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http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/2007/06/...-test.html

  This blog article is a couple of years old but I do think it has a valid point. This does not only apply to veils but to various other things, that although good in of themselves could lead to pride if done for the wrong reason. I have several friends who want to were a veil so I am trying to find out good articles and information on wearing them. I think it matters as it states in the article about the reasons for doing so. At first this article got me mad because I was not properly disposed to read it, but after several minutes I came to like it when I reflected on the fact that various saints took various penances in order to put themselves in a proper disposition

The Ugly Babushka Test  I

Posted by  Red Cardigan



Last week I waded into the thorny topic of modesty in dress. Never one to avoid controversy--at least in writing--I've decided this week to expand this discussion to another perennial favorite Catholic blogosphere topic: Should Women Cover their Heads at Mass?

Now, just to be clear, I think it's pretty well settled that there's no current canonical requirement for women to cover their heads at Mass (or, indeed, when present in a Catholic Church for reasons other than Mass attendance). Indeed, even people who generally support the idea of women covering their heads at Mass are very careful to be clear that this is no longer required. Both of these gentlemen are far more qualified to speak on the 'requirement' aspect than I am, but I do agree with their conclusions; not the least because, if women were truly somehow still required to cover their heads at Mass, then every single Catholic bishop in the entire world is being seriously remiss in his duty to remind them of that fact, and indeed, would be showing careless disregard for the souls of the women in his care, who would be objectively sinning each time they entered Church with an uncovered head. I recognize that some bishops in the recent past have been derelict in rather more serious matters; but I'd be unwilling to indite all of them on the charge of caring little for the salvation of the women in their flocks.

So, the answer to the question, should women cover their heads at Mass? is no, if we're speaking of requirements. But we may ask a different question: should a woman cover her head at Mass? and the answer will be, "Perhaps."

God invites each and every one of us to do things both great and small in His honor and for His glory; these things then tend to help us grow in grace and holiness. We may, for instance, decide to attend daily Mass if that's possible for us; we may pray the rosary daily, we may wear the scapular, or we may choose to take on one of the many pious devotions or practices that so greatly enrich the life of the members of the Church Militant. When we do these things with the right disposition and for the right motivations there's no limit to how greatly we may grow in holiness and faith.

Sadly, it is possible to do all of these things for the wrong reasons and with the wrong disposition, too. I can't stress too strongly that this should not become a point of scrupulosity; even if our reasons aren't the best God is still capable of working within us and through these pious practices regardless of our reasons for taking them on; but strictly as a matter of fact, we know we are as capable of doing good things for bad reasons as we are of doing bad ones for what we think are good reasons. For example, someone may decide to attend daily Mass solely in order to be able to brag about it at her homeschool group; someone else may pray the daily rosary under a misguided impression that this is the bare minimum daily prayer necessary for a serious Catholic; someone else may wear the scapular out of a kind of superstitious fear that not wearing one constitutes a one-way ticket to Hell. Again, God knows our weaknesses and works in spite of them to benefit us in ways we might not imagine when we begin some new devotional practice; but I think we please Him best when we do things for His glory and not our own.

Some time ago one of my daughters asked about the girls in Church who wore chapel veils. Why did they do this, and could she have one, too?

I explained the idea of women covering their heads in Church to her, and asked her if she wanted to participate in this act of devotion--but I further told her that hats were far more customary than lace veils, which many women merely kept in their purses in case they made an unscheduled stop at Mass on a day when they weren't wearing a hat. Did she want to wear a hat to Mass?

My then-young daughter's face fell, as she admitted that she wanted to wear a long, lacy veil to look like a beautiful princess, and not particularly as an act of reverence, respect, or sacrifice.

And that's when I came up with the Ugly Babushka Test.

It's hard, as a woman, to keep my motivations clear sometimes. Do I want to cook and serve one of my husband's favorite foods to please him, or as a prelude to discussing a furniture purchase? Do I complain about how busy I am to vent off some steam, or to make the kids feel guilty and volunteer to do more than their usual chores? Do I mention that I have a headache so my family will understand some occasional grumpiness, or as an excuse to be grumpy in the first place?

I know other women have shared their similar experiences and questions. So, if I start feeling drawn toward the idea of covering my head at Mass, how can I tell if I want to do it to honor God, or to turn the spotlight in some way on myself?

