I didn’t know whether to post this or not. But I could use other ladies’ opinions on how best to show that I am a traditional Catholic. I came back to the Church in 2003 and before that my husband and I were in several evangelical groups and Hebrew-Christian groups (his mother is still a member of this) and I had all kinds of teachings (sometimes weird) thrown at me. Both my husband and I have been extremely happy we are back in the Church and we are both traditional Catholics in that we believe every teaching of the Church, although we had not been practicing it when we were away. When we were in the Hebrew-Christian group, there was a movement for ladies to wear headcoverings as a sign of devotion to God and a sign of respect to their husbands. When I was on the forum the other day and folks were discussing headcoverings, it sort of brought it up again. I know that, as the song says, they will know we are Christians by our love – our example and our lives, but is there something any of you do to show the world (I guess) that you are Catholic other than that? I like the notion of wearing the headcoverings as a sign of devotion and especially in church. My husband would think it extreme (as he told me) if I were to wear a snood all the time. Sometimes, I think a Catholic woman is defined by her children, her many children hopefully. But because of very bad choices I have no children to define me. I was hoping you could give me a little encouragement that (I guess) its okay to define myself as a Catholic without external signs. Something tells me that this would lead down a road that I would have to go back and read Galatians all over again. What do you think?
Well while not extreme per se - I also wouldn’t recommend you where any kind of head covering all the time. St. Paul was only talking about the Mass.
As for what you can do to show you are catholic - rosary on your rear view mirror, and a bumper sticker on the back of your car saying something like “I love the Traditional Latin Mass” or “Incense, Gregorian Chant, Tradition * The Latin *” .
Also a large crucifix if you like, and a brown scapular for Our Lady
BTW - I’m not a Lady. Sorry. I just wanted to help you out.
I think it is the little things. Helping people quietly and not so others see you. But, that others see God in what you do. A slight head bow when the name of Jesus is mentioned. Letting others know you will be praying for them, even if they don’t want you to, just because it is the right thing to do.
Being modest in dress, yet not judgmental of others for how they dress. If someone asks why you cover or dress “that” way quietly explaining about your belief and that it is a personal decision between you and God.
And most of all never apologize for following the full belief of Holy Mother Church.
EXACTLY!!! It’s the little things, our actions, how we speak to and treat others that show us as Catholics.
Have you been enrolled in the brown scapular? What about enthroning the Sacred Heart in your home? You could also get your home blessed and begin any number of devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. One thing I like to see Catholics do, is to make the sign of the cross in restaurants, and also when passing by a Catholic Church where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed. These are all good traditional practices.
When eating out praying before eating and crossing oneself. LOL there have been many a wait-staff that has had to wait for us to finish our prayers.
A Mary garden in a private place for private devotions. Ours has traditional old world flowers in it. The birds and butterflies make good companions when saying the Rosary.
That’s beautiful. I wish I had a Garden
First women are not defined by the number of childern they have. I am not maried nor do i have any chilldern. i don’t think of myself as less of a catholic women Nor do i look at other childless couples as less catholic then anyone else. We are each called to a different path by God and we are not in competion to be the best catholic BUt instead we are called to be the best childern of God and the best brothers and sisters in Christ that we can be.
Second, It is the little things that matter. Here is one of my favorite quotes
"Do not be dismayed by toil or suffering, nor by the meager fruit of your labors. Remember that God rewards not according to results, but effort. - Blessed Zefirino Agostini, 1874"
The fact that you are trying to please God is what matters. Not how others percieve you. Focus and keep you eyes on Him.
Thridly- Wear a headcovering if you choose to while in Church. There you are submitting to God. Unless your in a country were it is normal to wear a headcovering then i wouldn’t wear it out in public. My personal opinion is that headcoverings in public seem to be a submitting to society then Submitting to God or your husband (afterall there are many ways to submitt to your husband and to show him the respect as the head of your household)
fourth- Keep it up and Welcome back to the Church!!
I’m not a woman but I don’t think the many religious women who devoted their whole lives to the Son would agree with ya there. Gonna have nuns with pitchforks chasing you!
I would hope that women are not defined by our children, though it seems that way sometimes. Not every woman is called or able to have a large family or even to be a mother.
I love wearing medals. I have a few small, elegant four-way and Marian medals that serve as constant signs of my faith. It’s something very traditional to do.
I wear my scapular and my rosary beads (that I need to get blessed :banghead: ) Of course sometimes I wonder if people associate my rosary beads with being a goth rather then being a Catholic:rolleyes: other then that, if you met me anywhere but mass you wouldn’t assume i was Catholic. God knows us by our soul. Just be a good person.
why is it important to you to find some outward symbol to show you are a traditional Catholic, whatever that means? is there some reason why you can’t allow the practice of the Catholic faith, including the very fact of your conversion, speak for itself? Has some one told you being a “traditional” Catholic is somehow being holier, superior, better than “being Catholic”.
welcome home, you are here and we rejoice, you are part of the universal Church and there is no room for such divisions and sects within her.
I was hoping you could give me a little encouragement that (I guess) its okay to define myself as a Catholic without external signs.
I’m a former protestant, and when I converted I didn’t really “feel” Catholic even though I knew that I was. So I can understand how you want external signs to help define yourself as a Catholic.
