It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Prayer Shawls - A Sign of Class, Beauty and Courage

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In a previous article, I demonstrated why a Catholic woman should wear her mantilla with pride! Indeed, nothing says "I'm Catholic and not ashamed of it!" better than a mantilla. This Biblical custom was recommended by the Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 11:1-16) and codified in the Code of Canon Law for centuries. Vatican II did not rescind the custom, nor did the New Code of Canon Law. Rather, they left the matter open, for Catholic women to decide for themselves how they would express their humility and devotion to God.

The head covering is part of Christian tradition all over the world. It is only in English speaking countries (particularly the United States) where this Catholic and Biblical custom has fallen by the wayside. As a Caucasian boy, growing up in Southern California, I found myself surrounded by Hispanic communities. I still have very fond memories of my childhood home, and for a white man, I'm not the least bit embarrassed to say I find myself more "at home" and "at ease" in Hispanic culture than my current Anglo-Saxon surroundings of the American Midwest.

My grandmother was Swedish, but she was raised in Cuba - go figure! She spoke fluent Spanish, and didn't know a word of Scandinavian. She was also a Roman Catholic. Growing up in Southern California, with my Spanish-speaking white grandma, got me in pretty close with the Hispanic-Catholic culture of the area. The older women of those parishes were staunchly conservative in their religious practices, and to be quite honest, I've never seen a more modest and classy group. These women knew how to be Catholic, Spanish, classy and at the same time absolutely beautiful. Their Spanish shawls served a double purpose. Inside the Church they frequently used them as a type of mantilla, while outside, they dropped them down over their shoulders to create a elegant wrap, useful for social gatherings in the cool outdoors. In all my years since childhood, I've never seen a more impressive and stunning display of feminine Catholic beauty.

My wife also grew up in the same neighborhood as I, and she (like my grandmother), is a Scandinavian who identifies more with Catholic-Hispanic culture than her own. (Guess what I'm getting her for Christmas.) If only more Catholic women across America would pick up this particular tradition. If they did American Catholicism would benefit, Catholic women would be known for their classy style, and I would start to feel at home again.

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