The Ugly Babushka Test settles that question once and for all. Here's how it works:

Go to a thrift store, vintage clothing shop, garage sale, fabric store (if you're not a M.I.S.C.R.E.A.N.T.) or the like. Buy the ugliest, least attractive large square scarf (in good condition) that you can find; or buy enough fabric in a color that is truly unattractive on you to make the scarf. Then, instead of a lovely chapel veil or a stylish hat, wear this scarf tied under your chin like a peasant woman to Sunday Mass, for several weeks. (I'm tempted to recommend doing this for an entire liturgical season, but I think it would be up to the individual woman to decide how long she needs to wear the Ugly Babushka.) If your motivations really are to cover your head as a sign of reverence for God, respect for His Church, and a humble spirit of self-sacrifice, then the Ugly Babushka fits the bill nicely (and in all probability, no one will know why you're wearing it, which will be an additional weapon against pride, the deadliest of sins). When you've worn it long enough, replacing it with a hat or veil will be a joyful thing to do!

Some might try to argue that God is only pleased with fine lace veils, but I think the spirit of sacrifice behind the babushka would please Him more than the finest of fine lace. The woman who passes the Ugly Babushka Test will have the serenity of knowing that her decision to cover her head is not based in the least on vanity or pride, and the hope of looking forward to replacing the babushka with something more appealing when God whispers to her that the time has come.

One of the reasons my head remains uncovered at Mass for the time being is that I have yet to pass the Ugly Babushka Test.

Nice post, and it all brings to mind a few Scriptural verses, straight from Christ's Mouth:

Matthew 23:23-28

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the law; judgment, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


Matthew 15:10-20

And having called together the multitudes unto him, He said to them: Hear ye and understand. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Then came His disciples, and said to Him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? But He answering them, said: Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.

And Peter answering, said to Him: Expound to us this parable.

But He said: Are you also yet without understanding? Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.



And as to that last, the converse is also true. "Whatsoever entereth into the mouth goeth into the belly and is cast out into the privy: - and can't "defile" a man or "make him virtuous." It's the HEART that counts: "but the things that proceedeth out out of the mouth, come from the heart, and those things defile a man" (or show his virtue). Wearing a mantilla, in itself, doesn't make you holy, but wearing one with humility shows that you are holy -- or en route to holiness, at least that you are willing to submit to the traditional teachings of the Church.

All of this goes back to "Conversion of the Heart."  It's our hearts, our motives, our will that we need to pay mind to when it comes to determining why we choose this over that, or approach something in a given way, when trying to figure out the right course of action. You could have a chapel or parish full of women veiled in gorgeous mantillas -- who proceed to meet up in the basement over donuts and gossip. Which is NOT to say that mantillas aren't wonderful and a very visual nice aspect of our visual Catholic culture, something that helps bind us together as a people in addition to living up to the Scriptural and traditional expecting that women cover their heads in church (I want to see them and babushkas and hats in every parish!). But anything done for the wrong reason might involve an action that's right in itself -- but which will do nothing in terms of virtue and making our hearts like His Heart.

This, to my mind, is the biggest lesson that needs to be focused on in "the trad world."

IMO, though, the woman should wear her mantilla anyway because of Tradition, while begging Christ for the humility to not wear it without consideration of her physical beauty, while praying she'd be able to wear an old cotton square scarf without worrying about what others think.




(04-08-2014, 03:12 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]IMO, though, the woman should wear her mantilla anyway because of Tradition, while begging Christ for the humility to not wear it without consideration of her physical beauty, while praying she'd be able to wear an old cotton square scarf without worrying about what others think.


I agree with Vox ! And I really feel that drawing attention to oneself during holy Mass, even for an ugly babushka test, is never a good thing (.........and wearing a scarf  as she described, certainly would. One could also go to the other extreme and wear a beautiful wedding veil, which I think would be every bit as embarrassing! As I said though, I don't think anything like that should be done at Mass).  I can think of other, more subtle ways to combat vanity, if one feels that doing what Vox suggested is not enough. Wear a veil, but do not wear any makeup. Or if plagued with vain thoughts, wear the veil grocery shopping....that one would be worthy of  a St. Phillip Neri penance!Wink  And speaking of penance, I think asking a good priest's advice on this one would always be a good idea.


~Kate
(04-08-2014, 10:07 AM)TheQueenMother Wrote: [ -> ]And I really feel that drawing attention to oneself during holy Mass, even for an ugly babushka test, is never a good thing (.........and wearing a scarf  as she described, certainly would.

I thought that too. It's almost a sin of pride to be able to wear such a monstrosity, if done with the right (or wrong) frame of heart. As in, "ha, ha look at me, I'm so not vain I can wear this ugly thing in public."

