Catholics Veil Sacred Images during Lent not because “they” are looking for Jesus to crucify Him.(Part 3)

Catholics Veil Sacred Images not because “they” are looking for Jesus to crucify Him.(Part 3)

When someone veils the image of your late beloved father/mother, it seems the person blocked off a chanel through which you can see or contemplate your late father’s/mother’s memory.

When this happens, you resort to pure imagination, you seek out the memories in your head, you sometimes even contemplate more on the former images of your parents that you had seen. It puts one more into psychological hunger. A more yearning.

That partly answers the question: why cover an image which is meant naturally to be seen? To make us yearn. To makes exert ourselves deeply and more into contemplation.

It’s the same way in the veiling of the sacred images with which we use to pray. To make us contemplate more on Christ, to mentally seek him out more, to think about the importance of the Blessed Mary and the saints in our lives,and in whom(the saints) the glory of Christ manifests.

The Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints whom we represent through images are nothing without Christ Jesus. Every grace they possess or obtain for us, come from the merits of Christ’s paschal mystery (the passion, death and resurrection).

So, the custom of veiling crosses and images has much to commend it in terms of religious psychology.

This produces a hunger effect; our mind seeks explanation that leads to its attention. It creates special circumstances for the mind, for us. You don’t want them(the veils) to be there for so long.

Then, you are like one unconsciously on a journey. And this journey heightens during the Holy week. And you wait for it till end. It explains partly how you feel during the Holy week celebrations?

So this hunger and question caused by the veiling is satisfied by the Lenten and Holy Week celebrations such that:

1 The Veiling alerts us of the special moment in which we are in or moving into; we are moving into the Holy Week in preparation for the Triduum(the three holy days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday); the passion (suffering) and death of our Lord.

2. Since the mind seeks for explanations, it pays attention. So, the veils indirectly focuses our attention to the words being said in the mass: the words of the passion narrative strikes our senses to enter into the scene. Then, these words offer explanations to some of our unconscious questions.Now, remember how you pay so much attention to the details of the celebration. You are moved.

3. The veiling then heightens our longing for Easter Sunday, since it has now drawn our attention and enhanced our participation in the celebrations of the Triduum. You are eager to wait till the end; Easter, even after the unveiling of cross on Good Friday, or the other sacred images at other times as the case may be.

So, the veiling induces in us a deeper longing, heightens our senses, and shows that it’s actually we who are sensually looking for Jesus and the saints who helps us to reach out to Him, and not the Pharisees.

And yes, we read in various verses during the Holy Week that the Pharisees are looking for Jesus to put him down but that’s not the primary reason for veiling, but to create a sense of mystery with a purpose as already explained.

Whatever that is veiled, creates a sense of mystery which induces the senses into a search.

©Fr. Henrycharles Umelechi

Truth Series.

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