin Mass there in Lisbon, but I did not have my veil with me and was dressed quite “sporty”. We happened to be just visiting the area, so I could not go home and get my veil or change. I felt out of place amongst all the other women. They were all dressed so modestly and had their heads covered. It was a beautiful sight to see.  Ever since I first wore my veil back in South Africa, I have had the urge to keep wearing it. I am not sure if God is calling me to wear my veil to an ordinary mass as we do not have mass in the extraordinary form in Namibia.

But I just can’t help but feel that God is God whether it’s extraordinary or ordinary mass. I often look at Mary, our Mother and observe how she always wore a veil. She has been a big part in my conversion to Catholicism. Another thought that keeps me awake at night is a quote I read by a devout Catholic man. He said that he was envious of women. For they can humble themselves in public by covering their heads. They can show their reverence for Jesus present in the Eucharist by putting on a veil. Although, most people I have spoken to told me that it is old fashioned and not necessary. Someone mentioned that it would be more distracting in mass for others than anything else. My question is, are they right? As I will be the only person in my town who will be wearing a veil. Thank you Father for taking the time to help me with this. Have a blessed day, father.

New to the Faith

Methods for Preventing Pregnancy (31:18)

Hey Father Josh, I first off would like to tell you how much I love your podcast, my husband and I listen every week. I love how you keep it real, and how you truly care. You are a blessing , more than you know.

I am writing to you in the hopes that you can explain something to me in a way that I can understand and accept. A bit of back story, I am a cradle Catholic who was away from the church for many years- college through my early 30’s.  Getting married and having 3 beautiful children brought me home to Jesus and I am now so excited to reconnect with my faith. I am totally on board with pretty much everything the Church teaches, except one: the Church’s teaching on birth control . Here’s the thing: I do understand why things like the pill, condoms, etc are wrong. My husband and I stopped using any form of artificial birth control about a year ago. I started looking in to NFP, but felt the classes were more geared toward newly married/engaged couples. It was really overwhelming. My husband and I have been married 10 years, and he really doesn’t see why using the withdrawal method is wrong.

Can you please explain to me why that method of family planning is worse than NFP? Both are used to plan/time pregnancies. Both have the possibility of life. I am turning 40 this year (Yikes!) and my husband just turned 50. We are not at a phase in our lives to be having more babies. We want to follow mother church, but the whole process of learning NFP is intimidating. Most of our peers are either on birth control, or have had procedures done such as vasectomies.

Is the withdrawal method really so wrong? I feel we are united, we are connected, and the possibility of life is still here. Please explain this to me in a way I can understand. Thank you so much for all you do, we keep you in our prayers. Peace.

-Anonymous

Universal Points (37:38)

(Please note that these are brief summaries of the answers Fr. Josh provides in the podcast and are intended to help you remember the advice given on the show.)

Today’s ONE Overarching Universal Point: Freedom in Christ brings joy! As long as we follow the commands of the Lord, he wants us to be free, wild, fun, creative, quiet, and to be ourselves. So be free and be the saint that God is calling you to be.

Resources

Want to browse the previous resources Fr. Josh has recommended? Click here to select an episode and view the shownotes.

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