Here are some things my husband and I have added to our lives that help reinforce our Catholic identity:
a holy water font by our front door; we bless ourselves every time we leave the house
I have a kitchen madonna statue on my kitchen windowsill, and I keep a few fresh flowers in a vase by it all the time;
we have a crucifix in our living room, and one in each bedroom
we have a small decorative shelf in our dining room with a picture of the Sacred Heart above it; we keep our bible, rosaries, and a few other devotional items there; we have a red votive light under the Sacred Heart picture that we light during our evening rosary
I have a statue of St. Anthony in my living room that I bought while living in Italy
I have a picture in my stairwell on the madonna and child that I bought while living in Italy
we have a vintage statue of Our Lady of Lourdes bought while living in Germany in the master bedroom
my husband wears a St. Michael medal, and I wear a Miraculous Medal
we use holy cards for bookmarks (these little things are very useful!)
These are small things that are primarily for us. Yes, others who come to our house or see our medals might realize that we are Catholic (and I hope our behavior and faithfulness to the teachings of the church are further witness), but we have added these tangible trappings of our faith for ourselves. We also abstain from meat on Friday during the year, pray the rosary together every evening, and attend a weekly Holy Hour.
Yes, I would still be a Catholic even without these externals, but the externals help.
Oh, and while I often wear a hat to Sunday mass I would never dress in such a way that I could be mistaken as a fundamentalist protestant or Amish.
In all charity, Annie, outward signs are a good reminder to one of the particular devotion you hold. For example the brown scapular or the Miraculous Medal are both external signs of an inward devotion. Let’s cut the OP some slack, shall we?
You mentioned that you have no children. I have 3 and started having them when I was in my 20s. I kinda lived a wreckless life before that. Don’t get me wrong for what I;m about to say because I absolutely adore my children, but I always wish that I had more time to volunteer. With a husband and a very active 2 year old, it’s hard to get away for even an hour or so. Right now my daughter and I volunteer at an animal shelter every other weekend, and it’s great, but it’s more her thing than mine. I’ve been talking to my niece about volunteering with children overseas, in shelters locally or at a free clinic. There is such a great need out there for people to get involved. One day, when I have more time (right:rolleyes: ) I really want to teach adult literacy. Anyway, long story short, maybe that kind of thing is what God is planning for you. You may want to talk to your priest or someone at the diocese too find some volunteer opportunities. St Francis said to preach the Gospel always and sometimes use words. Christ said that whatever you do for the least of mine, you do for Me. To me there is no better way to show your faith than to live it through actions. You may also have an opportunity to evangelize. It may turn out to be something you are called to do. Good luck in finding your way and welcome Home!
PS not all of us are called to have lots of children or any so please don’t get bogged down by that. Go live the life that God has planned for and don’t look back!
Jesus told people not to be concerned with their dress and dietary habits. This was probably because people like the OP who want to wear clothing as an emblem of indentity with a group. I don’t think you should bother with it, it sounds like pride to me, and wanting to draw attention to yourself, and proclaim that you are a part of the special subset of Catholics who are really devout and special.
I don’t know that any outward sign, just for the purposes of advertising, is a good idea. The outwardness of the signs should be secondary to the inward grace and growth.
Certainly, if you husband tells you he doesn’t want you wearing a snood or headcovering all the time, than it would be defeating the purpose of that sign to show your humility if you defy him on that.
Since my reversion and my families conversion, we have slowly taken on new devotional habits and other things that have come to be outward signs. For example, we have recently begun saying a daily family rosary. I had been saying the rosary on my walks for some time, but now we are all saying it. From that, I have been considering one of those little hook things where we can all place our rosaries, so they are easy to find. That would certainly be a sign to anyone entering our living room! LOL
I don’t like bunper stickers, so I probably won’t put one on our car, but the missals and church bulletins on the seats are signs to others looking in our car.
I don’t wear a headcovering at Mass (we attend a very reverent Norvus Ordo), but I have been feeling a call to wear a scapular. Perhpas that is an idea for you as well. since I am a modest dresser anyway, it won’t be a visible sign to others, but hopefully will help me, in my behavior and attitude, be a sign!
here is my opinion. and its only my opinion. if you want to wear a head covering that is up to you. i wear one myself to Mass because for me, its a sign of respect for our Lord and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. i think women who dress modestly are also showing their respect for our Lord and also for others at Mass as well.
Immodest dress can lead men into temptation. and scandal can arise as a result of a lack of caring about what you wear. there has been fierce debate over this. most women here will agree that modest dress is a great sign of respect.
it all depends on what you think you should be doing. some churches have dress codes and others don’t. however, if you want to dress modestly, that is a wonderful thing to do. i dress modestly no matter what parish i go to. its feels right for me and it shows respect for our Lord. that is what matters to me.
Wow. But IMHO there is a great big problem in your thinking. The OP just wants to have her faith be visible to others so as to show others the wonders of the Faith. The reference that you were speaking of was about doing things just to be seen and honored on earth. Big, Big difference.
If you choose to cover your head for Mass, that’s between God and you.
However, if you are looking for an outward sign you are Catholic, traditional or not, you need to be “cloaked” in generosity & good deeds, goodness, mercy, peace…any of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and their descriptive attritbutes are the perfect “covering” as well as “jewelry” for any Catholic.