So last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Maronite mass with my family (and if you ever get a chance to go to Maronite mass take it! Pope John XXIII agrees with me he even said “The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church” 🙂 ) and one of the things I love most about Maronite mass is the church itself. Anyone who says that building churches is a waste of money, has never been in a church that takes your breath away and makes you say “there must be a God for something as beautiful as this building to be inspired”! Anyway one of my favorite features of the church isn’t the breathtaking icon of Jesus in the overhead dome, nor the nod to our Jewish ancestors through the candles and decor nor the amazing vestments that are truly works of art themselves, but is the veil that separates the tabernacle from the rest of the Church.
It is beautiful and mysterious and a sign of a pure virgin. Let me explain. This veil is the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen. It literally takes my breath away. It shows that there is something treasured behind it. That whatever is behind this veil should be treated with reverence, respected and adored. And you know the only thing that can unveil this great mystery? I’ll give you one guess. It starts with an s and ends with acrament. It’s a Sacrament.
Only in the sacrament of the Eucharist, where the priest pledges his entire self completely and fully to the Church. She, the Church, is then able to be unveiled only in the presence of God and through this amazing sacrament! Do you see the correlation between this and the sacrament of marriage? It’s soooo exciting! See the bride, the woman, is the Church! She comes down the aisle typically wearing a veil to meet her bridegroom, Christ/the priest.( Btw it is also so significant that the veil only opens to receive the body of Christ in the Eucharist! )Anyway so we see a bride coming down the aisle to receive the groom. And she is only unveiled through the sacrament of marriage. Her and her body can only be unveiled after this sacrament because it is so worthy, esteemed and beautiful. And that is when she accepts the man’s body as the Church accepts Christ.
It is really like the coronation of a queen. The same amount of magnificence and esteem should be obtained in this moment! It is so beautiful and the glory of God is revealed. This is why every woman should want to remain a virgin because her body can only be revealed in a sacrament, where a man must pledge everything to her in love. Because in both the sacrament of marriage and in an even more perfect sense in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we experience the culmination of love. Nothing less than this great, royal and mystical unveiling should be accepted because if we truly knew how much we were worth, if we truly understood what was happening at the Eucharist and every mass during the moment when the tabernacle is unveiled we would understand that nothing less should be expected for the tabernacles of our bodies!
So women of this earth I challenge you to wear your veil of virginity with regality because it is truly the most beautiful thing on this earth. You are a tabernacle and every time you go to mass, Jesus himself is showing you how much you are worth by showing that you should only be unveiled in sacramental love, a love that is of complete self, a love that transcends time and is perfect because it is from God. Because it is total, faithful, fruitful and free!