But especially if you do to a parish where headcovering is NOT the norm, any kind of veiling calls attention to oneself. I'm always unsure where to go with that.

[/quote]

I thought that too. It's almost a sin of pride to be able to wear such a monstrosity, if done with the right (or wrong) frame of heart. As in, "ha, ha look at me, I'm so not vain I can wear this ugly thing in public."

But especially if you do to a parish where headcovering is NOT the norm, any kind of veiling calls attention to oneself. I'm always unsure where to go with that.
[/quote]


We have always attended the TLM, where veiling is the norm, so I have never had to deal with really "sticking out", unless attending other family members weddings or funerals. And even then, if my memory serves correct, I have always opted to wear a veil.......and it was actually a sacrifice, because I hate feeling like I may be drawing attention to myself.................unfortunately though, in almost all of those circumstances there were much more distracting articles of apparel being worn, than my chapel veilsad As trad-Catholics there are many times when we look pretty singular to other fellow Catholics. It's true that this can be a temptation to pride.........but it can also feel like a horrible kind of martyrdom. It depends a lot, on one's temperament, I think. Should one genuflect at a N.O. church, where genuflection is no longer customary? How about kneeling for the consecration? Or receiving communion on the tongue? I know these are much more serious matters than veiling, but still. With all that I have read on veiling ( there is an excellent pamphlet, published  by Requiem Press, titled "The Chapel Veil, Symbol of the Spouse of Christ" written by Elizabeth Black, and Emily Griswold that immediately comes to mind.) I feel that it is important...........even at the risk of appearing a bit singular. And I think if the chapel veil is not of excessive size, and even close to one's natural hair color, it can really be pretty discrete.

Oh, yes. I also wanted to mention that I had to smile when I read what the babushka lady wrote about her daughter wanting to wear a veil like the other girls to look like a princess........or something like that. Ahhhh....that's nothing compared to First Communion day!! The white dress! The white gloves! The white veil! ~Can you tell I have been through this before?! Wink Should we not allow these anymore? Vanity is a universal problem with little girls, isn't it! (Or at least they aren't as good at hiding it as......ahem........we older ladies are. Not that I would know, from experience or anythingWink I think what is absolutely key, is explaining the symbolism of the veil.......just as one should explain the symbolism of the First Communion dress.( Helping them to keep the right perspective of all these things, and not allowing flashy, gaudy things to be worn to Mass that do not contain any symbolism, and serve only as a distraction is so important, I think. It will eventually sink in! And one's daughter will come to know all by herself that this certain ring or necklace is just "too distracting for Mass.)

Yes.Well. I guess I went on a bit of a rant, didn't I? I really do need to go and get my littlest down for her nap before I start sounding like a crazy babushka......or perhaps I already do......Wink

May God bless you,

Kate     
When I was a kid we had to wear these ugly brown plaid scarves that matched our ugly brown plaid school uniforms at every single school Mass. Before that, we had to wear ugly navy blue beanies. We were forced into being Babushkas for our entire childhood, which is why we loved getting "dressed up" on Sundays and wearing our frilly bonnets or lacy veils. Same reason we curled our hair. We wanted to look pretty.
(04-08-2014, 02:29 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: [ -> ]When I was a kid we had to wear these ugly brown plaid scarves that matched our ugly brown plaid school uniforms at every single school Mass. Before that, we had to wear ugly navy blue beanies. We were forced into being Babushkas for our entire childhood, which is why we loved getting "dressed up" on Sundays and wearing our frilly bonnets or lacy veils. Same reason we curled our hair. We wanted to look pretty.

Wow! You certainly did pass the babushka test, and earned every single frill and curl!!!!!! Smile

~Kate
(04-08-2014, 10:17 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-08-2014, 10:07 AM)TheQueenMother Wrote: [ -> ]And I really feel that drawing attention to oneself during holy Mass, even for an ugly babushka test, is never a good thing (.........and wearing a scarf  as she described, certainly would.

I thought that too. It's almost a sin of pride to be able to wear such a monstrosity, if done with the right (or wrong) frame of heart. As in, "ha, ha look at me, I'm so not vain I can wear this ugly thing in public."

But especially if you do to a parish where headcovering is NOT the norm, any kind of veiling calls attention to oneself. I'm always unsure where to go with that.

You know, I had to go to a NO mass last week.  Those same thoughts crept in my head too.  However, I had to remind myself, That is Our Lord!  Every time during the Mass when I felt those thoughts creeping in I would repeat, that to myself.